Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates Blog

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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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Best Ways to Prevent Injuries in the Winter

As the colder temperatures and snowy weather begin to set in, it’s time once again to talk about personal injury prevention in the winter. All homeowners should take steps to ensure that walkways and driveways are prepped for injury prevention, and everyone should take proper precautions with their outerwear and their situational awareness, even for brief outdoor walks. After all, winter weather-related injuries are no joke. Even simple slip and fall injuries can require months of painful recovery, and most potential winter injuries are easily preventable with some forethought and planning. Here are the best ways to prevent injuries in winter. Dealing with Ice Ice is described as treacherous for a reason. You think you are looking at a puddle only to discover it's a sheet of ice on the sidewalk and the next thing you know you are on your back staring up at the sky and cursing the...
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Dangers of Bone Fractures if Left Untreated

If you break a bone, it’s imperative that you get it treated. Regardless of where the fracture took place in the body, the stress of a broken bone can be quite substantial, which means that you have to act sooner rather than later. For the most part, bones are exceptionally good at healing. Unlike other parts of the body, when they are treated correctly, you can make a full recovery and have a bone that is as good as new. However, if left untreated, the problem can get worse and lead to complications and more pain and suffering. Nonunion vs. Delayed Union When a bone fracture is untreated, it can result in either a nonunion or a delayed union. In the former case, the bone doesn’t heal at all, which means that it will remain broken. As a result, swelling, tenderness, and pain will continue to worsen over time. Delayed...
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How to Tell if Your Sports Injury Requires Treatment

If you're an athlete, there's always at least a small chance of you getting hurt. In the blink of an eye, you could suddenly twist an ankle or pull a muscle. While minor bruises and scars often heal within a few days, more serious injuries will require medical attention. Here are some signs that your sports injury needs treatment. Injured Area is Swollen When dealing with a slight joint injury, it's not uncommon to experience mild swelling. Applying an ice pack to the area is the first step in the healing process. However, serious swelling will likely require a trip to the doctor. You may have fractured a bone or torn a ligament. You Can't Bear Weight After sustaining a serious injury, there's a good chance you'll start to hobble. Trouble bearing weight is a clear indication that you need treatment. In certain instances, you may need the help of...
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Common Foot & Ankle Injuries You Should Be Aware Of

Your feet and ankles are home to about a fourth of all of your bones as well as numerous muscles, tendons and nerves. Each component of your feet and ankles works together to support your body and help you move comfortably throughout the day, but because they are used so heavily by most of us, they are also highly prone to injury. Common Foot and Ankle Injuries Foot and ankle injuries can run the gamut from sports-related injuries to fall injuries. Overuse injuries are also common in feet and ankles and occur as a result of repetitive movements, such as side-to-side steps or jumps. Regardless of what caused them, foot and ankle injuries can cause pain and dysfunction, and if not treated, they can lead to long-term disability. Some of the most common foot and ankle injuries include: Sprained ankle, which affects the ligaments Strained ankle, which affects the muscles...
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What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by bones that have more empty spaces and less actual bone than is normal. The empty spaces result in a decrease in total bone mass, weakening the bones and making them fragile. One in three women and one in five men will suffer a fractured bone caused by osteoporosis during their lifetimes if steps are not taken to reduce the risk. Steps to Help Prevent Osteoporosis Although there may be a genetic component to osteoporosis, this condition is strongly influenced by poor eating habits, smoking and lack of exercise. Bone is not static. What you eat directly affects bone quality. Protein and calcium are essential, and Vitamin D is necessary to properly process calcium. Smoking increases the risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering related bone fractures. It also slows healing. Secondhand smoke has much the same effect. Weight-bearing exercise helps build bone. Such exercise is...
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What is a Bone Fracture?

Research shows the average person will have at least two bone fractures during their life. Although bone fractures are rather common, they are still quite misunderstood. Here are some facts to give you a better understanding of a bone fracture. What’s a Bone Fracture? A fracture is essentially a broken bone. However, not every fracture is the same. While some cause bone fragments to actually break through the skin, others are just minor cracks. Regardless of the type of fracture, medical treatment is a must. What Causes Bone Fractures? Fractures are caused by a powerful impact on the bone. Car accidents, sports injuries, and falls can all result in a bone fracture. Because of their weaker bones, people who have osteoporosis are especially prone to experiencing fractures. How to Determine if I Have a Fracture? In some instances, you’ll immediately hear a sudden snap after getting injured. Pain will quickly...
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How to Know If You're at Risk for Spine Problems

Spine problems can cause chronic, debilitating pain. There are several factors that might place you at a greater risk of developing back pain that is caused by spinal problems. While some of the risk factors for spine problems are unavoidable, others are within your control. By understanding the risk factors, you might be able to take some steps to keep from developing problems with your spine so that you can maintain a healthy back while enjoying better mobility and decreased pain. Growing Older One of the risk factors for developing back pain and spine problems is aging. Over time, you may develop conditions such as spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease from the wear and tear that have been placed on your spine. While you can't completely prevent the ravages of aging, you can help to minimize them by regularly exercising, including gentle stretches. Job-Related Risk Factors Certain professions carry...
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What You Need to Know About Hip Replacements

Hip discomfort can have a big impact on your ability to enjoy life. Simple everyday activities, such as getting out of the bed and walking to the mailbox, can become difficult. If the chronic pain becomes too unbearable, a hip replacement may be necessary. Here’s what you need to know about hip replacements. What Causes Hip Pain? Arthritis is by far the most common cause of hip pain. When dealing with arthritis, your cartilage cushioning gradually deteriorates over time. The extra wear and tear will eventually start to take a toll. While some people are naturally more inclined to experience arthritis as they age, others may have suffered an injury in the past. What is a Hip Replacement? A hip replacement is a surgical procedure that involves replacing your damaged cartilage with artificial materials. The goal is to restore the normal functioning of the hip. Afterwards, you can look forward...
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How to Keep Active if You Have a Broken Arm

A broken arm will definitely take some time to heal. However, simply sitting around being sedentary is not a good idea. Exercising regularly is among the most important aspects of maintaining good health. Furthermore, the enhanced blood circulation actually promotes quicker healing. Here are some tips to stay active with a broken arm. Listen to Your Doctor Before attempting to get active, be sure to consult your doctor . You’ll need to avoid putting any type of strain or weight on your arm. Going against your physician’s orders makes you far more likely to get reinjured. This means even more downtime. Go Walking or Hiking Going for a brisk walk in the park is far better than sitting in front of your television. If you really want to maintain your cardio level, consider hiking. It promises to get your heart pumping. However, stick to relatively smooth trails. Hiking on rough...
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Exercises that Help Strengthen Your Knees

Knee pain is a common problem, especially as people age. A sedentary lifestyle can aggravate knee problems by not allowing the joint and the muscles around it to strengthen. Being overweight can also put extra stress on the knees.  Fortunately, there are some simple exercises and stretches that you can do to strengthen your knees and alleviate joint pain while improving your mobility. Here are a few to try:  1.) Straight Leg Raises Start by lying on your back on a flat, firm surface. Bending one knee, place that foot flat on the floor. Keep the other leg straight as you lift it to the height of the other knee. This will strengthen your thigh muscles, which in turn will relieve some stress from your knees.  2.) Hamstring Curls  Standing upright with a chair in front of you for balance, spread your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift one leg, lifting...
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Exercises that help strengthen your shoulders

Strong shoulders are much more than just an attractive physical feature. There are many smaller muscles in the shoulder area that provide support and stability for the biceps and triceps. If these muscles are not kept strong, they can become unstable and lead to physical injuries. Injuries to any of the shoulder muscles can lead to a great deal of pain, inflammation, and a limited range of motion that takes a lot of time to heal. The following four exercises can help build shoulder strength to prevent injuries and allow you to perform your daily tasks more efficiently.  Four Exercises that Build Shoulder Strength Overhead Press  The overhead press is performed by standing straight and holding weights at shoulder level. By lifting these weights straight up and lowering them back down, you can effectively engage the shoulder muscles to build strength. If you are a beginner, you don't even need...
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What Are the Signs That You Might Need Knee Surgery?

Whether you are casually walking down the street or playing a game of softball, your knees are always hard at work. They play a critical role in your overall mobility. Chronic knee problems will ultimately make your life a lot more stressful. Here are some of the key signs that you may need knee surgery. Persistent Pain After initially sustaining a knee injury, it is normal to experience pain for a few days. However, chronic pain is definitely a cause for concern. The constant discomfort will eventually start to wear on you. If you are routinely reaching for a bottle of pain medication just to get through the day, knee surgery could prove to be the next step on your road to recovery. Trouble Walking The ability to walk is something that a lot of people take for granted. When dealing with knee issues, walking can become a big challenge....
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Full Hip Replacement: Do I Need One?

A total hip replacement is a serious operation. This type of surgery is very difficult and risky, and the recovery period is also long and arduous. Patients should be fully informed about the risks associated with this procedure. Medical intervention is an excellent option when the case is severe enough, but patients should always seek alternatives before assuming that such a drastic procedure is needed. Alternatives to Hip Replacement There are many options for people who have hip pain, so a total hip replacement should only be considered in the most extreme cases and when all other options have been exhausted. These options may include dietary changes, specific exercises, physical therapy, manual therapy and medication. If the pain persists throughout the course of the alternative treatment, this will be another sign that the hip replacement might actually become necessary. Patients may also try alternative approaches to pain control like acupuncture...
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What You Need to Know about Ankle Arthritis and Ankle Replacement Surgery

Arthritis remains one of the most common causes of joint pain and disability throughout the United States. It is estimated that approximately 350 million people around the world suffer from arthritis of one form or another. At times, pain and limited movement can lead patients to seek joint replacement surgeries to improve their quality of life. However, these procedures come with some degree of risk and should be carefully considered with respect to this fact. Here we will discuss some important things to keep in mind if you are considering undergoing ankle replacement surgery. Signs of Arthritis Arthritis in the ankle joint can result in a variety of symptoms that will alert you to the existence of a problem. Pain is often the first symptom noticed by patients. This pain can come and go at times. You may notice that it is worse during times of activity or at night...
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