Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts from Orthopedic Associates
St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts from Orthopedic Associates
By: Dr. Nogalski St. Patrick’s Day is almost here! Shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and of course, green beer are all in season as the luck of the Irish sweeps across St. Louis. There are all sorts of legends and interesting tidbits about St. Patrick that may surprise you. Here are a few fun facts about St. Patrick and one of St. Louis’ favorite holidays: St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but did you know he wasn’t even Irish? He was English! St. Patrick was born around A.D. 387 in either Scotland or Wales (historians argue over which country is the right birth location). Whether it was Scotland or Wales, both countries were then a part of the Roman Empire. St. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates at age 16. He was brought back to Ireland and sold into slavery. He spent the next six years as a shepherd in the hill country of Ireland. He escaped at age 22 ...

What is a hip pointer (and how do to treat it)
What is a hip pointer (and how do to treat it)
By: Dr. Pitts Have you ever seen a football player take a blow to the hip and the player immediately uses both hands to press on his hip? The team doctors rush out and help the player limp to the sidelines. A few minutes later the sideline reporter gives the report that the player sustained a ‘hip pointer’. It’s at that moment when you wonder, “What is a hip pointer?” If a hip pointer sounds painful, you’re right; hip pointer can be excruciating to endure. I’d like to share what constitutes as a hip pointer injury, what are the symptoms of a hip pointer, and what treatment options are available for a hip pointer injury. What is a hip pointer injury? A hip pointer occurs during impact on the iliac crest, the fan-shaped or crescent-shaped top of the hip bone. A football helmet hitting the hip joint or a heavy object striking the bony protrusion part of the hip is what can often cause a hip pointer. Symptoms of hip pointer injuries Hip pointers are often presented as severe tenderness and pain when ...

What our orthopedic specialists would love for Valentine's Day
What our orthopedic specialists would love for Valentine's Day
By: Dr. Burke Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day. I understand, it’s a Hallmark holiday for many people, but there’s no question, our orthopedic specialists have love on their radar this year. No, it’s not romantic love, but it’s the love we have for our patients. Here are a few things our orthopedic specialists would love for Valentine’s Day this year: We would love for everyone to do the right types and amounts of stretches before and after exercising. Asking your muscles to do any type of strenuous exercise without warming up is like doing a math test right after your alarm clock goes off. You probably won’t do your best and your muscles don’t do their best without waking up first. Show your muscles some love and give them a good stretch before and after exercising. We would love for you to use an exercise partner at the gym, especially if you will be lifting heavy weights. Know your ...

Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?
Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey The aches and discomfort of arthritis can disrupt anyone’s everyday routine. A simple walk through the store is no longer relaxing as ol’ “Arthur” lets you know he’s still around. Pain medication doesn’t seem to do the trick. Physical therapy helped, but your arthritis pain still flares up at times. Would a total joint replacement relieve your arthritis pain? This is a frequent question many of our patients ask who are suffering from arthritis. Arthritis is more common than ever with people living longer. The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons estimates 500,000 hip replacements and 3,000,000 knee replacements will need to be performed each year by the year 2030. (American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons) But the question remains: do you need total joint replacement to be free of your arthritis pain? We believe in exploring all viable treatment options, starting with non-invasive treatments, to help alleviate your arthritis pain. For many patients, undergoing a total joint replacement may provide the relief and new lease on life they need. However, there are several criteria we ...

Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
 Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
By: Dr. Ryan Pitts It happened. You’re jogging along the Katy Trail or walking up the steps at work and ouch- you feel a twinge of pain on the outside edge of your kneecap. The small divot on the outside is now tender to the touch. Oh no, did you tear something in your knee? Our brains can easily go to the worst possible scenario when we experience pain. How do you know if your knee pain is a small ‘tweak’ or if you may have torn a ligament? Thankfully, the answers are often obvious. There are a handful of crucial components in your knee region. There are four main ligaments - one on either side of your leg (collateral ligaments) and two crisscrossed inside your knee: The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside of your leg. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside of your leg. The ...

Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
 Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
By: Dr. Ryan Pitts It happened. You’re jogging along the Katy Trail or walking up the steps at work and ouch- you feel a twinge of pain on the outside edge of your kneecap. The small divot on the outside is now tender to the touch. Oh no, did you tear something in your knee? Our brains can easily go to the worst possible scenario when we experience pain. How do you know if your knee pain is a small ‘tweak’ or if you may have torn a ligament? Thankfully, the answers are often obvious. There are a handful of crucial components in your knee region. There are four main ligaments - one on either side of your leg (collateral ligaments) and two crisscrossed inside your knee: The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside of your leg. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside of your leg. The ...

3 exercises to keep your joints healthy
 3 exercises to keep your joints healthy
By: Dr. Hulsey The holiday season is an easy time to become a couch potato enjoying a full suite of Christmas sweets, treats, and time off your feet. Too much sedentary sitting can make your joints feel stiff and unused. We all know the value of staying active, but where do you start with joint health? Here are three exercises we’ve found that keep you moving and your joints feeling like they should this winter. 1. Take a walk or go for a jog or run every day. Strap on your shoes and hit the trail for a brisk walk or even a run. The movement your body endures during a walk or jog encourages blood flow throughout your body. Walking for 30 to 60 minutes every day can also help you maintain a healthy body weight. This will alleviate unnecessary pressure on your back, hips, and knees. Walking is especially good for people who suffer from forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). (Arthritis.org) 2. Do weight-resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises encourage our bodies to grow more muscles, which help reduce tension ...

Common sports injuries: mallet finger
Common sports injuries: mallet finger
By: Dr. Robert Bell Have you ever seen a basketball player or quarterback jam their finger and the finger looks crooked? No, the finger isn’t broken or dislocated, but it’s obvious that the finger has an accordion-type shape from tip to hand. This is a condition called mallet finger and is more common than you might expect. Mallet finger occurs “when the tendon that straightens your finger (the extensor tendon) is damaged.” (ASSH) When a player’s fingers collide with a fast-moving basketball or a football helmet, forcible contact of the fingertip can tear the extensor tendon that helps straighten the finger. In some extreme cases, the force is strong enough to also detach some of the bone connected at the end of the extensor tendon. A torn extensor tendon renders the finger incapable of straightening on its own strength without the tendon’s support. Symptoms and signs of Mallet Finger A telltale sign of mallet finger is a drooping appearance of the fingertip. Additionally, concentrated pain, swelling, and even pooling blood under the fingertip are also often symptoms of mallet finger. Some patients who experienced ...

How to avoid common ski injuries this winter
  How to avoid common ski injuries this winter
By: Dr. Mohammed Paracha Yes, winter is coming and for many St. Louisans, they hear the call to Hidden Valley. If you don’t like skiing on ice and want to see breath-taking views, look to the west for the gorgeous ski resorts of Vail, Aspen, and Breckenridge in Colorado. The first snow across the Rockies lightly decorates the winter wonderland of Greens, Blues, and Black Diamonds and kickstarts ski season. Whether you’re a skier or boarder, there’s no denying that hitting the slopes comes with its fair share of risks. Even the most experienced resort attendee can find themselves bruised, sore, and even broken without the proper precautions: Always wear the right protective gear, especially if you will be near the treeline on your runs. Invest in a good helmet to protect your head during collisions. If you’re a beginner or inexperienced skier or snowboarder, enroll in ski school. It’s absolutely worth your time and will keep you safer on the slopes. ...

Should I be worried about the pain in my hand?
Should I be worried about the pain in my hand?
Dr. Bell Your hand hurts, but you don’t know why. Of course, it’s easy for our brains to go to the worst possible scenario: it’s probably broken and I’ll never be able to use my hand again. Now, we all know that’s a silly notion, but you can’t ignore pain, nor should you. Is it a numbing sensation? Do you feel ‘tingling’ in your fingers that starts at the palm of your hand? There may be an excellent answer to why your hand is in pain. A simple bump on a kitchen counter or a tabletop can cause some bruising that may last for a day or two. If you accidentally slept with your hand pinned under your body or your partner’s body, that can disrupt some of the blood flow for a short while. Gently massage the pain area and see if the pain subsides. If your hand continues to be in pain, you may want to consider other causes: Tendinitis can cause hand pain Repetitive motion, such as manual labor, manufacturing, and even typing on a keyboard with your wrists improperly ...