• Acute and Chronic Pain ..What’s the Difference?


    According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is described as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Doctors often classify pain as acute or chronic, depending on its characteristics. This article explores the differences between acute and chronic pain and how these classifications can help your  orthopaedic surgeon in Joliet  diagnose your condition.

    Acute Pain

    Causes: Acute pain usually has a specific, easily identifiable cause. An injury like a broken bone, burn, or cut is a common cause of acute pain. Childbirth and surgery also often cause acute pain. As your orthopaedic surgeon can tell you, acute pain is frequently caused by injury to the musculoskeletal system.

    Quality: Acute pain can be sudden and sharp or manifest as a dull ache, mild or severe. The duration of discomfort usually determines whether pain is classified as acute. Although definitions vary, doctors generally say that pain lasting less than six months should be considered acute.

    Chronic Pain

    Causes: Chronic pain means long-lasting pain. Although sometimes caused by an acute injury, chronic pain lasts long after the injury has healed. Common types of chronic pain include headache and lower back pain. Neurogenic pain is a type of chronic pain that occurs when the nerves are damaged, and psychogenic pain occurs even when there is no visible damage or previous trauma.

    Quality: The key quality of chronic pain is that it’s persistent––chronic pain may last weeks, months, or even years. Besides the pain itself, chronic pain can have a number of additional negative effects, including trouble sleeping and loss of energy and appetite.

    An orthopaedic doctor can help you determine whether your pain is chronic or acute, particularly if you believe its cause is musculoskeletal, and recommend treatment. The  orthopaedic surgeons at MK Orthopaedics specialize in the care of sports injuries, trauma, and fractures, and work to maximize patient comfort. Contact us at (815) 741-6900 to schedule an appointment.

  • MK Orthopaedics is Opening a NEW Wound Clinic!!

    Glucose level blood test

    Here is a letter from one of our orthopaedic surgeons in Joliet about our new Wound Clinic opening at MK Orthopaedics:

    Dear Colleague:

    I wanted to inform you that we are using exciting new technology to assist patients who are experiencing difficulty with lower extremity diabetic and venous stasis wounds.  Over the course of the past year, we have been incorporating treatment with various bio-engineered grafts such as Dermagraft and Apligraf as well as TheraSkin in conjunction with manual surgical debridement as well as negative pressure wound therapy.  We have been successful in achieving closure in over 90% of the wounds within a period of eight weeks. Because of my personal interest and success in managing these patients, we are excited to announce the MK Orthopaedics Wound Clinic which will focus on diabetic and venous insufficiency ulcers.

    These patients have come to me in various ways through my practice.  It has been brought to my attention that there are several patients in our community who may benefit from the treatment that we provide.  We realize that you may have patients who require assistance in management of acute or chronic diabetic or venous insufficiency wounds.  We would appreciate your referrals in allowing us to help achieve closure in these wounds in a timely fashion thereby decreasing the risk of infection and allowing for the patients to return to a normal active lifestyle.

    Thank you for taking your time to read about the possibilities at the Wound Care Clinic at MK Orthopedics.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.  I will look forward to working with you and assisting your patients in the near future. More information on recent technology as well as data on our success rates will be coming soon.


    Dr. Joe Mathew George, DPM

    The  orthopaedic surgeons  at MK Orthopaedics  specialize in the care of sports injuries, trauma, and fractures, and work to maximize patient comfort. Contact us at (815) 741-6900 to learn more about our new wound clinic or to schedule an appointment.

  • Understanding the Structure and Function of the Rotator Cuff

    Rotator Cuff Exercises

    Along with ankle sprains, broken arms, and knee replacements, rotator cuff tears are frequently treated by orthopaedic surgeons . Though many people have heard of rotator cuffs in reference to sports injuries, you may not know too much about the rotator cuff’s structure or function, or what happens when it’s torn.


    The rotator cuff helps stabilize the shoulder. Made up of four tendons attached to four muscles, the rotator cuff holds the skeletal structure of the shoulder in place and allows it to move freely. The shoulder joint is considered a ball-and-socket joint, in which the ball of the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the socket of the scapula (shoulder blade).


    The rotator cuff gives your arm range of motion. The ball-and-socket joint allows for smooth gliding in several directions, while the rotator cuff keeps the bones in place. A lubricating sac, called a bursa, helps facilitate the smooth gliding movement. An orthopaedic doctor can explain the functions of the individual muscles in far more detail.


    When one of the tendons connecting the bone and muscle is torn, the injury is classified as a rotator cuff tear . Your orthopaedic surgeon will determine whether it is a partial tear, meaning the tissue isn’t completely severed, or a full-thickness tear. A rotator cuff tear may also be classified as acute or degenerative. Acute tears occur as a result of trauma, often with another shoulder injury like a broken collarbone. Repetitive stress, aging, and bone spurs contribute to degenerative tears, in which the tendon tear gradually develops over a period of time. An orthopaedic surgeon can perform surgery to repair a torn cuff.

    The orthopaedic surgeons at MK Orthopaedics have experience in both acute and degenerative rotator cuff tears and can help you understand your options for recovery. Call our office at (815) 741-6900 to schedule a consultation.

  • Let Us Help YOU Relieve Your Pain!

    Back Exercise Group

    Pain in the joints may be attributed to a wide range of causes. Get to the root of your pain by visiting with one of our orthopaedic surgeons at MK Orthopaedics. We provide services for the relief of arthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, and degenerative conditions of the spine. Learn more about our practice by calling (815) 741-6900, and visit these related resources.

  • How to Correct Flat Feet

    Flat feet may be present at birth, or they may be caused by various medical conditions and injuries that can alter the structures of the foot.

    Solutions for flat feet are explored in this video. Corrective footwear is a common treatment that may provide comfort throughout your daily activities, and you can perform special exercises guided by your physical therapist for long-term improvement of your arches.

    If you are experiencing pain or deficiencies in your athletic performance due to flat feet, contact MK Orthopaedics at (815) 741-6900. Our skilled orthopaedic doctors can help you find the best way to live free from pain.

  • What can be Done to Correct Flat Feet?

    Right foot X-ray

    The foot is naturally positioned with a vertical arch that helps you keep your balance and move freely when running, jumping, or even walking. Flat foot is a condition in which the arch has not fully developed or has collapsed, so the foot may appear deformed. Physical side effects of flat feet may include pain, swelling of the ankle, or ulceration depending on the cause of the defect. Young children with flat feet often do not need treatment for the condition because the arch develops in time. However, adults may need orthopaedic solutions in order to relieve pain and restore the shape of the foot.

    • Orthotic Inserts: Comfortable-fitting shoes with proper arch support should be worn so that your feet and legs do not absorb excess shock. Specially designed inserts can be put in the shoes for even more corrective positioning. An orthopaedic physician can help you determine the best shoes and orthotic inserts for your feet.
    • Physical Therapy: Exercises to stretch the calves and strengthen the foot help to eliminate heel pain. Your physical therapist can guide you on proper movement to improve the structure within the foot and demonstrate exercises to be performed at home for faster healing. For athletes with flat feet, a more intensive training program can be designed that features a higher emphasis on strengthening.
    • Surgery: In rare cases wherein non-invasive solutions are not effective for pain relief, surgery is an option. This is usually only necessary when flat feet are caused by an underlying condition such as arthritis or injury.

    Find the right treatment for your flat feet with MK Orthopaedics. Schedule a consultation with our skilled orthopaedic surgeons on our website or call (815) 741-6900. Our caring physicians can guide you through all potential treatment options so that your pain and discomfort are relieved.