4. June 2014 12:55
Joint problems can be found among young children, women, active people and the elderly. These problems are one of the most common orthopedic issues that people face and can result from a number of different factors. Joint is the location where different bones in our body connect, which is helped by ligaments and tendons. The principle job of a joint is to lend stability, strength and range of motion to our body. Joint problems can sometimes be difficult to deal with, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the amount of damage caused. Here are some common kinds of joint problems that people usually suffer from.
Classified into different types, Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. This can happen due to many reasons including age related deterioration, wear and tear, damage from overuse or impact, a decrease in the right amount of cartilage and auto immune disorders. Arthritis is seen in people from all ages and this condition can affect a variety of different joints in the body. The common symptom of arthritis is a feeling of stiffness in the joints which slowly gives rise to joint pain. Treatment of Arthritis is usually symptomatic with the focus being on speeding up natural healing and preventing further damage.
Osteoarthritis is the specific kind of arthritis which results from the gradual wearing out of cartilage tissue from the joints. Primarily seen as an age related condition, osteoarthritis can be seriously debilitating causing pain, stiffness and loss of range of motion. The treatment consists mostly of physical therapy, exercise and following better habits.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition which involves the immune system and damage is caused to the joints by body’s own immune system. This auto-immune condition usually affects the hands and feet but can happen with other important joints as well. With no sure cure for this condition, the treatment is limited to measures meant to reduce pain and swelling.
Strains and Sprains
Among the most common joint problems, strains and sprains can be caused as a result of different physical activities and are usually easy to treat. While sprains involve damage to a ligament, strains have to do with damage to tendons and muscle tissue. These conditions are more frequently found in the legs, especially in the calf and thigh muscles. Common symptoms are bruising, inflammation, pain and cramps. The usual line of treatment of a sprain or strain includes rest, immobilization, ice packs and prescription of medication.
3. April 2014 11:36
Shin Splint is a painful condition that is often faced by athletes while jumping or running. In this condition, the inside or the front of the shin bone (tibia) starts paining due to a quick or sudden motion. The shin splint that involves the front muscles, tissues of shin is called anterolateral shin splint, while, the pain in the back and inner part of the muscles of shin is called a posteromedial shin splint.
- Shin Splints occur due to vigorous exercise, repetitive activities such as dance, running, or sports, etc.
- Overuse or stretching of muscles
- Running on hard surfaces
- Changing the intensity and duration of workouts
- Having rigid arches or flat feet
- Exercising without warming up
- Muscle imbalance
- Running on slanted surface
- Wearing inappropriate footwear
The most common symptom of shin splints is excessive pain on the inner or outer part of the lower leg that worsens with exercise or running. The muscles tighten and become stiff. Often the pain worsens and causes inflammation and swelling. Different people may have different symptoms, so it is crucial to consult a physician for proper diagnosis. The physician will confirm the condition after reviewing complete medical history of the patient and physical examination.
Depending upon the age, medical history, and extent of pain, and type of shin splint, an orthopedic doctor determines the course of treatment. The patient is recommended to discontinue any physical activity that is responsible for the condition. They are advised to wear running shoes with rigid heels and arch supports that are specially designed to offer relief to the patient. Wearing an elastic compression bandage can also help. The orthopedic surgeon may suggest rest, strengthening and stretching exercises, cold packs and some anti-inflammatory medicines. Physicians may recommend MRI or X-rays to determine the extent of damage and in case of a rare severe shin splint and stress fracture, the surgeon may recommend surgery. The patients may be required to change their daily routine and decrease their exercise time.
A patient may take up to 3-4 months to recover from shin splint. To ensure that the patient has fully recovered, it is important that the patient should be able to use leg, exercise, jump, and run without any pain. The affected leg should be as flexible as the other leg, and there should not be any weakness and follow ups can make sure of that.
28. January 2014 05:20
Tarsal Coalition is a medical condition associated with the bones of the foot. This condition generally develops when the bones of the rear foot gets fused together causing intense pain and discomfort. Tarsal coalition is primarily considered as an inherited condition and can be easily found in children and adolescents. When not treated in time, tarsal coalition can also lead to flat feet.
Read on to know more about Tarsal Coalition:
Causes: Listed below are a few causes and risk factors of tarsal coalition:
- Genetics: There is growing evidence suggesting the association between tarsal coalition and genetics. According to orthopedic doctors, people with a family history of tarsal coalition are more susceptible of developing this condition. In some patients, this condition is present at the time of birth, while in others it may develop later in life.
- Medical conditions: It has been proven that people with medical conditions like arthritis, infections, trauma and abnormal bone growth are more prone to tarsal coalition.
- Other conditions: Sometimes abnormal motion or physical activities involving stress on foot joints may also lead to this condition.
Following are the early and late symptoms of tarsal coalition:
- Intense pain on the outside and top of the foot
- Stiffness in the foot
- Chronic pain and stiffness in the ankle
- Muscle spasms in the leg
- Fatigues legs
- Inflexibility of the foot
- Limited range of motion
- Affected foot appears flattened
- Irritation in the tendon on the outside of foot
It is vital to consult an orthopedic doctor, if the aforementioned symptoms are noticed. The doctors are more likely to conduct physical examination to determine the accurate cause of symptoms. They may also perform imaging tests like X-Ray, MRI and CT to rule out other foot related medical conditions.
The most often recommended treatments for tarsal coalition include:
- Medication and orthotics: The doctors may prescribe you oral anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and inflammation. They may also recommend the use of foot orthotics to maintain the stability of the foot joint. Protective pad may also be prescribed to prevent the irritation from the shoes.
- Physical therapy: The doctors may also refer you to a physical therapist to help you regain the muscle strength and motion through exercises. The therapists may recommend you a range of foot strengthening, stretching and motion exercises to improve the muscle flexibility.
- Surgery: In severe cases, tarsal coalition surgery may be recommended by the doctors.
24. September 2013 11:04
Even though there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, certain cutting-edge treatment options are being adopted to combat pain and decrease immobility. The first line of treatment for arthritis includes nonsurgical options like pain relieving drugs, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. OrthoTexas is a group of orthopedic surgeons and physicians in Central Texas, who can get evaluate your condition, and suggest the best treatment options for you. Our orthopedic surgeons have expertise in treating cases of arthritis, making us one of the most trusted names in orthopedic care in the North Texas region.
Viscosupplementation treatment is a widely popular option for the treatment of arthritis, which involves injection of a thick fluid called hyaluronic acid into the knee joint. This fluid occurs naturally in the body, and helps to provide lubrication to the joints, making it an ideal treatment option for arthritis, in which mobility is severely compromised owing to a decrease in the natural lubrication of the joint. You can schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoTexas for a clear insight into how this procedure works, and how it can help you to deal with arthritis.
Enlisted below are a few facts about viscosupplementation treatment for arthritis, which can help you better understand this treatment option:
- Hyaluronic acid injections do not provide immediate relief from pain. You will notice a reduction in pain in the affected joint over the course of a few injections.
- It is advisable to avoid the administration of excessive stress on the joint, such as standing for a long period, jumping, weight bearing, etc. within 48 hours of the injection being administered.
- Once the effect of the injections sets in, it usually lasts for several months. This comes from the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of hyaluronic acid, as well as the stimulating effect that it has on the body’s cells which stimulate the production of the fluid.
- Even though there is no scientific evidence to show that viscosupplementation reverses the damage caused to the joint by arthritis, it is highly effective in suppressing the major symptoms associated with the disease.
In rare cases, the procedure might result in certain side effects such as a local allergy-like reaction at the site of injection, symptoms of an infection, or bleeding. If you experience any of these side-effects you must contact your doctor immediately. Pain, warmth, and slight swelling immediately after the injection are normal, and usually disappear on their own.
11. July 2013 10:10
Also known as Talipes Equinovarus, clubfoot is a common disorder of the feet, in which the feet assume a deformed position. In severe cases of the disorder, the foot turns inward, while the bottom is contoured upwards. Other patients might have one foot that is smaller than the other, while in some cases both the feet might be rotated from the front to face each other. The disorder is usually congenital, and affects both feet in more than 50% of the cases. Even though the disorder is painless in infants, orthopedic treatment should begin immediately when the abnormality is noticed, since complications can arise with age of it is left untreated.
- Postural clubfoot is caused by incorrect positioning of the developing baby in the mother’s womb.
- The disorder is also believed to have a hereditary basis, being passed on in alternate generations. This means that if one of your parents has clubfoot, chances are that it will also occur in your child.
- Clubfoot could also be linked to other disorders of the nerves, spine, brain, muscles, and bones. It is thus advisable that infants with clubfoot also undergo screening for spina bifida and other related disorders.
- The disorder is usually not accompanied with any pain or inflammation.
- It involves a visible deformity that gets worse with time if left untreated. This could be downward-pointing toes, inward turning of the foot, etc.
- Children with club foot often find it difficult to participate in normal play activity, and can also have trouble finding well-fitting footwear.
- Development of corns and ulcers on the outside of the foot as a result of abnormal walking pattern.
- The pediatric orthopedic surgeons at OrthoTexas are well-experienced in treating this condition. Treatment must not be delayed, and should be started immediately the condition is diagnosed.
- Non-surgical treatment involving manipulation of the foot using casts, splints, or tapes, is done within 3 days of birth. The treatment takes around 6 weeks, and must be performed under constant supervision and evaluation, along with regular physical therapy.
- Success of the treatment is evaluated through an X-ray examination. The child usually has to wear special footwear for 2-3 years after treatment.
- Surgery is very rare for clubfoot treatment, and might be needed in case of severe abnormality in the tendons and ligaments.
4. July 2013 05:47
The human hand is made up of basically two types of bones. These are known as: the phalanges and metacarpals. While phalanges are the finger bones, metacarpals are the bones that constitute the knuckles.
In simple terms, a hand fracture occurs when any of these bones in the hand gets broken. The advice of an expert orthopedic doctor is a must in case of a hand fracture. He will be able to recommend the best and most suitable treatment options that will work the best for you.
Read on to know about the causes, symptoms and treatment for hand fractures…
A person can suffer from any one of the following types of fractures:
- Non-displaced: In this case, the bone breaks but does not get displaced from its original position.
- Displaced: The bone cracks into two separate pieces.
- Open fracture: The broken bone comes out of the skin.
- Comminuted: The bone cracks at several places.
A hand fracture can happen due to any of the following reasons:
- One of the major reasons for a hand fracture is an injury due to a road or sports accident.
- You can suffer from a hand fracture if your hand receives a direct blow while indulging in sports like boxing etc.
- Too much usage of the hand or constant pressure on it can also lead to a fracture.
- Sports such as tennis as well as softball can also cause of stress fractures.
Below mentioned symptoms are associated with a hand fracture:
The pain aggravates with the movement of hand or wrist.
- Sharp pain in the hand when you try to pick up an object.
- Inflammation in the skin of the affected hand. Even bruises can show up in such cases.
- Weakness and numbness in the affected hand.
- The shape of the hand can become irregular or abnormal.
You must immediately visit an orthopedic doctor in case you suffer from a hand fracture. He will conduct a thorough examination of your wrist and also check for the bruises and open breaks in the skin. The doctor will also check the movement of your hand to fully determine the extent of your condition.
X-Rays, bone scans, CT scans etc can be recommended to take the pictures of your hand and carefully see the damage that has occurred. After a proper examination, you might have to undergo any of the following treatment options:
- In order to minimize the movement of your hand, a brace, cast or splint can be use by the orthopedic doctor. This helps to quicken the pace of healing. If the fracture is in a particular finger, it is tied or strapped to the next finger for a decreased movement.
- You will also be given medications to cut down the pain. Also, antibiotics are prescribed so as to treat any sort of infection caused by bacteria.
- If you have an open fracture, a tetanus shot is important so as to prevent the onset of tetanus.
- Surgery can be required in case of an open fracture.