• Who Can Benefit from a Laminectomy Procedure?

    A laminectomy is an orthopaedic surgery intended to create more space in the spinal canal and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. During this procedure, the orthopaedic surgeon removes the lamina, which is the back part of the vertebra. A patient may be a good candidate for a laminectomy if he or she has bony growths in the spinal canal that limits the available space and exerts pressure on the nerves. Without treatment, patients may suffer from chronic pain, weakness, or numbness that may extend down the legs or arms.

    Most people who can benefit from a laminectomy have already tried conservative treatments. These can include medications and physical therapy. If nonsurgical treatments aren’t enough to relieve the symptoms, surgical intervention may be recommended. In rare cases, an orthopaedic surgeon may perform a laminectomy on an emergency basis if the patient suffers from a severe complication called cauda equina syndrome.

    If you’re suffering from severe or chronic pain and live near Joliet, talk to an orthopaedic surgeon. Call MK Orthopaedics at (815) 741-6900 to schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options.

  • Dealing with Sleeping Issues After Joint Replacement

    Joint replacement is an orthopaedic surgery to replace a damaged joint with an artificial prosthesis. After a hip or knee replacement surgery, you may experience some sleeping issues. For example, you may be accustomed to sleeping on the side that was operated on. Your orthopaedic doctor may ask you not to sleep on the operated side for at least six weeks after the surgery.

    Watch the accompanying video to hear the reasoning for this, and to get some tips for improving your sleep after surgery. The orthopaedic surgeon featured here recommends timing your medications so that you take your last dose of pain reliever right before you go to bed.

    Hip and knee replacement surgeries are just some of the procedures we perform here at MK Orthopaedics. Call (815) 741-6900 to request a consult for joint replacement surgery in Joliet.

  • Steps You Can Take to Reduce Your Risk of Spinal Injuries

    There are a few different types of spinal injuries, but one of the most common spinal injuries treated by orthopaedic doctors is fractures of the spine. It occurs when there is a break in one or more vertebrae. The vertebrae are the bones that make up the spine. You can protect your spine from fractures with the following precautions.

    Be a defensive driver.
    Motor vehicle crashes are a major cause of spinal injuries. You can reduce your risk by being a defensive driver. A defensive driver is someone who proactively follows all safety precautions while behind the wheel. Always wear your seatbelt, and make sure everyone else in your vehicle buckles up too. Stick to the speed limit, and reduce your speed when the weather poses safety hazards. Eliminate sources of distraction, such as by turning off your cellphone. And never drive after you’ve consumed alcohol, as any amount of alcohol can impair your ability to drive safely. If your doctor has prescribed medication for you, know whether it could make you dizzy or drowsy before operating a motor vehicle.

    Take precautions when playing sports.

    Sports are another potential cause of spinal injuries like fractures. If you do gymnastics, you should always have a spotter before trying new moves. With all sports, use appropriate safety gear like helmets. Diving can also cause spinal injuries. They occur when a person dives into water that is too shallow, causing that person to strike the bottom of the pool. Only dive into water that is at least 12 feet deep, or deeper if you’re diving from a high diving board.

    Keep your bones strong.

    Seniors are particularly susceptible to a type of spinal injury called compression fractures. These fractures happen because of osteoporosis, or low bone density. Keep your bones strong by talking to your doctor about your intake of calcium and vitamin D. Your doctor may recommend taking a supplement if you aren’t getting enough of these nutrients in your diet.

    Patients who suffer from back pain in the Joliet area will find the specialized care they need at MK Orthopaedics. Our highly trained doctors can develop a personalized treatment plan that helps you get back on your feet as soon as possible. Call a friendly staff member at (815) 741-6900.


  • Answering Your Questions About Knee Replacement Surgery

    During a knee replacement surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon removes severely damaged or diseased components of the knee, and replaces them with medical-grade, artificial components. Joint replacement surgeries are commonly performed in the U.S., with hundreds of thousands of patients undergoing them every year. However, the decision to have surgery should never be taken lightly, no matter how routine the operation is. Write a list of all of your questions before you meet with the orthopaedic surgeon to discuss having a knee replacement.

    Will a knee replacement surgery correct my symptoms?
    According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 90% of patients who have this surgery report a “dramatic reduction” in their symptoms. These individuals are also better able to perform the activities of daily living. Although a knee replacement may significantly improve or eliminate your knee pain, you should have realistic expectations regarding the recovery process and final outcome.

    Why do patients get knee replacements?

    Most often, patients who undergo knee replacement surgery are those who suffer from severe arthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis are the top causes of chronic knee pain. For individuals with these conditions, surgery may be an option when the symptoms are severe or persistent enough to interfere with daily activities and the quality of life.

    What other treatments should I consider before having surgery?

    Surgery is rarely the first treatment that doctors recommend. Before having surgery, your orthopaedic doctor may prescribe oral medications, administer medicated injections, or refer you to a physical therapist. Let your doctor know how well these treatments work. If your pain persists, then it may be time to consider surgery.

    Am I healthy enough to have the surgery?

    Surgeons can perform knee replacements on patients of diverse ages, weight ranges, and overall health. However, you will need to have a physical exam and perhaps a few medical tests done before you have surgery. If you have a pre-existing heart condition, for instance, your doctor will need to make sure you can safely tolerate general anesthesia and the surgery itself.

    The health, safety, and comfort of our patients are our top priorities here at MK Orthopaedics. Our orthopaedic surgeons encourage our patients to become active participants in the surgery preparation and recovery process. If you have any questions about your upcoming knee replacement surgery in Joliet, please call our office at (815) 741-6900.