Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


5 Best Biking Trails in St. Louis for Summer
5 Best Biking Trails in St. Louis for Summer
Summer is a great time of year to stretch your legs, pump the tires, and wheel your way down a biking trail. Whether you’re exploring the Meramec or gliding down the Katy Trail, there are plenty of sights and sounds to see on a bike seat this summer. Katy Trail State Park Katy Trail State Park is arguably the most iconic bike path in St. Charles County. With West County trails bursting at the seams, more St. Louisans are trekking across the river (gasp!) to take advantage of the Katy Trail’s winding wonderment. The ten-mile stretch between Weldon Spring and Augusta is a hearty workout with beautiful scenery along the way. If you’re ready for a breather, pull into small town Matson for a short rest and some apple pie. You’ll be happy you stopped! Dr. Edmund A. Babler State Park Babler State Park is known for its bicycle paths paved to perfection and wide for any cyclist to enjoy. Its six featured routes twist and curve through the beauty of West County and will give you all the exercise you want. ...

All About Shoulder Arthroscopy
All About Shoulder Arthroscopy
Dr. Ryan Pitts Long recovery times, risk of infection and the pain associated with large incisions have been mitigated by improvements to modern surgical methods. One such advancement is arthroscopy (pronounced “ahr-THROS-kuh-pee”), which allows for a safer, less invasive option for repairing damaged joints and tissues. The word originates from the Greek “arthro” (join) and “skopein” (to look). As it pertains to the shoulder, arthroscopy allows doctors to understand the extent and severity of an injury or condition without undergoing the risk of invasive surgery.  Popular since the 1970s as an alternative to more invasive surgery, the procedure continues to evolve as new instruments and techniques are developed.  According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, shoulder arthroscopy is a “procedure that orthopedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems inside a joint.” (AAOS) The surgeon inserts a small fiber-optic video camera called an arthroscope through a small cut in the shoulder region and takes pictures and/or video. Your doctor will be able to view the inside of your joint in real time on a high-definition video monitor. Other pencil-thin surgical ...

How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries
How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries
By: Dr. Pitts There’s a certain amount of pain that is to be expected with running; sore muscles after a long workout or tired feet after a race. A bit of discomfort that can be soothed with a long soak in the tub and rest is nothing unusual. However, there are specific injuries that can happen to runners that require medical attention and recuperation (e.g. no running) time. Many of these injuries can be avoided with a bit of intention and preparation. Here some of the most common running injuries and how to avoid them. Runner’s Knee The medical term for runner’s knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome, but it’s really just a fancy way of saying that you’ve got pain around or behind your kneecap. Runners are repetitively pounding their feet on the ground, and this force is compounded when running downhill or running with weak hips. To prevent this pain, stick with running on flat or uphill surfaces. Avoid hard surfaces (like pavement) and stick to running on grass, a rubberized track or other soft surfaces. If the pain doesn’t go away, ...

5 Tips for Making Healthy Holiday Choices
5 Tips for Making Healthy Holiday Choices
Gingerbread houses, work parties and Aunt Ethel’s rum cake—seasonal delights abound in December, creating a winter wonderland of temptation. In any holiday season, it’s easy to get swept up in holiday parties, shopping and eating and let your good health habits from the rest of the year fall by the wayside. But with a few simple strategies, you can incorporate healthy choices into your celebrations and start the New Year off in better shape than you might expect. Here are five tips for integrating some smart choices into your merrymaking. 1. Bundle Up and Get OutdoorsEven if you belong to a gym, fitting in a workout in December can be a difficult task with your busy schedule. Instead of sticking to your same old routine, switch things up and get social with your workouts. Bundle up and take the family to enjoy some winter activities like ice skating, skiing and tubing. Not up to strenuous activity? Finish your holiday shopping and take a long walk in the mall. Prefer to stay indoors? Get in some cardio while trimming the ...

Diabetes and Foot Care
Diabetes and Foot Care
By: Dr. Aaranson Diabetes is commonly perceived as a single illness, but it is actually a group of metabolic disorders that can cause many problems. It is either caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin (Type 1), or the body’s cells not responding properly to the insulin that is produced (Type 2). A third form, gestational diabetes, only occurs when a pregnant woman develops high blood sugar levels. The most common type of diabetes is Type 2, which accounts for about 90% of the 415 million cases worldwide. Many people find the variety and widespread nature of diabetes-related symptoms to be surprising. Everything from respiratory and urinary issues, as well as blurred vision and gastric distress are all symptoms of diabetes. One of the more common symptoms associated with diabetes is the presence of foot problems. Why the Issue? For people with diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, can cause tenderness and interfere with the ability to feel pain and temperature—a dangerous combination. If left untreated and unchecked, these foot problems can result in ulcers or injuries that can become infected. If ...

The 5 Best Hikes in St. Louis This Fall
The 5 Best Hikes in St. Louis This Fall
When the weather turns from hot and humid to cool and brisk, you can’t help but make plans to be outside. With so many beautiful and historic places to hike around St. Louis, you’ll want to make plans to get the whole family outside and moving. It’s about more than just getting “steps” on your tracker; spending time hiking together is a great way to encourage some screen-free bonding time with your family. Once you’ve gotten your hiking boots, backpack and water bottle lined up, consider this list of the best hikes around St. Louis. Lime Kiln Loop Trail—Looking to get in a good workout while hiking? Walk this 3.2-mile loop at a brisk pace as it winds up and down (from a 300 to 800-foot elevation) through the woods. If you’re looking for nature, this is the trail for you: birds and even reptiles can be seen until the first freeze. Where: Rockwoods Reservation, 2751 Glencoe Road, Wildwood ...

Does Foam Rolling Actually Work?
Does Foam Rolling Actually Work?
By: Dr. Burke Ah, the foam roller. So many gym-goers finish up their workout of choice and then head straight to the blue cylinder for another session of self-myofascial release (SMR). Many athletes swear by this tender-spot-targeting practice but there is no empirical data to date that supports the belief that foam rolling improves muscle performance, increases range of motion, or aids in recovery. So, is foam rolling really effective, or is it more of an assumed benefit that misjudges the end results? Let’s start with the purpose: self-myofascial release. Fascia is the soft tissue that helps connect your muscles together and supports muscle movement. When you overuse a group of muscles, even during exercise, the fascia can become restricted. Fascial restriction can also be caused by trauma, namely injury, and inactivity. Inflammation can start to take place during fascial restriction, which can cause the connecting tissue to thicken and become very painful. This is why myofascial release, such as massages and other forms of physical therapy, can be initially painful but excellent for your long-term muscle improvement and joint health. With ...

Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
By: Dr. Aaranson   An experienced runner knows a well-fit shoe is priceless, especially when you face the uphill section of a marathon. Improper fits can cause blisters, foot conditions, and a variety of other complications. Shoes is arguably one of the most debated topics among runners: what type of running shoe is best for runners? Support structure is important to consider: how much motion control does your shoe give you? If you’re naturally overpronated in your gait, a shoe ‘expert’ may have recommended a heavier type of shoe with more support. Unfortunately, research shows that the type of running shoe likely doesn’t matter. A recent study published by Aarhus University in Denmark followed the running progression of 927 adults who were novice runners for an entire year. (British Journal of Sports Medicine) The runners were men and women ranging from age 18 to 65. Researchers profiled each runner’s foot to determine their most natural pronation pattern. The runners were then divided into five categories: Neutral pronation ...

Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them
Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them
By: Dr. Nogalski Spring is a great time for youth soccer. All ages and experience levels of young soccer players will make their way onto the pitch in the next few weeks. As parents we want to cheer on our favorite soccer players while making sure they’re safe. There are a few common injuries that your child may face during this soccer season: Knee injuries - ACL sprains (tears in the anterior cruciate ligament) are some of the most common soccer injuries. Some knee injuries can prevented by wearing the proper size of cleats and being mindful of the situation. Achilles tendonitis - Inflamed or damaged Achilles tendons can occur when a player does not properly stretch or condition prior to the game. The most effective way to prevent Achilles tendonitis for soccer players is for the coaching staff to lead their players in stretching exercises throughout the week, before the game, and following the game. You as a parent can look ...

How Do Your Bones Know When the Weather Is Changing?
How Do Your Bones Know When the Weather Is Changing?
By: Dr. Burke “A storm’s a-comin’. I can feel it in my bones!” You’ve probably heard someone say those same words and it may sound like an old wives’ tale. The reality is there may be some truth to your bones telegraphing when a change in weather is on its way. Barometric pressure shifts with different weather fronts and the fluctuation in pressure has a direct impact on joints and bone. Bones or joints that have experienced a major injury or surgery can be the first place your body experiences change in barometric pressure. It may be why old football injuries ache and your bum knee may not be up for taking the stairs. When the environment is hotter, our muscles tend to be more relaxed and inclined to move well. When the temperature cools, it triggers our muscles and joints to contract more and limit motion as part of our built-in ‘survival’ mode. Some scientists and healthcare leaders hypothesize that headaches and migraines may be early signs of inclement weather. It’s believed that people who suffer from arthritis notice an increasing level ...