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 ...

Preparing Your Home for Post-Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Preparing Your Home for Post-Total Knee Replacement Surgery
By Dr. Kramer Recovering from total knee replacement surgery can be a painful, grueling experience. The good news is many patients experience a new lease on life after knee replacement that allows them to enjoy golf, running, dancing, and many other activities that were painful to experience before the surgery. The recovery period can be several weeks long and of course, every patient’s situation is unique. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to make your post-total knee replacement recovery a bit easier to manage around the house. In the days after your surgery, you will likely be back home and trying to have life be as normal as possible. With some simple changes in your home, you can make your recovery period much safer and more enjoyable. Protect against falling Of course, we hope you don’t fall at any time, but patients with a new knee are at a higher risk of falling. It’s wise to protect against a fall by installing an extra hand rail or two around the house and wearing shoes or socks with good traction. You may also ...

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 ...

Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?
Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey The aches and discomfort of arthritis can disrupt anyone’s everyday routine. A simple walk through the store is no longer relaxing as ol’ “Arthur” lets you know he’s still around. Pain medication doesn’t seem to do the trick. Physical therapy helped, but your arthritis pain still flares up at times. Would a total joint replacement relieve your arthritis pain? This is a frequent question many of our patients ask who are suffering from arthritis. Arthritis is more common than ever with people living longer. The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons estimates 500,000 hip replacements and 3,000,000 knee replacements will need to be performed each year by the year 2030. (American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons) But the question remains: do you need total joint replacement to be free of your arthritis pain? We believe in exploring all viable treatment options, starting with non-invasive treatments, to help alleviate your arthritis pain. For many patients, undergoing a total joint replacement may provide the relief and new lease on life they need. However, there are several criteria we ...

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 ...

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 ...

Protect your feet and legs from these common running injuries
Thousands of St. Louisans love lacing the low tops and pounding the pavement for a good exercise. Whether you’re an Asics aficionado or a Nike newbie, there’s a lot to learn about running, including what injuries you might expect. Hopefully you can avoid any injuries this summer, but if not, it’s helpful to know what to do. That's why Orthopedic Associates recently hosted an event, with the help of running shoe specialist David Spetnagel (Fleet Feet), on the best ways to keep yourself in top-running condition during the Summer months. Participants were able to come out and ask questions about their foot and running health directly to the experts! For those who couldn't make it, we typed up a little summary of the night's events for your reading pleasure! (image of Dr. Aaranson speaking on runner's health at our recent event) Most common injuries for runners One of the best ways to avoid injuries involves preparation and prevention. This includes appropriate stretching before and after running, and also watching where your feet fall along the path. Some injuries can’t ...

How Do You Recover?
Orthopedic injuries are as unique as the people who experience them. As a result, whatever journey towards recovery that you take should also be custom tailored to your unique situation. There are a lot of Orthopedic care providers that see surgery as the only option to help improve the lives of their patients. Orthopedic Associates is fortunate to employ a team of physicians that know that this is absolutely not the case. There are many ways to manage the pain caused by an orthopedic problem and even more ways to help heal that pain in the long term. The first question we ask ourselves, and our patients, is what does complete rehabilitation look like? Is it managing pain? Is it eliminating pain? Is it improved physical strength? Is it a short term solutions, a long term solution, or some combination of both? The second step is recognizing that the body is a complex network of bones, tissues, molecules, and nerves. Where another Orthopedic practice might look at back pain as an opportunity to surgically correct a problem, Orthopedic Associates sees ...