• Understanding Spinal Compression Fractures

    Compression fractures can occur at any location in the spine. They cause back pain and may also lead to numbness in the legs or pain in the abdomen. If you think you have a compression fracture, see an orthopaedic doctor as soon as possible.

    Watch this video to learn more about compression fractures. In people with brittle bones, compression fractures can occur without symptoms, which can lead to kyphosis. You may need to be screened for fractures regularly if you have brittle bone disease or osteoporosis.

    At MK Orthopaedics, our orthopaedic doctors in Joliet offer surgical and noninvasive treatments for a range of spine and joint issues. You can schedule an appointment by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • What Is the Link Between Obesity and Orthopaedic Conditions?

    There is a complicated relationship between obesity and orthopaedic problems. If you are suffering from back pain, hip pain, or other kinds of musculoskeletal discomfort, or if you need orthopaedic surgery, weight is a topic your doctor may address with you. Obesity and orthopaedic conditions can both contribute to and complicate each other, so understanding the role of weight in any condition you are experiencing is important.

    Obesity increases the risk of osteoarthritis.

One clear link between obesity and orthopaedic conditions is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when wear and tear on joints causes the cartilage to break down, allowing the bones to rub against each other. Carrying excess weight increases the speed at which joints experience this kind of damage, leading to the development of osteoarthritis at younger ages than anticipated. Often, people who are experiencing knee and hip pain associated with osteoarthritis can get some relief by losing weight. Weight loss can also improve back pain associated with herniated discs. On the flipside, osteoarthritis can make it more difficult to be active, which can exacerbate weight gain.

Injuries are more common in obese people.

People who are obese have a dramatically higher risk of experiencing an orthopaedic injury than people who are of normal weight—as much as 48% higher, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This includes lower extremity injuries in people of all ages, including children who are obese. Being obese can also make recovery more difficult, as it can interfere with the ability to do re-strengthening exercises.

Obesity can complicate orthopaedic surgery.

Being obese increases the risks associated with anesthesia in every kind of surgery, including orthopaedic procedures. Obesity also makes recovery more difficult and may lead to inferior surgical results.

If you’re concerned about the impact of your weight on your orthopaedic condition, make an appointment with a provider at MK Orthopaedics. Our orthopaedic doctors in Joliet can get you out of pain and back to enjoying the things you love. Make an appointment today by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Exploring the Benefits of Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Procedures

    Anterior approach hip replacements are hip replacement procedures that are done from the front of the hip, rather than from the back of the hip or from the side of the hip. Although this type of hip replacement is not right for everyone, it does offer several advantages for some patients. Your orthopaedic surgeon will help you understand which type of hip replacement is right for you and why, as well as the benefits and risks of each procedure. Continue reading for a look at some of the benefits of anterior approach hip replacements for patients who are good candidates for the procedure.

    Less Pain During Recovery

  • Anterior approach hip replacements can usually be done through a smaller incision than other hip procedures, and your surgeon can replace the hip joint without moving as much muscle during the surgery. These two factors can lead to a less painful recovery. In particular, the reduced muscle trauma can lessen post-surgical discomfort. This helps to reduce the amount of pain medication required and allows patients to return to mobility faster.

    Shorter Hospital Stay

    In many cases, people who undergo an anterior hip replacement can leave the hospital the next day. Smaller incisions lead to less blood loss, which helps patients recover faster. Typically, as soon as patients can get out of bed and maneuver with a walker, they are cleared to go home. Although some patients need more than a one-night stay in the hospital after an anterior hip replacement, their stays are still usually shorter than those of patients who have other hip replacement procedures.

    Less Post-Surgical Limping

    Limping is a significant issue after hip replacement surgery. Some patients never completely lose their limps after developing a habit of walking with them. The risk of limping after an anterior-approach hip replacement is lower than with other procedures.

    If you’re tired of living with hip pain and are considering hip replacement surgery, make an appointment for a consultation at MK Orthopaedics. Our surgeons will help you make a treatment plan that is right for your specific needs. To learn more about hip replacements in Joliet, call (815) 741-6900.

  • Will Health Insurance Cover a Second Opinion?

    A second opinion is the additional guidance you can seek from a different physician or specialist. It’s always wise to seek a second opinion before you undergo any major treatments, such as knee replacement surgery or any other orthopaedic surgeries. Whether or not your health insurer will cover a second opinion is dependent upon the specific plan you have.

    However, most health insurance companies do cover second opinions and sometimes even third opinions. Medicare Part B is one example of a health plan that covers second opinions. In fact, if you’re expecting to undergo major surgery, your insurance company might require you to seek a second opinion before it will cover the surgery. This is because the insurer knows it makes good financial sense to ensure the diagnosis is accurate and the treatment plan is appropriate.

    You can request a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon near Joliet to protect your health. Call MK Orthopaedics at (815) 741-6900, and request an appointment with a sports medicine specialist.

  • Get to Know Your Tendons

    Your tendons are strong, elastic bands of connective tissue that attach bones to muscles. Each time you use a muscle to move a bone, the force goes through the tendon. You can hear more about how tendons work and what they’re made of when you watch this featured video or consult your orthopaedic doctor.

    You’ll also learn that localized pain and inflammation are some of the most common causes of acute tendon injuries, such as tendinitis. Tendinitis occurs when the tendon is strained past its normal capacity on a repetitive basis, which causes accumulated micro-tears in the tissue. This video offers some tips for helping your inflamed tendons heal.

    If you’ve sustained a sports injury or work injury, such as tendinitis, you can turn to the expert team at MK Orthopaedics. Request an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor near Joliet by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • 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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