What You Need to Know About Achilles Tendon Tear and Repair

Many of us play sports for years without ever suffering from anything worse than a muscle strain. However, there are many sports players out there, both amateur and professional, that have heard the dreaded “pop” that signals an Achilles tendon tear. When this happens, it’s nice to have access to a specialist who knows all about Achilles tendon tears and repair.

What You Need to Know About Achilles Tendon Tear and Repair

The Achilles tendon connects the heel bone to the calf muscle and plays a significant role in the movement of our feet. Unfortunately, when it comes to tears, there is never that much in the way of a warning, and therefore it can be hard to protect yourself against it.

Luckily, with developments in medical science and with advanced therapeutic techniques, recovery is usually much quicker than before.

Who is at Risk?

Pretty much anyone who plays high-energy sports such as basketball, tennis, soccer, and badminton. All these sports involve short bursts of energy and sudden changes in movement that put stress on the joints and muscles of the legs and feet. It is these sudden movements and high-impact jumps that can result in an Achilles tendon tear.

But it isn’t just athletes who are at risk. Trips and falls, as well as awkward landings, can cause problems in even the healthiest people. Even people who usually wear high-heels can be at risk of an Achilles tendon tear.

To avoid this sort of injury, we recommend wearing good, quality footwear when you exercise and slowly build the intensity of your workouts. This is especially true if you haven’t done any exercise for a while.

Options for Treatment

There are several methods of treatment available to those that have suffered from an Achilles tear.

The first thing that your doctor will consider is the severity of the tear. If you are only suffering from a partial tear, then you are unlikely to need surgery. However, if you suffer from a significant tear, then your treatment will be determined by the location of the tear and factors such as age and your general health.

For sports players, surgery alongside physiotherapy is recommended, as this allows for a quicker return to action. If all goes well with the treatment, then patients are usually able to resume training within six to eight weeks.

For less active individuals, surgery would be deemed less urgent, and treatment will be more conservative. Leg braces or boots would be used alongside regular monitoring. This is to ensure that the tendon heals correctly and that it doesn’t re-rupture during the initial treatment.

In all cases, it is important that a quick diagnosis is received to avoid any complications and disruption to your daily life.

Call the Experts

After your initial diagnosis, it is important to get the treatment that works best for you. Our specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are on hand to give you the advice that you need and start you on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Give us a call on (719) 623-1050 today to book an appointment.

Advertisements

The Quick Guide to Total Hip Replacement

As we get older, wear and tear on the bones and joints can lead to discomfort and, in extreme cases, a limited quality of life. One condition that can be particularly troublesome is osteoarthritis, which can cause the cartilage at the end of the bones to wear away. In the hip, the effect of this can lead to the need for a total hip replacement later on in life.

The Quick Guide to Total Hip Replacement

This may be cause for alarm, but this form of surgery is extremely successful and can reduce pain while also improving mobility and quality of life as a result.

An Important Part of the Body

The hips play a major role in the healthy functioning of both the lower and upper body. They help to support the upper body while sitting or standing while also helping the free movement of the legs during exercise.

Due to this, the hips are likely to suffer from wear and tear over the course of a lifetime. This is normal, but if you have suffered from an injury, sports related problem, or a disease that affected the bones and joints, then you may be susceptible to arthritis, the leading culprit in patients that require hip replacement surgery.

Who Needs This Form of Surgery?

There is a common misconception that only older people have hip replacements, but anyone who suffers from arthritis or has problems as a result of a fracture may be eligible to have the surgery.

Arthritis usually comes on later on in life, but that is not guaranteed. As the disease or damage develops, the patient will find that their overall quality of life deteriorates. In the early stages, simple life adjustments and medication may be enough to control the symptoms. However, if the condition gets to a point where the pain is chronic and not relieved by more conservative treatments, then it might be time for surgery.

Typically, your doctor will consider surgery if you:

  • Suffer from severe pain and stiffness in your hip joints
  • Have mobility issues as a result of the pain and/or stiffness
  • Find your quality of life diminishing as a consequence of the pain
  • Can’t work or conduct everyday activities such as shopping

First Steps of Treatment

As we mentioned above, conservative treatment will be recommended initially. This can include medications and physical therapy. In many cases, this helps the patient substantially, especially when combined with lifestyle modifications and rest. Our physical therapists can be a good first point of call after your initial diagnosis.

Unfortunately, for some people, the non-surgical treatment may have little effect. In this case, the doctor will recommend hip surgery.

The Surgery

The good news is that this form of surgery is one of the most successful in the medical profession. If all goes well, you should be up and about within two to three months. At the very least, your pain should be significantly reduced.

The procedure is usually done under general anesthetic and takes about sixty to ninety minutes. During the operation, the surgeon will remove the damaged bone and cartilage and replace it with an artificial joint. Most of the materials used in this procedure last about fifteen years and should enable you to have a much greater range of movement.

Unfortunately, your days of marathons might be behind you, but you should be able to enjoy much better mobility and participate in numerous activities with the rest of the family.

Whatever the reason you are in pain, our specialists will be here to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

When an Elbow Replacement is Needed

The elbow is one of the most important and used parts of the body. Getting a total elbow replacement is, for this reason, clearly not something to be taken lightly. However, for those experiencing excruciating pain or struggling to be able to move the arm properly due to certain conditions, it can be a necessity.

When an Elbow Replacement is Needed

This joint brings together the humerus, which is the bone that goes up the upper arm, and the two forearm bones, the ulna and the radius. Below are some explanations as to why certain issues cause the need for elbow replacement surgery, and more about the surgery itself as well.

Arthritis

There are actually many different types of arthritis that can cause pain in the joints which leads to the need for a replacement, but they all basically do the same thing when it comes to this and other joint pain. The cartilage that surrounds the elbow becomes damaged, and this is what leads to injury in different ways.

Degenerative joint disease, for instance, is when cartilage goes away, leading to bone on bone contact, which will cause many issues as the condition progresses. Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation in the joints that can similarly harm the cartilage and make the pain unbearable.

Other Issues

Serious injuries, other age-related damage, and different, less common illnesses can also cause an elbow replacement to be needed. Fractures that occur in that area can, at times, lead to this surgery. Over time, instability in the bones and tendons of the arm can cause rubbing that leads to the terrible pain. It is important to tell a doctor as soon as these issues arise, as there are other solutions in many cases.

A doctor will be able to discuss and diagnose the pain and try out many different solutions before sending someone in for surgery. However, many prefer to get the replacement as opposed to having to live with other solutions like constant pain medication.

Surgery and Recovery

Overall, elbow replacement surgery is a very successful surgery that does exactly what is expected, especially if it is done by a well-trained, trusted surgeon. The surgery removes damaged joints and replaces them with a hinge, which acts as the joint, and stems, which fuse with the bones. This allows the new artificial joint to act very similarly to the old joints but without the pain.

It goes without saying that these three bones, the joint, and the nerves around them are highly used. Therefore, recovery after the surgery will take weeks, including a few days’ stay in the hospital after the surgery is complete. If there were no complications, the patient should be able to begin getting acquainted with the motion and use of the arm, which will take over a month.

Elbow replacement surgery, like the more common hip and knee surgeries, can be difficult due to the recovery time during which one’s arm is unusable. However, thanks to the high success rate, it is certainly worth it for those who experience intense, unbearable pain due to arthritis, damaged tendons, or similar issues.

What You Need to Know About Total Shoulder Replacement

Total shoulder replacement is a medical procedure where the joint of the shoulder is replaced with artificial parts. Usually, this is a metal ball that is built to function as the bone would. This surgery is less common than knee and hip replacements, but is still done on thousands of patients every year.

What You Need to Know About Total Shoulder Replacement

The main goal of this procedure is to treat the patient’s pain. It should also restore the patient’s motion, function, and strength in the shoulder. The hope is that they will return to normal activities.

A Solution for Several Conditions

You are likely ready to see a specialist if you are experiencing a chronic stiffness or pain in your shoulder. Ignoring it can make it much worse. Shoulder pain can indicate different problems, and the right doctor will be able to diagnose and treat the pain.

In some cases, the recommended treatment might be a total shoulder replacement. Replacing the shoulder joint can treat severe fractures, arthritis, a tear of the rotator cuff, and more.

Today, arthritis is one of the more common causes, with osteoarthritis being the most common type. This is when the cartilage that is supposed to be at the end of bones has worn away. The missing cartilage means that bones rub one another in the joint, causing severe pain. Replacing the joint is one way to try and stop the pain.

Surgery is Effective

Complications do not happen often in this procedure. They arise in less than 5% of cases. Infection, damage to nerves and arteries, dislocation, and other potential complications are very rare.

Shoulder pain caused by any of the causes mentioned above goes away for most patients who undergo a total shoulder replacement. It has a high success rate. Even so, it is expected that the new joint might ache with weather changes or overuse.

Most patients will have normal use of their shoulder again in time. Some patients will have less. This is a possibility if there is damage to any rotator cuff tendons. Overall, the majority of patients are very satisfied with the results of their surgery.

Recovery is Tough

As with most surgeries, recovery can be difficult. Joint replacements can be especially hard. Patients normally stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days after the procedure.

Even on the first day of recovery, patients start physical therapy. Most require physical therapy exercises to be done with a trainer at a facility for several weeks. This is to try and regain motion and use of the shoulder.

Another part of recovery is that the patient will not be able to drive for 4-6 weeks after the procedure. Communicating with your physician and performing your physical therapy with dedication will be key to a quick recovery.

Is it for you?

Your doctor may recommend total shoulder replacement if he or she believes it will help your shoulder pain and give you a more functional joint. If you experience limited function in your shoulder or have severe pain, it may be time to consider having the surgery. If you are not able to do day to day activities, it may be time to consider having the surgery. And if you already tried other treatments like injections or medications with no success, it may be time to look into a replacement for a more permanent solution.

Three Reasons You Might Need to Go to an Orthopedic Clinic

Orthopedics is a branch of surgery that mostly has to do with the musculoskeletal system. That means that anything related to bones, ligaments, and skeletal muscles falls under the realm of orthopedics. Orthopedic clinics are concentrated in this field, and, while the field is formally called “orthopedic surgery,” they offer both surgical and nonsurgical ways to treat problems that have to do with the skeleton and its components.

Three Reasons You Might Need to Go to an Orthopedic Clinic

There are plenty of reasons why a person might need to visit an orthopedic surgeon, but they can fall into a few main categories. The following are some reasons why it would be a good idea to visit and orthopedic clinic.

  1. Family History

One of the primary reasons why anyone would need to go to the clinic has to do with family history of degenerative diseases or disorders. These diseases are often impossible to predict when they will show up. In addition, they can take a long time to become apparent, so being aware of warning signs is important.

An orthopedic surgeon can help teach you about the warning signs that hereditary diseases can create. You can also schedule regular appointments to check up on any signs of disease.

  1. Traumatic Injury and Repetitive Use Injuries

These are two categories that are much more common than the previous one. You would visit an orthopedic clinic for breaking or fracturing bones for any reason. If you happen to develop problems from typing, such as carpal tunnel, an orthopedic surgeon would have to help you with the surgeries that need to correct the issue.

All of these issues can be anything from the bones themselves to bone structures, such as ligaments. In fact, many ligament problems are corrected by a surgeon. However, you should be aware that some ligament problems come from incorrectly using joints and muscles, meaning there is a lifestyle change needed as well.

  1. Diseases

In the unlikely event that you develop another kind of bone illness, an orthopedic surgeon can help. The most common problems have to do with arthritis or osteoporosis, but there are some rare diseases that may develop as well. A surgeon would have to help figure out treatment for bone cancer, for example, together with specialists from other fields.

As with any illness, there is a complex process involved in the progression of bone diseases. An orthopedic surgeon might be able to help fix problems that occur from a disease, but they will not always be able to fully treat the illness.

All three of these reasons are very likely reasons you will need to visit an orthopedic clinic to get help. Before going, however, you should always talk to your general practitioner beforehand. The general practitioner will be able to make a preliminary diagnosis to check your problem before referring you to the right specialist.

There are many diseases that may appear to be coming from the bone but are actually a symptom of a much bigger problem. An orthopedic surgeon can help you with these problems and actually improve your quality of your life overall.