Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


How long does it take a sprained ankle to heal?
How long does it take a sprained ankle to heal?
By: Dr. Hulsey “He’s to the 35, the 30, cuts back inside, to the 25, the 20, and he’s down! Thompson got caught from behind, rolled his ankle, and it doesn’t look pretty!” How many times have you seen a football player sprain their ankle and think, “That looks painful!” A sprained ankle doesn’t happen to just the giants of the gridiron in football. Approximately 25,000 people experience sprained ankles every day. (American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society) A sprained ankle can happen during an evening walk, exiting your vehicle, or stepping off a curb. What causes sprained ankles and how long does it take to recover from a sprained ankle? According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, a sprained ankle is “a stretch injury of the ligaments that support the ankle.” (AOSSM) Your ligaments have some natural dexterity, but even ligaments have their limitations. There are three main types of ankle sprains: Inversion sprain - Occurs when the ankle is rolled inward. Inversion sprains are the most common type of ankle sprains ...

Did I tear my Achilles tendon?
Did I tear my Achilles tendon?
By: Dr. Aaranson Your Achilles tendon provides a vital function of everyday life. Simple exercises like squatting while picking up your toddler to walking around the office can become a challenge with even a minor Achilles tendon injury. If your heel region is hurting, it’s good to know whether it’s Achilles tendinopathy (inflammation and minor tears in a tendon) or a fully ruptured Achilles tendon. There are several known signs and symptoms that appear following a ruptured Achilles tendon injury. Follow this protocol to determine whether you tore your Achilles tendon: The most obvious sign of a ruptured Achilles tendon is a ‘pop’ sound from your heel region. A ‘popped’ Achilles tendon often results in immediate pain throughout the heel. Did you feel an impact on the back of your calf or ankle when the injury occurred? Some patients describe the sensation like getting hit with a rock in the back of the ankle or like someone stepped on their ankle. ...

Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
By: Dr. Aaranson If you’ve ever had bunions, then you know how painful they can be. It hurts to wear shoes of any size and it’s sometimes painful to even walk. Bunions are large bumps that form on bony protrusions on the side of your foot, such as the main joint on the outside of your big toe. Most bunions have a red appearance and are sore to the touch. Bunions form when your toes are forced together and the side of your foot rubs against tight-fitting shoes, like high heels. Some bunions are genetic or caused by stress to your foot. If left untreated, bunions can cause significant mobility issues and greater health complications. Thankfully, bunion surgery has come a long way in the past few years. Our very own Dr. R Randal Aaranson shared some of the medical advances available to patients today. Bunion surgery is now done as an outpatient procedure and most patients can walk on their repaired foot immediately following surgery. Arthritic bunions are another form of bunions being treated today. Arthritic bunions are further complicated in that ...

Best hiking trails to enjoy fall in St. Louis
Best hiking trails to enjoy fall in St. Louis
By: Dr. Byler Fall is here and that means two things: the Cardinals are in the playoffs, and the leaves are turning. Getting out for a beautiful hike in the autumn weather is a great way to embrace fall in St. Louis. Here are some of the best hiking trails around the greater St. Louis area where you can stretch your legs, get some exercise, and enjoy fall in St. Louis. Castlewood State Park Follow the Meramec River through Castlewood State Park into the valley for a breath-taking snapshot of fall. This is a great family-friendly park to catch a sneak peek of wildlife. Check out the World Bird Sanctuary, which can be accessed through Lone Elk County Park. Dr. Edmund A. Babler State Park Babler State Park is known for its bike paths, but hikers will equally enjoy the beauty offered by this West County wonderland. Altogether, there are six trails for hiking and hikers may enjoy packing a light picnic lunch. Keep an eye out for feathered friends as Babler is home to a wide variety of beautiful birds. Katy Trail State ...

How to Treat Tennis Elbow
How to Treat Tennis Elbow
How to Treat Tennis Elbow By: Dr. Strecker Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is an inflammatory condition affecting the tendons on the outer protrusion of the elbow joint. It’s called “tennis elbow” because a repetitive motion, like the constant swinging of a tennis racket, can cause damage due to overuse. However, many cases involving tennis elbow are caused by work-related overuse, such as assembly line repetition, construction, or warehouse loading. The tendons on the outside of your elbow are often called “extensors” and they help connect your forearm muscles to your ulna bone, the main bone in your forearm. The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) is the tendon that’s most often the focal point of tennis elbow. The ECRB tendon helps stabilize your wrist when your elbow is extended. Since the ECRB tendon is positioned over the outer bony formation of the elbow joint, overuse will rub the tendon raw and cause microscopic tears in the tendon tissue. This causes weakness and pain in your elbow and forearm, a condition we call tennis elbow. Symptoms of tennis elbow One of the telltale signs of tennis ...

Breaking down Big Ben Roethlisberger’s Knee Injury
Breaking down Big Ben Roethlisberger’s Knee Injury
Breaking down Big Ben Roethlisberger’s Knee Injury By: Dr. Burke On Sunday, September 27th Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback “Big Ben” Roethlisberger suffered an MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain during the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams. Rams safety Mark Barron blitzed from the left side of the formation and appeared to slide into Roethlisberger’s left knee. Fortunately for Roethlisberger, MRI scans confirmed that he did not tear his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) as was previously feared. Roethlisberger was carted off the field and later seen exiting the stadium on crutches. The MCL (medial collateral ligament) is located on the inside of the knee region and connects the thigh bone, the femur, to the tibia bone, or “shin bone,” the larger of the two lower leg bones. In Roethlisberger’s case, his left leg was stretched away from the body causing an over-extension of the MCL. Ligament injuries are referred to as “sprains,” and in Roethlisberger’s case, he suffered what would be considered a Grade 2 MCL sprain, which typically requires between four to six weeks of recovery. We wish “Big Ben” the best ...

Why You Should Consider Orthopedic Surgery
For many people, there is a negative connotation when it comes to surgery. In addition to that, we associate orthopedic surgery with the elderly more often than not. Despite these ideas, orthopedic surgery can be very helpful in managing or even eliminating pain. Read on for just a few ways that surgery can help. Pain Starting with the most obvious benefit, if you receive, for example, hip surgery or knee surgery, those joints will work better together, causing less pain. Currently, 1.5 billion people around the world say they deal with chronic pain. In addition, 31 million people in the United States suffer from low-back pain. These can be eliminated with the help of surgery. It is important to consult with a doctor to ensure that surgery is the only option. While surgery can help eliminate serious conditions, you shouldn't do it if it's not necessary. Managing Conditions Sometimes people suffer from health issues that surgery can't entirely fix. However, you can often ease pain with surgery. About 52.5 million Americans have been told they have some kind of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, ...

Why You Should See an Orthopedic Doctor
For some reason, many Americans have gotten in the habit of going to the doctor the least amount of times they possibly can. However, this isn't beneficial for you or the doctors you're seeing! Not only does it mean your health may slip between visits, but it leaves your doctor unable to see patterns or keep track of certain issues visit to visit. General orthopedics are important for general health, meaning that skipping these appointments is harmful. You should definitely make a new appointment if you haven't been in to see anyone lately. Read on for just a few reasons to make an appointment. ' If you don't know when to consult an orthopedist, a good rule of thumb is to check in if you feel any continuous discomfort in your joints. This doesn't mean stick it out with the pain for a year or so before making the appointment, though. If pain in a certain joint lasts over a month, you should contact someone in orthopedics. General orthopedics can handle many different joint issues, but many doctors have specialties, ...

4 of the most common football injuries and how to avoid them
4 of the most common football injuries and how to avoid them
By: Dr. Burke Football is back! Autumn is here. The boys of fall are strapping up their cleats, tying on shoulder pads, and making the walk to kickoff under the Friday night lights. Football has started to make dramatic improvements when it comes to player safety, especially when it comes to concussion protocol and helmet-related incidents. One of the realities of football is that injuries do happen; it’s a collision-based sport, so we should expect some injuries at time. However, there are ways to help protect against some injuries that aren’t collision-related. Here are some of the top football injuries and how your favorite football player can best try to avoid them. ACL/MCL injuries How many times have you seen a football player’s body go one way and his knee goes the other direction? It’s painful to even watch, right? Many knee injuries occur in football when a vital ligament, like the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or the MCL (medial collateral ligament), tears or even over-stretches. If a player has surgery to repair the torn ligament, it can take ...

When should I see a doctor about my knee pain?
When should I see a doctor about my knee pain?
When should I see a doctor about my knee pain? By: Dr. Hulsey You’re walking up the stairs and pivot on the landing only to feel a sharp tweak in your knee. Ouch! That didn’t feel right. Unfortunately, that’s not the first pain you’ve felt in your knee since finishing your last softball game. Do you need to see a doctor? How do you know when it’s just a sore muscle and not something more serious, like a meniscal or cartilage tear? Sometimes knee aches and pains can come from arthritis. The best way to alleviate chronic knee pain from arthritis is to exercise the muscles surrounding the knee and lose weight, if needed. There are several good exercises for relieving knee pain from arthritis. If your knee is experiencing more of a sudden, short-term pain, you may have a knee injury. As a general rule of thumb, if you notice any significant swelling or deformity of your knee, you should check with your doctor. If you have limited mobility for more than a day or two, you need to meet with an ...