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    Meniscal Transplant: The Latest Option for Young Athletes

    Last updated 5 days ago

    The meniscus is a ring of cartilage in the knee that often becomes torn when you sustain an injury to your knee. If a damaged meniscus cannot be repaired, serious complications such as arthritis and chronic knee pain can result. If you are a young athlete who has torn a meniscus, you may be a good candidate for a meniscal transplant. A meniscal transplant is performed by making a small incision in the front of the knee, removing old cartilage, then replacing it with new cartilage from a donor. The orthopaedic surgeon is guided by a video monitor displaying the inside of the patient’s knee during the procedure.

    The skilled orthopaedic doctors at MK Orthopaedics can help you find the right answer to your orthopaedic issues. Our areas of specialty include knee replacement, hip replacement, and spine conditions. Visit us online if you would like to read more about our services, or call (815) 207-8280 to schedule an appointment.

    Exercises and Physical Therapy Tips for Back Pain

    Last updated 12 days ago

    If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffers from regular back pain, there are some simple exercises you can learn that may help you relieve your symptoms. A simple neck rotation exercise—turn your head to look over one shoulder for 10 seconds, then the other, then repeat three times—can help loosen tight neck muscles. To relieve back tension, sit up straight and pinch your back muscles together, then relax—you can do this exercise in sets of 10 two to three times a day. Another easy way to stretch tense back muscles is to squat so that your tailbone is below your knees, keeping your spine neutral, then repeat as often as desired. Bridging is another exercise that can be beneficial for back pain. To do it, lie flat on your back, keeping your heels on the floor and your knees bent, then lift your hips so that your body is in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then relax. You can repeat this exercise for up to 10 times.

    MK Orthopaedics offers a wide range of treatments for orthopaedic problems, ranging from pain management to surgery. If you suffer from chronic back pain, contact our office today at (815) 207-8280 to learn how we can help you. 

    Football Injury Prevention for High School and College Athletes

    Last updated 19 days ago

    No matter how good an athlete you are, accidents are always possible. Every year, hundreds of thousands of athletes at the high school and college level are treated for injuries they sustained while playing football.  If you play football, here are three basic tips every player should follow: 

    Don’t forget to warm up. Even if you’re in a hurry, you should never neglect your pre-practice warmup. To warm up your muscles and get them feeling limber, you might do a quick run around the field or do a simple exercise such as jumping jacks. Then, carefully stretch your muscles, making sure to include your knees, hips, calves, and thighs. You should also never forget to cool down and stretch after practice as well as after games.

    Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids before and after any strenuous physical activity will help you improve your performance along with lowering your risk of injury. Staying hydrated also enables your body to sweat, which allows you to keep yourself from overheating. Ideally, you should drink at least 24 ounces of water 2 hours before practice and games, and then another 8 ounces before you begin activity.

    Wear the right equipment. Having the right protective gear is key to keeping yourself safe from common football injuries. You should never play or practice without having a helmet and pads for your shoulders, hips, knees, and tailbone, along with thigh guards. A mouth guard is also a must to protect yourself from oral injuries.

    At MK Orthopaedics, we are committed to providing all of our patients with exceptional care for their orthopaedic issues. Our physicians’ specialties include sports medicine and trauma, reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, and cartilage transplantation. If you have been injured, call our orthopaedic team today at (815) 207-8280. 

    Common Winter Sports Injuries

    Last updated 1 month ago

    For many people, cold weather means the chance to participate in winter sports such as skiing, ice skating, sledding, and snowboarding. But while these sports are fun, you should be careful about potential injuries that can keep you homebound for the rest of the season. Here are some guidelines that can help you stay safe while you are having fun this winter:

    Fractures. Shoulder and lower leg fractures are an extremely common skiing hazard. Wearing the right protective gear—including gloves, padding, and a helmet—can help you cushion yourself in the event of a fall, but caution is equally important. Avoid slippery and dangerous-looking areas while skiing, and never start skiing if you are already tired.

    Sprains. Falling down while skiing or snowboarding can result in serious ankle sprains. In many cases, spraining your ankle can be more debilitating than breaking it, and the healing time may be longer. Skiers should also be aware of the risk of skier’s thumb, a thumb ligament tear that happens when you grasp your ski pole the wrong way after losing your balance. Learning the right way to hold your ski pole—and how to brace yourself properly during a fall—can reduce your risk of suffering this injury.

    Strains. Since most people only participate in winter sports for a small part of the year, it can be easy to jump right in without the proper preparation—which can raise your likelihood of straining a muscle. To lower your risk of strains, always take the time to warm up before playing, and be careful not to overexert yourself.

    Dislocations. Dislocated shoulders are one of the most common ski injuries. If you take a spill while skiing and reach out to break your fall, you can easily cause your arm to pop out of the shoulder socket. Falling while skiing can also cause a dislocated kneecap. This is generally not difficult to treat, but it can be extremely painful.

    If you have sustained an injury, it’s time to call MK Orthopaedics. Our orthopaedic doctors specialize in providing state-of-the-art treatments for a wide range of injuries, including both adult and pediatric fractures. To find out more about our services, call (815) 741-6900. 

    Ankle Replacement Surgery and an Improved Quality of Life

    Last updated 1 month ago

    As with any joint replacement surgery, ankle joint replacement involves an extensive healing and rehabilitation process to ensure full mobility and recovery.  This video shows how one MK Orthopaedic patient went from excruciating pain that had him ‘crawling in the door’ after work to walking a 5k.  His story demonstrates how this procedure can be life transforming.   Patients that undergo ankle replacement will work with physical therapists for several weeks following surgery with bracing and padding for the first three weeks. Once healing has begun, patients will start weight bearing exercises with the new joint. From here, many patients start to return to a normal walking style after another month of working with a physical therapist.

    If you are struggling with chronic joint pain and considering your surgical treatment options, call MK Orthopaedics in Joliet at (815) 741-6900. We can help restore your joint health for a more active, pain-free lifestyle.

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