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 hip arthroscopy?
What is hip arthroscopy?
By: Dr. Ryan Pitts Doctors often want to know the extent and severity of an injury or condition without undergoing the risk of invasive surgery. Patients who suffer from hip injuries are at a higher risk of further health complications due to their condition. This is where hip arthroscopy proves its greatest value. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, hip arthroscopy is a “surgical procedure that allows doctors to view the hip joint without making a large incision (cut) through the skin and other soft tissues.” (AAOS) The surgeon inserts a small camera called an arthroscope into the hip region and takes pictures. Any necessary incisions will be miniscule compared to the full incision required for a more invasive inspection of the joint area. Hip arthroscopy is not as widely used as knee and shoulder arthroscopy, but it is nevertheless still effective. Surgeons often use hip arthroscopy to identify smaller problem areas and conduct minor procedures. Some surgeries that are often conducted during hip arthroscopy include the following, among others: Repairing torn cartilage ...

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 ...

How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
By: Dr. Aaranson  Our feet withstand an amazing amount of weight and pressure over the course of a lifetime. The reality is that our feet were never intended to wear shoes, but we adopted the use of shoes through innovation, technology, and comfort. Of course, wearing shoes provide all sorts of helpful benefits, as well as protection from sharp or hard objects that can damage our feet. Shoes can also bring their own potential health risks, namely from improper support for your feet as you walk. Spending significant amounts of time on your feet without the proper support can lead to any combination of foot, knee, hip, and back pain. Wearing shoe inserts or a custom set of orthotics is one of the best ways to alleviate shoe-related foot pain and prevent further damage. 3 tips for telling if you need orthotics How do you know if you need shoe inserts or orthotics? These three tips can you help determine if you need to invest in a new pair of shoe inserts or orthotics: Look at ...

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 ...

How frostbite affects your extremities
How frostbite affects your extremities
By: Dr. Randal Aaranson The winter cold can have a devastating effect on your skin, especially sub-freezing wind chill. Frostbite is essentially the freezing of skin and tissue and can occur within a matter of minutes. Frostbite typically affects the skin and tissue of exposed areas, such as your nose, cheeks, ears, hands, and feet. One of the common misconceptions is that frostbite only affects exposed skin. Even covered extremities, such as hands and feet, can be at risk of developing frostbite because of the relative temperature under gloves and shoes. Can you get frostbite in St. Louis? You may wonder, “Doesn’t frostbite only occur in extremely cold places, like the Dakotas and Canada?” Unfortunately, the risk of frostbite can be present in any sub-freezing temperatures. St. Louis’ winter wind chill temperatures often register at below the freezing point. A 10- to 15-minute walk to the train station without the proper winter clothing can put anyone at risk for developing first-stage frostbite, a condition called frostnip. Symptoms of frostbite Since frostbite is the freezing of tissue, the initial symptoms are pain and tingling sensations ...