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

Can Work Activities Cause Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause muscle wasting, nerve pain, and a weakened grip. There are many different potential triggers, but for some people, work is the culprit. Fortunately, if you are suffering from this condition, your orthopaedic doctor can help you get out of pain and back to your normal activities.

What is thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic outlet syndrome refers to a set of disorders causes by the compression of the blood vessels and nerves between your collarbone and first rib. This area is called the thoracic outlet and is a transition zone for a network of vessels and nerves. There are multiple forms of thoracic outlet syndrome. The most common types are:

  • Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome: Occurs when the brachial plexus is compressed.
  • Vascular thoracic outlet syndrome: Occurs when one or more blood vessels under the clavicle are compressed. The condition is called venous thoracic outlet syndrome when one or more veins is compressed, and if the arteries are affected, it is called arterial thoracic outlet syndrome.
  • Nonspecific-type thoracic outlet syndrome: Occurs when the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome are present but the cause cannot be determined. Doctors disagree about the validity of this form of the condition.

What are the symptoms?

If the nerves are compressed, numbness in the arms and fingers and pain in the neck, shoulders, and hands are common. You may notice that your grip does not feel as strong, and the muscles at the base of your thumb may begin wasting. If the blood vessels are compressed, arm pain, pale hands or hands with a bluish tint, cold fingers, and arm fatigue are common.

How does work trigger thoracic outlet syndrome?

Repetitive use injuries are common causes for thoracic outlet syndrome. If your job requires you to perform the same motions repeatedly, then your risk of developing this condition increases. Other causes are acute physical traumas, anatomical defects, and pregnancy.

Your orthopaedic doctor at MK Orthopaedics may recommend physical therapy or surgery if you have thoracic outlet syndrome. If you’re suffering from these symptoms or another type of orthopaedic issues, such as ankle pain or an ACL tear, we can help. Make your appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet by calling (815) 741-6900.

All About Shoulder Instability

The shoulder is the meeting place of three different bones, allowing it to move in multiple directions. Because of the intensity of the movements that shoulders must perform, orthopaedic injuries are common. Injuries can lead to both acute and chronic shoulder instability that can significantly impact your everyday activities. If you’re suffering from shoulder instability, see your orthopaedic doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment. Here is what you need to know.


The most common symptom of shoulder instability is subluxation. With subluxation, the shoulder slips when you move it into certain positions, and it may feel loose, as if it is not in its proper place. A sharp, sudden, pinching pain usually happens when subluxation occurs, and the pain may prompt you to stop moving your shoulder in certain ways in order to prevent it. Shoulder dislocation may also occur. In people with untreated, chronic shoulder instability, dislocations may happen frequently.


Shoulder instability often occurs after an injury that causes a dislocation that requires the shoulder joint to be put back into its socket. When this kind of injury occurs, the ligaments that hold the shoulder in position may stretch or tear, allowing instability to occur. Repetitive motions can also cause instability, which is why it is such a common sports injury. Swimming, pitching, and playing volleyball can all increase the risk of shoulder instability.


Treatment for shoulder instability depends on the nature of the underlying injury and the severity of the symptoms. Your orthopaedic doctor may recommend physical therapy initially to build strength and re-stabilize the joint. If that is not effective, then surgery may be necessary.

If you experience shoulder instability, make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet at MK Orthopaedics. Ignoring the condition could cause it to worsen, so seek treatment as soon as possible. Call us at (815) 741-6900 to make an appointment.

Getting Your Plaster Cast Off

Plaster casts are used to immobilize part of the body while it heals. They are typically left on for several weeks. When it’s time to go back to the orthopaedic doctor’s office, you’ll first have an examination. The doctor may take an X-ray to ensure that the area has healed properly. Then, the orthopaedic doctor can use a special cast saw to remove the plaster cast.

The cast saw is completely safe—it cannot harm you at all. It has a dull blade that breaks apart the cast with vibrations, rather than cutting actions. Once the cast is removed, the doctor will do another physical exam to check for lingering symptoms, and to assess your range of motion. Some patients may be given a removable splint to wear for several more weeks. Don’t be alarmed if your muscles seem smaller or weaker. This happens because you haven’t been using them for a while. Your doctor can refer you to a physical therapist, who can help you complete your recovery.

MK Orthopaedics has highly trained and certified experts in casting and immobilization. Call (815) 741-6900 to request an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor near Joliet.

Do I Need a Second Opinion?

Life is busy, and getting a second medical opinion might not be a top priority for patients who just want to go through treatment and move forward with their lives. But in some cases, getting a second opinion is well worth the investment in time. If your primary care doctor tells you that you need hip replacement surgery, for example, you should definitely seek a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon.

Watch this featured video to find out more about getting a second opinion. You’ll learn that you should get one if your original diagnosis is serious, if the treatment isn’t working, or if you’re anticipating surgical intervention.

When you need a second opinion from a sports injury specialist in Joliet, you can turn to MK Orthopaedics. Call (815) 741-6900, and find out for yourself why our patients prefer our orthopaedic surgeons.

Facts About Shoulder Tendinitis

Shoulder tendinitis, also called shoulder tendonitis, occurs when the tendons in the rotator cuff of the shoulder become inflamed. Many different structures come together at the shoulder joint, including the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). The group of muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff attach the humerus to the scapula. The irritation and inflammation of these tendons can cause shoulder pain that disrupts your daily activities, but an orthopaedic doctor can help.


The symptoms of shoulder tendinitis tend to occur gradually over time, and become progressively worse. You might notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain when elevating the arm up
  • Clicking in the shoulder joint with movement
  • Upper arm pain that may extend to the elbow
  • Pain while lying on the affected shoulder

Eventually, you may start to experience shoulder pain while at rest. The shoulder can also develop the loss of strength and range of motion.


Unlike a rotator cuff tear, shoulder tendinitis usually has a gradual progression. It’s typically an overuse injury that occurs after a prolonged period of micro-trauma being inflicted on the tendons. Shoulder tendinitis might also occur in people who already had shoulder impingement, and in people who fall onto an outstretched arm or who suffer sudden trauma to the shoulder. People who do repetitive movements are at a higher risk of shoulder tendinitis, including:

  • Golfers
  • Tennis players
  • Baseball players
  • Assembly line workers
  • Construction workers


Without proper treatment, shoulder tendinitis can become worse. Complications may occur, such as calcific tendinitis. Calcific tendinitis is characterized by the formation of small calcium deposits in the area. To prevent these complications and heal your inflamed tendons, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend:

  • Rest
  • Cold therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy

If the symptoms persist, and interfere with the activities of daily living, then surgery may be recommended.

Shoulder tendinitis is one of the many medical problems we treat here at MK Orthopaedics. Our orthopaedic doctors and surgeons serving Joliet will develop a personalized treatment plan that paves the way for your recovery from your shoulder injury. Give us a call at (815) 741-6900.

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