4 Reasons to Visit a Knee Specialist

Your knee is one of the most active joints in your body. You use it in nearly every movement in your day to day life, which makes it a joint that is particularly vulnerable to damage. Signs of damage can often be subtle, but they only get worse over time and can plague you in old age.

Athletes and people working in jobs that require lifting are especially prone to having problems in their knees later in life. A knee specialist can identify these problems before they start, or remedy them as they are progressing in order to ensure the damage does not progress to a worse point in the future. The following are some specific reasons to visit a knee specialist.

  1. Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is often mistaken for pain that is constant and unceasing, but that is only one of the classifications of a chronic condition. A condition can be chronic if the pain recurs in the same place over and over again. Experiencing chronic pain in the knees is a sure sign that something is wrong.

4 Reasons to Visit a Knee Specialist

Many conditions, such as ligament tears, often go painless, even when they are just starting. In reality, they will start to hurt at random moments throughout the day.

  1. Swelling

This condition is most noticeable when affecting one knee and not the other. If your knees have started to look uneven and you have discomfort in the larger knee, then there may be swelling. Swelling is the body’s reaction to the healing process in order to call your attention to the area and protect it from further damage.

  1. Popping

All joints tend to pop. This is because of the fluid filled sac inside your joints fill up throughout the day. When you pop a joint, the sound is the fluid flushing out, and it is a completely normal occurrence in your body.

A condition that requires further study involves popping that is constant. While joint popping tends to be loud and requires moments of recovery before occurring again, popping that is constant with no recovery period may be a sign of a joint condition.

  1. Soreness

This is similar to chronic pain, but it is more general. While chronic pain may be a sharp sting from one particular area, you may be unable to point out exactly where the pain is coming from. General soreness does not have to be painful either, but rather a feeling of general discomfort that tends to get worse with movement.

The above four conditions are just a few that should be looked at by a knee specialist. While they appear very general, most of the time they are signs of specific conditions that can get worse as time goes on, especially without rest and the proper physical therapy. In order to ensure that you have use of your joints for years to come, you should consult a knee specialist for more information about a problem that has become persistent for you.

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3 Common Reasons to Go to an Orthopedic Clinic

A lot of people think they should go to see the orthopedist only for advanced conditions in the bones and muscles, such as fractures or arthritis. However, there are plenty of reasons to see this type of specialist. If you are suffering from the following conditions, you should consider visiting an orthopedic clinic to get a more thorough diagnosis based on the symptoms you are feeling.

  1. Wrist and Elbow Pain

This is a common condition among office workers everywhere and is characterized by a dull pain that often comes up at random times throughout the day. This pain is especially common while seated and typing at a desk. Many people will ignore this pain, but it can actually turn into a serious condition over time. While the root causes of these conditions may be hard to identify initially, an orthopedist will be able to dive deeper for more information.

3 Common Reasons to Go to an Orthopedic Clinic

The most common illness that results from wrist pain or elbow pain is known as carpal tunnel, which affects the entire hand. This condition requires surgery and will get worse over time, and it can even cause you to lose all movement in your hands. You want to take preventative measures (which your orthopedist can tell you about) to assure this condition doesn’t progress

  1. Pain from Sports

Most people should expect to feel sore after playing sports because they require hours of physical activity and repetitive movements. However, there are many conditions that can go untreated for years that are linked to this initial soreness. This is the reason that so many people who were athletes when they were younger suffer from joint conditions when they are older.

The way to distinguish common muscle soreness from the early signs of a harmful condition is by looking at how long the pain lasts and any other associated problems that might occur. The most common symptoms associated with pain are popping or swelling. These symptoms will require further analysis at an orthopedic clinic.

  1. Stiffness

People notice pain more than anything because it is your body telling you that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Despite this, there are other problems that may not cause noticeable pain, especially in the joints.  When you start to notice your movement has become stiffer and it is harder to articulate your joints, then there might be a deeper problem.

You will be able to distinguish this stiffness when it is harder to carry out normal tasks that require your joints, such as walking, bending, or writing. When you are presented with these problems you will have to see an orthopedist to identify the cause. A common culprit is arthritis, but it could be a number of conditions.

The orthopedist is there to find the potential for damage in the future as well as alleviate any pain or discomfort in the present. If you are experiencing any of the above warning signs, or you feel chronic discomfort in your joints and bones, you should consider going to an orthopedic clinic to find out more about what might be causing the problem.

4 Shoulder Injuries to Worry About

Your shoulders are big joints that are used constantly throughout the day. Unlike your elbows or knees, your shoulders have a full range of motion; the motion makes our lives easier, but it gives much more potential for injuries. Shoulder replacement surgery can be a possibility for the following injuries that result from using your shoulders often.

Playing through the pain

  1. Swimmer’s Shoulder

This is the most common shoulder injury by far that requires shoulder replacement surgery. Swimmer’s shoulder is most often associated with swimmers, hence the name, but it can be common in any profession that requires constant upward motions in the shoulders.  That means painters, construction workers, and even bodybuilders are at risk of this injury due to improper use.

  1. Rotator Cuff and Labrum Injuries

A rotator cuff injury is another common injury that is associated with sports that require a jerking motion of the shoulder. Baseball is probably the most common sport that causes this injury because of the actual motion of throwing the ball. For players who throw extremely often, like a pitcher, the risk of rotator cuff injuries greatly increases. It will require surgery if it causes constant pain and inflammation, which will get worse with age.

The labrum is another common sports related injury that occurs in a piece of cartilage that is connected to the shoulder socket. It can sometimes occur in conjunction with the rotator cuff injuries because they are associated with the same movements. In theory, a baseball player can suffer from both rotator cuff injuries and a torn labrum.

  1. Arthritis

Arthritis is a constant threat to a large part of the population. It is most often problematic when it affects the hips or knees, but the shoulders are another risk factor for arthritis problems. When the range of motion gets reduced to a certain point, the joints will have to be replaced with surgery in order to fix the problem.

  1. Fractures

Everyone knows that fractures are cracks in the bones themselves, but what they don’t know is that they can be caused all over your body without noticing. Fractures not only occur from direct injury, but also from overuse that causes strain on the bone to the point of breaking. These cracks are not as noticeable because they are tiny, even microscopic.

The most obvious symptom from micro fractures comes from reduced movement as they heal over time. They are left to heal improperly because the person does not know they are there. Shoulder replacement surgery will be necessary to ensure movement is restored.

Your shoulders have a wide range of movement and they are required for nearly everything in your everyday life. If you are experiencing pain when you move your shoulder a certain way, or if you find yourself unable to move your shoulder with as much freedom as you could before, you should consult an orthopedic surgeon. Shoulder pain can often be remedied with physical therapy, but sometimes, surgery is the only way to truly heal the joint.

Shoulder replacement surgery sounds intimidating, but you will be thankful afterward for your restored motion and reduced pain.

3 Reasons for Elbow Surgery

Your elbows are probably a joint that you never think about, thanks to their relatively simple function. However, there can be a creeping pain that will make you notice the joint and start to worry about what is going on. Elbow surgery is a definite possibility for chronic pain, and here are three reasons why.

3 Reasons for Elbow Surgery

  1. Tennis Elbow

This is the most common sports-related injury that occurs in the elbow. The three different bones that make up the elbow can undergo a lot of stress throughout life before being worn down. However, certain motions can exacerbate this stress, especially if that motion is repetitive.

The name of tennis elbow comes from its common occurrence among tennis players, due to the jerking striking motions that the players have to make. However, other motions that involve the elbow such as hammering can cause the same problem. It is common among painters and construction workers as well.

Elbow surgery will be necessary for this problem if it becomes chronic to the point that damage is permanent. Before resorting to surgery, your doctor will probably have you try out physical therapy or reduced activities to help the joint heal.

  1. Improper Posture

Office workers are particularly familiar with elbow pain, especially dull stinging pain that radiates from the joint. It is seemingly unexplainable, but has almost entirely to do with improper posture in the workplace. In fact, this type of injury is associated with carpal tunnel, another injury that is involved with office work and posture problems.

The injury itself is caused by leaning on your elbow while sitting at work. If you find yourself cradling your head in your hand while staring at the screen, you are probably supporting your arm with your elbow on your desk. Doing this for extended periods of time throughout the year eventually damages the joint itself.

Eventually the pain that is associated can become chronic and the damage permanent, which means you will need to get elbow surgery.

  1. Broken Bones

Breaking your arm is an injury that requires immediate care from a doctor. While recovery takes time for the most part, it does require some input from you as well. That means following instructions from your physical therapist and sticking to your recovery plan.
However, despite your work with physical therapy, you are still at risk of complications associated with your prior injury. The elbow is the most at risk because it can become damaged while you are still in recovery. That is due to the fact that the injury will cause you to develop habits like improper movements or posture.

There are many reasons that could require elbow surgery. While injury from improper use is most common, sometimes other factors such as arthritis or osteoporosis, two things you have no control over, can damage the joint to the point that you need surgery. Consult your doctor for a plan on how to deal with the pain, and for advise on when surgery is a necessity to fully heal from the ailment.

3 Reasons for a Hip Replacement

Hip replacement surgery is a dreaded procedure that many people will have to go through once they reach a certain age. However, hip replacement surgery is not always associated with old age, as many young people receive the procedure as well.

The hip is one of the most used joints in the body, and it is key to a person’s mobility, as it helps us keep balance, turn, and move. Because it is used so often, you should consider replacing your hip when you start to experience more pain. The following are some common reasons that a hip should be replaced.

  1. Fracture or Injury

Our bodies are very durable and can resist excessive pressure. Despite this, there are certain joints in our body that are more likely to experience repeated damage. Our hips are at increased risk, given how much they are used.

3 Reasons for a Hip Replacement

When our hips become fractured or injured, they are more likely to experience injury in the future. The truth is, whenever the healing process takes place, whatever is replaced is a little more prone to damage than before. The severity of the injury contributes to this as well.

Hip replacement surgery can serve as a permanent solution to resolve this damage. It is especially recommended if the person is experiencing a lot of pain due to injuries the hip has sustained.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Our bones become weaker over time. This can eventually turn into a process of bone wear known as arthritis, where the bones and cartilage in joints begins to break down. There are over one hundred types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, in which the joints break down.

The main problem that results from arthritis is the reduction of mobility. Because joints break down, a person’s range of motion is considerably hindered. There is also a lot of pain associated with the affected joint.

Hip replacement surgery aims to reduce that pain and remove the deteriorated join. Eventually, the pain will subside or be reduced to such a considerable degree that the person’s lifestyle will be improved.

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that affects joints just like osteoarthritis; however, it is an autoimmune disease that can affect both elderly and younger people. In short, the body’s immune system will attack the joints and cause them to become inflamed and to deteriorate. They will be painful as a result, and it will be almost impossible for them to move correctly.

Those who experience rheumatoid arthritis in their hips might opt for hip replacement surgery because it drastically affects movement.

Replacing the affected hip should help with the underlying immune response, and the inflammation should subside. This, together with physical therapy, should help with long-term recovery and should improve a person’s overall quality of life.

The choice to go through hip replacement surgery can be a difficult decision. Because your hips are used so often, it can be hard to cope with the necessary recovery. Despite this, a hip replacement can resolve problems and can improve your life after recovery.

3 Facts about Total Knee Replacement

A total knee replacement can seem like a drastic surgical procedure. The reality is different, however; knee replacements are relatively commonplace. Your doctor can guide you through the whole process, but you should keep in mind the following critical information.

There is a stigma that replacing your knee leads to years of pain after the surgery and reduces your ability to use it normally. But knee replacement no longer means you will not be able to do the things you love. As a matter of fact, knee replacement has come a long way in the past few years. Here are just a few facts that can help you recover the right way.

  1. Follow the Therapist’s Orders

The most common problem that hinders recovery from a total knee replacement occurs when the patient ignores or avoids the physical therapist’s recovery plan. Following a surgery—when you have healed correctly—you will have to exercise and use the joint regularly to make sure it no longer hurts after healing.

3 Facts about Total Knee Replacement

The physical therapist will prescribe a regimen of stretches that you must do in your home. The most difficult part of following the physical therapist’s orders is due to the pain the stretches might cause. During your knee surgery recovery, you will not regularly use your knee. In spite of the pain, you have to keep using your knee so it no longer hurts as you move around.

  1. The End Goal is to Relieve Pain

Total knee replacement has been a regular surgery since the 1960s. The surgery has progressed substantially since then. Nowadays, it is one of the most common joint replacement procedures in the United States.

The goal of knee replacement surgery is not to cause pain but to relieve it. When you are suffering from chronic knee pain, replacing your knee will be one of your doctor’s recommendations. While the stigma around constant pain after a replacement is strong, if you follow the recovery procedures, you should be in great shape.

  1. The Majority Experience No Pain Afterward

Despite the stigma surrounding total knee replacement, there is evidence that the overwhelming majority of those who go through with the surgery experience a drastic reduction in pain. The key to avoiding pain is to make sure you engage in low-impact activities after the surgery.

Running and jogging should be out of the question. However, you can still engage in even more beneficial cardio such as swimming or biking. These sports are better for you anyway. The idea behind engaging in these sports is to reduce wear on the knee replacement and, therefore, reduce the pain that results from the surgery.

A total knee replacement can seem scary to many people, but problems such as arthritis can become extremely painful. Replacing the knee is a proven method to help relieve pain due to knee problems and help you get active again. Despite the pain reduction, you should still pay attention to recovery instructions and engage in low-impact activities afterward.

How to Identify an ACL Tear

Many sportsman dread the thought of having to go through with an ACL repair. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a ligament located between the femur and tibia in your knee. It is responsible for most leg movement around the knee. This injury is relatively common among groups of people involved in sports or labor that requires excessive legwork.

How to Identify an ACL Tear

The Symptoms           

The specific location of the ACL can make it difficult to identify the symptoms of a tear. The most common symptom comes in the form of a loud pop during movement. This popping may cause swelling and pain, which will prevent you from continuing whatever activity you are doing.

The Causes

The most common ways the ligament can be torn is by repetitive and improper leg use. There can either be an uneven dominance placed on a certain leg or a muscle group in the legs. The asymmetry causes unnecessary stress to the ligament over time and creates an environment for damage.

Reliance on the strength of a specific muscle group, such as the quadriceps, at the expense of a related muscle group, in this case the hamstrings, can cause damage to the ACL. This is because there will be an uneven distribution of stress over the leg which will reduce stability.

Over time, the stress will cause the sufferer of an ACL tear to rely more on the damaged leg and overexert themselves to make up for a loss of performance due to pain. The excess stress will exacerbate the problem and lead to chronic pain.

Another cause of an ACL tear is trauma to the leg around the knee area. This trauma can occur during a car accident, or in a sport such as football.

Treatment

The tear will most likely be identified by way of an MRI that can identify damage to the ligaments between the bones. After the MRI has identified the problem, your doctor will recommend treatment to start the ACL repair process.

The most common treatment for an ACL tear involves managing knee movement and trying to create a better distribution to help the knee heal. This will mean plenty of physical therapy aimed at increasing strength and stability of the muscles around the knee. The doctor will more than likely recommend a knee brace as well to help keep the knee stable during waking hours.

For those who participate in sports,the tear can make it almost impossible to continue playing. The pain associated with the injury, paired with the general instability of the knee, won’t allow for most athletic movements needed for sports.

Due to the nature of an ACL tear, a doctor will usually recommend surgery as a course of treatment. After surgery is done, however, the patient will have to stay out of sports activities for months while rehabbing the knee.

Overall, among similar sports, women are more likely to experience the injury than men. The reason for this correlation is unknown, however women who participate in such sports as soccer and basketball that require jolted leg movements and jumping should consider the possibility of an ACL repair if symptoms are present.

If you feel like you have an ACL injury, seek medical attention, and have them recommend your best course of action.