24. December 2013 06:25
Hallux rigidus is a common progressive arthritic condition associated with the big toe. The precise cause of hallux rigdus is still unknown but many orthopedic doctors in Carrollton, Texas believe that the increased motion within the big toe joints causes the cartilage between the joints to wear off which leads to hallux rigdus.
The following factors may contribute to the prevalence of hallux rigidus:
- This condition may also develop due to overuse of big toe joint.
- People with osteoarthritis are more prone to developing this disorder.
- Imbalance in foot structure may also trigger the development of hallux rigidous.
- It is believed that people with inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout etc. may cause hallux rigidus.
- Participating in activities that involve continuous stress on the big toe joint may lead to hallux rigidus.
- Some researchers believe that hallux rigidus may also be inherited.
Some early and late symptoms of hallux rigidus include:
- Intense pain in the big toe joint
- Stiffness and tenderness around the joint
- Crushing feeling when the foot is moved
- Difficulty in bending big toe up and down
- Inability to bear weight
- Pain in lower back
- Pain in other lower extremity joints
- Difficulty in wearing shoes
- Gait problems like walking with a limp
- Development of bunion and bone spurs
It is advisable to consult an orthopedic doctor if the aforementioned symptoms are noticed. The doctors may perform physical examination and imaging tests like X-ray and MRI to rule out other problems. He may also conduct biomechanical and gait exam to determine the severity of condition.
The treatment of hallux rigidus depends on the diagnostic report. Some of the common treatments, however, include:
- Non-surgical treatment: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed by the orthopedic doctors to relieve pain and inflammation. You may also be suggested to wear proper-fitting footwear. In order to regain the flexibility of big toe joint, daily stretching exercises such as toe extensor stretch and bunion stretch may also be recommended by the doctor. The orthopedic doctors may also refer you to a physical therapist to help you with abduction/adduction, dorsiflexion and flexibility exercises.
- Surgical treatment: Surgery may be considered by the doctors in severe cases of hallux rigidus. The most common surgical treatments include joint fusion, artificial joint replacement and cheilectomy.
Following steps must be taken in order to prevent this condition:
- Practicing joint mobility exercises
- Wearing proper shoes
- Regular podiatric care
17. December 2013 06:20
Sciatica is a name specified to the pain caused due to the decompression of sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve that runs from the lower back down to feet. Any sort of pressure or irritation to this nerve may result in sciatica.
Causes and risk factors
- Herniated disc: According to the orthopedic doctors in Frisco, Texas, people with herniated intervertebral disc are more susceptible to sciatica.
- Osteophytes: Osteophytes are the painless bone spurs that get developed on the edges of joints. The constant rubbing of these bone spurs may cause decompression on sciatic nerve resulting sciatica.
- Piriformis syndrome: This syndrome causes the piriformis muscles to swell and become tight which may further lead to sciatica.
- Lumbar spinal canal stenosis: It is medically proven that people with narrow lumbar spinal canal are more likely to experience sciatica.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from sciatica.
- Spondylolisthesis: This condition is caused when the vertebra slides onto other. It further distorts the spinal canal resulting in sciatica.
- Other causes: It is believed that people with weaker bones or a history of back injuries are more prone to causing sciatica.
It is advisable to consult a spine doctor if the following symptoms are noticed:
- Intense pain around the spine
- Stiffness and tenderness
- Sharp pain in the neck
- Lower or upper back pain
- Discomfort in lifting heavy objects
- Inability to perform day-to-day activities
- Limited range of motion
- Muscle spasm in lower area of back
- Numbness or tingling sensation
- Weakness in arms and legs
- Pain while you cough
- Sometimes, sciatica may also be accompanied by fever and other infections.
First of all the doctors will perform physical examination and conduct imaging tests like X-ray and MRI to evaluate the exact cause of the symptoms. They may also conduct nerve conduction studies to determine the damage to the nerve.
- Medications: The spine doctors in Frisco may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Injections: Epidural steroid injections (ESI) may be considered by the doctors. Steroids are injected through ESI into the epidural space to relive inflammation and pain.
- Physical therapy: The doctors may also recommend a range of stretching exercises to regain the muscle flexibility and alleviate the symptoms.
- Surgery: Surgery may be considered in severe cases of sciatica. Microdiscectomy and lumbar laminectomy are the most common surgical treatments for sciatica.
10. December 2013 11:01
Injuries to the spine are common while participating in various sports. These injuries can occur in any part of the spine, and are the major cause of sports-related back injuries. Other causes of these injuries include trauma to the soft tissue and fascia which are an essential component of the back structure. Injuries to the lower back or neck comprise up to 20% of all sports injuries. The various types of sports-related back injuries include:
- Upper back injury: These injuries are usually caused by a rib fracture or intercostal muscle strains, in sports like swimming, golf, tennis, skiing, and weight training with rotation, all of which involve the torso. It is rare for these injuries to be associated with spinal injury, owing to the relative immobility and extra support to the thoracic spine.
- Lower back injury: Being subjected to a large amount of strain in various sports, the lower back is relatively more prone to sports-related injuries. These injuries usually occur in sports like running, golf, weightlifting, etc., which involve repetitive impact, twisting motions, or end of range-of-motion weight loading.
- Neck injury: Neck injury is commonly witnessed in contact sports like football, in which the cervical spine is subjected to a great amount of stress, increasing the chances of neck injury.
Completing a warm-up before all types of sports can help to decrease the chances of back injuries. These warm-ups should be specific to the sport being played and should include increased circulation through easy movements; stretching exercises focusing on the lower and upper back, as well as the hamstrings and quadriceps; and slow initiation of the sports movements.
If you are suffering from a sports-related back injury, you can seek help from various sports-related experts at OrthoTexas. It is advisable to choose a sports medicine specialist with experience in your particular sport. Someone with this kind of expertise can help you to learn the correct form for a new sport or help to develop a proper technique for your current sport, which can help to decrease the chances of a future back injury.
3. December 2013 10:55
Lisfranc injuries refer to injuries affecting the midfoot bones or ligaments. These injuries are often mistaken for sprains, but are actually a lot more severe, and might take months to heal. In some cases, surgery might be required for the treatment of a Lisfranc injury. The common symptoms of such an injury are swelling on top of the foot, severe foot and ankle pain, and bruising on or below the foot. Bruising below the foot is usually a sure-shot sign of a Lisfranc injury. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should immediately visit an orthopedic doctor, to get yourself diagnosed and treated.
Your doctor will perform several physical tests such as tenderness to pressure, single limb heel rise, “piano key” test for pain, and a stress examination. This could be followed by imaging tests like X-rays, MRI scan, and a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the severity of your injury, a treatment plan will be devised for you. If no fractures or dislocations are detected in the joint, and the ligaments are not completely torn, non-surgical treatment is usually sufficient. This involves wearing a non-weight-bearing cast for 6 weeks, and ensuring that no weight is applied upon the affected foot.
The next step in the treatment involves progress to weight-bearing with an orthotic or a removable cast boot. It is important to attend follow-up visits with your doctor during this period, for them to be able to monitor the progress of your foot through imaging tests. In some cases, these findings can indicate that the bones have been displaced, in which case you might have to undergo surgery. The surgical treatment for Lisfranc injury is recommended for injuries involving a fracture or abnormal positioning of the joints of the midfoot. This surgery aims at realigning the joints and returning the fractured bone fragments to their original positions.
The surgical options include internal fixation, in which the bones are repositioned with the help of plates or screws; and fusion, in which the damaged bones are fused together, to promote their healing as a single, solid piece. The latter is opted for incase of severe injury in which the damage cannot be repaired. Surgery must be followed by rehabilitation, in which weight-bearing is gradually reintroduced after a 6-8 week period of non-weight bearing.