• 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.

  • Quit Smoking Before Surgery

    Orthopaedic surgery can correct anatomical problems that cause symptoms like shoulder pain or hip pain. But surgery is not without its inherent risks, and smoking can contribute to those risks. Orthopaedic surgeons prefer that their patients quit smoking before having a procedure for their own safety and well-being.

    The Risks of Smoking Before Surgery

    Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals. Some of them affect the cardiovascular system, such as by increasing heart rate and elevating blood pressure. These chemicals can also negatively affect respiratory function, particularly when the smoker is under general anesthesia for surgery. It’s also possible for smoking to affect the metabolism of the drugs used during surgery, such as muscle relaxants.

    The Risks of Smoking After Surgery

    The risks of smoking don’t end after the patient comes out of general anesthesia. After surgery, smokers are at a significantly higher risk of heart attack compared to non-smokers. Another risk pertains to the healing of the surgical incision. Healthy blood circulation is essential for healing because it brings oxygen to the wound site. But smoking robs the body of oxygen . Instead, the carbon monoxide and the toxins in cigarettes can both jeopardize the ability of the tissues to heal. Plus, smokers are at a higher risk of post-surgical infections.

    The Steps You Can Take to Quit

    The good news is that the body begins to heal itself within hours of quitting. If a patient quits smoking as late as the day before having orthopaedic surgery, this can help manage health risks. Many people use their upcoming surgery as motivation to finally kick the habit. You don’t have to quit alone. Talk to your primary care doctor about local resources you can use, such as support groups and counselors. If you decide to try prescription medication to quit smoking, your orthopaedic surgeon will need to know about this change in your drug regimen. Always inform the anesthesiologist if you’ve had nicotine from any source—including nicotine patches or gum. Nicotine affects your cardiovascular system even in the absence of cigarette smoke.

    The entire team at MK Orthopaedics is committed to upholding the highest standards of patient care and safety. Our orthopaedic surgeons near Joliet will walk you through your pre- and post-operative instructions, and are available to answer any questions about your upcoming surgery. Call (815) 741-6900.