Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


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 ...

4 methods Santa’s elves use to protect their backs from injury
4 methods Santa’s elves use to protect their backs from injury
By: Dr. Mohammed Paracha With less than two weeks until Christmas Eve, you know that Santa’s little helpers are hustling to load the sleigh for the busiest man on earth. All of that building, packing, wrapping, and loading is back-breaking work! How do the elves protect their backs through the Christmas season? Since we don’t have an insider at the biggest operation center in the world (i.e., the North Pole), we can only guess how the elves stay ache-free. Here are four methods we believe Santa’s elves use to keep their backs healthy. First, teamwork: As we all know, Santa’s elves are smaller in stature than most humans. Preparing enough presents for all the children of the world would be tough enough for anyone, but Santa’s secret is that he has an army of elves. There are enough elves to team up and tackle heavy objects together. Nowhere is the saying “Many hands make light work,” a truer statement than above the frozen tundra. Work smarter, not harder. This isn’t the elves’ first Christmas; they’ve been doing this work for thousands of years. ...

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 ...

Best local St. Louis biking trails to ride off that Thanksgiving Turkey
By: Dr. Nogalski Thanksgiving is here and that means football, family, and feeling overstuffed after a turkey dinner. One of the best ways to get your metabolism up and burn off the Thanksgiving excess is to hit the bike trails around St. Louis. Grant’s Trail The long and winding Grant’s Trail passes along Grant’s Farm and into Whitecliff Park. The main loop is about eight miles long. The first six miles are paved and the next two miles are unpaved so plan accordingly. Park at Grant’s Farm and lace up your riding shoes for a beautiful scenic ride through the fall foliage. Castlewood State Park Castlewood State Park features eight beautiful trails for any level of cyclist to enjoy. There are some mountain bike trails and some road trails that travel along the Meramec River and through open meadows. Katy Trail State Park Katy Trail State Park is one of our best-kept secrets in St. Louis. A ten-mile between Weldon Spring and Augusta will give you a good workout and beautiful scenery. Stop in Matson for a quick breather and some apple pie. You won’t ...

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. ...