• Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Back Pain

    Lateral lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a damaged intervertebral disc in the lower spine and the placement of bone graft material to fuse two or more vertebrae together. Patients who have been suffering from severe or persistent back pain may choose to consult an orthopaedic surgeon to explore whether this surgery may be an appropriate treatment for them.

    Indications for Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion

    An orthopaedic surgeon may recommend this surgery for patients who suffer from chronic lumbar back pain that does not respond to conservative treatments such as physical therapy and medications. In addition to pain, patients may experience numbness or tingling down the legs. These symptoms could be indicative of a herniated disc. Other possible causes of the symptoms that may lead to this surgery include degenerative scoliosis, spinal deformity, and spondylolisthesis.

    Steps in the Procedure

    Before undergoing lateral lumbar interbody fusion, patients should carefully weigh the potential risks of the surgery with the risks of not treating their condition. For example, failure to treat degenerative scoliosis can result in difficulty walking and severe pain. If a patient does decide to have spinal fusion, he or she is first placed under anesthesia. For a lateral lumbar interbody fusion, the orthopaedic surgeon creates two small incisions in the patient’s side. This allows the surgeon to split the psoas muscle to gain access to the spine. This step is performed very carefully with the aid of neuromonitoring to reduce the risk of nerve damage. Then, the orthopaedic surgeon can remove one or more intervertebral discs and place bone graft material between the vertebrae. Along with the bone graft, the surgeon implants a cage or spacer, which keeps the vertebrae in proper alignment while the bones fuse together. Other implants can provide added support, such as screws, plates, or rods.

    Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Rebecca Kuo of MK Orthopaedics can provide a range of sophisticated back surgeries, including posterior and anterior lumbar fusion to resolve back pain. To find out if you could be a candidate for lumbar fusion, give us a call at (815) 741-6900. An orthopaedic doctor in Joliet will thoroughly evaluate you and help you understand your treatment options.

  • Treatment for Heel Bone Fractures

    A break or fracture in the heel bone is a type of sports injury that may be temporarily disabling. The heel bone, which is known as the calcaneus, is a relatively large foot bone that provides the foundation for the heel portion of the foot. An orthopaedic surgeon may diagnose the patient with a stable heel bone fracture, which means that the broken ends of the calcaneus are properly aligned. When the broken bone ends are not properly aligned, it is referred to as a displaced fracture. Although a heel bone fracture can be quite painful and disabling, there are treatments available to help patients recover fully.

    Identifying Heel Bone Fractures

    The symptoms of a heel bone fracture are localized to the foot area. Most often, patients will experience pain, swelling, and bruising, along with an inability to place weight on the affected foot. Heel deformity may develop. Patients may notice these symptoms after suffering a severe twisting injury or fall, or after being involved in a car crash.

    Exploring Nonsurgical Treatment

    Patients with a stable heel bone fracture may not require orthopaedic surgery. They may only need to immobilize the area, such as with a cast, until the bone is fully healed. For at least six to eight weeks, patients cannot place any weight on the affected foot.

    Undergoing Orthopaedic Surgery

    Orthopaedic surgery for a heel bone fracture is often necessary when the anatomy of the foot becomes abnormal or if the patient has suffered a displaced fracture. The orthopaedic surgeon can reposition the bone fragments so that they are properly aligned. Then, he or she places metal plates and screws or other devices to hold the bone fragments together while they heal. Patients who avoid undergoing surgery even when surgery is necessary to restore normal anatomy are likely to experience poor outcomes, such as persistent pain, limited range of motion, and an altered gait.

    MK Orthopaedics’ has two podiatric surgeons to provide a continuum of care , from diagnostics to treatments to follow-up care. Dr. Aaron Kim and Dr. Joe George are available for care by calling (815) 741-6900 to book an appointment. In addition to fractures, our orthopaedic specialists provide nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for those with an ACL tear, meniscus tear, shoulder pain, and many other musculoskeletal issues.

  • Avoid Shoulder Pain

    Any pain or discomfort located in or around the shoulder is referred to as shoulder pain. Patients who consult an orthopaedic doctor regarding shoulder pain may also note that they have stiffness or soreness of the joint. They may have difficulty lifting and carrying objects, raising the arms above the head, and performing similar movements. There are many possible causes of shoulder pain, including bursitis and rotator cuff tears.

    Patients who experience this type of sports injury can work with an orthopaedic doctor to reduce their risk of a recurrent shoulder injury. Warming up and stretching prior to exercise, and cooling down and stretching after exercise can be helpful. Patients could also try physical therapy to strengthen the shoulder, back, neck, and arm muscles. It’s advisable to avoid activities that place repetitive stress on any particular joint. For the shoulder, this includes repetitive arm movements, particularly those that keep the arms in an overhead position.

    Individuals who experience shoulder pain, hip pain, or other joint problems can consult with Dr. Ryan Pizinger or Dr. Mukund Komanduri of MK Orthopaedics at (815) 741-6900. Let us help restore you to wellness.

  • Heel Spur Facts

    A heel spur is an abnormal bony growth on the calcaneus bone, which is the bone of the heel. When an X-ray is taken, an orthopaedic doctor may find that the heel spur protrudes from the bone as far as half an inch. Sometimes, heel spurs are painless. However, some patients may experience symptoms such as intermittent or chronic heel pain. An orthopaedic doctor may hear patients describe the pain as feeling like a stabbing sensation, which may fade to an aching sensation later in the day. Placing pressure on the foot can worsen the pain, particularly after prolonged periods of inactivity. Heel spurs develop gradually as calcium accumulates in the area. There are many possible causes, such as a sports injury like plantar fascia stretching or foot muscle strain.

    If left untreated, the pain from heel spurs may become chronic. Dr. Joe George or Dr. Aaron Kim of MK Orthoapedics can recommend treatment options, which may include stretching exercises and changes in footwear. Providing support and compression with taping or strapping may help. Orthotic inserts and physical therapy are other options. Less commonly, some patients may need orthopaedic surgery to remove the heel spur.

    MK Orthopaedics provides non-surgical and surgical treatment options for patients with heel spurs, hip pain, ankle pain, and many other problems. You can set up an appointment with specialists Dr. Aaron Kim or Dr. Joe George of MK Orthopaedics. Call (815) 741-6900.

  • NEED to Know FACTS About Ankle Replacement

    An orthopaedic surgeon may perform ankle replacement surgery, which is a procedure to replace the natural ankle joint with a prosthetic implant. This procedure is also known as total ankle arthroplasty. An orthopaedic surgeon may recommend this procedure for patients with severe ankle arthritis who have not responded favorably to conservative treatment options.

    Ankle Arthritis

    Ankle arthritis refers to inflammation of the ankle joint . Since there are many different types of arthritis, the specific symptoms can vary from patient to patient. However, this condition can cause ankle pain, swelling, stiffness, and joint deformity. Patients may have difficulty walking and joint tenderness. There are many possible causes of ankle arthritis. For some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, the exact causes are unknown. Other types of arthritis may develop because of an injury to the foot or ankle. Obesity can also contribute to arthritis of the ankle.

    Ankle Replacement

    If arthritis of the ankle is left untreated, patients may experience worsening symptoms and it may become increasingly difficult to complete daily tasks. Ankle replacement surgery can help improve the patient’s quality of life. Before undergoing orthopaedic surgery, patients may be asked to improve their overall health by losing weight and quitting smoking. This surgery may be performed under general anesthesia or a nerve block. After the orthopaedic surgeon makes an incision, he or she cuts the ankle bone and places the implant components. Some patients may require lengthening of the calf muscle or Achilles tendon before the incision is closed. During the initial recovery, the patient must not place weight on the affected foot. The affected foot will be encased in a splint and it should be kept elevated for a period of time to reduce swelling.

    If you’re looking for an orthopaedic doctor in Bolingbrook to treat your ankle problems, look no further than Dr. Joe George of MK Orthopaedics . In addition to providing surgical and non-surgical treatment options for ankle conditions, our sports injury specialists offer sophisticated treatments for conditions that affect the hip, elbow, hand, knee, and shoulder. Contact us at (815) 741-6900.