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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Rotator Cuff Injuries & How to Prevent Them
Rotator Cuff Injuries & How to Prevent Them
By: Ryan Pitts A complex system of muscles and tendons combine to make up the shoulder, the most mobile joint in the body. This flexibility makes some great athletic feats possible for major league baseball pitchers, beach volleyball players, and tennis players, and it also allows people to easily perform daily activities such as reaching items on high shelves, pulling a t-shirt over the head, or putting on a seat belt. Because of its broad range of motion and near constant use, the shoulder is more susceptible to injury than many other joints. The shoulder brings three major bones together: the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collar bone), and the humerus (arm bone). The humerus joins with your shoulder socket. While the shoulder is not a true ball-in-socket joint like the hip, it is similar in structure, and this accounts for its large range of motion.  Rotator Cuff Injuries The most common shoulder injuries are rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff is made of muscles and tendons that work together to keep the humerus in place, surrounding the shoulder joint. There are four types ...

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, ...

Rotator Cuff Injuries: Causes and Treatments
Rotator Cuff Injuries: Causes and Treatments
By Dr. Hulsey Almost any movement of the shoulders involve the rotator cuff especially motion above the shoulder level. This group of muscles and tendons that surround and support the shoulder joint keep the top of your upper arm bone firmly inside the shallow socket of your shoulder. If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, you should consult a physician. If your physician has already determined that you need rotator cuff surgery, here are some things you can expect. Who is at risk for a rotator cuff injury? Rotator cuffs are prone to injury and can often be damaged while performing work or athletic activity involving overhead motions like painting, hammering and playing tennis or baseball. As you age, your rotator cuff can show signs of wear and will be more easily injured. If there is a family history of joint issues, especially rotator cuff injuries, you may be at increased risk because of your genetics. What is rotator cuff disease? This damage to the rotator cuff is known as “rotator cuff disease” and can occur from any cause, including a single injury ...

St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report - April 2017
St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report - April 2017
By: Dr. Bell  Baseball is back in the Lou! After a long winter watching the Cubby Bears finally experience our familiar joy, our Redbirds are back to reclaim the title. With Opening Day kicking off on Sunday evening, we saw a fantastic showing by Carlos Martinez. It gives all of us in Cardinal Nation a good vibe for 2017. Our year will be even better as some of our favorite Cardinals recover on the disabled list. Here is a quick overview of which Cardinals are bouncing back from injuries: John Gant, SP Gant began the 2017 season on the 10-day disabled list. He pitched well during spring training before exiting the Cardinals’ March 25th Grapefruit League game with tightness in his right groin region. Team doctors later confirmed Gant suffered a strained groin muscle. The 24-year-old right-hander was acquired as part of the Jaime Garcia trade with Atlanta during the offseason. He is currently with the Cardinals’ Triple-A Memphis affiliate. Tyler Lyons, RP Lyons underwent surgery on his knee in November. He last pitched in meaningful games on July 30th, but he did return to ...

Common sports injuries: mallet finger
Common sports injuries: mallet finger
By: Dr. Robert Bell Have you ever seen a basketball player or quarterback jam their finger and the finger looks crooked? No, the finger isn’t broken or dislocated, but it’s obvious that the finger has an accordion-type shape from tip to hand. This is a condition called mallet finger and is more common than you might expect. Mallet finger occurs “when the tendon that straightens your finger (the extensor tendon) is damaged.” (ASSH) When a player’s fingers collide with a fast-moving basketball or a football helmet, forcible contact of the fingertip can tear the extensor tendon that helps straighten the finger. In some extreme cases, the force is strong enough to also detach some of the bone connected at the end of the extensor tendon. A torn extensor tendon renders the finger incapable of straightening on its own strength without the tendon’s support. Symptoms and signs of Mallet Finger A telltale sign of mallet finger is a drooping appearance of the fingertip. Additionally, concentrated pain, swelling, and even pooling blood under the fingertip are also often symptoms of mallet finger. Some patients who experienced ...

St. Louis Blues Injury Report - October 2016
St. Louis Blues Injury Report - October 2016
Fall is here and we say “See you later!” to that one NFL team now in Los Angeles. Instead of our hearts getting ice cold out of spite, we’re turning to the ice of the Scottrade Center as our St. Louis Blues dropped the puck for the 2016-2017 NHL season. Here is rundown of all the battered and bruised Blues on the trainer’s table to start the new season… #20 Alexander Steen, Left Wing Steen underwent surgery on his left shoulder in June. He chose to enter an aggressive rehabilitation regimen that prepared him to resume playing a month earlier than expected. Steen re-entered game action in the Blues’ Oct. 6th preseason game. #15 Robby Fabbri, Center The twenty-year-old Fabbri experienced an undisclosed upper-body injury in late September. He missed several preseason games while recovering. He started the regular season and is expected to contribute as a top-six forward for the Blues this year. #64 Nail Yakupov, Right Wing The Blues acquired Yakupov from the Edmonton Oilers right before the season began. He was listed with a lower-body injury on September 30th, but it’s ...

5 need-to-know safety tips this soccer season
5 need-to-know safety tips this soccer season
By: Dr. Burke Fall in St. Louis is a perfect time to put on your long sleeves and stroll the sidelines of a youth soccer game. Whether you love the ref’s eyesight or not, it’s always fun seeing your favorite lil’ soccer player race by in a brightly colored uniform. What you love even more is a fun and safe game without a trip to the ER. Here are five need-to-know safety tips to keep your next Lionel Messi on the field and in the doctor’s office: Drink plenty of water. Yes, this may sound like a tired, broken record, but drinking copious amounts of water will help carry more oxygen to your child’s limbs and brain to make the right move (and reaction) in time. Fall in Missouri can still see temperatures in the high-80s or hotter. With a heavier uniform, shin guards, and the extra heat of running around, staying hydrated is crucial. Stretching is not to be taken lightly. ...

How to reduce Youth Soccer Injuries
How to reduce Youth Soccer Injuries
A USA Today report states that soccer is the third-most dangerous youth sport, following football and basketball. (USA Today) Of the 1.35 million U.S. youth who suffer a serious sports injury every year, an estimated 172,000+ are injured during youth soccer. Sprains, strains, torn ligaments, and even concussions are contributing factors to parents considering the dangers and evaluating proper safety measures to reduce youth soccer injuries. Don’t worry- we love soccer and how the future of St. Louis looks bright with professional soccer potentially coming to our great city. We love cheering on our favorite soccer players just as much as you do, especially the ones in our own homes, and we’d much rather see them on the field instead of on the sideline or in our exam rooms. Here are some tips to help keep your soccer standout safe this season: Protect your head! One of the most dangerous injuries on the soccer field is a concussion. “Heading” the ball may seem like a good strategy, but two recent studies suggest that ...

What is the purpose of a meniscus? And, how does a meniscus function?
What is the purpose of a meniscus? And, how does a meniscus function?
What is a meniscus? The meniscus is a small C-shaped fibrous cartilage disc that resides in the knee joint between the ends of the upper and lower leg bones. Your knee actually has two meniscus (menisci): the lateral meniscus on the outside of the knee, and the slightly larger medial meniscus on the inside of the knee. The menisci are highly resilient due to the blood flow that enters the knee region and assists in healing and recovery. How does a meniscus function? Your menisci are very important for two reasons: Menisci serve as a cushion between your upper leg bone and lower leg bone. They absorb much of the weight and strain during flexion, extension, rotation, and other necessary functions as part of everyday life and even athletic activity. Studies show that the meniscus absorbs between 50-90% of load transmission. (NCBI) The medial meniscus can manipulate its shape to move as much as up to six millimeters forward or backward. (Source) The lateral meniscus can move almost twice the range of the medial meniscus, ...

St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report 2016
St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report 2016
We’re one month into the 2016 MLB season and our Cards are in a fight for the NL Central again. With the Cubs and Pirates gaining steam, Cardinals fans are looking to the injury report to see who we can expect to kickstart a winning streak heading into summer. Here is a run-down of all our favorite Cardinals who are banged up and recovering from injuries: Jhonny Peralta, SS The Cardinals’ star shortstop suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb in the middle of spring training. He underwent surgery on March 10th and participated in fielding drills on Sunday, May 1st for the first time since his surgery. He is expected to start his rehab assignment in late May and rejoin the Cardinals for major league action by early to mid-June. Mitch Harris, RP Harris began the 2016 season on the disabled list due to nerve compression in his right (throwing) elbow. He is currently working through extended spring training assignments in hope of building his arm strength up for the big leagues. He is expected to join the Cardinals in mid-June. Jordan ...