• Will Health Insurance Cover a Second Opinion?

    A second opinion is the additional guidance you can seek from a different physician or specialist. It’s always wise to seek a second opinion before you undergo any major treatments, such as knee replacement surgery or any other orthopaedic surgeries. Whether or not your health insurer will cover a second opinion is dependent upon the specific plan you have.

    However, most health insurance companies do cover second opinions and sometimes even third opinions. Medicare Part B is one example of a health plan that covers second opinions. In fact, if you’re expecting to undergo major surgery, your insurance company might require you to seek a second opinion before it will cover the surgery. This is because the insurer knows it makes good financial sense to ensure the diagnosis is accurate and the treatment plan is appropriate.

    You can request a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon near Joliet to protect your health. Call MK Orthopaedics at (815) 741-6900, and request an appointment with a sports medicine specialist.

  • Get to Know Your Tendons

    Your tendons are strong, elastic bands of connective tissue that attach bones to muscles. Each time you use a muscle to move a bone, the force goes through the tendon. You can hear more about how tendons work and what they’re made of when you watch this featured video or consult your orthopaedic doctor.

    You’ll also learn that localized pain and inflammation are some of the most common causes of acute tendon injuries, such as tendinitis. Tendinitis occurs when the tendon is strained past its normal capacity on a repetitive basis, which causes accumulated micro-tears in the tissue. This video offers some tips for helping your inflamed tendons heal.

    If you’ve sustained a sports injury or work injury, such as tendinitis, you can turn to the expert team at MK Orthopaedics. Request an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor near Joliet by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Ankle Instability 101

    Ankle instability is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder in which the ankle has repeated episodes of “giving way.” This can be a debilitating condition that affects a patient’s quality of life and level of physical activity. If you’ve been experiencing recurrent ankle problems, talk to an orthopaedic doctor about whether you might have chronic ankle instability.

    Symptoms and Causes

    The “giving way” of ankle instability occurs on the lateral side, which is the outside of the ankle. This often happens while the patient is walking on an uneven surface or playing sports activities. However, the ankle can also give way even while a person is simply standing still. Other possible symptoms of ankle instability include:

    • Pain or tenderness of the ankle
    • Sensation of wobbliness or instability
    • Lingering discomfort and swelling

    Chronic ankle instability is a secondary condition that arises from a pre-existing sports injury or accident. People who have suffered multiple ankle sprains are at a higher risk of developing chronic ankle instability . This condition can also develop if an ankle sprain wasn’t properly rehabilitated or didn’t fully heal. This is because, when a sprain occurs, the ligament stretches or tears, affecting both balance and strength. If the injury doesn’t completely heal, the area can remain unstable.

    Treatments and Complications

    After making the diagnosis of chronic ankle instability, an orthopaedic doctor will likely recommend conservative treatments first. These include wearing an ankle brace to support the ankle, prevent it from giving way, and reduce the risk of another ankle sprain. Physical therapy is an essential component of the rehabilitation process, as it involves strengthening and retraining the muscles, and improving balance. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be prescribed. Some patients may be good candidates for surgical intervention if they do not see sufficient improvement with nonsurgical treatments. Unless the injured ankle is fully healed and rehabilitated, it’s possible that the patient will continue to experience recurrent ankle sprains and further weakening of the joint.

    Expert care for foot and ankle pain is available at MK Orthopaedics. We are sports medicine specialists serving Joliet and the nearby areas with non-surgical and surgical treatment options. New and current patients can reach a friendly staff member at (815) 741-6900.

  • Is Osteoporosis Inevitable?

    Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones lose density, become very porous, and become more susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis is of particular concern for older adults because later in life, the body doesn’t make enough new bone mass to replace the bone tissue that is broken down. Orthopaedic doctors note that, although bone loss is certainly inevitable later in life, getting osteoporosis isn’t. Here’s how you can improve your bone health and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

    Build up bone mass before age 30.

    If you haven’t turned 30 yet, you have a great opportunity to significantly reduce your risk of osteoporosis later in life. That’s because, prior to age 30, the body makes more new bone mass than it breaks down. After this point, bone loss begins to gradually outpace bone production. Here are some quick tips to build up maximum bone mass before age 30.

    • Include sources of calcium and vitamin D in your diet to support strong bones.
    • Never start smoking or quit promptly if you already do. Smoking deteriorates bone health.
    • Avoid alcohol, as this also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
    • Enjoy regular exercise. Consider trying physical therapy if you’re having trouble getting active.

    Know your risk factors and get screened for osteoporosis.

    At some point, everyone should have a screening test for osteoporosis. This noninvasive test can reveal whether you have osteopenia or low bone density. A diagnosis of osteopenia gives you the opportunity to prevent it from developing into osteoporosis. Orthopaedic doctors recommend that the following people get screened:

    • Women ages 65 and older
    • Men ages 70 and older
    • Anyone who breaks a bone after age 50

    Additionally, some patients may benefit from earlier screening if they have any of these risk factors:

    • Family history of osteoporosis
    • Small, thin body type
    • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Smoking
    • Inactive lifestyle
    • Diet high in caffeine, sodium, and protein

    If your bone density test does reveal osteopenia, your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes and possibly medications to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

    At MK Orthopaedics, it’s our mission to help our patients enjoy high quality of life through better health. Call (815) 741-6900 to request a consultation with one of our orthopaedic doctors near Joliet. We can help you prevent or treat osteoporosis, or treat fractures arising from osteoporosis.