Urgent Signs You Should See an Orthopedic Surgeon

By  admin6  published  July 23, 2018

Millions of Americans suffer from some type of musculoskeletal pain. While sometimes acute pain would resolve on its own, chronic, persistent pain can heavily impact your quality of life. So, the question is when you should seek the expert opinion of an orthopedic surgeon if you are suffering from pain.

Generally, persistent pain requires immediate attention rather than waiting for it to go way by itself. In fact, ignoring pain or an injury may even make it worse or lead to new problems. For example, toughing out an ankle sprain can cause problems in your knees and hips.

To know when the pain warrants medical attention, observe your body. Keep an eye on your level of your pain and how long it has been there.

Soft tissue injuries, such as twisting a knee during a run, may respond to the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. But, if the pain hasn’t reduced after 2 days, you should consult an orthopedic doctor. The same is true for osteoarthritis patients.

If your pain prevents you from participating in activities you once enjoyed, such as gardening or playing with your grandchildren, it may be a sign that you need orthopedic care.

If you experience stiffness in your joints, wobbliness, or a lack of balance, it could be the result of an injury or osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. It is time to talk to an orthopedic specialist.

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Managing and Restoring Mobility of a Broken Arm

By  aenriquez  published  July 5, 2018

A broken arm is a painful and unfortunate event in a patient’s life. But after that initial pain subsides, one can often be left wondering will I ever get back to normal? Will my movement be affected by the broken arm? Will I be able to work? Can I go back to playing sport? Of course, the answers to these questions is incredibly variable depending on what you have broken and how badly it has been broken.

What can you break in the arm?

A number of structures make up an “arm” and can this be broken. The arm is defined as everything between the wrist and the shoulder and includes a number of bony structures. These are:

  • The humerus bone is attached into your shoulder socket and goes all the way down to your elbow.
  • The forearm goes from the wrist to the elbow and has two bones, the radius, and the ulna. The radius is the bone you can feel on the side of your thumb, whilst the ulnar is underneath it and on the side of your little finger.

All of these structures can of course break, and break in different ways and at different points. Each individual fracture has its own specific management based on years of research.

All of these structures can of course break, and break in different ways and at different points

How do you manage a broken arm?

Whilst all break will be dealt with differently, there are some general principles that get people back to normal after a broken arm. Firstly, the break needs to heal. If the two ends of the broken bone line up perfectly and look like they will heal well then usually a sling will suffice to take the weight off the patient’s arm and ensure they are pain-free. However, in some breaks, the two bones are not properly lined up and need to be “reduced”. This can be done by pulling the bones back into position (don’t worry – anesthetic is provided) and putting a cast or splint on them to keep them in position. In some cases, surgery may be needed to fix the fracture into position.

Once this initial management has been completed the patient usually has a period of immobility where they cannot move the affected arm before rehabilitation starts. The rehab process will be specific to the break but usually involves devices to support the arm and physiotherapy to rehabilitate movement of the joints around the break. The specific exercises practiced in the physiotherapy will be determined by where the bone is broken.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by a broken arm, they may need specialist help to adequately rehabilitate mobility in their broken arm. To get specialist advice and treatment for this get in contact with a clinic providing orthopedic and physiotherapy services in the United States. It seems trivial but ensuring proper rehabilitation is often the most important part of the management of a broken arm and when done properly can allow the individual to return to work sooner with less pain and more mobility.

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Implications Of An Untreated Stress Fracture

By  aenriquez  published  June 26, 2018

If you have pain in a bone that is unrelenting and associated with exercise or work then you might have suffered a stress fracture. These injuries seem innocent enough but can have significant implications if left alone and not looked at by a professional.

What is a stress fracture?

A fracture (as many of us will know) is a broken bone. A complete fracture splits the bone into two or more pieces whilst a partial fracture doesn’t. However, a stress fracture is a broken bone caused by repetitive and repeated compressive stresses to it. It can occur from a small number of high load repeated stresses and a high number of low load stresses (ie a marine with a heavy backpack running for a few miles versus a distance runner pounding the pavement for over 100 miles a week).

What happens if you leave it untreated?

This all depends on where the fracture is and whether it is in a high or low-risk site. In the worst case scenario, the stress fracture can develop into a full fracture causing displacement of the bone, nonunion (where the bone doesn’t heal properly) or fracture propagation (where the fracture becomes bigger and bigger). These complications are likely to occur at high-risk sites. High-risk sites for a stress fracture include:

  • Any stress fractures in the spine but particular the region of the lumbar spine known as the pars interarticularis
  • Hip and thigh fractures in the femoral head
  • Knee and leg fractures of the patella or the tibia
  • Ankle and foot fractures in the:
    • Medial malleolus
    • Talus
    • Tarsal navicular
    • Base of second metatarsal

A fracture (as many of us will know) is a broken bone

Some sites have a low risk of complication and these include:

  • Second and fourth metatarsal shafts (bones in the feet)
  • Posteromedial tibial shaft (part of the lower leg bone)
  • Proximal Humerus
  • Humeral shaft (arm)
  • Ribs
  • Sacrum (bottom of the spine)

How should it be managed?

If you or somebody you know suspects you might be suffering from a stress fracture then get in contact with a specialist orthopedic clinic immediately for evaluation. They will assess what the best treatment is, but the general principle is that the sooner treatment is given the better the outcome. They will decide between conservative and surgical treatment for the fracture. Usually conservative is chosen in low-risk fractures in those whose livelihood does not depend on getting better immediately. However, if an individual has a fracture in a high-risk site or their livelihood depends upon being active (ie a highly competitive athlete or a laborer on their feet all day) then it may be decided that surgery is the best option.

Conservative treatment usually consists of:

  • Pain control with medications
  • A splint that stops weight bearing on the fractured site
  • A reduction in activity until the fracture has healed
  • A slow and gradual increased in activities once the patient is pain-free
  • Exercises to help with rehab

 

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Important Signs You Need to See an Orthopedic Doctor

By  admin6  published  June 19, 2018

Are you suffering from stubborn joint pain that just doesn’t go away? Has your back been hurting for some time? Millions of people in the United States suffer from musculoskeletal problems every year, and they come from a wide variety of sources: overuse, strains, sprains, and simple back, knee, and shoulder pain.

Many people resort to painkilling medication to relieve pain but that is only a temporary solution. It also carries the risk of tolerance and dependence. It is always better to see an orthopedic doctor or surgeon to overcome your pain and discomfort entirely.

Orthopedic surgeons treat the problems arising from the musculoskeletal system. Here are some common signs that you need orthopedic treatment –

  • Stubborn or chronic pain in the muscles, joints or tendons, that persists for more than a few days
  • Deformity in joints
  • Any signs of infection in the joints, such as inflammation, swelling, redness, heat
  • Difficulty in carrying out activities of daily living
  • Joint pain persists even while resting
  • Swelling or bruising around a joint or injury
  • Restricted range of motion

There is a common myth involved with orthopedic treatment. Many people think that orthopedic doctors or surgeons only use surgery to treat orthopedic problems. This is not true. Surgery is always the last resort if medication, physical therapy and minimally invasive procedures fail to provide relief and restore motion and function in the affected part of the body.

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When A Full Knee Replacement is the Only Option

By  aenriquez  published  May 24, 2018

No-one wants to undergo a knee replacement operation but, if you are experiencing a huge amount of pain and movement is drastically reduced, surgery may be the only option. There are various reasons as to why you may need one, arthritis could damage the cartilage so that it has worn thin and bones grating against each other has made any movement painful. When you have the knee replaced, the remaining cartilage is often replaced by both plastic and metal parts. These parts interlock so that your knee can bend. Of course, having arthritis does not mean that surgery is essential. There are always other options to consider first such as stem cell therapy.

full knee surgery

There may be times, however, when stem cell treatments are just not suitable and of course, your medical professionals will guide you through the list of options. Certainly, knee surgery has changed dramatically over the last few years, with many advances being made and although this is offered less, there are times when there are no other options.

A partial knee replacement sounds less invasive than the full version but in truth, a partial knee replacement needs to have some very precise surgery i.e. bone being shaved back. This is a critical procedure as alignment must be perfect. If too little bone is removed, this would be as bad as removing too much. A partial knee replacement enables a quicker recovery rate, but it is not always possible.

 

The advantages of full knee surgery:

  • Increased mobility
  • Decreased pain

If you are suffering from knee pain and have been advised that surgery may be required, you may be understandably nervous. There are many benefits to having surgery but, there are always some risks. Risks are typically associated with age, although there are no actual age restrictions, however, most surgery of this type occurs between the ages of 50 to 80 years of age. Your health is a big consideration. If you are suffering from heart problems or, have a chronic health condition, surgery may not be an option.  Infections and blood clots can arise but, this is extremely rare. The benefits far outweigh the risks.

 

It is good to consider why you want treatment:

 

  • You are in severe pain
  • The knee joint is so stiff
  • Even when resting, pain is intense
  • You struggle to bend the knee joint
  • Chronic swelling does not dissipate
  • Another treatment has failed

 

A complete knee replacement today is much more efficient than ever and, also, less invasive.  Recovery time is quicker, and the success rate is very high. Once the surgery is over, there is less time spent in the hospital and you will be able to go home and really start the recovery process. To live without severe pain or stiffness is life changing. You can exercise, you can move, and you can sit in comfort. Importantly, you can get life back on track, hopefully, meeting friends and family regularly and avoiding low or fluctuating mood caused by pain and isolation.

 

If you are considering having a full knee replacement you are certainly not on your own. Many famous names are on the list and in the case of Steve Tyler from the rock band Aerosmith, it is hard to imagine that he had surgery as his movement is as good as ever.

 

Need to find out more information about your options for surgery? At the FRFX website, you can arrange an appointment with a medical professional. There really is no need to be in severe pain in modern times. Help is at hand.

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Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

By  aenriquez  published  May 18, 2018

Physical therapy involves the use of certain maneuvers and exercises to restore your strength, activity, and motion following an injury, illness, or surgery. Physical therapists are trained professionals who identify deficiencies in the biomechanics of the body, they and teach stretches and techniques to address problems that can be managed. Physical therapists also use specialized equipment to address your condition and injury.

dealing with pain with Physical Therapy

Stretching Tight Joints and Muscles

A portion of physical therapy deals with stretching muscles and joints. Stretching is vital in maintaining good range of motion with the joints and for flexibility of muscles. If you suffer from tight muscles and/or stiff joints, normal activities can be affected. This includes climbing stairs, reaching overhead for items, and going through usual daily living. With proper stretching, these functions are preserved. After surgery, scar tissue forms and soft tissue will contract. To ensure that scar formation does not affect rehabilitation, it is important to go through regular stretching routines.

Strengthening the Body with Exercises

Exercises are used for strengthening, which helps with rehabilitation to improve muscle function and joint stability. The goal of improving strength aids in improved range of motion and increased endurance. Post-operative exercises should be guided by the physical therapist to ensure you do not injure the surgical area. These exercises are used in back, neck, knee, and shoulder injuries.

Core Strengthening and Stability

One of the most recent physical therapy developments involve the emphasis on core stability and strengthening. The core of the body should be solid and strong. A weak core puts you at risk for injury and chronic overuse syndromes. Core strengthening emphasizes the muscles of the pelvis and back. Some exercises programs are great for core stability, especially Pilates.

Application of Ice and Heat

Ice and heat are used for cooling down and warming up joints and muscles. Warmth also increases blood flow to the injured or healing region, and ice will decrease swelling through vasoconstriction. These mechanisms are very important for the therapeutic process.

Ultrasound

Using high-frequency sound waves, ultrasound therapy is used to stimulate the deep tissues in the body. The ultrasound probe is passed over your body, and deep tissues are stimulated by the vibration of a sound wave. Ultrasound will lead to warming and increased blood flow to the afflicted body tissues.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation is a type of therapy used to pass electric current over an affected area. Nerve condition within a region can be altered which affects muscle contractility. Blood flow to the deep tissues is increased through electrical stimulation, and patients experience diminished pain after this treatment.

Reasons for Physical Therapy

The main reasons you should have physical therapy include:

To promote healing – This is used to minimized scar tissue of the knee or shoulder following surgery, and to improve blood flow to the injured area.

To regain mobility – Physical therapy is particularly important for the knees, hips, and upper extremities. It will help prevent joint stiffening and get you moving quicker.

To enjoy a faster recovery – Rehabilitation is used to help your body recover more quickly that if you do not receive physical therapy.

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5 Common Knee Injuries and Treatments

By  admin6  published  May 14, 2018

The knee joint may suffer damage during almost any activity, even sitting down. Here’s what you need to know about the five most common knee injuries, and their treatment.

Meniscal Tears

The meniscus is a thin cartilage rim that cushions the knee joint. The meniscus may become torn or ruptured in an athletic or other injury, causing pain, swelling, tenderness, and a limited range of motion.

Meniscus tears do not often heal by themselves but respond quite well to physical therapy and other conservative treatments. Arthroscopic surgery may be necessary in the most severe tears.

ACL Injuries

The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is one of the four important ligaments that stabilize the knee. The ACL may get torn due to a sudden shift of force or direction, as in sports injuries. A partial or complete tear causes pain, swelling, instability in the knee, and, a popping sound in the knee.

While partial tears in less active patients can be treated conservatively, active patients who suffer from partial or complete tears need arthroscopic surgery to regain knee joint function.

Fractures

Three bones – the thigh bone, the shin bone and the kneecap – together make up the knee. Any of these bones can break during a fall, a car accident, or indirect trauma. A fractured bone can cause heavy pain, severe swelling, and difficulty walking.

Stable fractures can heal by themselves within several weeks or months once set in a cast. But displaced fractures require surgery to reset the bones. In both cases, recovery requires an extensive physical therapy program to strengthen the joint and regain the full range of motion.

Dislocations

The kneecap or patella may become dislodged from the groove at the bottom of the femur. This is referred to as dislocation and can be caused as a result of an acute or chronic injury. It causes severe pain and swelling and restricted motion.

Many patellar dislocations can be stabilized with rest and bracing but a repeatedly dislocated kneecap may require surgery.

Tendon Tears

The patellar tendon is the tissue responsible for connecting the thigh muscles to the patella. It allows you to flex and straighten your knee. It may become ruptured due to a sudden, strong force, and tear upon a fall or an awkward landing.

Partial tears can be treated conservatively with a brace and physical therapy. But a full tear will require surgery.

Both athletes and non-athletes can suffer from a knee injury. If you’re suffering from acute or chronic knee pain, it’s time to consult an experienced orthopedic surgeon to help you recover completely.

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How Can Knee Arthroscopy Help?

By  admin6  published  April 23, 2018

Minimally invasive knee arthroscopic surgery has proven beneficial for patients with knee problems where surgery is recommended. Since arthroscopy requires smaller incisions, it doesn’t cause much damage to the surrounding soft tissues, reduces blood loss, decreases hospital stay and risk of complications. All these factors make recovery quicker and complete.

Clinical scenarios, in which arthroscopic surgery may be suitable, include –

  • known or suspected septic arthritis
  • Symptomatic meniscal tears that have been treated with non-operative treatment, without relief
  • Symptomatic loose bodies
  • Locked or locking knees
  • Meniscal tears that require repair
  • Inflammatory arthropathy requiring synovectomy
  • Synovial pathology requiring biopsy or resection
  • Unstable chondral pathology causing mechanical symptoms
  • As an adjunct to, and in combination with, other surgical procedures as appropriate for osteoarthritis: for example, high tibial osteotomy and patellofemoral realignment
  • As a diagnostic tool when the condition of the knee or the problem is unclear on MRI or MRI is not possible, and the symptoms are not of osteoarthritis

When osteoarthritis is present, the decision for arthroscopic surgery is made by the treating orthopedic surgeon –

  • after a thorough review and assessment of the arthroscopically treatable pathology, contribution of the osteoarthritis, and the patient’s symptoms
  • only after all conservative and minimally invasive treatment options have been utilized but failed to provide relief and restoration of function
  • after a thorough discussion with the patient about the advantages of the arthroscopic procedure as opposed to continuing non-invasive treatment
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Giving Golfers a New Lease of Life

By  aenriquez  published  April 1, 2018

Golfers a New Lease of LifeGolf is played by millions of people all around the globe. For many, playing two or three rounds of golf a week is the perfect exercise, but, it does come with some health risks. The shoulder joints are particularly at risk of injury due to the full range of motion that is required.

Here are some typical shoulders injuries that golfers suffer from.

 

  • AC joint pain
  • Instability
  • Rotator cuff tears

 

Golf is unique in the way that the shoulders are expected to perform. Each shoulder has a different task to enable the full swing. As a result, there are different types of injuries to each shoulder but, one painful condition that occurs in both shoulders is a rotator cuff tear.

 

The rotator cuff is four tendons which support the upper arm and help with the rotating movement essential in golf. It does not affect every golfer in the same way. Tendonitis is where the tendons become swollen and painful and you are likely to experience the pain of this when raising your arm. In addition, bursitis is another common problem when the arm is raised.  This is where fluid builds up over the tendons below the rotator cuff. This is a very painful condition and would make playing the game an impossibility.

 

So, what can be done?

 

Well, if you are a keen golfer, and your arm hurts when you raise it, there is the potential for a rotator cuff problem. These injuries can affect all golfers but as it is a repetitive type condition then, those that play more frequently are more likely to suffer from it.

 

The arthroscopic cuff repair may provide a solution. This technique is popular as it is the least disruptive cosmetically. There is also a significant reduction in scarring compared to other invasive treatments and less chance for an infection to set in. It is also the one treatment that enables you to get back playing golf in the shortest recovery time.

 

The procedure requires a camera to be inserted into the shoulder so that the tendons can be seen properly. Then a fluid is passed in, so the medical expert can view any damage. The repair usually requires some stitches to hold the tendon in place.

 

If you are a golf enthusiast, the last thing you will want is to miss out on the game for an extended period and this treatment helps you to get back onto the course fairly quickly. Some golfers have even expressed their delight in that they can provide a better swing action thereafter. This is likely to be because their swing was originally deficient due to the early stages of the injury. In some cases, it can be of benefit to ask a golf professional to examine your swing to make sure there are no obvious biomechanical errors in the movement. This may prevent further injuries. There is a lot that can be done to avoid this type of problem in the first place and to support this, here is some additional reading, which may help in the future.

 

If you are based in or are visiting Arizona and would like to find out more about how this procedure works or even book an appointment. Then check out this link to one of Phoenix’s leading healthcare specialists. Don’t let a rotator cuff problem be your handicap.

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3 Common Sports Injuries

By  admin6  published  March 30, 2018

Athletic activity is a great way to maintain fitness and is terrific for our overall health. However, any activity that causes stress on joints and soft tissues, can cause injuries. There are 3 common knee and shoulder injuries that athletes encounter.

Meniscus Injuries

The meniscus is a wedge-shaped cartilage in the knee joint. There are two menisci in each joint that act as “shock absorbers” between your thigh and shin bone. Meniscus tears are the most common knee injuries among those who play contact sports. When you hear your doctor talk about torn knee cartilage in the knee, s/he is usually referring to a torn meniscus.

ACL Injury

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL, runs diagonally in the middle of your knee. The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding out and provides rotational stability in the knee. Skiers, soccer, basketball and football players are at high risk for ACL injuries due to the stress on the knees.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that cover the head of the upper arm or humerus. The rotator cuff helps you lift and rotate your arm. Injured or torn rotator cuff tendons can become inflamed and painful. You should get immediate medical evaluation if you are experiencing persistent shoulder pain and difficulty in reaching or overhead movements.

For any joint injury, it is recommended that you seek urgent medical attention to prevent the injury from worsening and to restore motion and function in the affected joint.

 

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