Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Direct Anterior (DA) Hip Replacement Surgery
Direct Anterior (DA) Hip Replacement Surgery
By: Dr. Mudd Direct anterior hip replacement offers an exciting less invasive alternative to traditional techniques used to perform hip arthroplasty.  This technique is the only way to access the hip joint that is truly muscle sparing, making it the least invasive of all techniques used to access the hip.  The traditional posterior approach requires the surgeon to split the gluteus maximus, which is one of the largest muscles in the lower extremity, and to release several of the short rotators of the hip.  The unique advantage of the direct anterior approach is the ability to access the hip joint, by using a truly intermuscular plane.  The interval between the Sartorius and the Tensor Fascia Lata muscles is used to expose the hip capsule.  Using a truly intermuscular interval, the surgeon does not need to “cut, split, or release” any of your muscles.  The anterior approach allows the surgeon to minimize the trauma to the muscles while accessing the hip joint.  This translates into decreased inflammation, less pain, quicker return to function, and much less restrictive precautions after surgery.  The ...

Simple Ways to Prevent Knee Pain
Simple Ways to Prevent Knee Pain
Dr. Richard Hulsey Be kind to knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.” – Baz Luhrmann, “The Sunscreen Song” There are many kinds of knee pain, and many things that can cause it. Years of wear and tear on joints over the course of a lifetime can create discomfort, as can an instantaneous injury. As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and there are strategies for keeping your joints healthy and preventing future knee pain. Knowledge of how to exercise and actions to avoid are key for protecting your knees from injury. Weight One of the most common causes of knee pain, especially pain from osteoarthritis, is weight gain. The human body was intended to only carry a certain amount of weight based on your height and build. Additional weight places undue strain on your joints, especially your knees. If you are overweight or obese, you add stress to your knees with every step you take. In addition to increasing the chances for a knee injury, this damage happens slowly over time and is cumulative. Maintaining ...

Common Causes of Shin Splints and How to Treat Them
Common Causes of Shin Splints and How to Treat Them
Dr. Ryan Pitts If you’ve ever suffered from shin splints, then you know how painful and annoying they can be. Shin splints are often characterized by noticeable swelling in your lower leg accompanied by sharp pain on the inside portion of your shin. The medical term for this condition is medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). (Mayo Clinic) Shin splints are typically caused by moderate to heavy periods of strenuous exercise, such as dancing, soccer, running, and weightlifting. People who have rigid arches or flatter feet are also more susceptible to developing shin splints. The actual cause of shin splints is the forceful stop-start motion placed on the shin bone and surrounding tissues. The force irritates the muscles connected to the shin bone, resulting in inflammation and pain. Diagnosis of skin splints A typical orthopedic specialist will be able to diagnose shin splints through a simple physical exam of the injured area. Additional X-rays and scans may be performed to determine if there are any bone microfractures in the surrounding area. Shin splints may not be the cause of your shin pain, which is ...

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 ...