• Getting Your Plaster Cast Off

    Plaster casts are used to immobilize part of the body while it heals. They are typically left on for several weeks. When it’s time to go back to the orthopaedic doctor’s office, you’ll first have an examination. The doctor may take an X-ray to ensure that the area has healed properly. Then, the orthopaedic doctor can use a special cast saw to remove the plaster cast.

    The cast saw is completely safe—it cannot harm you at all. It has a dull blade that breaks apart the cast with vibrations, rather than cutting actions. Once the cast is removed, the doctor will do another physical exam to check for lingering symptoms, and to assess your range of motion. Some patients may be given a removable splint to wear for several more weeks. Don’t be alarmed if your muscles seem smaller or weaker. This happens because you haven’t been using them for a while. Your doctor can refer you to a physical therapist, who can help you complete your recovery.

    MK Orthopaedics has highly trained and certified experts in casting and immobilization . Call (815) 741-6900 to request an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor near Joliet.

  • Do I Need a Second Opinion?

    Life is busy, and getting a second medical opinion might not be a top priority for patients who just want to go through treatment and move forward with their lives. But in some cases, getting a second opinion is well worth the investment in time. If your primary care doctor tells you that you need hip replacement surgery, for example, you should definitely seek a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon.

    Watch this featured video to find out more about getting a second opinion. You’ll learn that you should get one if your original diagnosis is serious, if the treatment isn’t working, or if you’re anticipating surgical intervention.

    When you need a second opinion from a sports injury specialist in Joliet, you can turn to MK Orthopaedics. Call (815) 741-6900, and find out for yourself why our patients prefer our orthopaedic surgeons .

  • Facts About Shoulder Tendinitis

    Shoulder tendinitis, also called shoulder tendonitis, occurs when the tendons in the rotator cuff of the shoulder become inflamed. Many different structures come together at the shoulder joint, including the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). The group of muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff attach the humerus to the scapula. The irritation and inflammation of these tendons can cause shoulder pain that disrupts your daily activities, but an orthopaedic doctor can help.

    Symptoms

    The symptoms of shoulder tendinitis tend to occur gradually over time, and become progressively worse. You might notice any of the following symptoms:

    • Shoulder pain when elevating the arm up
    • Clicking in the shoulder joint with movement
    • Upper arm pain that may extend to the elbow
    • Pain while lying on the affected shoulder

    Eventually, you may start to experience shoulder pain while at rest. The shoulder can also develop the loss of strength and range of motion.

    Causes

    Unlike a rotator cuff tear, shoulder tendinitis usually has a gradual progression. It’s typically an overuse injury that occurs after a prolonged period of micro-trauma being inflicted on the tendons. Shoulder tendinitis might also occur in people who already had shoulder impingement, and in people who fall onto an outstretched arm or who suffer sudden trauma to the shoulder. People who do repetitive movements are at a higher risk of shoulder tendinitis, including:

    • Golfers
    • Tennis players
    • Baseball players
    • Assembly line workers
    • Construction workers

    Treatments

    Without proper treatment, shoulder tendinitis can become worse. Complications may occur, such as calcific tendinitis. Calcific tendinitis is characterized by the formation of small calcium deposits in the area. To prevent these complications and heal your inflamed tendons, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend:

    • Rest
    • Cold therapy
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Physical therapy

    If the symptoms persist, and interfere with the activities of daily living, then surgery may be recommended.

    Shoulder tendinitis is one of the many medical problems we treat here at MK Orthopaedics. Our orthopaedic doctors and surgeons serving Joliet will develop a personalized treatment plan that paves the way for your recovery from your shoulder injury. Give us a call at (815) 741-6900.

  • Am I a Candidate for Tommy John Surgery?

    Tommy John surgery is a procedure to repair a torn ligament on the inside of the elbow. It’s also called ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. Tommy John surgery is named after the first person to undergo this innovative orthopaedic surgery : Dodgers pitcher, Tommy John, who had the surgery in 1974. The orthopaedic surgeon who developed this technique harvested a tendon from elsewhere in the body, and attached it to the elbow area to replace the damaged UCL.

    You’re experiencing symptoms of UCL overuse.

    An acute UCL tear can cause a popping sound, accompanied by pain at the inside of the elbow. You may also experience pain in this area after doing overhead activities or throwing activities for a prolonged period of time. If you’re doing throwing activities, the pain may worsen as you accelerate your arm forward. Additionally, patients with UCL tears report tingling and numbness in the ring and little fingers.

    You’ve been diagnosed with an overuse UCL injury.

    Not everyone who sustains a sports injury of the elbow is a good candidate for Tommy John surgery. Typically, it’s recommended for individuals who suffer UCL damage due to overuse, or repetitive strain, as opposed to UCL tears caused by a sudden, traumatic event. Baseball pitchers are at a high risk of UCL tears because of the considerable force exerted on the elbow structures every time they throw a baseball. Other individuals may suffer a UCL injury because of repetitive movements required for their jobs.

    You’ve already tried conservative treatment options.

    Orthopaedic doctors usually recommend nonsurgical treatment options first. However, surgery may be considered if the following steps haven’t been effective:

    • Rest
    • Cold therapy
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Physical therapy

    The benefits of having the surgery outweigh the risks.

    The average person might not necessarily benefit much from Tommy John surgery, since a UCL tear doesn’t normally inhibit everyday activities. But if you’re an athlete, or your occupation requires a strong UCL, then the benefits of having surgery may outweigh the risks. Share your medical history with your surgeon, and be fully informed of the potential risks of surgery before making a decision.

    Orthopaedic surgery as delicate and complex as Tommy John surgery requires the touch of a skillful, experienced surgeon, whom you’ll find at MK Orthopaedics . Our specialists are known as leading experts in their field. Call (815) 741-6900 to request an appointment with one of our orthopaedic doctors in Joliet.

  • Defining Debridement

    Often, joint pain is caused by damaged cartilage or bone. The damaged part of the joint can rub together, causing discomfort, or it can put pressure on nerves that cause pain. If you are suffering from this kind of pain, one treatment option your orthopaedic doctor may discuss is debridement.

    Debridement involves removing the damaged portion of the bone or cartilage to alleviate the pain. This procedure can be done through open surgery or through an arthroscopic procedure. Arthroscopic debridement was once considered to be the gold standard of care for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, but orthopaedic surgeons have since discovered that it is ineffective in most knee osteoarthritis cases. However, debridement is still recommended for other kinds of joint issues, such as shoulder pain.

    At MK Orthopaedics, our orthopaedic doctors and surgeons use a conservative approach and cutting-edge treatments to provide the best solutions for patients. Schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet today by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Get Help with Tracking Your Health

    When you’re dealing with pain from an orthopaedic condition, the information you provide your doctor about your symptoms is critical to making an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. However, it can be difficult to remember all of the details about your symptoms at your orthopaedic doctor appointment. Fortunately, the PainScale Google app can help.

    With the PainScale app, you can track your pain symptoms and generate reports that can help your orthopaedic doctor in making care decisions. The app also offers tips to help with a range of common complaints, such as neck pain, back pain, and sports injuries.

    Use PainScale to in your appointment with your orthopaedic doctor in Joliet at MK Orthopaedic . If you’re dealing with orthopaedic pain, make an appointment today by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Quick Tips for Coping with Bursitis

    Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that protect bones, joints, tendons, and muscle from damage caused by friction where they connect. If a bursa becomes inflamed because of chronic or acute injury, you could develop bursitis. Bursitis can be extremely painful and interfere with your regular activities. If you have it, in addition to feeling pain, you may also notice a bump on the affected joint. If your orthopaedic doctor has diagnosed you with bursitis, these tips can help to reduce your discomfort.

    Decrease Your Activity

    If you have bursitis, it can’t get better if you don’t reduce the activity that has caused it. Your orthopaedic doctor will recommend ways to modify your activity, but in some cases, small changes can make a big difference. For instance, changing the way you sit or using a mat to kneel on when you do yard work can dramatically reduce the amount of pressure on the affected bursa so you can recover.

    Consider Anti-Inflammatory Medicines

    Anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce the swelling associated with bursitis. If your condition is mild, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Note that acetaminophen is not an anti-inflammatory, so it won’t help with bursitis symptoms. For more severe pain, your doctor may prescribe a stronger anti-inflammatory drug. However, keep in mind that even over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines should not be taken for extended periods of time, and they are not safe for everyone. Talk to your orthopaedic doctor before starting a regime of anti-inflammatory medicines.

    Mix Heat and Ice

    Both ice and heating pads can help to reduce the pain of bursitis. Ice helps to reduce the swelling and is especially helpful in the early stages of inflammation. Heat helps to increase circulation, which rushes healing nutrients to the affected area.

    Don’t let the pain of bursitis keep you from living your life. Let a specialist at MK Orthopaedics help you get out of pain and back to your normal activities . You can make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Advanced Treatments for Diabetic Foot

    Diabetes can impact the body in countless ways, but the feet are particularly vulnerable. People with diabetes often develop a condition called diabetic foot, which can manifest in several different ways, from ulcers to Charcot foot, in which the joint becomes damaged due to nerve issues. If you have diabetic foot , an orthopaedic doctor may be an important part of your treatment team. Here are some of the ways that diabetic foot can be treated.

    Blood Sugar Control

    The most significant thing anyone with diabetes can do to reduce the impact of diabetic foot or to prevent foot problems from developing is to carefully manage blood sugar. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range dramatically reduces the chance of complications and helps to reduce the severity of diabetes-related conditions when they do occur. Work closely with your endocrinologist to find a blood sugar control plan that will be effective for you.

    Orthopaedic Surgery

    In severe cases of Charcot foot—also called Charcot arthropathy or Charcot foot and ankle—surgery may be necessary. Someone with Charcot foot may break a bone in part of the foot without realizing it, because of reduced sensation caused by neuropathy. Unaware of the break, a person with Charcot foot may walk on the damaged bone, causing severe damage. Calcium loss also occurs with this condition, making the bones more vulnerable. Your orthopaedic surgeon may repair or remove damaged bones associated with Charcot foot.

    Custom Shoes

    Foot deformities associated with diabetic foot can make custom shoes necessary. Orthopaedic shoes can take pressure off of ulcers and other areas of damage, preventing further injury, allowing healing to occur, and improving mobility.

    Diabetic foot gets worse over time, so seek treatment as soon as you start to experience symptoms. At MK Orthopaedic, our orthopaedic doctors in Joliet can provide both non-invasive and surgical solutions for foot problems associated with diabetes, so you get out of pain and reduce the risk of further damage. Make an appointment today by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • How to Help Prevent Neck Pain at Work

    Although injuries from auto accidents and sports can cause neck pain, work is one of the most common causes of this nagging symptom. People who work at desks are especially prone to neck pain, but fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent it from starting. Follow these strategies to reduce the risk of experiencing neck pain at work.

    Start by adjusting your workstation. Your computer should be set up so that you’re looking at the center of the screen when your head is in a neutral position, so you don’t have to move your head up or down to see your work. You should be able to reach your keyboard and mouse with your elbows at 90 degrees, so you don’t have to hunch your shoulders to work. Try to avoid using your cellphone to write emails so you reduce the amount of time your head is tipped downward to look at it.

    If neck pain is interfering with your day, the orthopaedic doctors in Joliet at MK Orthopaedics are here to help. Schedule your appointment today by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Why Is My Pinkie Going Numb When I Lay Down?

    Have you noticed that your pinkie gets numb every time you lay down? If so, you may need to make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor to treat your discomfort and restore feeling in your finger.

    Watch this video to find out more about this puzzling symptom. Often, numbness in the pinkie is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve, which runs through the elbow. After a few weeks of trying to avoid laying on your elbow and treating the numbness with over-the-counter medicine, see an orthopaedic doctor if symptoms persist.

    Get the treatment you need for persistent orthopaedic pain from the team at MK Orthopaedics . To make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet, please call (815) 741-6900.