Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Tips for Healthy Hips
Tips for Healthy Hips
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey The hip is a true ball-in-socket joint with a wide range of motion which allows us to walk, run, jump, squat, and climb stairs, among other activities. Your hips bear your entire body weight and are in almost constant use. Because the hips are so fundamental to mobility, they are prone to injury and other chronic conditions such as arthritis. Keeping your hips in shape is essential for you to continue leading an active lifestyle, especially as you age. Common Hip Conditions Arthritis. Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes the cartilage in the joints to break down over time. Cartilage is what allows the bones in our joints to glide smoothly during movement—when it breaks down, it can cause painful bone rubbing that can lead to further damage. Bursitis. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions around joints. Bursitis happens when these sacs become inflamed, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Osteonecrosis of the hip. Also called avascular necrosis (AVN), this is a painful condition that ...

Rotator Cuff Injuries & How to Prevent Them
Rotator Cuff Injuries & How to Prevent Them
By: Ryan Pitts A complex system of muscles and tendons combine to make up the shoulder, the most mobile joint in the body. This flexibility makes some great athletic feats possible for major league baseball pitchers, beach volleyball players, and tennis players, and it also allows people to easily perform daily activities such as reaching items on high shelves, pulling a t-shirt over the head, or putting on a seat belt. Because of its broad range of motion and near constant use, the shoulder is more susceptible to injury than many other joints. The shoulder brings three major bones together: the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collar bone), and the humerus (arm bone). The humerus joins with your shoulder socket. While the shoulder is not a true ball-in-socket joint like the hip, it is similar in structure, and this accounts for its large range of motion.  Rotator Cuff Injuries The most common shoulder injuries are rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff is made of muscles and tendons that work together to keep the humerus in place, surrounding the shoulder joint. There are four types ...

Direct Anterior (DA) Hip Replacement Surgery
Direct Anterior (DA) Hip Replacement Surgery
By: Dr. Mudd Direct anterior hip replacement offers an exciting less invasive alternative to traditional techniques used to perform hip arthroplasty.  This technique is the only way to access the hip joint that is truly muscle sparing, making it the least invasive of all techniques used to access the hip.  The traditional posterior approach requires the surgeon to split the gluteus maximus, which is one of the largest muscles in the lower extremity, and to release several of the short rotators of the hip.  The unique advantage of the direct anterior approach is the ability to access the hip joint, by using a truly intermuscular plane.  The interval between the Sartorius and the Tensor Fascia Lata muscles is used to expose the hip capsule.  Using a truly intermuscular interval, the surgeon does not need to “cut, split, or release” any of your muscles.  The anterior approach allows the surgeon to minimize the trauma to the muscles while accessing the hip joint.  This translates into decreased inflammation, less pain, quicker return to function, and much less restrictive precautions after surgery.  The ...

Good Posture & Your Spine Health
Good Posture & Your Spine Health
“Sit up straight! Don’t slouch,” scolded mothers and grandmothers for generations, and at dinner tables all across the nation, children’s eyes all rolled together. It turns out that Mom and Grandma were onto something. Good posture does help portray an image of self-confidence, it looks nice, and it enhances physical performance. You don’t see anyone slouching when you’re watching athletes compete in the Olympics or celebrities walk down the red carpet at the Oscars. Posture and Orthopedic Health Posture plays a large role in the overall health of your spine. In orthopedics, we consider posture the way that your muscles, joints, and skeleton work together to hold your body upright. Your spine is a complex system of muscles, ligaments, and bones, and it has an incredible range of motion. Having such a great range of motion is certainly an advantage, but the downside is that there are lots of opportunities for things to go wrong. Poor posture is a leading cause of back pain, which, according to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, is one of the most common painful disorders ...

Simple Ways to Prevent Knee Pain
Simple Ways to Prevent Knee Pain
Dr. Richard Hulsey Be kind to knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.” – Baz Luhrmann, “The Sunscreen Song” There are many kinds of knee pain, and many things that can cause it. Years of wear and tear on joints over the course of a lifetime can create discomfort, as can an instantaneous injury. As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and there are strategies for keeping your joints healthy and preventing future knee pain. Knowledge of how to exercise and actions to avoid are key for protecting your knees from injury. Weight One of the most common causes of knee pain, especially pain from osteoarthritis, is weight gain. The human body was intended to only carry a certain amount of weight based on your height and build. Additional weight places undue strain on your joints, especially your knees. If you are overweight or obese, you add stress to your knees with every step you take. In addition to increasing the chances for a knee injury, this damage happens slowly over time and is cumulative. Maintaining ...

Common Causes of Shin Splints and How to Treat Them
Common Causes of Shin Splints and How to Treat Them
Dr. Ryan Pitts If you’ve ever suffered from shin splints, then you know how painful and annoying they can be. Shin splints are often characterized by noticeable swelling in your lower leg accompanied by sharp pain on the inside portion of your shin. The medical term for this condition is medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). (Mayo Clinic) Shin splints are typically caused by moderate to heavy periods of strenuous exercise, such as dancing, soccer, running, and weightlifting. People who have rigid arches or flatter feet are also more susceptible to developing shin splints. The actual cause of shin splints is the forceful stop-start motion placed on the shin bone and surrounding tissues. The force irritates the muscles connected to the shin bone, resulting in inflammation and pain. Diagnosis of skin splints A typical orthopedic specialist will be able to diagnose shin splints through a simple physical exam of the injured area. Additional X-rays and scans may be performed to determine if there are any bone microfractures in the surrounding area. Shin splints may not be the cause of your shin pain, which is ...

5 Best Biking Trails in St. Louis for Summer
5 Best Biking Trails in St. Louis for Summer
Summer is a great time of year to stretch your legs, pump the tires, and wheel your way down a biking trail. Whether you’re exploring the Meramec or gliding down the Katy Trail, there are plenty of sights and sounds to see on a bike seat this summer. Katy Trail State Park Katy Trail State Park is arguably the most iconic bike path in St. Charles County. With West County trails bursting at the seams, more St. Louisans are trekking across the river (gasp!) to take advantage of the Katy Trail’s winding wonderment. The ten-mile stretch between Weldon Spring and Augusta is a hearty workout with beautiful scenery along the way. If you’re ready for a breather, pull into small town Matson for a short rest and some apple pie. You’ll be happy you stopped! Dr. Edmund A. Babler State Park Babler State Park is known for its bicycle paths paved to perfection and wide for any cyclist to enjoy. Its six featured routes twist and curve through the beauty of West County and will give you all the exercise you want. ...

All About Shoulder Arthroscopy
All About Shoulder Arthroscopy
Dr. Ryan Pitts Long recovery times, risk of infection and the pain associated with large incisions have been mitigated by improvements to modern surgical methods. One such advancement is arthroscopy (pronounced “ahr-THROS-kuh-pee”), which allows for a safer, less invasive option for repairing damaged joints and tissues. The word originates from the Greek “arthro” (join) and “skopein” (to look). As it pertains to the shoulder, arthroscopy allows doctors to understand the extent and severity of an injury or condition without undergoing the risk of invasive surgery.  Popular since the 1970s as an alternative to more invasive surgery, the procedure continues to evolve as new instruments and techniques are developed.  According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, shoulder arthroscopy is a “procedure that orthopedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems inside a joint.” (AAOS) The surgeon inserts a small fiber-optic video camera called an arthroscope through a small cut in the shoulder region and takes pictures and/or video. Your doctor will be able to view the inside of your joint in real time on a high-definition video monitor. Other pencil-thin surgical ...

3 Ideas for Family Fun This Summer in St. Louis
3 Ideas for Family Fun This Summer in St. Louis
As we gain hours of daylight and temperatures warm up, it’s a great time to take the family on an outdoor adventure around St. Louis. The Gateway region boasts some amazing parks and experiences that you may not have experienced since you were a kid. It’s time to put on some comfy shoes, grab a camera and become a tourist in your own town! Here are some things to put on your list this summer. Rolling on the River Get a whole new perspective of the riverfront and Arch by taking a cruise on a riverboat. As you glide up and down the Mighty Mississippi, you can enjoy a meal, walk the decks and choose from several optional specialty outings. Enjoy a day or evening ride on a replica of a 19th century paddle-wheel riverboat and enjoy informative narration by the captain or a National Park Service ranger. You’ll learn about the river’s important role in St. Louis history and what life was like when the city was founded more than 250 years ago. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 ...

3 Exercises to Help You Recover from Meniscus Surgery
3 Exercises to Help You Recover from Meniscus Surgery
Dr. Hulsey Rehabilitating from a torn meniscus starts as soon as you’re in the recovery room. The first three to seven days following meniscus surgery are about protecting the affected region from any damage or infection. Many orthopedic specialists will have you on your feet and walking within a day or even hours of the surgery. This encourages blood flow and protects against muscle atrophy as much as possible. Of course, you will naturally lose some muscle strength due to inactivity and the impact of surgery. When the time is right, here are three exercises to help you recover from meniscus surgery. You can start these exercises within days of your surgery. As always, consult with your orthopedic specialist before beginning any strenuous exercise following surgery. Toe Raises You should be able to stand within a day of undergoing surgery. At the direction and supervision of your orthopedic specialist, you may be able to begin toe raises. Stand next to a sturdy table or counter to support your balance. Slowly rise up on your tees and distribute your weight evenly between both feet. ...