Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


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. ...

When is a total knee replacement necessary for my arthritis pain?
When is a total knee replacement necessary for my arthritis pain?
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey Arthritis pain can be debilitating. You know what it’s like to feel the sharp wince halfway up the stairs. Walking, let alone jogging or dancing, is a challenge with how much pain you feel. Maybe you’ve tried a regimen of pain medications and nothing’s worked. Is total knee replacement your final option to relieve your arthritis pain? Total knee replacements are more common than ever with an estimated 3,000,000 knee replacements to be performed every year by 2030. (AAHKS) Thankfully, there are many non-surgical treatment options to consider before undergoing total knee replacement. Is total knee replacement the best option for your particular condition? That may be the case, but the obvious choice is to consider non-invasive procedures and treatments first. Non-surgical alternatives for osteoarthritis knee pain NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can help manage osteoarthritis pain in your knee. Losing weight is an excellent way to help reduce arthritis pain by relieving unnecessary pressure. Using a cane to assist you with walking can be a good, short-term solution as well as physical therapy. (Arthritis ...

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 ...

St. Louis Blues Injury Report - October 2016
St. Louis Blues Injury Report - October 2016
Fall is here and we say “See you later!” to that one NFL team now in Los Angeles. Instead of our hearts getting ice cold out of spite, we’re turning to the ice of the Scottrade Center as our St. Louis Blues dropped the puck for the 2016-2017 NHL season. Here is rundown of all the battered and bruised Blues on the trainer’s table to start the new season… #20 Alexander Steen, Left Wing Steen underwent surgery on his left shoulder in June. He chose to enter an aggressive rehabilitation regimen that prepared him to resume playing a month earlier than expected. Steen re-entered game action in the Blues’ Oct. 6th preseason game. #15 Robby Fabbri, Center The twenty-year-old Fabbri experienced an undisclosed upper-body injury in late September. He missed several preseason games while recovering. He started the regular season and is expected to contribute as a top-six forward for the Blues this year. #64 Nail Yakupov, Right Wing The Blues acquired Yakupov from the Edmonton Oilers right before the season began. He was listed with a lower-body injury on September 30th, but it’s ...

5 need-to-know safety tips this soccer season
5 need-to-know safety tips this soccer season
By: Dr. Burke Fall in St. Louis is a perfect time to put on your long sleeves and stroll the sidelines of a youth soccer game. Whether you love the ref’s eyesight or not, it’s always fun seeing your favorite lil’ soccer player race by in a brightly colored uniform. What you love even more is a fun and safe game without a trip to the ER. Here are five need-to-know safety tips to keep your next Lionel Messi on the field and in the doctor’s office: Drink plenty of water. Yes, this may sound like a tired, broken record, but drinking copious amounts of water will help carry more oxygen to your child’s limbs and brain to make the right move (and reaction) in time. Fall in Missouri can still see temperatures in the high-80s or hotter. With a heavier uniform, shin guards, and the extra heat of running around, staying hydrated is crucial. Stretching is not to be taken lightly. ...

What is Jumper’s Knee?
What is Jumper’s Knee?
By: Dr. Nogalski You hop down from the last few rungs of a ladder and immediately wince in pain. Your left knee gives a sharp twinge. It hasn’t been the same since your pickup basketball game at the gym last week. You may be suffering from jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis according to its official name. The patellar tendon connects your kneecap to your shinbone and is designed to work with the range of the knee joint. The patellar tendon helps your knee flex, bend, and absorb impact, like jumping. Overuse of the patellar tendon can occur during activities that require repetitive jumping, like gymnastics, football, basketball, and even everyday activities. Symptoms of jumper’s knee The most telltale sign of jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis) is a sharp pain between your kneecap and the top of your shinbone. Difficulty bending your knee or doing a small jump can also be a sign of patellar tendonitis. If you are experiencing any noticeable swelling or redness, you should immediately contact your primary care physician. Self-care treatment of jumper’s knee Thankfully, overuse injuries can often heal themselves with ...

How to recover from ACL surgery
How to recover from ACL surgery
By: Dr. Nogalski Approximately 200,000 ACL-related injuries occur in the U.S. every year. Of those 200,000 injuries, an estimated 95,000 injuries are full ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament. Professional athletes and rec-league wonders are familiar with the shin-grasping scene of an ACL injury. If you’re lucky, you may experience only a Grade 1 sprain. Unfortunately, many ACL injuries are at least a Grade 2 sprain, which is a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. Most Grade 2 ACL sprains and all Grade 3 ACL sprains do require surgery. The recovery period following ACL surgery can be grueling, but the rehabilitation process is worth it. You will probably be given a set of exercises to complete in the recovery room immediately following the surgery. This will encourage good blood flow through your knee to help prevent blood clots. Your primary concerns in the first two weeks following surgery are to reduce swelling in your knee and to keep the incision area clean. Prop your knee up on a pillow four to six times a day to relieve pressure. Your orthopedic specialist ...