Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates Blog

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The Difference between a Break and Fracture

You may have heard people talk about bone fractures and broken bones. The terms are actually interchangeable and both refer to a bone that has been shattered, often by excessive force. Your doctor may be more likely to use the term fracture. To be frank, the term fracture is more “professional” sounding. To say break would still be correct but more colloquial. A fracture is defined as any loss of continuity of the bone. Anytime your bone loses integrity, whether it's the smallest hairline crack barely recognizable on an x-ray, or the shattering of bone into multiple pieces, it is considered a fracture. Whether it be after a small fall or a severe car accident, a fractured bone can be painful. Depending on the severity of the trauma, a fracture could be life threatening. If left untreated, it could cause nerve damage, organ damage, muscle damage or even pierce through...
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Most Common Injuries in the Summer

Warm days and sunny skies entice us to be outside. The long days of summer give us an excuse to stay outside for long periods of time doing all sorts of activities. Swimming, hiking, biking, running, boating and gardening are just some of the activities that you can enjoy during the summer months. Of course, with any physical activity, there is the potential to injure yourself. Here are some of the most common injuries that can occur during the summer. Bicycle Injuries Biking is great exercise and is a lot of fun. Before riding, be sure to stretch. Put on safety gear, most importantly, a helmet, as it can help to prevent serious head injuries from occurring. Use safety precautions as you ride, especially if you will be riding on a road. Bike accidents that involve a vehicle can be fatal. Swimming Injuries Serious injuries that could be potentially fatal...
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Are You At Risk For Knee Injury?

The knee is one of the most common body parts to be injured. Even if you are extremely careful, you still could be at risk for knee injuries depending on how active you are and if you have any pre-existing conditions. Let’s take a look at what could put you at risk for knee injuries. Top Ways to Injure Your Knees Improper Training Whether you are an athlete now or you were 20 years ago, improper training will put you at risk for knee injuries. Training at the gym and using the equipment the wrong way or training for any sport using the wrong movements can easily lead to a knee injury in the future. Improper training will make ligaments weaker and put you at a high risk for an ACL tear, which will lead to surgery and a long recovery. Overuse Playing sports or having a very active job...
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Playing Tennis After A Shoulder Injury

Fewer things bug an athlete more than an injury. The worst, of course, comes when you injure a body part that is one of the main appendages you use in your sport. A soccer player hates leg injuries and a baseball pitcher hates elbow injuries. In tennis, one of the worst things you can injure is your shoulder, especially on your swinging arm. You are almost constantly using it throughout the match, and without it, it’s almost impossible to play. If you do injure yourself, the first question you will probably ask is “when can I play again?” Well, let’s find out how fast a tennis player can come back from a shoulder injury. Know Your Injury There are a couple of “main” injuries in the shoulder that tennis players suffer from. These are rotator cuff tendinitis, shoulder impingement, and shoulder bursitis. While not the only injuries, they are certainly...
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How to Prevent Slips and Falls During Wet Weather

The rainy season is coming up, and it won’t be long before the roads and the pavements are slick as an ice skating rink. Just one misplaced step and you could seriously injure yourself, so to prevent that from occurring, here are some tips for staying on your feet in wet weather. Use Handrails Handrails aren’t everywhere, but when you see them, use them. Handrails do just what you think, they help keep you steady when you walk, so if you start to slip, you can readjust yourself more easily. These are especially useful on stairs, where a slip can be not only dangerous but deadly. If there are no handrails, then see if there are other things you can hold on to, from benches to another person (someone you know, of course). Wipe Your Feet Next, it’s always important to wipe your feet on the doormat when you enter...
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Tips to Avoid Skiing Injuries During Winter

Some say that you can’t have fun without a little bit of risk, and for skiing, that might be true. Skiing is an enormously exciting activity, but there's always going to be some danger involved. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to enjoy skiing without making it as safe as possible. Here are some ways to keep the risk level at a minimum while you’re flying down the slopes. Personal FItness The best way to stay safe while doing any activity is to keep yourself as physically healthy as possible. Do this by exercising your muscles on a continual basis, especially your back and your legs, so you’ll have more control over your skis. Stretching is very important also. If one of your skis slips on the snow, you may find yourself doing a split whether you know how to do one or not, so keep your body...
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How to Prepare for Orthopedic Surgery

Having orthopedic surgery? Not to worry, orthopedic surgery is an incredibly safe procedure done by well trained specialists. However, it can still be intimidating, especially if you’re unprepared for the operation. To help the surgery go more smoothly and to make life easier during your recovery, here are some tips to remember in the preceding weeks. For Your Surgery The surgeon is going to do most of the work, but there is still a part for you to play. For your own health, you should spend your time before the surgery by exercising and eating a healthy diet. The food you eat is critical, as you’re going to need as much strength as possible for your body to recover in the coming months, so fill up on protein, iron and vitamin C. Also, stop smoking. You should quit smoking anyway, but now more than ever as smoking affects blood flow...
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How to Shovel Snow Without Injuring Yourself

During the winter months, you will often need to wake up early before work to shovel the snow that has accumulated overnight on your driveway. While shoveling snow is often seen as just another simple chore, there are  serious risks involved. The following are some tips for properly shoveling snow without injuring yourself. Take it Slow Allow yourself enough time in the morning to shovel snow at a comfortable pace, and stretch out your body beforehand to avoid straining any muscles. Rushing through it drastically increases the risk of injury. When you become tired, take a short break to regain some of your energy. If you feel like you’re unable to shovel on your own, don’t be afraid to ask a family member or neighbor to help you. You can also invest in a snow blower if shoveling is too strenuous of a task. If you injure yourself while shoveling...
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Workers Compensation NJ: How Does it Work?

Workers compensation has long been an efficient method of both guaranteeing employees reimbursement for lost income after a job related injury or illness as well as providing for any associated medical expenses. The policy protects working men and women from unmanageable medical debt and financial straits resulting from a workplace accident or work related ailment, and it exists in some form in every state in the U.S.A, with some variations. So, how does workers compensation work in New Jersey? Let’s take a look. What Should You Do if You’ve Been Injured at Work? If you have been injured or have gotten sick from a workplace related incident, notify your employer, supervisor, or personnel official as soon as possible and describe your injuries. If you need medical treatment , under NJ law your company’s insurance carrier can relegate you to a physician of their choosing. Your statement does not need to...
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Best Ways to Protect Your Body as the Weather Gets Cooler

Fall is here and that’s good news. The changing leaves, the crisp air, the start of a new school year and, of course, the holidays are all great reasons to look forward to this season. Remember, though, that as the weather cools down, we once again need to begin figuring out ways to stay warm. Here are some unique tips and tricks for keeping your body temperature up in the cold. Clothes Obviously it’s important to dress in warm clothing during the cooler seasons, especially if you’re going outside. This means warms hats, preferably ones that protect the ears, coats, jackets, gloves, heavy socks and boots. One thing you can do to add some extra heat to your wardrobe is to keep hand warmers inside your pockets, and whenever you feel your fingers getting stiff just stick them inside. House Compared to you, your house is big, which means there...
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How Surgery Can Repair Problems in Your Hands and Wrists

Our hands are important to everything we do in life. Without proper function, we couldn't eat, dress, work, or do other tasks and activities. This is why it is important we take care of them. Hand and wrist problems occur and for a plethora of reasons. When they do, we have to make sure we fix you so you can do the aforementioned activities. Hand and Wrist Surgery There are a plethora of treatments you can undergo if you have an injury. Some are as simple as taking medications and using splints, and some are as complex as surgery or physiotherapy. Hand and Wrist Conditions If you’re having issues with your hands and wrists, it’s important to talk to your doctor or to consult a hand surgeon. If you have any of these conditions, you may need a recommendation: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With the excess pressure on your nerves, you...
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How Fall Weather Affects Your Joints

Joint pain is something that affects millions of people all over the world, and for many of them, relief of any kind is a blessing. From stiff fingers to inflamed knees to swollen elbows, joint pain can take hold almost anywhere on the body, and one factor that usually makes it worse is the cold. With Fall coming right around the corner, let’s take a look at why cooler temperatures worsen joint pain and what you can to ease your suffering. Why Does the Cold Affect Your Joints? Ironically, while almost everyone who experiences joint pain has reported that their pain worsens during changes in temperature, baratomic pressure and humidity levels, experts still haven’t found a definitive answer regarding why. However, there are several theories which have weight. The main hypothesis states that as the baratomic pressure drops when the weather cools down, the tendons, muscles and tissues around your...
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Symptoms of Osteoporosis and When You Should Seek Treatment

When we’re young, our body replaces bone material at a fast rate. This constant renewal keeps our bones healthy and strong. As we age, this replacement rate slows down to the point where we can actually start to lose bone mass. If this condition gets too severe, we are left with thin, fragile bones that struggle to support and protect our body. This condition is known as osteoporosis . Symptoms of Osteoporosis As said above, osteoporosis is the result of weakening and thinning bones. In its early stages, there are usually no symptoms that can detect this condition. However, at some point, this loss of bone matter will lead to several notable conditions, including: A stooped posture. Without a doubt, this is one of the most obvious signs. If you are unable to stand up straight due to the bones in your back hurting or even being bent or collapsed,...
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When You Should See a Doctor for Hip Pain

Developing some type of hip pain is pretty common as you get older. Joints don’t work like they used to, and there is always the chance you are starting to develop minor arthritis. That being said, some hip pain can actually be a symptom of more serious conditions, and those require a visit to your doctor in the near future. There are several diseases and serious chronic conditions that present as pain in the hip (doctors call this referred pain). The location of your hip pain can actually help your doctor determine potential underlying conditions that are creating the problem. If you have hip pain in the joint itself or on the inside of your hip or groin, the problem is likely the hip joint itself. Pain in the upper thigh and outer buttock indicate some problem with the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissue surrounding your hip joint....
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Hand and Wrist Injuries You'll Want a Doctor to Look At

Wrist and hand fractures are some of the most common injuries that we treat. As some of the most frequently used parts of the body, your hands and wrists are prone and susceptible to various types of chronic and acute pain. If you suspect that you may have a hand or wrist injury, we recommend that you consult with your primary care physician or seek the help of a specialist as soon as possible. To help you learn a little more about hand and wrist injuries, here are some of the most common types of injuries that you will want a doctor to inspect. 1) Hand Fracture Hand fractures are very common amongst athletes but bear in mind that hand fractures can happen to anyone. This involves the breaking of the metacarpals or the bones that make up your hand and end just before the knuckle, where your fingers begin....
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Common Foot Injuries That Could Lead to Surgery

It’s impossible to over exaggerate the importance of our feet. These body parts literally take us everywhere we need to go, and when something is not right with your foot it doesn’t take that long to figure it out. Foot pains can make going through your daily activities unpleasant, and injuries can sideline you for days or even weeks. Sometimes, a foot injury can even get so severe that your only option is to have surgery to correct it. Here are some of the more common foot injuries that can lead to surgery . Hallux Valgus You’ve probably never heard this term before, but you are more than likely familiar with the conditions that it can cause. Hallux valgus is the name given to a deformity that manifests as a bony bump that forms on your foot at the base of the big toe. This bump leads to your toes...
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What Does the Spinal Cord Do?

You’ve probably heard about your spinal cord before. This part of your body is massively important, which is why you should know what it does! Read on to discover the role it plays in your daily life. A Hub of Activity Your central nervous system is comprised of your brain and spinal cord. These two body parts work together to make the rest of your body function properly. The brain sends out signals, which are transmitted to the appropriate places by the spinal cord. Your spinal cord also transmits signals back to the brain, which keeps you in touch with the external world. Going off of your central nervous system is the peripheral nervous system. Visualize a large tree when you think of this. On each side of the spinal cord are networks of nerve strands branching out from the center. They run through the openings between the vertebra of...
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What Are The Different Types of Knee Injuries?

Knee injuries are much more common than most people think. Here are some of the top knee injuries we see at Mid-Atlantic Orthopedic Associates. If you suffer from one of these, come in and see us for relief. Osteoarthritis Many patients around the world suffer from knee osteoarthritis (OA) . In fact, knee osteoarthritis accounts for 80 percent of all cases of osteoarthritis; almost 20 percent of American adults over age 45 have some form of the disease. Over time, repeated mechanical loads cause stress on the knees, and the joint tissues degrade over time. The condition is linked to both age and obesity. The condition is very painful. Stage 0 OA classifies as no signs of the disease, meaning a patient has a healthy knee. Stage 4 is the most severe stage, characterized by considerable cartilage breakdown with chronic inflammation; this is the classic and very painful bone-on-bone friction....
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How to Tell if You Broke or Sprained Your Ankle

Most of us have done it at some point: moved the wrong way or landed wrong from a fall or jump and ended up hurting our ankle . Because of the weight put on this important area of our body, it’s a relatively easy place to get hurt. And, depending on the seriousness of the injury, you can be looking at a few days of taking it easy all the way to staying off of your feet for the foreseeable future. But, how can you tell? How do you know if your ankle has actually been broken -- where the bones have fractured -- or if it’s just a less-serious (but still incredibly painful) sprain -- where the ligaments surrounding the ankle are damaged? Here are a few tips: Appearance One way to tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture is by how the ankle looks. Sprains --...
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Signs You May Need Hip Replacement Surgery

Does the use of a walking aid like a cane no longer alleviate your hip pain? Do you find yourself losing mobility and sleep because of joint stiffness? If you can’t seem to get rid of pain, even when you are inactive, resting or in humid weather, it may be time to talk to your doctor about hip replacement surgery. Hip replacement surgery is about more than just revealing pain. There are many health risks of not treating damages that may have occurred in your hip joint. If you decide to ignore the pain, it can escalate to something more serious, like a major fracture or even cracked bones. Before surgery, there are plenty of conservative treatments that can help to alleviate your pain. Taking pain relievers, like anti-inflammatory drugs to soothe the pain, along with walking aids like canes or walkers, are all ways to try to make your...
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