• Should You Get a Second Opinion?

    If you find out that you need orthopaedic surgery, should you get a second opinion from another orthopaedic doctor? Watch this video to find out.

    A second opinion can make a dramatic different in your overall medical care. Second opinions aren’t necessarily about your first doctor being wrong but are more about gathering more information about the right care for you. Even if your orthopaedic doctors agree on the diagnosis, they may both be able to provide useful insight into the right treatment plan for you.

    Don’t let neck pain and hip pain slow you down. Make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet at MK Orthopaedics whether you need an initial diagnosis or a second opinion. To make an appointment, call (815) 741-6900.

  • Understanding Steroid Injections

    Steroid injections can be a helpful way of controlling persistent orthopaedic pain without surgery. Your orthopaedic doctor may recommend injections to delay the need for surgery, or he or she may use injections in hopes of preventing the need for surgery completely. Could you be a candidate for steroid injections? Here is what you need to know.

    What are steroid injections?

    Steroid injections involve the use of a needle to inject steroid medications into an area that is causing pain. They help to calm inflammation in affected joints and the tendons that surround them. The injection may be placed directly into a joint or in an area around a joint that has become inflamed.

    Why do doctors use injections instead of oral steroids?

    Orthopaedic doctors may also use oral steroids to ease inflammation in some cases, but injections have some advantages. Because they can be placed directly in the affected area, the site of the pain receives a larger dose of medication than when steroids are taken orally. Patients are usually able to tolerate larger doses of steroids when they take them in the form of injections than they are with oral steroids. There are possible side effects to injections, however, including local bleeding, skin discoloration, and infections. Your orthopaedic doctor will determine if the risks outweigh the benefits for you. Injections are usually limited to no more than once every three to four months.

    What should I expect with steroid injection treatment?

    Steroid injections typically take effect within 48 hours of treatment, though some patients experience almost immediate relief if a local anesthetic is given with the shot. For most people, steroid injections are part of a broader treatment plan. For instance, if you are experiencing back pain, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend a steroid injection to alleviate the pain enough to allow you to exercise to reduce the pain from recurring. In other cases, steroid injections may only delay the eventual need for surgery.

    Steroid injections are part of the nonsurgical treatment options we provide at MK Orthopaedics. To find out if injections could ease your sports injury or other pain, make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Ligament Injuries and Distal Radial Fractures

    Distal radial fractures are a common type of orthopaedic injuries. In layman’s terms, this kind of injury is referred to as a broken wrist. When your orthopaedic doctor is considering the right treatment for your fracture, one of the things he or she will consider is whether co-occurring ligament injuries also exist. Ligament injuries are a common complication of distal radial fractures, but they may or may not impact your overall treatment or healing. Here is what you need to know.

    What are distal radial fractures?

    Distal radial fractures, or DRFs, are one of the most common types of orthopaedic injuries of the upper extremities. They occur in the radius—which is the largest bone in the forearm—on the distal end, which is near the wrist. Most of these injuries happen within an inch of the distal end of the radial bone. These fractures happen most frequently when people attempt to break their falls with their hand. Having osteoporosis increases the risk of DRFs.

    How are the ligaments affected?

    When the wrist snaps back, it is common for ligaments to become injured as well. It may be difficult to distinguish between the pain of a ligament injury and the pain of the fracture itself. Your orthopaedic surgeon may determine that you have a ligament injury through imaging tests. The ligaments may be strained, or they may tear completely.

    How are DRFs with ligament injuries treated?

    The treatment your orthopaedic surgeon chooses depends on the nature of your injury and the severity of the wrist pain you are feeling. In some cases, splinting allows DRFs and ligament injuries to heal, but in up to 50% of cases, surgery is required . Research indicates that, for many patients, separate treatment of the ligament injury is not required if the fracture is treated. Your doctor will decide what treatment approach is right for you.

    The doctors at MK Orthopaedics provide comprehensive care for wrist fractures in addition to treatment for neck pain, ACL tears, and sports injuries in Joliet. Schedule an appointment for a consultation today by calling (815) 741-6900.