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.

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How to Prevent Sports Injuries

Sports buffs and athletes already know the health and social benefits associated with regular physical activity. That being said, sporty individuals are all too familiar with the risk of sports injuries. If you get injured, you’ll not only limp in pain but are also likely unable to play for days or weeks. As such, your best bet is to protect yourself from sports injuries by observing the following tips.

Wear the Proper Equipment

There’s a good reason why football players are decked out in bulky uniforms. After all, if you’re going to be clobbered and tackled to the ground, you’d want to be as protected as possible. Whether your chosen sport is hockey or boxing, never forego the designated equipment that can go a long way towards preventing injuries.

Warm Up Properly

You may be excited to hit the field, but make sure to warm up properly before each game to prepare your muscles and avoid injuries. Practice common movements that can stretch out muscles and help them perform better.

Designate Rest Days

Sports activities place a great amount of strain on your muscles, but this same strain helps build them up as well. If you train or play hard every day of the week, however, you might overtax your muscles and sustain an injury. Assign a day or two per week where all you do is rest so your muscles and connective tissues have a chance to repair themselves.

Common Back Problems: Sciatica

More than 65 million Americans suffer from back problems. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back problems rank among the most common causes of missed work and job-related disabilities in the United States. Oftentimes, a back problem arises from a condition called sciatica.

Sciatica is often characterized by pain due to general compression or irritation of any of the five spinal nerve roots of each sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve is irritated, the patient can experience incapacitating pain, numbness, and/or a tingling sensation at the lower extremities of the body.

Relieving sciatic pain can take anywhere from weeks to years, depending on the cause. Medications are usually the first treatment option for sciatica patients. If medications don’t work, however, the patient may require orthopedic surgery, epidural injection, or even alternative medicines.

The main symptom of sciatica is pain that may be felt anywhere along the sciatic nerve, which can be in the lower back, the buttocks, or at the back of either leg. Pain can range from mild soreness to shooting or severe pain.

Patients with sciatica are generally seen by orthopedists. You’ll want to visit an orthopedic center soon if you suspect you have sciatica.

What You Need to Know about the Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is a long fibrous band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles. According to medical experts, the Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body; experts claim that the Achilles tendon can bear ten times a person’s body weight.

Although the Achilles tendon is regarded as the strongest tendon in the body, sports medicine experts also admit that the Achilles tendon is vulnerable to injuries. This is likely because the Achilles tendon is often stretched to full capacity.

When the Achilles tendon is overworked, Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon at the heel that causes heel pain, may develop. Sports medicine experts advise people who have been experiencing heel pain to rest and use a cold compress on the Achilles tendon to prevent further injury.

If a person decides to keep going despite symptoms of Achilles tendonitis, the Achilles tendon weakens further, increasing the chances of a rupture, which will result in an Achilles tendon completely severed from the heel. Many people claim to hear a “popping” sound and having difficulty walking after the tendon has been ruptured.

Should this happen, surgery will be highly recommended as is the only way to completely recover. If you suspect you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, see a sports medicine expert immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Vitamin D to Keep Your Bones Healthy

Calcium and bones— they go hand in hand. People are taught early on that they need a certain amount of calcium to keep their bones healthy. However, do you know that Vitamin D is just as important as calcium when it comes to maintaining healthy bones? Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium better, effectively playing a role in the formation and maintenance of good strong bones.

Vitamin D deficiency risks

Numerous studies have revealed that people who are deficient in Vitamin D have lower bone mass, which increases their risk of osteoporosis. In children, severe cases of vitamin D deficiency can lead to delayed growth and the development of bone deformities called rickets. In adults, a softening of the bones— osteomalacia— can develop.

Sources of Vitamin D

The sun is the best source of Vitamin D. Spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun will get you the Vitamin D you need, as the sun’s UV rays help generate the much-needed vitamin on your skin. You can also obtain the vitamin from foods such as fatty fish, egg yolk, and liver. If it’s impossible for you to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D from these sources, your doctor may recommend that you take supplements.

Should you need orthopedic advice or assistance regarding Vitamin D deficiency, feel free to consult an orthopedic surgeon.

Sports Medicine Treatment for Dislocated Shoulders

The shoulder joint, because it is a ball and socket joint, allows people to move their arms in various directions that other joints cannot do. However, the wide range of motion ball and socket joints provide comes with a price—the shoulder is more susceptible to dislocations.

A dislocated shoulder occurs when a person receives a hard blow or falls awkwardly on the shoulder. The hard blow or awkward fall causes the upper arm bone to be separated from the shoulder blade socket. It is easy to diagnose a dislocated shoulder as most cases exhibit a deformation of the shoulder area accompanied by pain when attempting to move the arm.

After sustaining a dislocated shoulder, a quick trip to a sports medicine clinic should be a priority. More often than not, the pain and swelling that accompany a dislocated shoulder intensifies with each passing minute after the injury occurs.

Upon arriving at the clinic, a sports medicine professional will then reposition the arm bone back into the shoulder blade socket. You may then be given some anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling. You may also be asked to come back to the clinic for physical therapy if the dislocation is severe. Severe dislocations often damage the tissue in the shoulder, opening the door for more dislocations in the future.

Denver Orthopedic Surgeons and ACL Reconstruction

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a non-elastic fibrous band that connects the thigh bone to the leg, providing stability to the knee. In addition, the ACL prevents the shin bone and thigh bone from misaligning. Being such an important component of the human body, ACL is expected to be sturdy. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

According to studies, nearly 250,000 people in the United States tear their ACLs every year. Most of these ACL tears were sports-related. Although classified as a serious injury, ACL tears are no longer considered the career-ending injury it used to be because of advances in medical techniques and technology.

Adrian Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, is a prime example of how far orthopedics has come. Most athletes who have recovered from ACL tears needed at least a full year before regaining their pre-injury form. Peterson, on the other hand, needed only a few months and returned in time for the start of the 2012 season, eventually winning the MVP, and coming close to breaking the all-time single season rushing yards record.

However, people should not expect that Peterson’s recovery period is now the norm for ACL recovery. Different people recover at different ways and speeds (as evidenced by Derrick Rose’s return and Danilo Gallinari’s recovery). In fact, there are certain ACL tears that do not require reconstructive surgery to repair. For an accurate diagnosis and an effective recovery plan, consult an experienced orthopedic surgeon.