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  • Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease

    The vertebrae along your spine are separated by spongy discs that cushion the bony vertebrae to prevent them from bumping into each other. When the discs become damaged, they can cause pain and stiffness. Damaged discs may allow the bones to rub against each other, and they may protrude and press against the spinal nerves. One common cause of these issues is degenerative disc disease. If you are experiencing this kind of pain, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend a number of treatments, including surgery.

    Degenerative disc disease occurs when one or more discs in the spine cause pain and loss of function. Discs in the spine degenerate as part of the normal aging process, and many times, they do not cause symptoms. Only when the degenerated discs trigger pain does degenerative disc disease occur. Physical therapy, medications, and surgery are all possible treatments.

    Degenerative disc disease doesn’t have to make you miss out on your favorite activities. Make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet at MK Orthopaedics today to find out what treatments could help to resolve your symptoms. To schedule a consultation, call (815) 741-6900 today.

  • Facts About Carpal Tunnel Repair Surgery

    If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend surgery. This type of orthopaedic surgery can ease the pressure on the nerve that is causing your symptoms.

    Watch this video to learn more about carpal tunnel repair surgery. During the procedure, your orthopaedic surgeon will give you a local anesthetic or nerve block along with a sedative for your comfort. After surgery, you will need to wear a splint to prevent your wrist from moving as you heal.

    If you are suffering from carpal tunnel pain, make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet at MK Orthopaedics to see if you are a good candidate for surgery. To find out more, please call (815) 741-6900.

  • Planning an Inpatient Surgery? Here Is What You Need to Know

    Although many orthopaedic surgery procedures can be performed minimally invasively so that hospital stays are minimized, others require a period of inpatient care. If you are undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery or another procedure that involves an inpatient stay, here are some tips for planning for your time in the hospital.

    Know the Team

    When you are in the hospital, your orthopaedic doctor will manage your care, but his or her instructions will be carried out by a number of different people. Typically, in addition to your surgeon and anesthesiologist, a team of nurses, nursing assistants, and physical therapists will care for you. You may also be visited by a hospital representative who will explain the billing process to you, and depending on your needs, you may see other specialists as well. If you aren’t sure about the role someone is playing your care, don’t hesitate to speak up and ask.

    Pack for Comfort

    Hospital rooms can be cold and sterile, so bring things with you that can make your stay more enjoyable. Consider bringing a computer to watch movies and some books to pass the time. Bring loose-fitting clothing and comfortable pajamas. Many people prefer to bring a pillow from home instead of relying on the flat hospital one. Don’t forget your phone charger so you can keep up with friends and family. However, you should leave jewelry and other valuables at home.

    Discuss How to Manage Your Chronic Conditions

    If you are on medications for chronic conditions, the hospital will generally take over dispensing them as needed during your stay. Be sure to discuss any changes to your medications that will be necessary during your surgery and recovery with your orthopaedic doctor and to find out if you should bring any of your medications to the hospital with you. Never take any medications when you are in the hospital without your care team knowing to avoid any interactions with new medicines you may be receiving.

    Your orthopaedic doctor in Joliet at MK Orthopaedics will answer all of your questions about your surgery in advance, so you can focus on getting relief for your neck, knee, back, or hip pain. To schedule an appointment, please call (815) 741-6900.

  • Getting Around After Spine Surgery

    If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from back pain, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend spine surgery. The recovery from spine surgery can be lengthy, and it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions closely to avoid reinjuring your back as you heal. Here is a look at what you can expect if you are scheduled for spine surgery.

    Using a Walker

    In the early stages of your recovery, when you move around, you will use a walker. The walker will either have wheels or just four tips. If yours does not have wheels, you will need to lift it to move it forward before each step. Never move your walker more than an arm’s length in front of you before each step, and be sure that the handles are not higher than your waist. When you hold the walker, your arms should be only slightly bent at the elbow, so adjust the height accordingly. If one leg feels weaker than the other, step with that leg first. Moving around is important after spine surgery, so try to meet the targets for steps set for you by your orthopaedic doctor or physical therapist.

    Getting Out of Bed

    For many people, getting out of bed is one of the most challenging parts of the initial recovery period after spine surgery. To get up, roll onto your side, gently dangle your legs over the edge of the bed, and use your elbows to help you move upright. Adjust your legs until your feet are on the floor. To get back into bed, sit on the edge, lean down on your side, and pull your legs back up.

    Walking Without a Walker

    The time it takes to begin walking without using a walker or other assistive device varies greatly from patient to patient. Your physical therapist and orthopaedic doctor will determine when you should make this transition. Often, you will stop using the walker slowly, until you no longer need it at all.

    At MK Orthopaedics in Joliet , our surgeons are focused on helping patients undergoing spine surgery, hip replacement, or another orthopaedic procedure recover as quickly as possible. Find out how we can help you say goodbye to pain and get back to living your life by calling (815) 741-6900.