What is Orthopaedics?
Orthopaedics (literally “straight child”) is the medical specialty that treats injures and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. There are many specialties within orthopaedics, such as: Sports Medicine, Joint replacement, Trauma, hand surgery, foot surgery, spine surgery, and bone cancer treatment. A common alternate spelling is orthopedics.
Should I use ice or heat on my injury?
Generally in the first three days (give or take) after an injury, ice should be used, but not directly on skin, and only 20 minutes at a time. Ice will reduce the inflammation and swelling after an injury. Heat increases blood flow by dilating the blood vessels. It is useful for warming tissue up for exercise, easing tension, and it may help healing. It is generally used for chronic conditions.
How long is rehabilitation after ACL surgery?
Generally I recommend a structured program for several months after surgery. It does not require a therapist for the whole time, but it does require effort and persistence. It usually takes a year to get back to aggressive sporting activity.
What are the graft options for ACL surgery?
There are many options, but the most common involve using the tendon below your kneecap (patellar), a portion of your hamstring tendons, or a graft from a cadaver. All these choices have advantages and disadvantages and your choice of a graft is an individual one. We can help you understand this further in our office so you can be confident about the graft you choose.
How long do I need to be in a sling after shoulder surgery?
It depends on the operation. For large tears of the rotator cuff, you may be in a sling for 6-8 weeks. For repairs of smaller tears or other procedures, you may be able to remove the sling immediately after surgery and begin therapy.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis literally means joint inflammation. It refers to the inflammation and pain that occurs when the cartilage padding in the joints is lost. The cartilage can be lost from a variety of causes, including wear and tear, injuries, and diseases where the body attacks its own cartilage (rheumatoid arthritis).
What happens if my total joint gets infected?
Approximately 1% of total joints get infected, regardless of who does the surgery. Most of these do not occur immediately after surgery, but rather as a secondary infection years after your total joint (an infection that spreads to your prosthesis from a different part of the body.) Unfortunately many infections of total joints require removal of the prosthesis for a period of about 3 months, then re-implanting the prosthesis after the infection is cleared.
What are the risks of total joint surgery?
The most common complications are: blood clot (DVT), stiffness, continued pain, injury to a blood vessel or a nerve, and infection. Fortunately, most total joint operations do not have a complication, and over 90% of people are happy they had the operation.
Why are you prescribing physical therapy instead of surgery for my rotator cuff tear?
Research has shown that many people have rotator cuff tears, especially over the age of 50. Many of these do not cause symptoms. Strengthening of the remaining rotator cuff is considered a standard treatment for many people who have not tried that. If your rotator cuff occurs from an injury, or has certain characteristics, surgery may be a better option from the beginning.
Do I need physical therapy after surgery?
Even though we are a surgical practice, we believe that surgery is only part of the recipe to get you better! Rehabilitation is important after most injuries. This doesn’t always mean you have to work with a professional therapist, and sometimes you can work through the rehabilitation process on your own. We would be happy to discuss your individual injury with you.
What is a meniscus tear?
The meniscus is a spongy cartilage tissue that resides in the knee joint, between the femur and the tibia. You can think of it like a disc in the spine, although it has a different shape. It is commonly torn from twisting injuries to the knee, but unfortunately it does not heal well. With arthroscopic surgery, the torn portion can be removed without disturbing the rest of the meniscus.
Does my hardware need to be removed after the fracture heals?
Only if you it bothers you. Some people can feel their hardware under the skin, and sometimes it aches. The only time we routinely take out hardware is in children.
Will my hardware set off a metal detector?
Possibly! You should be prepared to have a wand or pat-down examination in the airport.
How long does a fracture take to heal?
Most fractures heal in 6-12 weeks. Fractures generally heal quicker in children. Fractures of the arm generally heal quicker than those of the legs. Some bones have particular difficulty healing and we can discuss that further if your fracture is one of those.
What is the difference between a fracture and a broken bone?
Although we get asked that frequently, there is no difference. Physicians refer to all broken bones as fractures. We further describe them as open or closed, displaced or non-displaced, and comminuted (multiple pieces).
Does my broken bone require surgery?
Some fractures do better with surgery and others can do just fine without! Every fracture has research to help us guide treatment. We can discuss your individual fracture more in clinic.