Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


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. ...

How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries
How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries
By: Dr. Pitts There’s a certain amount of pain that is to be expected with running; sore muscles after a long workout or tired feet after a race. A bit of discomfort that can be soothed with a long soak in the tub and rest is nothing unusual. However, there are specific injuries that can happen to runners that require medical attention and recuperation (e.g. no running) time. Many of these injuries can be avoided with a bit of intention and preparation. Here some of the most common running injuries and how to avoid them. Runner’s Knee The medical term for runner’s knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome, but it’s really just a fancy way of saying that you’ve got pain around or behind your kneecap. Runners are repetitively pounding their feet on the ground, and this force is compounded when running downhill or running with weak hips. To prevent this pain, stick with running on flat or uphill surfaces. Avoid hard surfaces (like pavement) and stick to running on grass, a rubberized track or other soft surfaces. If the pain doesn’t go away, ...

Rotator Cuff Injuries: Causes and Treatments
Rotator Cuff Injuries: Causes and Treatments
By Dr. Hulsey Almost any movement of the shoulders involve the rotator cuff especially motion above the shoulder level. This group of muscles and tendons that surround and support the shoulder joint keep the top of your upper arm bone firmly inside the shallow socket of your shoulder. If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, you should consult a physician. If your physician has already determined that you need rotator cuff surgery, here are some things you can expect. Who is at risk for a rotator cuff injury? Rotator cuffs are prone to injury and can often be damaged while performing work or athletic activity involving overhead motions like painting, hammering and playing tennis or baseball. As you age, your rotator cuff can show signs of wear and will be more easily injured. If there is a family history of joint issues, especially rotator cuff injuries, you may be at increased risk because of your genetics. What is rotator cuff disease? This damage to the rotator cuff is known as “rotator cuff disease” and can occur from any cause, including a single injury ...