Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


All About Bone Spurs
All About Bone Spurs
By: Dr. Aaranson You might not have heard of an osteophyte, but you might know them by their common name—bone spurs. These small, bony projections form along edges of bones, often in the places where two bones meet, like the joints of your shoulders, hips, hands, knees and feet. It is also possible to have bone spurs form on your spine. Often, they go undetected because they present no symptoms, but that can greatly vary depending on their location and how they form. Let’s take a closer look at bone spurs and consider their cause, symptoms and treatments. Causes When one or more of your joints experiences prolonged pressure or rubbing for a prolonged period of time, a bone spur might form as your body attempts to repair itself. This stress can cause osteoarthritis, which is the most common cause of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage at the end of your bones that provides cushioning, and bone spurs form in areas of inflammation or injury of the nearby cartilage or tendons. What causes this stress? Excess weight can damage joints, and ...

10 Ways to Relieve Joint Pain in Cold Weather
10 Ways to Relieve Joint Pain in Cold Weather
By: Dr. Kramer Unlike the sharp pain that can result from injury, there’s a low-level of joint pain or ache that pops up as the weather turns cold. You might have felt it after spending time outside, or simply waking up in a colder room during the winter months. You might have even heard people say that they can feel rain or snow coming in their joints. This might sound like a far-fetched idea, but it’s not entirely off base. Although there is little scientific research around cold weather and joint pain, there is evidence that supports the theory that dips in the barometric pressure can increase joint pain. If you find yourself feeling stiff or achy when the temperature drops, try these tips. Dress for the Cold Add an extra layer over your hands and wrists, knees and legs. Fleece-lined leggings can add an extra layer of comforting warmth. Keep an extra pair of gloves in your bag so you’re always prepared. Add Layers As you’re planning what to wear for the day, add in base layers of clothing as well as outer ...

When is the Best Time to Undergo Arthroscopy?
When is the Best Time to Undergo Arthroscopy?
By: Dr. Pitts When you hear you need surgery, it’s natural to experience fear and curiosity as some of the first emotions. You may find yourself grappling with questions like: “How much is it going to hurt?” “How long will it take to recover?” “Will I have a big scar to deal with on top of the stress of the surgery?” The very nature of surgery makes it intimidating. No one is an ‘old pro’ when it comes to having surgery. However, thanks to great advances in orthopedic surgical technology, undergoing surgery is less intimidating than ever, especially when it comes to arthroscopy. What is Arthroscopy? Arthroscopic procedures are becoming more common in today's medical world. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive treatment in which the surgeon makes a small incision about the size of a buttonhole and inserts a small, fiberoptic camera called an arthroscope. (NCBI) The video from the ...

What are the Causes and Treatment Options of Carpal Tunnel?
What are the Causes and Treatment Options of Carpal Tunnel?
By: Dr. Bell If you drive a desk for your job, you may know what it’s like to live with the pain of carpal tunnel. Even though many people are familiar with carpal tunnel, a lot of people are not quite sure exactly what causes carpal tunnel and what can be done to alleviate it. Let’s examine what causes carpal tunnel and what treatment options are available. What Causes Carpal Tunnel? The carpal tunnel is quite literally a tunnel that runs from your forearm to your hand. (NCBI) Inside the tunnel are your median nerve and nine tendons. The median nerve provides sensation for the front of your thumb, index, middle finger and parts of your ring finger. It also controls small muscles where your thumb connects to your palm. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a problem leads to pressure on the median nerve. (NCBI) This is why many patients with carpal tunnel experience pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected muscles. Some may also experience pain in their forearm between their hand and elbow. What Treatment Options Are Available for Carpal Tunnel? There are ...

Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Arthritis Pain
Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Arthritis Pain
By: Dr. Burke  Arthritis pain can present itself in many ways: as a dull ache, a burning feeling, a sharp pain or a pressure that feels like there’s a vice grip on your joints. Either way, it’s an ongoing challenge to manage pain from arthritis, which is the leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 52.5 million adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. There’s plenty of information out there about pain remedies, exercise and medication, so how do you know what’s right for you? Causes First, let’s take a look at what causes arthritis pain. The term itself can describe more than 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, including osteoporosis and diseases of the connective tissues. There isn’t a single type of arthritis, so the causes can include: Injury that leads to degenerative arthritis Abnormal metabolism that leads to gout and pseudo gout ...

Non-Surgical Treatment Options to Treat Knee Osteoarthritis Before Considering Total Knee Replacement
Non-Surgical Treatment Options to Treat Knee Osteoarthritis Before Considering Total Knee Replacement
By: Dr. Kramer Is knee replacement surgery the only option for alleviating arthritis pain in your knee? Thankfully, the answer is no. There are a variety of non-surgical treatment options to treat knee osteoarthritis before choosing total knee replacement. The key is understanding the nature and extent of your discomfort and pain, namely what is the primary contributor to your potential need for knee replacement. Possible Causes that Lead to Total Knee Replacement Knee osteoarthritis, or simply arthritis as it’s often referred to, is one of the leading causes of knee replacement. The cartilage lining between the bones is thinner than what’s recommended or missing entirely in certain cases. This causes additional pressure or friction on the leg bones. X-rays are often taken to confirm if the joint space is narrowed or irregular in shape. Total knee replacement may also be considered due to trauma to the knee region or increased stress, such as overuse. Inactive lifestyles can lead to obesity, which places unnecessary strain on the knee joint. This can cause significant pain over time. If the excess weight is not ...

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 ...

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 ...

Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
 Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
By: Dr. Ryan Pitts It happened. You’re jogging along the Katy Trail or walking up the steps at work and ouch- you feel a twinge of pain on the outside edge of your kneecap. The small divot on the outside is now tender to the touch. Oh no, did you tear something in your knee? Our brains can easily go to the worst possible scenario when we experience pain. How do you know if your knee pain is a small ‘tweak’ or if you may have torn a ligament? Thankfully, the answers are often obvious. There are a handful of crucial components in your knee region. There are four main ligaments - one on either side of your leg (collateral ligaments) and two crisscrossed inside your knee: The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside of your leg. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside of your leg. The ...

Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
 Could the pain in your knee be a tear?
By: Dr. Ryan Pitts It happened. You’re jogging along the Katy Trail or walking up the steps at work and ouch- you feel a twinge of pain on the outside edge of your kneecap. The small divot on the outside is now tender to the touch. Oh no, did you tear something in your knee? Our brains can easily go to the worst possible scenario when we experience pain. How do you know if your knee pain is a small ‘tweak’ or if you may have torn a ligament? Thankfully, the answers are often obvious. There are a handful of crucial components in your knee region. There are four main ligaments - one on either side of your leg (collateral ligaments) and two crisscrossed inside your knee: The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside of your leg. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside of your leg. The ...