MK Orthopaedics
MK Orthopaedics can help you get active again. Our physicians specialize in treating hip, shoulder, spine, foot & ankle injuries or conditions. Call 815 207 8280 today!
815.741.6900 Joliet | Bolingbrook | Channahon

Ankle Instability 101

Ankle instability is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder in which the ankle has repeated episodes of “giving way.” This can be a debilitating condition that affects a patient’s quality of life and level of physical activity. If you’ve been experiencing recurrent ankle problems, talk to an orthopaedic doctor about whether you might have chronic ankle instability.

Symptoms and Causes

The “giving way” of ankle instability occurs on the lateral side, which is the outside of the ankle. This often happens while the patient is walking on an uneven surface or playing sports activities. However, the ankle can also give way even while a person is simply standing still. Other possible symptoms of ankle instability include:

  • Pain or tenderness of the ankle
  • Sensation of wobbliness or instability
  • Lingering discomfort and swelling

Chronic ankle instability is a secondary condition that arises from a pre-existing sports injury or accident. People who have suffered multiple ankle sprains are at a higher risk of developing chronic ankle instability. This condition can also develop if an ankle sprain wasn’t properly rehabilitated or didn’t fully heal. This is because, when a sprain occurs, the ligament stretches or tears, affecting both balance and strength. If the injury doesn’t completely heal, the area can remain unstable.

Treatments and Complications

After making the diagnosis of chronic ankle instability, an orthopaedic doctor will likely recommend conservative treatments first. These include wearing an ankle brace to support the ankle, prevent it from giving way, and reduce the risk of another ankle sprain. Physical therapy is an essential component of the rehabilitation process, as it involves strengthening and retraining the muscles, and improving balance. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be prescribed. Some patients may be good candidates for surgical intervention if they do not see sufficient improvement with nonsurgical treatments. Unless the injured ankle is fully healed and rehabilitated, it’s possible that the patient will continue to experience recurrent ankle sprains and further weakening of the joint.

Expert care for foot and ankle pain is available at MK Orthopaedics. We are sports medicine specialists serving Joliet and the nearby areas with non-surgical and surgical treatment options. New and current patients can reach a friendly staff member at (815) 741-6900.


Is Osteoporosis Inevitable?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones lose density, become very porous, and become more susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis is of particular concern for older adults because later in life, the body doesn’t make enough new bone mass to replace the bone tissue that is broken down. Orthopaedic doctors note that, although bone loss is certainly inevitable later in life, getting osteoporosis isn’t. Here’s how you can improve your bone health and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Build up bone mass before age 30.

If you haven’t turned 30 yet, you have a great opportunity to significantly reduce your risk of osteoporosis later in life. That’s because, prior to age 30, the body makes more new bone mass than it breaks down. After this point, bone loss begins to gradually outpace bone production. Here are some quick tips to build up maximum bone mass before age 30.

  • Include sources of calcium and vitamin D in your diet to support strong bones.
  • Never start smoking or quit promptly if you already do. Smoking deteriorates bone health.
  • Avoid alcohol, as this also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Enjoy regular exercise. Consider trying physical therapy if you’re having trouble getting active.

Know your risk factors and get screened for osteoporosis.

At some point, everyone should have a screening test for osteoporosis. This noninvasive test can reveal whether you have osteopenia or low bone density. A diagnosis of osteopenia gives you the opportunity to prevent it from developing into osteoporosis. Orthopaedic doctors recommend that the following people get screened:

  • Women ages 65 and older
  • Men ages 70 and older
  • Anyone who breaks a bone after age 50

Additionally, some patients may benefit from earlier screening if they have any of these risk factors:

  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Small, thin body type
  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Diet high in caffeine, sodium, and protein

If your bone density test does reveal osteopenia, your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes and possibly medications to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

At MK Orthopaedics, it’s our mission to help our patients enjoy high quality of life through better health. Call (815) 741-6900 to request a consultation with one of our orthopaedic doctors near Joliet. We can help you prevent or treat osteoporosis, or treat fractures arising from osteoporosis.


How Do Broken Bones Heal?

Fractures are a common type of sports injury. An orthopaedic doctor can apply a cast or splint to maintain the proper alignment of the bones as they heal. When a bone breaks, the body quickly forms a blood clot in the area. This happens within a matter of hours. The immune system also responds to the fracture. It works to destroy any germs introduced by the injury, and to deal with tiny fragments of broken bone tissue. The affected area of the body starts to grow new blood vessels. A steady supply of nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood is essential for the healing process.

During the next few days and weeks, the body gradually develops a callus around the break. It’s comprised of collagen, and it replaces the blood clot. Osteoblasts get to work to create new bone tissue. Eventually, a hard callus is formed. This process generally lasts about six to 12 weeks after the injury occurred.

At MK Orthopaedics, we have trained and certified casting and immobilization specialists on staff, as well as a dedicated treatment room for cast application. You can reach us at (815) 741-6900 if you or your child has suffered a sports injury in the Joliet or Bolingbrook areas.


Understanding Shoulder Arthritis

Different types of arthritis may affect the shoulder, including osteoarthritis, which is the type primarily described in this featured video. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder is indicated by symptoms such as shoulder pain, joint stiffness, and difficult movement. It’s caused by the wearing down of the protective cartilage in the joint, causing the bones to rub against each other.

Without treatment, arthritis can cause progressively worsening shoulder pain. Over time, patients may find it difficult to enjoy the activities they used to do. An orthopaedic doctor can recommend appropriate treatments, such as medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or surgery.

The orthopaedic doctors at MK Orthopaedics specialize in treating shoulder problems. If you’re suffering from shoulder pain and you live near Joliet, call us today at (815) 741-6900.


Injuries Commonly Diagnosed in Construction Workers

Construction is a challenging field. Workers are at a high risk of all sorts of injuries, including repetitive strain injuries and acute injuries. Knee bursitis, rotator cuff tears, and carpal tunnel syndrome are just a few of the conditions that an orthopaedic doctor may diagnose in construction workers.

Knee Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa sac around a joint, such as the knee joint. The job of the bursae is to cushion the joints and reduce friction. When knee bursitis develops, the patient may feel knee pain, tenderness, and swelling, and it can be difficult to move the joint properly. Knee bursitis often develops gradually from repeated activities, such as kneeling on hard surfaces to install flooring. Knee bursitis is treatable with oral and injected medications, physical therapy, and aspiration.

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is an injury to one of the tendons that make up the rotator cuff in the shoulder. This injury can develop suddenly or slowly over time. If it happens suddenly, the patient can feel intense pain, weakness, and perhaps a snapping sensation in the shoulder. If the injury develops gradually, patients may notice gradually worsening pain and weakness when lifting and using the arm. An acute tear can be caused by a fall or by lifting something heavy. Repetitive activities, such as overhead lifting, can also cause rotator cuff tears. Without treatment like rest, physical therapy, or surgery, rotator cuff tears can get larger.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve that extends through the wrist and into the base of the hand. Its symptoms develop gradually, causing wrist pain, tingling, and numbness. These symptoms may also affect the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Construction workers may develop carpal tunnel syndrome because of the repetitive use of vibrating power tools or manual hand tools. Without treatment, it becomes worse, eventually causing poor grip strength and chronic pain. Treatment options include injected medication, oral anti-inflammatory drugs, splinting, activity modification, and orthopaedic surgery.

Area employers can rely on MK Orthopaedics and our workers’ compensation capabilities. Some of our orthopaedic doctors in Joliet are certified Independent Medical Examiners, and we also feature an onsite pharmaceutical dispensary. Injured construction workers and their employers can contact our office at (815) 741-6900.


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