Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


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 ...

3 Exercises to Help You Recover from Meniscus Surgery
3 Exercises to Help You Recover from Meniscus Surgery
Dr. Hulsey Rehabilitating from a torn meniscus starts as soon as you’re in the recovery room. The first three to seven days following meniscus surgery are about protecting the affected region from any damage or infection. Many orthopedic specialists will have you on your feet and walking within a day or even hours of the surgery. This encourages blood flow and protects against muscle atrophy as much as possible. Of course, you will naturally lose some muscle strength due to inactivity and the impact of surgery. When the time is right, here are three exercises to help you recover from meniscus surgery. You can start these exercises within days of your surgery. As always, consult with your orthopedic specialist before beginning any strenuous exercise following surgery. Toe Raises You should be able to stand within a day of undergoing surgery. At the direction and supervision of your orthopedic specialist, you may be able to begin toe raises. Stand next to a sturdy table or counter to support your balance. Slowly rise up on your tees and distribute your weight evenly between both feet. ...

How Long Is the Recovery Period from Total Knee Replacement?
How Long Is the Recovery Period from Total Knee Replacement?
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey   If you’re facing knee replacement surgery, you probably have this question on your mind: how long until I’m back to normal after knee replacement surgery? The impact of knee replacement surgery is different for every patient. Your current health condition, medical history, family background, diet, age, and even stress level can play a significant role in your recovery. There are a few common stages of recovery that most patients experience following knee replacement surgery: Initial Recovery: Your orthopedic surgeon will probably want you to be taking a few steps with your new knee within hours of surgery. This encourages blood flow to help prevent blood clots and mobilize any extra fluid received during surgery. You will probably be in the hospital for one or two days following knee replacement surgery. Pain is highly variable but is frequently controlled with a combination of medicines. Weeks 1-2: As you transition home, you may be feeling like your knee feels strong and ...

What's the Difference Between Total Knee and Partial Knee Replacement?
What's the Difference Between Total Knee and Partial Knee Replacement?
By: Dr. Pitts The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that over 600,000 knee replacements are performed in the U.S. each year. (AAOS) While partial knee replacements and total knee replacements may seem near-identical, the comparison is more ‘apples to oranges’. There are three main compartments of a knee: The lateral component - The outside region of the knee, which is where the lateral cruciate ligament, or LCL as it’s often referred to, is located. The medial component - The inside region of the knee where the medial cruciate ligament (MCL) is located. The patellofemoral component - Located at the front of the knee, including the patella and closely connected to the femur, hence the name ‘patellofemoral’. While total knee replacement, or full knee replacement as it’s sometimes called, is highly successful, it’s important to note not all knee osteoarthritis patients suffer from arthritic conditions in all ...

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 ...

Does an ACL tear require surgery?
Does an ACL tear require surgery?
By: Dr. Nogalski The door opens and your doctor walks in with the MRI results- your ACL is torn. Now what?! The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL as it’s most commonly known, is the most vital ligament throughout the knee joint. The ACL begins at your shin bone and continues through your knee and connects with your femur (upper thigh bone). It’s less than two inches long and at most half-an-inch wide but this essential ligament keeps your thigh and leg bones in place among other functions. If you hear a loud ‘pop’ in your knee, it’s often the telltale sign of a torn ACL. But what if you’re not certain? Don’t try to diagnose a potential ACL injury yourself; let a board-certified physician examine your knee with their trained insight. Thankfully, not all ACL injuries require surgery. There are several instances where a torn ACL may not require surgery based on the nature and extent of the injury. Ligament injuries are often called “sprains” and are typically diagnosed on three distinct grades: Grade 1: Moderate ...

What are the common side effects of anesthesia?
What are the common side effects of anesthesia?
By: Dr. Hulsey Thank goodness for anesthesia! Can you imagine how painful many of the same routine surgeries and treatments would be without the gift of anesthesia? There are often very few side effects, if any at all, from local anesthesia. Some of the more common side effects of local anesthesia include: Mild dizziness; Minimal bruising; Numbness in the treatment area that lasts longer than normal; Nausea. Before you undergo general anesthesia, it’s highly recommended that you discuss your previous experiences with any form of anesthesia with your doctor. You must disclose any prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements before surgery in the event that potential negative interactions may be at risk. All of these factors will help your anesthesiologist determine which general anesthesia may be best for your body. Your anesthesiologist will most likely administer your ...

Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
By: Dr. Aaranson If you’ve ever had bunions, then you know how painful they can be. It hurts to wear shoes of any size and it’s sometimes painful to even walk. Bunions are large bumps that form on bony protrusions on the side of your foot, such as the main joint on the outside of your big toe. Most bunions have a red appearance and are sore to the touch. Bunions form when your toes are forced together and the side of your foot rubs against tight-fitting shoes, like high heels. Some bunions are genetic or caused by stress to your foot. If left untreated, bunions can cause significant mobility issues and greater health complications. Thankfully, bunion surgery has come a long way in the past few years. Our very own Dr. R Randal Aaranson shared some of the medical advances available to patients today. Bunion surgery is now done as an outpatient procedure and most patients can walk on their repaired foot immediately following surgery. Arthritic bunions are another form of bunions being treated today. Arthritic bunions are further complicated in that ...

What You Don't Know About Orthopedic Surgeons
Orthopedic surgery seems like an incredibly scary term, reserved only for people who have gotten seriously injured. However, it can help in other situations, and orthopedic surgeons can help in other ways as well. You may not even need surgery. Many people do not realize the full extent of what orthopedics can do for them and their health. The key is being educated so that when you need care, you can make an informed decision for treatment. Read on for a few ways you probably didn't know that orthopedic surgeons can help you. Back Pain This seems like it's something you would go to a chiropractor for, but orthopedic surgeons can help as well. About 50% of Americans say that they suffer from back pain symptoms each year, and at any given time, 31 million Americans experience low back pain. Orthopedics can help manage these symptoms and come up with lasting solutions to leave you pain-free. General Orthopedics It's not always something related to surgery -- sometimes just having regular pain can make seeing an orthopedic surgeon necessary. Like with back pain, other ...

America Needs Orthopedic Surgeons: Five Things You Didn't Know About the Demand For Orthopedic Medicine
If you're suffering from a foot, ankle, or knee problem, you're not alone. Orthopedic issues are far more common than you'd think. Here are just a few facts you may not have known. There's an Incredibly High Demand For Orthopedic Surgeons.  There's actually an incredibly high demand for orthopedic surgeons. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery reports that there are about 25,500 orthopedic surgeons currently practicing within the United States. Most of these orthopedic surgeons practice privately, as private practices make up about 73.5% of all orthopedic practices. The remaining practices are split between academic institutions, hospital and medical center practices, academic private practices, military practices, pre-paid plans and HMO practices, public institutions, other settings, and locum tenens. Women Have a Higher Need For Orthopedic Medicine Than Men.  About 75% of Americans experience foot problems to some degree of severity at one point in their lives, and about 60% of all foot and ankle injuries are sprains and strains. However, women have about four times as many foot issues as men do. The reason -- high heels. An Average of 32 Orthopedic ...