Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Spring sports safety tips for kids
Spring sports safety tips for kids
Winter is melting away and that means spring is here! Our favorite Cardinals are flying back home to chase another championship and kiddos across St. Louis are gearing up for spring sports season. Whether your favorite family athlete is into soccer, baseball, track, or spring flag football, you want to see them stay safe and healthy this spring. Over 1.2 million children in the U.S. are treated in emergency departments each year due to sports injuries. (SafeKids) Be a good parent and help your kid stay safe this spring with these sports safety tips: Schedule a PPE with your pediatrician - Before signing your kid up for the next sports season, make sure they get a preparticipation physical exam with their pediatrician. You want to know your child’s body is capable of enjoying sports safely. Stretch and warm up first - It’s important for kids to stretch before and after any athletic experience. Be careful that they only stretch to a level ...

Is your shoulder pain a torn rotator cuff?
Is your shoulder pain a torn rotator cuff?
You’re in the garage grabbing boxes from the top shelf when a box starts falling. You reach out to grab the box… filled with books. You immediately feel a sharp pain in your right shoulder. Ow! You reset the box on the shelf, rub your shoulder, and continue working. The next day you notice your shoulder is still really sore and a little stiff. How do you know your shoulder isn’t a torn rotator cuff? What might seem like a minor ache may be your body saying your shoulder needs orthopedic care. Rotator cuff injuries are most common in people age 40 and older. (Mayo Clinic) Here are some of the more common warning signs of a torn rotator cuff: Extend your arm straight out away from your body and try to lower it slowly. If your arm drops suddenly, it’s safe to say you may have a torn rotator cuff. Deep, dull pain in your shoulder joint - If you have ...

Why does my hip keep snapping or popping and is it serious?
Why does my hip keep snapping or popping and is it serious?
Does your hip snap or pop when you move? How do you know if it’s a normal occurrence or if it’s a sign of a more serious condition? Snapping hip syndrome is a condition where your hip makes a snapping or popping sound when you walk, stand up, or reposition your leg. According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), snapping hip is, “...most often the result of tightness in the muscles and tendons surrounding the hip. People who are involved in sports and activities that require repeated bending at the hip are more likely to experience snapping hip. Dancers are especially vulnerable.” (AAOS) Snapping hip syndrome is most often pain-free but simply annoying. It occurs most frequently in the outer region of the hip when the iliotibial band (IT band) extends over the greater trochanter portion of the thigh bone. (MedScape) As the band stretches over the protruding greater trochanter, the band can “snap” into place. Other tendons layered over the hip joint, such as the rectus femoris tendon (front of the thigh), iliopsoas tendon (front of the hip), and hamstring ...

What’s Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and how do you treat it?
What’s Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and how do you treat it?
By: Dr. Robert Bell Cubital Tunnel Syndrome isn’t a common name but you may be very familiar with its effect. It can manifest a sharp, tingling pain and weakness in your forearm that extends down through your wrist, hand, and ring and small fingers. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is the second most common nerve compression condition in the forearm region after Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (NCBI) The ulnar nerve runs from the lower neck region to the tip of the hand. The cubital tunnel is a narrow region under a protrusion of bone called the medial epicondyle on the inside of the elbow joint. (AAOS) You may be more familiar with this area by its common name of the “funny bone”. Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Cubital Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes entrapped, irritated, or compressed in the inside portion of the elbow joint. There are several known causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, such as: Overuse of the elbow region - Repetitious movements of the elbow, like playing a sport, using a hammer, or working ...

5 lifestyle changes to prevent pre-osteoarthritis
5 lifestyle changes to prevent pre-osteoarthritis
As our bodies age, the protective cartilage throughout our joints can start to deteriorate. This is a degenerative joint condition we refer to as osteoarthritis. There is no known cure for osteoarthritis, but there are several preventative measure you can take to lessen your future risk. Maintain a healthy weight Being only ten pounds overweight can increase the impact force on your hips, knees, and ankles by as much as sixty pounds of pressure. (Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center) Consult with your primary care physician about what may be the optimal weight range for your body type. Eat more fish Research shows that specific types of fish are rich in omega-3, a healthy polyunsaturated fat that is known to reduce inflammation. The USDA recommends eating fish like trout, sardines, and salmon twice a week for optimal health benefits. (USDA) Stretch before exercising Stiffness or a dull deep ache in a joint can be a sign of pre-osteoarthritis. (Source) Take more time to stretch before and after exercising to give your body the opportunity to safely absorb the physical motion and any weights moved while exercising. Change ...

How to tell if your shoulder pain may be a serious condition
How to tell if your shoulder pain may be a serious condition
Shoulder joints can absorb a tremendous amount of impact. If you injure your shoulder, you may not realize the extent of the injury. Of course, obvious signs of serious damage are easier to recognize, like a compound fracture or a dislocated shoulder. Other cases may not seem as significant but may be equally serious in nature. Here are a few signs your shoulder pain may require prompt medical attention. Inability to move (or at least very difficult to move) Do you experience significant resistance, almost as if your shoulder is “frozen” in place, when you try to move? A torn rotator cuff can immobilize your shoulder and make it extremely painful to move. This may be one of the more obvious signs of a serious shoulder injury. Noticeable deformity A large deformity at the top of your shoulder region may be a sign of a acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) injury. If you landed hard on your shoulder, you may have also fractured your clavicle. A slight bump along your collarbone is usually an indication of a clavicle fracture. Inability to move (or at least ...

4 everyday stretches to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
4 everyday stretches to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By: Dr. Bell Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs through overuse and tension of muscles through your wrists and forearms. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that carpal tunnel is the primary cause for almost half of missed work time among U.S. employees. (Arthritis.org) Our Orthopedic Associates team compiled these four stretches to help you avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Shake your hands Pretend you just washed your hands and can’t find a towel to dry them. What do you do? You air-dry your hands by shaking them. Use that same technique by shaking your hands for one minute every hour. This helps relax your median nerve and flexor muscles to prevent cramping. An easy solution can be always air-drying your hands instead of using a hand towel, which may be better for your health with the germ-filled history of hand towels. Wrist flexes Extend your arm at shoulder height directly straight away from your body. Lock your elbow and place your palm facing downward. Spread out your fingers and place your other palm on the back of your extended hand. Gently push down on the extended ...

2016 St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training Injury Report
2016 St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training Injury Report
Spring is just around the corner and the Grapefruit League is in full swing. Some of our favorite Redbirds are still recovering from serious injuries and surgeries from last season until now. Here is a detailed look at who’s on the mend and when we might expect to hear their name echo through Busch Stadium this year. Yadier Molina, C Yes, other important position players are recovering from injuries, but this is Yadi - will he be healthy for Opening Day? Yadi suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb (catching hand) and underwent surgery in December. He is expected to miss most of spring training but it’s likely he will return for Opening Day. Keep your fingers crossed, Cardinal Nation! Tim Cooney, RP The Cardinals discovered soreness and weakness in Cooney’s throwing shoulder early in spring training. Additional testing revealed no structural damage and Cooney will begin a modified throwing program. He made six starts for the Cardinals last year and is in position to battle for a backend rotation spot. Carlos Martinez, SP Martinez suffered a shoulder strain in September of last ...

Improving your posture when sitting at your desk
Improving your posture when sitting at your desk
By: Dr. Cynthia Byler Most people have terrible posture when sitting at a desk. What’s worse is that many of us know this truth. In fact, you may have already straightened your back and squared your shoulders while reading this article. People are sitting more than ever before, a staggering 9.3 hours of sitting every day. The saying is true, “Sitting is the new smoking!” According to the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, people who sit for extended periods of time are 24% more likely to die from health conditions. A sedentary workspace also contributes to chronic back pain, heart disease, colon and breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type-2 diabetes. Together, these diseases are responsible for 63% of deaths each year. (PGDA) Switching to a standing desk alternative for at least part of your work day and being mobile between meetings and projects can be excellent ways to limit the effects of sitting. Changing how you sit can also ensure your body stays healthy and strong. Here are a few simple changes you can implement at your desk to improve your ...

Common orthopedic conditions affecting children
Common orthopedic conditions affecting children
By: Dr. James Burke We love seeing kids run, play, and enjoy life with fully healthy bodies. This sometimes means our Orthopedic Associates staff needs to help children with orthopedic conditions get the treatment they need to feel their best. Here are some of the more common orthopedic conditions that we see affecting children today. Bowlegs Bowed legs, a medical condition called genu varum, is a noticeable outward bending of the lower legs starting around the knee region. Many children experiencing bowlegs will naturally grow out of it as toddlers. However, being bowlegged beyond toddler age or being bowlegged in just one leg may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as Blount disease, a growth affecting the top of the tibia bone that can be surgically removed, or rickets. Thankfully, rickets can often be treated by adding more vitamin D and calcium to your child’s diet. Toe walking Many toddlers walk on their toes when first learning to walk. If your child persists with walking on their toes beyond the age three mark, you may want to consult with your pediatrician ...