Patient Education

North County Orthopedic Medical Group would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

North County Orthopedic Medical Group provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. If stretched too far, the tendon can tear, or rupture, causing severe pain in the ankle and lower leg that can make it difficult or even impossible to walk. An Achilles tendon rupture, which may be partial or complete, often occurs as a result of repeated stress on the tendon while playing sports such as soccer or basketball. Although frequently resulting from the same stresses that cause Achilles tendonitis, a rupture of the Achilles tendon is a far more serious injury, usually requiring surgical repair. ...


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Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis (also tendinitis) is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. This condition occurs when excessive stress is put on the tendon. Achilles tendonitis is usually a painful but short-lived condition. It not treated, however, Achilles tendonitis can increase the risk of Achilles tendon rupture, a serious injury requiring immediate medical attention. Most cases of Achilles tendonitis can be prevented by beginning an exercise regimen slowly, with preparation, and by increasing an exercise program gradually and with care. ...


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Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis, commonly referred to as frozen shoulder, is a common condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder. This condition is the result of a tightening or thickening of the capsule of connective tissue that protects the structures of the shoulder. Although the exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, it often occurs after a shoulder injury or shoulder surgery, or as a complication of diabetes. Symptoms of frozen shoulder tend to worsen over time, however, even without treatment, symptoms may resolve on their own in about two years time. ...


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Anatomy of the Elbow

The elbow is a joint that hinges and pivots, allowing the arm to bend, extend and rotate. Although usually thought of as having a single joint, the elbow actually has three, created by the meeting of three bones, the humerus, ulna and radius. Ligaments hold the bones together, and the ends of the bones are covered with cartilage, which allows them to slide easily against one another and to absorb shock. ...


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Anatomy of the Shoulder

The shoulder joint, where the bones in the shoulder meet, is the body's most mobile joint. It allows for a large range of movement, much of it central to everyday activity. Being capable of that range of movement, however, makes the shoulder joint inherently unstable. Tendons, ligaments, muscles and the glenoid labrum are in place to compensate for that instability. Still, shoulder-joint injuries are not uncommon, and should be evaluated by a medical professional to determine their severity and whether treatment is required. ...


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Ankle Arthroscopy FAQs

What is arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat injuries and abnormalities within the joints. The arthroscopy procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery and allows the doctor to view and repair joints without making a large incision. Only a small incision is need for an arthroscopy and small instruments are guided by a tiny camera that transmits images onto a computer screen. Accurate diagnosis and precise surgical treatment may be performed using the arthroscopy method. ...


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Ankle Dislocation

An ankle dislocation can occur when a significant amount of force is placed on the joint, resulting in an abnormal flexing that shifts the bones in the ankle from their normal positions. An ankle dislocation is often the result of a sports injury caused by physical contact or by quick pivots to change direction. Prompt medical attention to determine whether the blood supply to the foot has been compromised is essential. ...


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Ankle Fracture

An ankle fracture, commonly known as a broken ankle, involves any type of break or crack in the tibia, fibula, or talus. Common causes of an ankle fracture may include a sports injury, a motor vehicle accident or a fall. An ankle fracture can include injury to one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint. The more bones that are broken, the more complicated and severe the fracture is. Treatment for a broken ankle depends on the type and severity of the individual fracture, but may include wearing a cast or brace, applying ice and taking anti-inflammatory medication. Stable fractures can usually heal on their own within a few weeks, while more complicated ones may require surgery to reposition the broken bone. ...


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Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle is twisted or turned, and results in torn ligaments within the joint. This injury often causes pain, swelling and bruising, and if it does not heal properly, it may lead to chronic ankle instability or repeated ankle sprains. Ankle ligament reconstruction is a procedure commonly performed on patients experiencing chronic ankle instability and repeated ankles sprains. It is effective in repairing torn ligaments, tightening loosened ligaments and improving the overall stability of the joint. ...


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Ankle Strain

An ankle strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon in the ankle. An ankle strain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle muscle is stretched or torn. A strain is caused by twisting or pulling of the muscle or tendon and may be caused by playing sports, lifting heavy objects or an injury that causes the foot and ankle to twist inward. ...


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Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a combined surgical procedure to decompress spinal nerves and stabilize the cervical spine. This surgery is performed to relieve pain, numbness and weakness in the neck and upper back and to provide stability in this portion of the spine. As the name indicates, this procedure is performed through an incision at the front, or anterior, of one side of the neck. With this surgical approach, the disc can be accessed without disturbing the spinal cord, the neck muscles and uninvolved spinal nerves. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. ...


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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee. Running diagonally through the middle of the joint, the ACL works in conjunction with three other ligaments to connect the femur (upper leg bone) to the tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones). ACL injuries occur most commonly in athletes as a result of direct contact or an awkward fall. About half of ACL injuries are also accompanied by damage to the meniscus, cartilage, bone or other ligaments in the knee, any of which may complicate the repair process. ...


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Arthroscopic Bankart Repair

The socket of the shoulder, or glenoid, is covered with a layer of cartilage called the labrum that cushions and deepens the socket to help stabilize the joint. Traumatic injuries and repetitive overhead shoulder movements can tear the labrum, leading to pain, limited motion, instability and weakness in the joint. Symptoms of a labral injury may include shoulder pain and a popping or clicking sensation when the shoulder is moved, as well as rotator cuff weakness. One of the most common labral injuries is known as a Bankart lesion. This condition occurs when the labrum pulls off the front of the socket. This occurs most often when the shoulder dislocates. If a Bankart tear doesn't heal properly, it can cause future dislocations, instability, weakness and pain. ...


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Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is the thick band of muscles and associated tendons that cover the top of the upper arm and hold in it place, providing support and stability to the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff also allows for a full range of motion while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. These tendons can become partially or completely torn as a result of a rotator cuff tear or injury. A rotator cuff tear often occurs as a result of injury or overuse of the muscles over a long period of time. Rotator cuff tears typically involve pain when lifting or lowering the arm, muscle weakness and atrophy, and discomfort at rest, particularly if pressure is placed on the affected shoulder. ...


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Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis, is a disorder in which the bone does not receive enough blood, resulting in small breaks that can eventually cause it to collapse. Insufficient blood flow to a bone may occur as a result of a fracture or dislocation, excessive alcohol use, extended use of corticosteroids, or certain diseases that impede blood flow, such as sickle cell anemia, diabetes, lupus, Gaucher disease and HIV. Medications taken for osteoporosis or bone cancer, called bisphosphonates and radiation therapy also increase the risk of a patient developing avascular necrosis. The condition can occur in numerous joints, but it most commonly affects the hip. ...


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Back Pain Prevention

At some point in their lives, the great majority of adults will suffer from significant low back pain, usually from an injury at work, at home or at play. Orthopedists, chiropractors, physical therapists, coaches and trainers all have helpful advice regarding back pain prevention. By following their directives, people can minimize the possibility of back injury, and keep themselves healthier in the process. ...


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Biceps Tendinosis

Biceps tendinosis is a degenerative condition of the two tendons that connect the biceps muscles, the muscles at the front of the upper arms, to the shoulder bones. One of these, the long head biceps tendon, runs from the muscle to the labrum, the layer of cartilage that deepens and cushions the socket to help stabilize the shoulder joint. The condition is usually the result of an athletic injury or due to the natural aging process and can be very painful. ...


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Bone Morphogenetic Proteins

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are substances used in place of bone grafts in spinal fusions because of their ability to stimulate bone growth. Found naturally in the body, BMPs can also be created in the laboratory. While FDA-approved for use in spinal fusion surgeries, BMPs cannot be used for cervical spinal procedures because of the possibility of adverse reactions that may interfere with breathing or swallowing. ...


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Bracing

Bracing is an effective form of treatment for certain orthopedic conditions. A brace, by restricting movement and relieving pressure, promotes healing, takes weight off an injured area, and provides post-operative support. Braces are commonly used to support the spine, knee, ankle and elbow.

Bracing is often used to treat the following: ...


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Broken Finger Surgery

There are 14 bones in total in the fingers (phalanges) of one hand. A break (fracture) in one or more of them that is left untreated can lead to permanent stiffness and pain. A severe finger fracture may require open reduction surgery, which repositions any displaced bones, allowing the finger to function properly once it has healed. When a broken bone can be aligned with a cast or splint alone, it is referred to as "closed reduction." ...


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Broken Thumb Repair

Repairing a broken (fractured) thumb can be done nonsurgically or surgically. Which method is chosen depends on a number of factors, including the location of the break and how much displacement (movement) of bone has occurred. The thumb comprises two bones: the distal phalange and the proximal phalange. The distal phalange runs from the tip of the thumb to the knuckle; the proximal phalange runs from the knuckle to the base of the thumb. Typical causes of a broken thumb include falling on an outstretched hand, and playing sports that involve either twisting or contracting the muscles of the thumb. ...


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Bunions

A bunion (hallux valgus) is a common foot problem in which an abnormal bony bump develops at the joint of the big toe, causing the joint to swell outward and become painful. As a result of the enlarged joint, the big toe may become stiff and turn inward. The more deformed the joint becomes, the more it can lead to difficulty walking and to the development of ingrown toenails, corns and calluses. Although bunions are not usually a serious condition, they can be painful and unsightly. Left untreated, they will usually grow larger and more painful over time. ...


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Bursal Sac Injections

A bursal sac is filled with fluid that provides a cushion between muscles/tendons and bones to decrease friction and irritation. There are bursal sacs around most of the body's joints. When a bursal sac gets infected or inflamed, it can lead to a painful condition called "bursitis." Although often caused by repetitive movement or overuse of a joint during sports or intense physical activity, bursitis can also result from injury, or arthritis of a joint. ...


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Bursitis

Bursitis is a painful inflammation of a bursa, one of the small sacs at the joints that cushion the tendons, muscles and bones. Bursae normally enable fluid movement, but when overtaxed they can inflame and fill with fluid. Once a bursa becomes irritated, gritty and rough, it can create painful friction in the joint. Bursitis usually results either from repetitive stress or sudden injury and presents with swelling, redness and deep, aching pain. The joints most commonly affected by bursitis are the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. ...


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Calf Muscle Strains

There are two calf muscles located at the back of the lower leg, the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The former is the larger calf muscle, the one creating a visible bulge beneath the skin, and is typically the one injured. These muscles are important, providing strength and stability to both the knee and heel joints. Calf strains are injuries that commonly result when the muscle is stretched, or pulled, beyond its usual limits. For this reason, the injury is frequently referred to as a "pulled" muscle. Calf muscle strains are most common in athletes whose sport requires quick bursts of speed, including running, basketball, soccer and football. ...


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Carpal Tunnel Injections

The carpal tunnel is a narrow, fibrous passage in the wrist that protects the median nerve, which runs down the length of arm and through the wrist into the hand. It controls some hand movement, and sensation in the thumb, index and middle fingers, and half of the ring finger. Irritation or compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel can cause tingling and numbness in the fingers, as well as pain in the arm, a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). ...


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Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal tunnel release is an outpatient procedure performed to relieve pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. It is performed in order to reduce carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, which include tingling and numbness in the fingers. Carpal tunnel release helps to restore muscle strength and dexterity to the hand, and is typically performed on patients who have had symptoms that persist for months and have not responded to more conservative treatment methods. ...


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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a narrow, fibrous passage in the wrist that protects the median nerve, which runs down the length of arm and through the wrist into the hand. It controls some hand movement, and sensation in the thumb, index and middle fingers, and half of the ring finger. Irritation or compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel can cause tingling and numbness in the fingers, a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). ...


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Cartilage Defects of the Knee

Cartilage defects of the knee involve damage to the articular cartilage, the smooth substance that covers the ends of the bones, keeping them from rubbing together. Cartilage defects may be degenerative, resulting from wear and tear, or traumatic, caused by an injury such as falling on the knee, jumping down, or rapidly changing directions while playing a sport. Such injuries do not always produce immediate symptoms because there are no nerves in cartilage. Over time, however, cartilage defects can disrupt normal joint function, leading to pain, inflammation, a grinding sensation in the knee and limited mobility. ...


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Casting for Uncomplicated Fractures

A fracture is a break or crack in the bone that is often caused by extreme force or injury. Fractures are more common in children than adults because of their active lifestyle and pliable bones. Pediatric fractures often involve growth plates, areas of cartilage where the bones can grow. ...


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Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina ("horse's tail") syndrome, also known as CES, is a rare neurological disorder affecting the group of nerve roots at the bottom of the spinal cord. These nerve roots are responsible for the neurological functioning of the legs, feet, bladder, bowels and pelvic organs. Left untreated, cauda equina syndrome can result in permanent urinary or fecal incontinence, sexual dysfunction or paralysis. ...


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Cavovarus Foot Deformity

A cavovarus foot deformity is a condition in which the foot has an abnormally high arch and the heel slants inward. This condition places more weight than normal on the ball and heel of the foot during walking or standing, causing pain and instability. Usually present in childhood and often affecting both feet, a cavovarus foot deformity typically worsens over time and frequently requires surgical repair. ...


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Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounds the brain and spine, and is encased in a membrane known as the "dura." Sometimes, a CSF leak develops from a tear in the dura, allowing CSF to leak from the nose or ear. CSF leaks can be caused by head injuries; certain types of brain, head and spinal surgeries; tube placement for pain medications or epidurals; or lumbar punctures (spinal taps). They can also develop spontaneously, although the majority are the result of surgery or lumbar puncture. ...


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Cervical Fracture

A cervical fracture is a break of one of the seven bones in the cervical spine (neck), that help support the head and connect it to the rest of the body. Most often, a cervical fracture occurs as a result of a severe trauma caused by a sports injury, fall, or vehicular accident. Cervical fractures not only happen during contact sports like football or wrestling, but may occur from a horseback riding fall, a skiing, surfing, or weight-lifting accident, or during diving. Cervical fractures are serious injuries because they may involve the spinal cord and can lead to loss of sensation, paralysis or even death. ...


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Cervical Fusion

Cervical fusion is a surgical procedure performed to join at least two of the vertebrae of the neck. This surgery is performed to alleviate pain in patients with disorders of the cervical spine, such as stenosis and degenerative disc disease. The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae stacked on top of one other, each two separated by a cushion known as an intervertebral disc. In patients with certain spine conditions, some bones of the cervical spine may rub against one other, causing pain, numbness and other troubling symptoms. While there are several nonsurgical methods available to treat these conditions, some patients may benefit from cervical fusion to avoid future complications and achieve long-term relief. ...


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Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy refers to pain that radiates into the shoulder and arm as a result of injury to a nerve root in the cervical spine (neck). An injured nerve can send pain signals throughout the area into which it extends. Sometimes known as a "pinched nerve," cervical radiculopathy can be the result of a herniated disc, a bone spur, an injury to the spine, or osteoarthritis. ...


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Chronic Ankle Instability

Chronic ankle instability is a condition in which the outer portion of the ankle has a chronic sensation of weakness and constantly "gives way" during walking and other activities. While this condition commonly occurs during physical activity, it may even occur while an individual is standing still. Chronic ankle instability commonly affects athletes and is often caused by an ankle sprain that has not healed properly or by repeated ankle sprains. A sprained ankle tears or stretches connective tissues, affecting balance, and if not treated properly, chronic ankle instability and other ankle problems may occur. ...


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Clavicle Fracture

The clavicle, commonly known as the collarbone, is the bone of the shoulder joint that connects the arm to the rest of the body. Clavicle fractures most frequently occur as a result of trauma from a blow to the shoulder, a fall, sports injury, or motor vehicle accident. They are most common in young children and older adults who are more susceptible to fractures, but may also occur in newborns as they pass through the birth canal during birth. ...


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Coccydynia

Coccydynia, also known as coccyalgia, refers to pain and inflammation of the coccyx (tailbone), the final segment of the spine, located between the buttocks. Patients suffering from coccydynia experience pain on the tailbone that is especially pronounced when sitting or when engaged in any activity that puts pressure on the site. Coccydynia is considerably more common in women than in men and it occurs most commonly in patients who are approximately 40 years of age. ...


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Colles' Fracture

A Colles' fracture is a break in the distal radius, which is the larger of the two bones in the forearm. Because the distal radius usually breaks approximately 1 inch from its end, which is close to where it connects to the bones of the hand near the thumb, the injury is usually referred to as a "broken wrist." In the United States, Colles' fractures account for approximately 70 percent of all forearm fractures, and are typically the result of landing on a hand that has been extended to break a fall, or of a sports-related injury. In addition, the elderly are prone to Colles' fractures (as are those who have osteoporosis) because of the fragility of their bones. ...


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Congenital Foot Deformities

Babies can be born with foot deformities for a number of reasons. Foot deformities may occur as a result of a genetic defect, birth trauma or developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation. Sometimes, such deformities are hereditary. They may also, in some cases, result from the toxicity to the fetus of certain medications the mother has ingested during pregnancy. ...


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Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are thickened layers of skin that develop on the feet as a result of the skin protecting itself from friction and pressure. Corns and calluses do not often cause serious medical problems, but they may be painful, especially when walking. Many people are also bothered by the appearance of these growths, as they appear as hard, raised bumps or thick, rough areas of skin. ...


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Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections have been used for decades to temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in joints and soft tissues, and to relieve systemic inflammatory reactions. The advantage to injecting corticosteroid medication rather than taking it orally is that it is delivered more quickly to the affected area and often has more effective results. Corticosteroid injections are routinely used to reduce the pain and swelling of bursitis, tendonitis and arthritis. In addition, they are helpful in treating lupus, scleroderma and severe allergic reactions. Corticosteroid injections are also very effective in reducing spinal or radiating limb pain (radicular pain) when injected into the epidural space, which is between the dura, the outer layer covering the brain and spinal column, and the spine itself. When used this way, they are referred to as epidurals, which are frequently used for labor pains during childbirth. ...


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De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

De Quervain's tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the two tendons that run from the back of thumb and down the side of the wrist. The causes of De Quervain's tenosynovitis are unknown, but it has been linked to wrist injury, overuse/repetitive motion, pregnancy and inflammatory arthritis. It is much more common in women than in men, and in people who have diabetes or arthritis. The disease was first identified in 1895 by Fritz de Quervain, after whom it is named. ...


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Decompression Discectomy

A discectomy is a surgery performed to relieve nerve-root compression that is caused by a herniated disc. It can be performed as open surgery or as a minimally invasive procedure. A new type of minimally invasive procedure, known as a decompression discectomy, has proven highly successful. This procedure, also known as percutaneous discectomy, is performed using a Stryker DekompressorĀ® disc-removal system, which can be used effectively in discectomies performed on any spinal region: cervical, thoracic or lumbar. ...


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Degenerated Discs

Degenerated discs are a common back problem. The spinal discs, which are soft, gelatinous cushions that separate the vertebrae, wear down during the aging process. Because the discs function as between-the-bones shock absorbers, allowing the spine to bend and twist, this deterioration can result in serious back pain. As discs are damaged or wear away, the amount of space between the vertebrae gets smaller. As the space narrows, joints are placed under greater stress, resulting in further degeneration. ...


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Discogram

A discogram is a diagnostic test performed to determine whether a patient's back pain is the result of a spinal-disc abnormality, and, if so, to pinpoint the disc causing the problem. A discogram is performed by injecting a special dye into the patient's spinal disc(s), and using fluoroscopy to view the area in greater detail. The injection creates pressure on the disc and, if the disc is damaged, causes pain. ...


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Dislocated Elbow

A dislocated elbow, commonly referred to in children as a nursemaid's elbow, occurs when the bones of the elbow joint are pulled out of alignment and partially dislocate. This condition is most often caused by a sudden pulling on the hand or forearm that causes the radius, one of the bones in the forearm, to slip out of place at the elbow joint. Although it may occur at any age, a dislocated elbow is more common in children, especially those under the age of four, as their bones and muscles are still developing and are not as strong as the bones of adults. ...


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Distal Biceps Tendon Repair and Reconstruction

The biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle, which is located in the upper part of the arm, firmly to the bone. The biceps muscle allows the arm to flex at the elbow, and to rotate the forearm so that the palm faces up. The distal biceps tendon, which is located at the crease of the elbow, may separate from the bone if tremendous force is suddenly applied to the elbow. This results in a diminished ability to flex the elbow and rotate the forearm against any kind of resistance. ...


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Distal Radius Fracture

The distal radius is the larger of the two bones in the forearm. Because a fracture of the distal radius usually occurs approximately 1 inch from its end, which is close to where it connects to the bones of the hand near the thumb, it is usually referred to as a "broken wrist." In the United States, distal radius fractures account for approximately 70 percent of all forearm fractures, and are typically the result of landing on a hand that has been extended to break a fall, or of a sports-related injury. In addition, the elderly and those who have osteoporosis are prone to distal radius fractures because of the fragility of their bones. ...


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Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's contracture is a rare hand disorder caused by a thickening of the layer of fibrous tissue beneath the skin of the palm and the finger(s). This thickening causes tendons to tighten (contract), which makes the finger difficult to extend. As a result, the finger is continually "curled up." Although more common in men than women, the cause of Dupuytren's contracture is unknown. However, people who get the condition tend to drink significant amounts of alcohol; have diabetes; smoke; or have seizures similar to those from epilepsy. ...


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Elbow Arthritis

Elbow arthritis occurs when the cartilage of the elbow joint becomes worn or damaged. This cartilage normally acts as a cushion between the bone and the joint, and when it is worn away, the direct contact and friction between the bones causes pain, swelling, decreased strength and range of motion. Arthritis of the elbow is often caused by previous trauma or injury to the elbow joint, but can also be the result of aging, as the cartilage within the joint wears down over time. ...


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Elbow Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a type of surgery that uses an arthroscope, a thin fiber optic camera, to visualize an internal area and confirm a diagnosis. If damage or abnormalities are detected during the arthroscopy, repairs can often be made during the same procedure. Arthroscopy is considered an ideal treatment option for many conditions, since it offers smaller incisions, shorter recovery times and less scarring than traditional open surgery. Patients can often return home the same day as their procedure and resume their regular activities in just a few weeks, while experiencing less pain, greater range of motion and restored joint function. ...


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Exercise Programs for Seniors

As people age, their bones, muscles and underlying tissue weaken, resulting in decreased strength, energy, and impaired mobility. Inactivity may increase these effects of aging. Exercise and physical activity can be beneficial to older adults and can help to increase strength, improve balance and possibly delay or prevent diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease. ...


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External Fixation

External fixation is a method that uses an outer metal rod and pins to hold a bone or bones in place until they heal. Surgical pins are inserted through the skin into the bone and held in place by bolts attached to the external metal rod. The external rod or device,commonly called the external fixator, is used to support the bone while it is healing. The surgical method of external fixation may be used to treat bone fractures whose alignment does not permit the use of a cast or in cases where the bone has been fractured in several places. External fixation may also be considered when a patient has multiple injuries and is not yet ready for surgery to fix the fracture. An external fixator provides strong temporary stability until the patient is healthy enough for surgery. ...


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Facet Joint Syndrome

Facet joint syndrome is a condition that occurs when the facet joints of the spine become damaged or worn out. The facet joints are the small joints located between the bones of the spine; they are lined with cartilage and synovial fluid that allows them to glide easily over each other. They are also intertwined with nerves that run from the spinal cord to the arms, legs and other parts of the body. The facet joints are in constant motion and provide the spine with flexibility that allows movement, and stability that keeps the back from moving too far forward or twisting too far. ...


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Facet-Joint Injections

Facet-joint injections are both a minimally invasive treatment for back pain caused by inflamed facet joints, and a diagnostic tool for determining whether facet-joint inflammation is a source of pain. Four facet joints connect each vertebra to the vertebra above and below it. A facet-joint injection, administered into either the joint capsule or its surrounding tissue, combines a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic. ...


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Femur Fracture


A broken thighbone, also known as a femur fracture, is a serious and painful injury. The femur is one of the strongest bones in the body, and a break or fracture in the femur bone is often caused by severe injury such as trauma sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Symptoms of a femur fracture include severe pain, swelling, tenderness, physical deformity and often, the inability to walk. Treatment for a femur fracture often includes setting and immobilizing the leg, and in severe cases, surgery may be required to ensure proper healing. ...


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Finger Fracture

A fractured (broken) finger is usually the result of a trauma, such as a fall on an outstretched hand, a punch, or slamming the finger in a door. There are 14 bones in total in the fingers (phalanges) of each hand, each of which is susceptible to fracture. A broken finger typically results in pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising. Moving the injured finger may be difficult, and it may look deformed. These symptoms usually develop immediately at the time of the injury. ...


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Fingertip Injury

A fingertip injury is a fairly common type of hand injury, one often caused by an accident, such as slamming a finger in a door, that occurs during everyday activities. A fingertip injury can involve the skin, bone, nail, nail bed or pulp, which is the soft padding on the back of the fingertip. A fingertip can be cut, crushed, torn or cut off completely. Because it contains more nerve endings than many other parts of the body, a fingertip is extremely sensitive, making injury to it particularly painful. ...


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Flat Feet

Flat feet (pes planus) are extremely common. While usually just a normal anatomical variation that does not result in any serious difficulties, this condition, which causes the feet to lean inward, or pronate, can cause problems over time. Infants feet are naturally flat because of the pad of "baby fat" at the instep. As they grow and begin to walk, their feet normally develop arches. For some children this does not happen and their feet remain flatter than average. While this condition is usually inherited, there are many individuals who have normal arches as children and young adults, but develop flat feet, or "fallen arches," over time. These individuals are said to have acquired flat foot deformity (AFFD). ...


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Flexor Tendon Tear

When muscles contract, tendons pull on the bones, allowing movement to occur. In the hand, the muscles that move the fingers and thumb are found in the forearm. Tendons run from the forearm's muscles through the wrist and into the hand, where they attach to the small bones of the fingers and thumb. The hand has tendons on both its top and bottom (palm). The ones on top, the extensor tendons, straighten the fingers. The ones on the bottom, the flexor tendons, bend the fingers. Each finger has two flexor tendons; the thumb has one. Because they are stretched tightly as they connect muscle to bone, tears or cuts to flexor tendons can cause them to completely separate, making it impossible to bend the affected fingers. ...


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Foot Drop

Foot drop, sometimes called drop foot, is a condition in which the patient has trouble lifting the front portion of the foot during walking, causing that foot to drag along the ground. To counteract this problem, the patient may raise the thigh when walking as if climbing the stairs in order to help the foot clear the floor, a method of walking referred to as steppage gait. Foot drop can occur for a number of neurological, muscular or anatomical reasons and may or may not be permanent. ...


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Foot Nerve Pain

Nerve pain in the foot may result from damage or malfunction of the nerve itself or from pressure put on the nerve as the result of another underlying condition. Nerve pain in the foot typically affects one of two primary areas: the toe or the arch. There are a variety of causes for pain in either region. Some treatment options are effective for many different disorders. ...


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Foot Sprains and Strains

Both foot sprains and foot strains are very common injuries, occurring as a result of sports accidents, falls, or other traumas. The difference between the two types of injuries is that sprains affect the ligaments, the thick strands of cartilage attaching one bone to another, and strains affect the muscles or the tendons, thick bands attaching muscle to bone. In both cases, the patient with the injury usually experiences pain (particularly upon movement), swelling, tenderness, bruising, weakness or muscle spasms. Foot sprains, the more serious injury, may also cause possible instability of the joint, most frequently the ankle. Depending on where on the foot the injury occurs, patients may be unable to bear weight until healing takes place. ...


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Foraminotomy

In addition to vertebrae and discs, the spinal column contains many foramina, holes through which the nerves pass from the spinal canal to the rest of the body. When a foramen narrows, a condition known as foraminal stenosis, the adjacent nerve may be impinged upon, causing irritation and dysfunction. In order to alleviate this condition, a foraminotomy, a surgical procedure to clean out the foraminal passage, may be performed. During a foraminotomy, bone and soft tissues is removed to widen the foramen and decompress the affected nerve. A foraminotomy can be performed at any level of the spine, but is most commonly performed in the cervical or lumbar region. ...


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Fracture Diagnosis and Care

A fracture is a break or crack in a bone that occurs when the bone cannot withstand the amount of force being placed on it. A fracture is usually the result of trauma, a fall or a direct blow to the body. The severity of a fracture usually depends on the force that caused the break. A bone may be completely fractured or partially fractured in several different ways. Treatment for fractures may include a splint, cast or surgery, depending on the severity and location of the break. ...


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Functional Capacity Evaluation

A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) is a physical exam that determines a patient's ability to return to the workforce. The in-depth evaluation is performed on a patient after they have recovered from a work related injury, disease or other medical condition.

The exam usually involves the patient performing specific functional and work-related tasks that test their ability by evaluating the following: ...


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Gait Analysis

Gait analysis, also known as walking or motion analysis, is a comprehensive evaluation of the way an individual stands and walks. The purpose of gait analysis is to detect any abnormalities in locomotion. An individual's gait is a combination of complex functions involving use of the body's visual, somatosensory and vestibular systems. Problems within any of these systems, as well as problems in the joints involved, can lead to postural and gait abnormalities. Gait analysis, as a noninvasive method of detection, is of great value in identifying certain medical conditions, determining whether further testing is required, and illuminating possible treatment options. ...


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Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that usually forms on top of a tendon or the covering of a joint in the wrist or hand. It is the most common type of soft-tissue growth in the wrist or hand, and can develop suddenly or over time. Although usually benign and harmless, it can put pressure on nearby nerves, potentially causing pain, weakness or numbness. The cause of a ganglion cyst is unknown, although it tends to occur in people who have osteoarthritis, and in women between the ages of 25 and 45. They often develop when the soft sheath around a tendon or joint swells and fills with mucus. ...


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Guyon's Canal Syndrome

Guyon's canal syndrome (handlebar palsy) is caused by the entrapment of the ulnar nerve within a tunnel-like structure in the wrist known as Guyon's canal. The Guyon's canal is formed by two bones and the ligament that connects them. The ulnar nerve runs down from the neck, through the arm and into the hand, and supplies feeling to the ring and pinky fingers. It also supports the muscles of the palm and thumb. When the ulnar nerve becomes damaged or compressed within the Guyon's canal, it can cause pain, pressure, weakness and numbness in the hand, wrist and fingers. ...


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Hammertoes

A hammertoe is an abnormally crooked, contracted toe that takes the shape of an inverted "V." This condition develops when a muscle or tendon imbalance causes the toe to buckle and eventually become stuck in a bent position. Hammertoes may occur for a number of reasons, including hereditary abnormalities, rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic injury, or the wearing of poorly fitted or high-heeled shoes. ...


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Hamstring Injury

An injury to the hamstring muscle is a painful problem, frequent among athletes, especially those who sprint, or run and stop suddenly. The hamstring is not a single muscle, but three muscles located at the back of the thigh. A hamstring injury may involve a strain, which is a stretching or partial tearing of the muscle, or an avulsion injury, which is a complete tear of the muscle, pulling it away from the bone. Because hamstring injuries are usually the result of one of the muscles being stretched beyond capacity, such injuries are commonly referred to as "pulled hamstrings." ...


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Hand Therapy

The hands are a particularly common site for traumatic injuries, including those from falls, automobile accidents and sports activity. The hands are also prone to certain degenerative conditions, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, that may be related to wear and tear, or repetitive motion. Hand therapy is a discipline that treats injuries and conditions affecting the hands, elbows and wrists. ...


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Heel Spurs

A heel spur is an outgrowth of bone, known as a bone spur or osteophyte, on the heel of the foot. Bone spurs form as the body attempts to repair damage caused by constant physical irritation, pressure or stress, and may form in various regions of the body. They develop in the heel for a variety of reasons. In many cases, the long ligament that runs across the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia, gets pulled too tightly and an inflammation known as plantar fasciitis results. As the body tries to repair the damage, a heel spur may form. ...


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Herniated Disc

A herniated disc (also called a ruptured or slipped disc) is a damaged "cushion" between two bones in the spine (vertebrae). Normally, the gelatinous discs between the vertebrae hold the bones in place and act as shock absorbers, permitting the spine to bend smoothly. When a disc protrudes beyond its normal parameters, and its tough outer layer of cartilage cracks, the disc is considered "herniated." ...


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Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy (aquatic therapy) is a form of physical rehabilitation that uses the properties of water to help promote healing of several different conditions. Because of its natural properties, water can provide relief from the pain associated with orthopedic disorders such as arthritis, chronic back pain and bone fractures; neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy; and muscular conditions such as fibromyalgia. ...


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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The iliotibial band is a band of tissue that runs along the outside of the leg from the hip to just below the knee, providing functionality and stability to the knee joint and surrounding area. Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when this band becomes so tight and inflamed that it rubs against the outer portion of the femur, causing irritation and instability to the knee joint. Also known as IT band syndrome, this condition often occurs in people who are physically active, such as runners or cyclists. ...


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Internal Fixation of Distal Humerus Fractures

The distal humerus is the end of the upper arm bone, or the humerus, that forms the upper part of the elbow. A distal humerus fracture is a type of elbow fracture. The elbow consists of portions of three bones and is held together by ligaments, muscles and tendons. The distal humerus makes up the upper part of the actual elbow joint and when it is fractured, it can make elbow motion difficult or impossible. ...


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Intramedullary Rodding

A broken thighbone, also known as a femur fracture, is a serious and painful injury. The femur is one of the strongest bones in the body, and a break or fracture in the femur bone is often caused by severe injury such as trauma sustained in a motor vehicle accident. After a fracture, an intramedullary rod may be used to realign and stabilize the femur bone to promote healing. Also known as intramedullary nailing, this is a common treatment for a femur shaft fracture and involves reconnecting the two ends of the bone and holding them in place with a metal rod. The rod is held in place with screws placed above and below the fracture. This procedure promotes proper healing, as the bone is restored to its normal position. ...


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Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring

Spinal surgery carries certain risks, which, although rare, include spinal injury and nerve damage. To reduce these risks, intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) is often used. IONM allows a surgeon to oversee how nerves are functioning throughout a surgical procedure. Using a range of techniques to evaluate muscle response and electrical activity from multiple muscles as a reaction to nerve stimulation, the equipment used in IONM obtains vital information from a patient's central nervous system throughout the surgery. Through sound or visual cues, IONM alerts a surgeon that a patient's nerve function may be compromised, which decreases the chances of irreversible neurological damage. ...


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Joint Reconstruction and Replacement

Because joints are in constant use, they often wear out over time due to overuse or aging. Joint reconstruction or replacement may be required to relieve the resulting pain and restore function. Most joints in the body, including the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles and feet, are synovial, permitting movement and articulation. When these joints suffer traumatic injury, or when the cartilage that normally protects them wears away, surgical repair or replacement may be necessary. ...


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Jones Fracture

A Jones fracture, named for the doctor who first described it, is an injury to the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot, the bone at the base of the small toe. This fracture most often occurs as the result of an ankle sprain or other foot injury where the foot turns inward (inversion injury), and not as a result of direct impact to the area. Repetitive stress may also cause a Jones fracture. ...


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Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and it commonly affects the knees. Arthritis of the knee may develop as the cartilage protecting the bones of the knee joint wears down over time. Over the years, as stress is put on the joints, cartilage wears thin and sometimes even erodes completely, resulting in stiffness and pain. Arthritis of the knee occurs more frequently in older individuals, however it sometimes develops in athletes from overuse of the knee joint or after an injury. ...


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Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to examine tissues inside the knee. During an arthroscopic procedure, a device known as an arthroscope is inserted into a small incision in the knee. Through this tube, a thin fiberoptic light, magnifying lens and tiny video camera are inserted, allowing the doctor to examine the joint in great detail. Arthroscopy may be a diagnostic procedure following a physical examination and imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans or X-rays. It may also be used as a method of treatment to repair small injuries in the knee. ...


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Kyphosis

Kyphosis is an exaggerated rounding of the upper back, sometimes called a hunchback. Most often found in postmenopausal women, when it is referred to as a "dowager's hump," it is also fairly common in adolescent girls. At times, kyphosis is a congenital condition and it may also show up in boys between the ages of 10 and 15 as a manifestation of the hereditary disorder known as Scheuermann's kyphosis. Individuals with osteoporosis or who have connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome, are also at greater risk of developing kyphosis. Although patients with kyphosis may suffer back pain, stiffness or fatigue, most people with mild cases have no discernible symptoms. ...


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Labral Debridement

The labrum is a protective layer of cartilage in the hip joint. It provides this relatively shallow ball-and-socket joint with more stability and cushioning, allowing for a full range of motion. Tears in this cartilage, known as labral tears, are often caused by either trauma to the hip or chronic overuse. Such injuries are more common in individuals who play sports which require repetitive twisting or pivoting motions, such as golf or hockey. Tears of this type may also be the result of excessive wear on the labrum due to anatomical abnormalities. Labral tears can lead to pain, stiffness and a catch or click within the joint during movement. ...


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Laminectomy

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure to relieve the spinal nerve compression that results from spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas of the spinal canal. A herniated disc results when a disc, the gelatinous tissue between two vertebrae, protrudes outside the parameters of the spine. Both spinal stenosis and disc herniation result in excessive pressure on adjacent spinal nerves, causing pain, cramping, numbness, tingling or weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, lower back or legs, depending on where on the spine the problem occurs. Both conditions may result from aging, injury, or arthritic deterioration. ...


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Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprain

The collateral ligaments are located on the sides of the knees. The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is located within the knee joint, connecting the outer side of the thigh bone (femur) to the fibula, the smaller bone in the lower leg. The LCL provides strength and stability to the joint and helps the knee to resist force and stay stable during unusual movement. The collateral ligaments also control the sideways motion of the knee. This ligament may become torn or damaged as a result of direct impact or force that may push the knee sideways. An injury may cause the LCL to loosen, stretch, and possibly tear, resulting in pain and inflammation on the outer part of the knee. An LCL sprain commonly occurs in athletes who participate in collision sports such as rugby and football. ...


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Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is an elbow injury that occurs as a result of the overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow. The pain associated with this condition affects the lateral epicondyle, the area where the tendons of the forearm connect with the bony outer portion of the elbow. Repetitive movement and constant use during certain types of activities may put excessive strain on the elbow tendons. Tennis elbow may occur in tennis players or individuals who participate in certain athletic activities, but may also occur in people who have jobs that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm, such as carpenters, or people in construction related trades. ...


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Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is a spinal fusion technique performed from the side of the body rather than from the back or through the abdomen. Spinal fusion procedures are performed for the relief of persistent pain in the lower back, the lumbar region of the spine. Interbody fusion refers to surgery in which an interverterbal disc is removed and the adjacent vertebrae are joined. The connection between the two vertebrae is accomplished through the use of a bone graft or through the insertion of bone morphogenetic protein, a manufactured substance also naturally found in the body. LLIF can be used to treat nerve compression, disc degeneration, spondylothesis and other painful lower back conditions. ...


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Lumbar Microdiscectomy

Lumbar microdiscectomy, also known lumbar disc microsurgery, is performed to remove a piece of intervertebral disc that is pressing on a spinal nerve and causing severe pain, weakness or numbness in the lumbar, or lower, back. This pain may extend down the length of the leg, and is then referred to as radicular pain. The lumbar back is the largest moveable segment of the vertebral column and is especially vulnerable to painful disorders, both because it is the part of the spine most affected most by twisting and bending, and because it bears the most body weight. ...


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Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

A lumbar epidural steroid injection is a minimally invasive procedure for treating leg, buttock and lower back pain originating from the epidural space. The epidural space surrounds the dura, a membrane which protects the spinal cord and its nerves. The primary reasons for pain in this area are herniated or ruptured discs, stenosis, or sciatica all of which result in nerve compression. The pain may originate in any part of the lumbar region of the spine, including the coccyx, or tailbone, where it is referred to as caudal. ...


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Lumbar Facet-Joint Injections

Lumbar facet-joint injections are both a minimally invasive treatment for lower-back pain caused by inflamed facet joints, and a diagnostic tool to determine whether facet-joint inflammation is the source of the pain. Facet joints connect each vertebra to the vertebra above and below it. A facet-joint injection, administered either into the joint capsule or its surrounding tissue, combines a long-lasting corticosteroid with a local anesthetic. Although the anesthetic provides only very temporary pain relief, the corticosteroid reduces inflammation and can relieve pain for up to a few years. Enduring pain relief from the injection is diagnostically significant, indicating that the pain originates in the facet joint that received the injection. ...


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Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap, is most often performed as a diagnostic procedure, but may also be performed as a means to administer anesthetic or chemotherapy medications. When a lumbar puncture is performed for diagnostic purposes, a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord, is withdrawn from the lower portion of the spine for analysis. Analysis of CSF can help detect the presence or absence of several serious diseases. These diseases include: meningitis, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and certain cancers. ...


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Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Block

A lumbar sympathetic nerve block is administered to both diagnose and treat pain in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. It is used to determine whether the lumbar sympathetic nerves, which carry pain impulses from the lower extremities, are the cause of the pain, and, in some cases, serves to eliminate that pain altogether. During the procedure, medication is injected into or around the lumbar sympathetic nerves on one side of the body. ...


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Mallet Finger

Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, involves a tear in the finger's extensor tendon, the tendon that allows the finger to straighten. A finger with this injury droops at its tip. Whenever a fingertip is jammed or forcefully bent down during any activity, the extensor tendon can tear. Because this injury is often caused by a direct blow to the finger from a ball or similar object, baseball and basketball players are especially susceptible. At times, during a mallet finger injury, a piece of bone is torn away with the tendon. This is known as an avulsion fracture. ...


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Manipulation Under Anesthesia

Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) is a noninvasive procedure to treat chronic pain unmanageable by other methods. MUA is designed not only to relieve pain, but also to break up excessive scar tissue. Scar tissue frequently builds up after orthopedic surgery, impeding movement of soft tissue and joints, so MUA is a valuable in re-establishing optimal range of motion. The patient normally goes through a series of examinations, including imaging tests and laboratory work, before undergoing MUA. These tests are necessary to precisely identify the targeted area and to ensure the patient's ability to benefit from the procedure. MUA may be performed by a number of different types of medical professionals, but only those who have studied MUA and received certification in the technique. ...


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Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain

The collateral ligaments are located on the sides of the knees. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is located in the knee, connecting the inner side of the thigh bone to the shin (tibia) bone. The MCL helps the knee to resist force and keeps it stable against unusual movement. The collateral ligaments also control the sideways motion of the knee. This ligament may become torn or damaged as a result of direct impact to the outside of the knee. An injury may cause the MCL to loosen, stretch and possibly tear, resulting in pain and inflammation. ...


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Medial Epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer's elbow, is a painful condition in which the tendons connecting the forearm to the elbow have become damaged due to injury or overuse. Previously thought to be a form of tendonitis, or inflammation of the tendon, medial epicondylitis is now considered to be a form of tendonosis in which the collagen fibers making up the tendon have deteriorated. Patients with this condition experience pain on the inside of the elbow that may radiate into the forearm. This pain results when the epicondyle puts pressure on the ulnar nerve, a nerve in the forearm. Most often, medial epicondylitis can be treated successfully by simple measures like resting the arm and applying ice. In some cases, however, it requires surgical correction. ...


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Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage located in the knee, that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and the thighbone. There are two minisci within each knee. The meniscus on the inside part of the knee is known as the medial meniscus and the meniscus located on the outside of the knee is referred to as the lateral meniscus. A meniscus tear may occur during an activity in which the knee is forcibly twisted or rotated. Common injuries in athletes, meniscus tears may also occur in older adults whose cartilage has worn away as a result of of wear and tear, or in anyone who suffers a traumatic injury. ...


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Metacarpophalangeal Joint Arthroplasty

The metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints are located within the knuckles of the fingers. Metacarpophalangeal joint arthroplasty is a procedure performed to treat rheumatoid arthritis of the MCP joints. Also known as joint replacement, arthroplasty involves removing the damaged joints and tissue, and replacing them with synthetic materials or artificial implants. Although MCP joint arthroplasty is a complex procedure often used as a last resort for treating rheumatoid arthritis, it is often very successful, with results lasting for several years. ...


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Microdiscectomy

A microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression spine surgery, is a surgical procedure that removes part of an impinged intervertebral disc in order to relieve pain, weakness and numbness throughout the body. It is usually reserved for patients with severe symptoms that do not respond to more conservative treatments, and significantly affect the patient's quality of life. ...


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Morton's Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful condition in which excess fibrous tissue accumulates around a nerve in the ball the foot, usually between the third and fourth toes. Patients may experience pain, burning, tingling or numbness in the foot, radiating into the toes, and often report feeling as if they are walking on a pebble. Pain may be soothed by taking weight off the foot or by massaging the area. The pain of Morton's neuroma is likely to worsen over time, becoming more severe and more persistent. The condition is found more frequently in women than in men. ...


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Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic condition in which trigger points (muscle knots) develop in certain muscles, usually ones that have been injured or overused. Jobs and recreational activities that involve repetitive motions, in which muscles repeatedly contract, are common causes. Trigger points can also be caused by stress and anxiety. Myofascial pain is most common in middle-aged adults, although people of any age may be affected. ...


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Myositis

Myositis is a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscles to become swollen and inflamed. This disorder affects the voluntary muscles of the body that consciously control movement. Myositis may develop slowly over time and can range in severity from mild to severe. Myositis causes progressive weakness and inflammation in muscles throughout the body and can affect adults and children. ...


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Nerve Conduction Study

Nerve conduction study (NCS), also known as a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test, enables the diagnosis of possible nerve damage by measuring the speed with which an electrical impulse travels through a nerve. This test, often performed in conjunction with electromyography (EMG), allows the doctor to differentiate nervous system issues from musculoskeletal ones, and is invaluable in helping to establish the source of nerve damage, information that can be vital to effective treatment. Nerve conduction studies may be used to diagnose specific causes of nerve damages, including: substance abuse, nerve compression or various types of neuropathy. ...


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Nerve Pain

Nerve pain often results from nerve entrapment syndrome, the damage caused when a nerve is pinched or compressed. Patients with this condition may experience mild or severe pain that is temporary or chronic. The nerves of the body extend from the brain and spinal cord, threading through to every region of the body. The compression of the nerve can take place in the spine, causing pain to radiate into the limbs, or can take place in other parts of the body. It may occur do to a traumatic injury, repeated stress, or an underlying disease condition. ...


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Nonunion Bone Repair

When a broken bone does not heal it is referred to as a nonunion. A nonunion often occurs when the bone lacks the adequate stability or bloodflow to heal. Poor nutrition, smoking, diabetes, infection, or advanced age may put patients at risk for the nonunion of a broken bone. Patients suffering from bones that have not healed properly may suffer from continuous pain or swelling at the fracture site and imaging tests often indicate a gap in the bone that has not closed. There are several different methods of treatment available to correct a nonunion and initiate proper healing of the bone. ...


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Nonunion Fracture

When a fractured (broken) bone does not heal, it is referred to as a "nonunion" fracture. Although most fractures eventually heal, either by themselves or with surgery, approximately 5 percent do not heal, or have difficulty doing so (referred to as a "delayed union"). In order to properly treat a nonunion fracture, determining its cause is essential. The most common causes of nonunion are infection; not enough blood flow to the bone; separation of the fractured ends of the bone; and insufficient stabilization of the fracture. ...


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On-Site X-rays

X-rays are imaging tests that produce images of the structures inside the body. X-rays use a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves to produce these internal images. As these waves penetrate the body, they are absorbed in different amounts by different body tissues. Bones are dense and absorb X-ray waves very well and the images appear very clearly, but soft tissues do not absorb the X-rays as well and are therefore harder to see on an X-ray image. Often used to confirm a fracture or a break in a bone, X-rays may be used to investigate lung conditions, digestive tract problems, arthritis, heart failure, breast cancer and other conditions. ...


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Open Reduction Internal Fixation of the Ankle

An ankle fracture is a common injury that involves a break in one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint. This may include a crack or break in the the tibia, fibula, or talus. The more bones that are broken, the more complicated and severe the fracture is. Common causes of an ankle fracture may include a sports injury, a motor vehicle accident or a fall. Treatment for an ankle fracture can vary depending on the severity of the condition. While mild fractures may be treated through nonsurgical methods, more severe fractures may require surgery to realign the bones and ensure that they heal correctly. ...


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Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It develops as the cartilage protecting the bones of a joint wears down over time. Over the years, as stress is put on the joints, cartilage wears thin and sometimes even erodes completely, resulting in stiffness and pain. It occurs more frequently in older individuals, however it sometimes develops in athletes from overuse of a joint or after an injury. It commonly affects the fingers, knees, lower back and hips, and is often treated with medication, specific exercises, and physical therapy. In severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be suggested. Osteoarthritis tends to get worse over time. ...


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Osteoarthritis of the Ankle

Osteoarthritis, a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, develops over time as the cartilage protecting the bones in the joints wears down. It is the most common form of arthritis, and can affect any joint, including the ankle joint, which connects the shinbone (tibia) to the upper bone of the foot (talus). ...


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Osteochondral Lesion of the Talus

The talus is the uppermost bone in the foot that, together with the tibia, makes up the ankle joint. The top of the talus is a dome-shaped area that is completely covered with cartilage to allow for smooth, painless movement of the joint. When the ankle joint is injured, the cartilage may become torn or fractured leading to a condition called an osteochondral lesion of the talus. In severe cases, as piece of cartilage may even break off but stay wedged in place. Also known as a talar dome lesion, this condition causes pain and swelling within the ankle, and left untreated, may lead to long-term damage to the bone. ...


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Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone. Osteomyelitis is caused by an infection that develops in the bone or spreads to the bone from another area, and may result in the formation of an abscess in the bone that blocks blood supply. In children, this condition commonly affects the long bones of the arms or legs and it is more common in the bones of the spine or hips in adults. Most cases of osteomyelitis are caused by germs or the staphylococcus bacteria, that has spread from infected skin, muscles or tendons. Bacteria may be transmitted from another part of the body to the bones, through the blood. ...


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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle, placing them at a high risk for fracture. In all individuals, bone wears down over time, but is replaced with new bone tissue. As people age, bone loss occurs at a faster rate than new bone is created, resulting in osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the result of increasing bone loss, and is more common in older people, especially women. ...


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Patellofemoral Syndrome

Patellofemoral syndrome, also known as chondromalacia patella, is a painful knee condition caused by a degeneration of the cartilage in the kneecap, which may be caused by overuse, injury, obesity or malalignment of the kneecap. While this condition can affect anyone, it is most common in athletes and people who put heavy stress on their knees. ...


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Physical Therapy for Ankle Conditions

Certain conditions affect the ankle joint, causing stiffness and pain, and difficulty with walking. People with chronic ankle problems caused by issues such as ankle impingement or chronic ankle instability, or conditions such as osteoarthritis, often undergo rehabilitation to strengthen the ankle and increase its flexibility, and/or relearn how walk properly. ...


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Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Arthritis causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that develops when cartilage in a joint wears down; another type is rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation in the lining of a joint. Both types cause pain, tenderness and swelling, and can end up limiting a joint's movement. Over time, joints affected by arthritis can become severely damaged. Arthritis tends to affect older people, although athletes sometimes develop it from overuse or injury. ...


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Physical Therapy for Elbow Conditions

Elbow injuries are common conditions. Repetitive movement and constant use during certain types of activities may put excessive strain on the elbow tendons. Conditions such as tennis elbow may occur in tennis players or individuals who participate in certain athletic activities, but may also occur in people who have jobs that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm such as carpenters, or people in construction related trades. ...


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Physical Therapy for Finger Conditions

A fractured (broken) finger is often the result of trauma, such as that caused by falling on an outstretched hand or slamming a finger in a door. Left untreated, a fractured finger can lead to functional problems, permanent stiffness and pain. Most broken fingers can be successfully treated without surgery, however, a severe finger fracture may require open reduction surgery, which repositions any displaced bones, allowing the finger to function properly once it has healed. ...


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Physical Therapy for Hip Conditions

For people experiencing pain, discomfort and limited mobility due to hip-related injuries or conditions, physical therapy may be beneficial in promoting hip function, strengthening the joint, and maximizing the patient's range of motion. For mild hip conditions, physical therapy may be sufficient to lubricate the joint, lessen pain, and ease mobility. Physical therapy is an important part of the rehabilitation process for individuals with hip-related conditions. ...


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Physical Therapy for Knee Pain

Knee pain is often the result of injury, a mechanical issue or arthritis. One injury that causes knee pain is a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); a mechanical issue that causes knee pain is a dislocated knee cap. There are many types of arthritis that cause knee pain; two of the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Treating knee pain with physical therapy can minimize or eliminate pain, and restore movement. ...


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Physical Therapy for Shoulder Conditions

After initial treatment for a shoulder condition, rehabilitation in the form of physical therapy is often necessary to restore full strength and range of motion to the shoulder, and help the patient return to all usual activities. The physical therapy regimen is designed to strengthen muscles and increase mobility. In some cases, physical therapy alone is used to treat a shoulder condition. ...


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Physical Therapy for Wrist Injuries

Wrist injuries can cause damage to ligaments, resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited mobility of the wrist. Left untreated, problems with the wrist joint may occur and arthritis may develop within the joints. Whether the wrist bone is broken, or joints are damaged, any kind of injury to the wrist joint can alter how the joint works. After the initial injury has been treated and healing begins, physical therapy can be beneficial for helping patients to regain range of motion, strength, and function to the wrist. ...


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Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle, which runs from the lower spine to the top of the thigh bone, presses on the sciatic nerve. As a result, it causes pain, tingling and numbness in the buttocks and, often, down the back of the leg. The pain often worsens as a result of sitting for a long period of time, walking, running, or climbing stairs. While piriformis syndrome may occur for no apparent reason or develop after regular physical activity, it is sometimes caused by a a traumatic injury, such as a car accident or a fall. ...


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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the base of the toes. This band normally supports the muscles and the arch of the foot, functioning as a shock absorber, but if, after repeated stretching, it tears, inflammation and severe heel pain, exacerbated by standing or walking, result. Plantar fasciitis is the most frequent cause of heel pain and a common reason for the development of outgrowths of bone, called heel spurs, as well. It is more common in women and tends to occur as people age. ...


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Platelet-Rich-Plasma Injections

Platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) injections use components of the body's own blood to stimulate healing. Platelets, which are usually associated with coagulation (clotting), are also, according to recent research, able to assist in mending and strengthening damaged tissue by increasing certain growth factors. During the normal healing process, the body uses platelets to promote new-tissue growth and repair injuries. By supplementing platelet content, the healing process is accelerated. There is ongoing research on the efficacy of PRP injections, and some medical professionals remain skeptical about their value. ...


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Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections FAQs

Certain elements within the blood, specifically the platelets, help tissues to heal by stimulating a repair and growth response. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections promote accelerated healing by supplementing the platelet content of an area in which tissue has been damaged. ...


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Popliteal Cyst

A popliteal cyst, also known as a Baker's cyst, manifests as a bulging sac of synovial fluid behind the knee.

Causes of a Popliteal Cyst

The cyst can form as a result of the following conditions:

  • A tear in knee cartilage
  • Knee arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other knee conditions

Symptoms of a Popliteal Cyst

This condition can cause a host of symptoms including: ...


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Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-laminectomy syndrome is a condition in which a patient continues to experience pain and disability after a laminectomy, a type of spinal surgery. During a laminectomy, a piece of the layer of bone covering the back of the spinal cord (the lamina) is removed to eliminate compression on the spinal nerves. This surgery may be performed in conjunction with other back surgery, such as a discectomy, and is most often performed to relieve stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column. The development of post-laminectomy syndrome is a complication of the procedure. Post-laminectomy syndrome is a type of failed back surgery, a broader category which includes chronic pain following any spinal surgery, including spinal fusion. ...


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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is one of four ligaments that helps support the knee and protects the shin bone (tibia) from sliding too far backwards. The cruciate ligaments are located inside the knee joint and cross over each other, forming an "X". The anterior cruciate ligament is in the front and the posterior cruciate ligament is located behind it in the back of the knee. These ligaments control the back and forth motion of the knee. ...


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Posterior Lumbar Fusion

Posterior lumbar fusion, also known as arthrodesis, is a surgical procedure performed to join two or more of the lumbar vertebrae (the small bones of the lower back) into one solid bone. This operation is designed to stop mechanical pain, the pain associated with the movement of the affected bones that results in inflammation of the discs and joints. During this surgery, a bone graft is inserted along the side of the vertebrae which will eventually help the bones grow together. The procedure is called a posterior fusion because the surgeon works on the back of the spine. ...


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Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a spinal surgical procedure performed to provide relief from debilitating pain in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. PLIF is performed by through the patient's back. A posterior approach can be advantageous since it avoids interfering with the many organs and major blood vessels present in the abdominal region. Also, a posterior approach brings the surgeon to the affected site more quickly. Interbody fusion involves removing an interverterbal disc, replacing it with a bone spacer and fusing the two vertebrae on either side. ...


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Quadriceps Tendon Tear

The quadriceps tendon attaches the quadricep muscles to the patella bone in the lower, front part of the thigh, just above the knee. These muscles, tendons and bones work together to help straighten the knee. A quadriceps tear is a serious injury that can cause loss of knee function. The quadriceps tendon may become inflamed and eventually tear from athletic activity that strains the tendons, such as running, bicycling and dancing. Jumping activities, such as playing basketball, may put an athlete at a higher risk of a quadriceps tear, as landing puts immense strain on the quadriceps tendon. Quadriceps tendon tears can also be caused by falls or direct force to the front of the knee. Although a quadriceps tendon tear may occur at any age, it is more common in middle-aged individuals who are physically active. ...


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Radial Head Fracture

The radial head is the top of the radial bone, located just below the elbow. The radius runs from the wrist to the elbow, and fractures in this bone often occur near the top of the bone, or the radial head. A radial head fracture may be caused by a fall or a sports-related injury, and in some cases, a radial head fracture may occur when the elbow has been dislocated. Symptoms of a radial head fracture include elbow pain and swelling, and difficulty bending the elbow. It also may be difficult to move or turn the forearm. ...


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Radial Tunnel Injections

Radial tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when pressure is placed on the radial nerve in the area of the elbow. The radial nerve runs from the neck through the arm and down to the hand, and the radial tunnel is a pathway for the nerve through the lateral, or outer, portion of the elbow. Radial tunnel syndrome occurs when the radial nerve is squeezed or compressed as it passes through the radial tunnel near the elbow. Symptoms of radial tunnel syndrome may include pain, weakness, and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. This pain tends to get worse when the wrist is bent backward, the palms are turned upward, or the elbow is straightened. People with radial tunnel syndrome may experience chronic pain and discomfort. ...


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Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Radiofrequency neurotomy is a treatment designed to provide relief from severe pain in the back or neck. It uses the heat generated by radiofrequency waves to interfere with the nerves' ability to send out pain signals. The heat generated by these waves is delivered to targeted nerve areas through special needles that are inserted, just above the spinal area, through the skin. ...


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Radiofrequency Rhizotomy

Radiofrequency rhizotomy, also known as neurotomy, is a minimally-invasive procedure for treating nerve pain in the spine. The procedure works by sending pulses of heat energy generated by radio waves to the affected nerves. The goal is to stop these nerves from processing pain signals from injured facet joints, the small joints located between the vertebrae. ...


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Range of Motion Testing

Range of motion refers to the movement potential of a joint from full extension to full flexion (bending). Range of motion, also known as ROM, is a measure of flexibility involving ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones, and joints, so testing for ROM is essential in determining fitness and in assessing possible damage. Full range of motion indicates that the particular joint has the ability to move in all the directions it is supposed to move. ...


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Range-of-Motion Exercises

Range-of-motion exercises are prescribed to improve joint function after an injury or surgical procedure, or as ongoing treatment for chronic osteoarthritis or other disease. Their goal is to keep a patient flexible by gently increasing the range of joint and muscle movement, and decreasing pain, swelling and stiffness. ...


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Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon is a condition that causes the fingers and toes to turn blue or white and become numb after exposure to cold temperatures, or in response to emotional stress. Raynaud's phenomenon is caused by a constriction of blood vessels in the affected area that cause the skin to change color temporarily. Although it most commonly affects the fingers and toes, this condition can also affect the nose, lips or earlobes. Raynaud's phenomenon is more common in women and people who live in cold climates. ...


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Reconstructive Foot Surgery

Disorders of the foot develop from a wide range of causes, many of which can be treated with reconstructive foot surgery. Reconstructive surgery can help repair congenital defects, diseases and injuries, often alleviating aesthetic concerns at the same time as it relieves serious medical symptoms and restores normal function. While conservative treatments are frequently the first response to foot disorders, in many cases, reconstructive surgery may be the best available option. Most often, reconstructive foot surgery can be performed outpatient, with minimally invasive techniques, sometimes right in the doctor's office. ...


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Rehabilitation After a Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of tough cartilage located in the knee, that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and the thighbone. There are two minisci within each knee. A meniscus tear may be the result of an activity that forcefully twists or rotates the knee. A torn meniscus is a common knee injury that may be caused by playing sports, or a traumatic injury, and often occurs when the knee joint is bent and the knee is then twisted. Torn menisci are common in athletes, but in some cases this condition may occur in older adults whose cartilage has worn away, as a result of many years of wear and tear of the joint. ...


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Rehabilitation After Ankle Fracture

An ankle fracture, commonly known as a broken ankle, involves any type of break or crack, often caused by a sports injury or a fall, in the tibia, fibula, or talus. This injury can include injury to one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint. The more bones that are broken, the more complicated and severe the fracture is. Treatment for a broken ankle depends on the type and severity of the individual fracture, but may include wearing a cast or brace, applying ice and taking anti-inflammatory medication. Stable fractures can usually heal on their own within a few weeks, while more complicated ones may require surgery to reposition the broken bone. ...


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Rehabilitation After Femur Fracture

The methods used to treat femur fractures can vary, and rehabilitation is always necessary after the initial treatment, to restore full movement and mobility to the ankle and help the patient return to all usual activities. After the thigh bone has healed from the initial treatment for the fracture, and patients can bear weight on the leg and joint, a physical therapy regimen is implemented to strengthen muscles and increase mobility. Without proper rehabilitation, complications such as chronic pain, inflammation and weakness, may cause difficulty walking and performing physical activities. ...


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Rehabilitation After Hand Surgery

Hand surgery, which is performed by orthopedic, plastic or general surgeons who have completed additional training, is used to treat problems involving the hand, wrist and forearm. Although the goal of hand surgeons is to treat problems nonsurgically, in certain instances, when other treatments have failed, surgery may be necessary. Setting fractures, treating rheumatoid arthritis, eliminating carpal tunnel pain, and correcting birth defects are four areas in which surgery may be required. ...


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Rehabilitation After Knee Arthroplasty

Physical therapy begins very soon after knee arthroplasty (replacement) is complete, and usually lasts for about 6 weeks. Patients are given analgesics to relieve postoperative pain sufficiently so that they can begin knee exercises as soon as possible. At first, they are encouraged to sit up and perform knee slides. Within days, or even hours, they are instructed to perform other exercises in order to regain muscle strength and flexibility. In addition, many patients are taught to use continuous passive motion devices. ...


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Rehabilitation after Meniscal Transplant

After meniscal transplant surgery, a knee brace and crutches are required for approximately four to six weeks. This allows the transplanted meniscus and surrounding tissue to become fully attached to the bone while it heals. A physical therapy program is an important part of the rehabilitation process and will help patients regain flexibility, strength and motion in the knee joint. Without proper rehabilitation, complications such as chronic pain, inflammation and weakness, may cause difficulty walking and performing physical activities. ...


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Rehabilitation After Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder surgery is performed for any number of reasons, including repairing a torn rotator cuff, correcting shoulder instability, or repositioning a dislocated shoulder. After surgery, the shoulder is susceptible to reinjury, so it is important to closely follow rehabilitation guidelines to ensure proper healing and regain full range of motion. To help restore the shoulder's full function, physical therapy is an essential part of rehabilitation. ...


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Rehabilitation after Tibial Osteotomy

Physical therapy often begins shortly after surgery to help restore strength and movement and allow patients to gradually resume their regular activities. Initial physical therapy treatments may include ice, electrical stimulation and massage, to help control pain and swelling. As the healing begins, exercises are used to increase movement and mobility. Physical therapy exercises focus on improving the strength, control, and movement of knee and leg. Treatment may include: ...


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Rehabilitation for a Hamstring Injury

An injury to the hamstring muscle, the muscle at the back of the thigh, is an ailment frequently affecting athletes, particularly those who sprint, such as soccer and basketball players, gymnasts, runners and dancers. After first-aid treatment with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), rehabilitation is typically very beneficial. While some mild hamstring injuries heal with minimal care, most patients require physical therapy to gently stretch and strengthen the muscle once the initial pain and swelling have subsided. ...


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Rehabilitation for a Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus is a common knee injury, and typically the result of forcefully rotating the knee while it is bearing weight. The meniscus, a piece of cartilage that functions as a shock absorber, can also tear as a result of the degenerative changes that occur during aging. In many cases, a torn meniscus goes undetected; in some, however, they cause intense pain. Although arthroscopic surgery is sometimes necessary to repair a tear, in many cases physical therapy is all that is needed. If arthroscopic surgery is necessary, postsurgical physical therapy is required. ...


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Rehabilitation for Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. This tendon helps the foot to point downward and assists with foot movement for walking, running and jumping. If stretched too far, the tendon can tear or rupture, causing severe pain in the ankle and lower leg that can make it difficult or even impossible to walk. An Achilles tendon rupture often occurs as a result of repeated stress on the tendon and may be partially or completely ruptured, depending on the severity of the injury. A ruptured achilles tendon may result from a fall or a sports related injury. Surgery is a common treatment for a rupture of the Achilles tendon. ...


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Rehabilitation for Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. This condition frequently affects athletes and occurs when excessive stress and pressure are placed on the tendon. Achilles tendonitis is usually a painful but short-lived condition. Treatment for Achilles tendonitis varies and can range from conservative treatments that may include rest, anti-inflammatory medication and ice, to surgery for more severe cases. Although the methods used to treat Achilles tendonitis may vary, rehabilitation is often necessary after the initial treatment, to restore full movement and mobility and help the patient return to all usual activities. ...


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Rehabilitation for Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis, commonly referred to as frozen shoulder, is a common condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder. Symptoms of frozen shoulder tend to worsen over time, however, even without treatment, symptoms may resolve on their own in about two years time. This period is referred to as the thawing phase, during which pain and stiffness of the shoulder subside and range of motion is slowly restored. The main form of treatment for frozen shoulder is pain medication and physical therapy. Surgery is rarely required. ...


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Rehabilitation for Amputees

Amputation is the removal of a limb or extremity: arm, leg, hand, foot, finger or toe. Amputation is a treatment of last resort, performed only after all other forms of treatment have failed. It is used to treat severe infection, disease progression, removal of a tumor on a bone or muscle, or persistent pain. Before undergoing an amputation, a thorough physical examination is performed to verify that amputation is the only feasible option. The most common type of amputation is removal, either above or below the knee, of the leg. ...


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Rehabilitation for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which runs diagonally through the middle of the knee, is one of the knee's most frequently injured ligaments. About half of all ACL injuries are accompanied by damage to the meniscus, cartilage, bone or other ligaments in the knee, complicating the healing process. After initial treatment of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), a patient with an ACL injury will require physical therapy. ...


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Rehabilitation for Bursitis

Bursitis is the painful inflammation of a bursa, a sac between tissues that is filled with lubricating fluid. In many cases, the condition can be treated at home by resting, applying ice, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In more severe cases, rehabilitation is necessary. Generally speaking, bursitis pain that persists for a week or more should be evaluated by a physician. ...


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Rehabilitation for Calf Muscle Strain

There are two calf muscles located at the back of the lower leg, the gastrocnemius and the soleus. These muscles are important, providing strength and stability to both the knee and heel joints. Calf muscle strains are injuries that commonly result when the muscle is stretched, or pulled, beyond its usual limits. For this reason, the injury is frequently referred to as a "pulled" muscle. Calf muscle strains are most common in athletes whose sport requires quick bursts of speed, including running, basketball, soccer and football. ...


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Rehabilitation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a narrow, fibrous passage in the wrist that protects the median nerve, which runs down the length of arm and through the wrist into the hand. The median nerve controls some hand movement, and sensation in the thumb, index and middle fingers, and half of the ring finger. Irritation or compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel can cause tingling and numbness in the fingers, a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). ...


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Rehabilitation for Foot Conditions

Although the methods used to treat foot injuries vary, rehabilitation is always necessary after the initial treatment, to restore full movement and mobility to the foot and ankle and help the patient return to all usual activities. After the foot has healed from the initial treatment and patients can bear weight on the joint, a physical therapy regimen is implemented to strengthen muscles and increase mobility. Rehabilitation often takes three forms: ...


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Rehabilitation for Hip Dysplasia

Rehabilitation for hip dysplasia, or developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH), is sometimes a treatment to remedy the condition itself and sometimes a treatment after surgery. It is extremely important that hip dysplasia be diagnosed and treated as early as possible because left untreated it results in severe osteoarthritis later in life. ...


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Rehabilitation for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The iliotibial band is a band of tissue that runs along the outside of the leg from the hip to just below the knee, providing functionality and stability to the knee joint and surrounding area. Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when this band becomes so tight and inflamed that it rubs against the outer portion of the femur, causing irritation and instability to the knee joint. Also known as IT band syndrome, this condition often occurs in people who are physically active, such as runners or cyclists. ...


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Rehabilitation for Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is an elbow injury caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow. The pain associated with this condition affects the lateral epicondyle, the area where the tendons of the forearm connect with the bony outer portion of the elbow. Repetitive movement and constant use during certain types of activities can put excessive strain on the elbow tendons. Although tennis elbow can occur in tennis players, and those who participate in certain athletic activities, it can also occur in people who have jobs that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm, such as carpenters, or people in construction-related trades. ...


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Rehabilitation for Medial Collateral Ligament Injury

Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury refers to sprains or tears of a ligament in the knee that normally helps to maintain stability. Such an injury commonly occurs in contact sports as a result of direct impact to the outside of the knee. A medial collateral ligament injury may range in severity from a mild tear to a complete rupture, but is always painful. After the initial rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), patients will likely benefit from rehabilitation exercises to restore strength and functionality to the area. ...


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Rehabilitation for Patellofemoral Syndrome

Patellofemoral syndrome, also known as chondromalacia patella, is a painful knee condition caused by a degeneration of the cartilage in the kneecap, which may be caused by overuse, injury, obesity or malalignment of the kneecap. While this condition can affect anyone, it is most common in athletes and people who put heavy stress on their knees. Individuals with patellofemoral syndrome experience knee pain that gets worse when the knee is bent, especially when sitting or squatting, and during most physical activity. ...


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Rehabilitation for Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is the thick band of muscles and associated tendons that cover the top of the upper arm and hold in it place, providing support and stability to the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff allows the arm full range of motion, while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. The tendons of the rotator cuff can be injured or torn, usually from overuse over a long period of time, but also from trauma. Rotator cuff injuries typically affect people older than 40, and athletes or others who engage in repetitive lifting or overhead activities. ...


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Rehabilitation for Shin Splints

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a common exercise-related condition, characterized by pain along or just behind the shins. Pain and mild swelling occur in the lower part of the leg, just below the knee, and these symptoms tend to worsen with activity. This discomfort results from inflammation of the thin layer of tissue covering the tibia, as well as from the bone itself and the muscles that attach to it. The muscles, tendons and bone tissue commonly become inflamed and overworked by increased activity. ...


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Rehabilitation For Shoulder Fracture

Although the methods used to treat shoulder fractures vary, rehabilitation is always necessary after the initial treatment, to restore full movement and mobility and help the patient return to all usual activities. After the shoulder has healed from the initial treatment for the fracture, a physical therapy regimen is implemented to strengthen muscles and increase mobility. Without proper rehabilitation, complications such as chronic pain, inflammation and weakness, may cause difficulty moving the arm and shoulder and performing regular tasks. ...


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Rehabilitation for Spinal Conditions

Rehabilitation for spinal problems may be prescribed before or after spinal surgery, or in the hope that it will make surgery unnecessary. Whenever it is prescribed, rehabilitation for the back is designed to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and restore strength and mobility. Sometimes, treatment also attempts to realign mild anatomical deformities that may be the result of congenital defects, diseases or injuries. Physical rehabilitation for spinal problems includes ice, heat, hydrotherapy, massage, electrical stimulation and ultrasound, in addition to physical exercises specifically tailored to strengthen the spine. ...


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Rehabilitation for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as TTS or posterior tibial neuralgia, is a disorder of the foot that, despite being a relatively benign condition, results in significant pain. In many cases, the pain, burning, tingling and numbness resulting from tarsal tunnel syndrome can be successfully reduced and even eliminated by physical therapy. Sometimes, however, surgery is necessary. ...


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Rehabilitation for Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a common and painful disorder of a finger's flexor tendon that causes the finger to "catch" or "lock" when bent or released (if the thumb is affected, the condition is called "trigger thumb"). Trigger finger can be caused by repetitive motion of the finger, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and gout. Grasping something for an extended period of time can also result in trigger finger. ...


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Rehabilitation for Whiplash

Whiplash is a common condition that occurs when a sudden backward-forward motion of the head causes muscles and ligaments in the neck to move beyond their normal range of motion. Whiplash injuries are frequently associated with vehicular accidents and contact sports. No single treatment has proven effective for all whiplash injuries, but there are many viable treatment options available. The first treatment for a whiplash injury is usually the application of ice for 24 hours. After that, passive treatments, which are administered by physicians or other medical professionals, and do not require patient participation, are typically used. Passive therapy is designed not only to relieve pain and improve mobility, but to help patients heal enough so that they can engage in the active exercises that will lead to full rehabilitation. ...


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Physical Therapy for Wrist Fracture

A fractured wrist is often the result of landing on a hand that has been extended to break a fall, or of a sports-related injury. In addition, the elderly are prone to wrist fractures because of the fragility of their bones. A wrist fracture results in pain, swelling, tenderness, and limited mobility of the wrist. A fractured wrist can damage bones and joints, and if left untreated, problems with the wrist joint may occur and arthritis may develop within the joints. After the initial injury has been treated and healing begins, physical therapy can be beneficial in helping patients to regain range of motion, strength, and function to the wrist and hand. ...


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Revision Knee Arthroplasty

A knee replacement lasts for about 20 years in the great majority of patients. Nonetheless, in a small percentage of cases, there is need for a second operation known as a revision knee arthroplasty. Reasons for implant failure vary, but once it occurs revision surgery is necessary to prevent permanent damage. ...


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Revision Spinal Surgery

Revision spinal surgery is a reparative procedure performed on a patient who has already undergone previous spine surgery. The most common reason for revision spinal surgery is continuing pain. Typically, by 3 months after a surgery has been completed, any lingering pain is gone. When a patient is still reporting chronic pain after this time, revision spinal surgery may be considered. The goal of the second surgery is the same as the goal of the first procedure: to reduce or eliminate pain and allow the patient to resume work and other normal activities. Besides chronic pain, revision spinal surgery may be necessary to repair a surgery that was performed incorrectly or at an incorrect site or to correct postsurgical complications. ...


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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, also known as sacroiliitis, is the inflammation of one or both of the sacroiliac joints, the joints that link the pelvis and lower spine by connecting the sacrum to the iliac bones. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction may be caused by injury, pregnancy, osteoarthritis, degeneration of cartilage, or inflammatory joint disease. At times, a structural abnormality, such as legs of differing lengths or severe pronation, may put increased stress on the joint, resulting in this problem. Patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction typically experience pain in the buttocks and lower back that worsens when running or standing. While a traumatic injury may cause this problem, it more often develops gradually over a long period. ...


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Sacroiliac-Joint Steroid Injections

Sacroiliac-joint steroid injections help to diagnose and relieve lower-back pain caused by problems with one or both of the sacroiliac joints, which connect the spine's base (sacrum) to the pelvis's ilium bones. If one or both of the sacroiliac joints is inflamed (sacroiliac-joint dysfunction), a patient can experience pain in the buttocks and lower back that worsens when running or standing. Sacroiliac-joint dysfunction can be caused by osteoarthritis, traumatic injury, pregnancy, inflammatory joint disease, or underlying structural abnormalities. ...


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Scaphoid Fracture

The scaphoid is a small bone located on the thumb side of the wrist, in the area where the wrist bends. The scaphoid bone is located at the base of the hand, below the thumb tendons. The scaphoid is the most common bone to break or fracture from a wrist injury. A scaphoid fracture is commonly caused by a fall on an outstretched hand, with significant weight landing on the palm. Pain or tenderness in this area can be a sign that the scaphoid has been injured. ...


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Sciatica

Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve stretches from the spinal cord to the end of each leg and may become inflamed for a number of reasons, including age-related changes in the spine, obesity, or a sedentary lifestyle. Sciatica usually develops gradually as the nerve is compressed over time. This results in pain along the nerve pathway, as well as numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the affected area. ...


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Scoliosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine. While all spines have a natural curve, patients with scoliosis have excessive spinal curving. Usually scoliosis develops during the growth spurt before puberty, between the ages of 9 and 15. Although some cases of scoliosis are congenital, and some are the result of underlying neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning their cause is unknown. Both girls and boys can develop scoliosis, but cases in females are more likely to require treatment. In some cases, scoliosis appears to be hereditary. ...


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Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of two small bones, called sesamoids, situated below the first metatarsal joint of the big toe in the ball of the foot. Sesamoids, which are also located elsewhere in the body, are bones that, instead of being connected to other bones by joints, are connected only to tendons or are embedded in muscle. In the big toe, the sesamoids protect the tendons and help stabilize the foot during walking. ...


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Shin Splints

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a common exercise-related condition, characterized by pain along or just behind the shins. Pain and mild swelling occur in the lower part of the leg, just below the knee, and these symptoms tend to worsen with activity. This discomfort results from inflammation of the thin layer of tissue covering the tibia, as well as from the bone itself and the muscles that attach to it. The muscles, tendons and bone tissue commonly become become inflamed and overworked by increased activity. Shin splints are often the result of increased physical activity, and runners, aerobic dancers and military personnel are prone to shin splints because of the continuous stress placed on their lower legs. Individuals with flat feet or rigid arches may also be at risk for developing shin splints. ...


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Shoulder Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that involves making several small incisions and inserting a fiber-optic device (arthroscope) and tiny surgical instruments to diagnose or treat certain conditions. Connected to a camera that displays images of the internal structure of the shoulder on a computer screen, the arthroscope allows the surgeon to precisely identify and target joint abnormalities. Orthopedic surgeons may perform a shoulder arthroscopy to diagnose and treat several different conditions of the shoulder. With this type of procedure, patients benefit from less tissue damage, shorter recovery times, less scarring and less post-operative pain than traditional open procedures. The use of this technique also avoids cutting any muscles or tendons in order to gain access to the affected area. Arthroscopy is an ideal treatment option for many patients suffering from shoulder conditions. ...


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Shoulder Dislocation

A dislocation is is an injury to a joint in which the ends of the bones are forced from their normal positions. The shoulder is a "ball-and-socket" joint where the "ball" is the rounded top of the arm bone (humerus) and the "socket" is the cup (glenoid) of the shoulder blade. A layer of cartilage called the labrum cushions and deepens the socket. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the humerus pops out of its socket, either partially or completely. As the body's most mobile joint, able to move in many directions, the shoulder is most vulnerable to dislocation. A shoulder dislocation may be caused by a sports injury, trauma from a motor vehicle accident or a fall. ...


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Shoulder FAQs

What are possible causes of shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is a common ailment experienced by many people, although the incidence of shoulder pain tends to increase with age. This pain may be caused by a number of different shoulder conditions, and may be acute or chronic, and caused by injury or overuse. Damage or injury may occur within the muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. Common shoulder conditions may include: ...


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Shoulder Fractures

Shoulder fractures are usually caused by impact injuries such as direct blows, falls or vehicular accidents. When one or more of these bones fracture, severe pain occurs and movement is impaired. When a shoulder is fractured, soft tissues may be damaged as well.

Anatomy of the Shoulder

There are three bones in the shoulder: the clavicle or collarbone, the proximal humerus or top of the arm bone, and the scapula or shoulder blade. There are also three joints where these bones connect: the glenohumeral joint, acromioclavicular joint and the sternoclavicular joint. The ball and socket arrangement of the shoulder enables a wide range of motion. It also, unfortunately, includes a complex arrangement of bones, muscles and ligaments that may be damaged. ...


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Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement occurs when the front of the shoulder blade rubs against the rotator cuff causing irritation and pain. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilizes the shoulder and permits lifting and rotating movements. If the rotator cuff weakens or is injured, the bone of the upper arm (humerus) can lift up, pinching the rotator cuff against the shoulder blade. The muscles can then swell further, creating a cycle of pain and weakness that worsens over time. Shoulder impingement is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain and occurs more frequently in athletes who lift their arms overhead, such as swimmers, baseball players and tennis players. ...


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Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability is a condition characterized by a loose shoulder joint, caused by weakened and stretched surrounding muscles and ligaments. This may become a chronic condition after a dislocation, which occurs when the ball of the upper arm bone comes out of the socket. Chronic instability may produce frequent slipping, or partial dislocation, known as subluxation. ...


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Shoulder Labral Repair

The socket of the shoulder, or glenoid, is covered with a layer of cartilage called the labrum that cushions and deepens the socket to help stabilize the joint. Traumatic injuries and repetitive overhead shoulder movements may cause a tear in the labrum, leading to pain, limited motion, instability and weakness in the joint. Symptoms of a labral injury may include shoulder pain and a popping or clicking sensation when the shoulder is moved. Some people experience weakness and a restricted range of motion as well. A labral tear is typically diagnosed through imaging tests, a physical examination and a review of symptoms. While many labral tears can be treated by managing pain symptoms through medication and undergoing physical therapy, some cases require surgical treatment. ...


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Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Shoulder osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative bone disease and commonly called arthritis, is a disorder in which cartilage, which acts as a protective cover for the bones, degenerates. Without cartilage to act as a buffer, the affected bones rub together and wear each other down, resulting in pain and swelling. ...


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SLAP Lesion

A superior labral anterior and posterior lesion, commonly known as a SLAP lesion, is an injury to the labrum, the rim of cartilage that surrounds shoulder joint. The labrum forms a cup for the arm bone to move within, increasing shoulder stability. Injury to the labrum is often caused by a repetitive motion that pulls on the biceps tendon, or an acute type of trauma such as a shoulder dislocation or a fall with the arm stretched out. In individuals over the age of 40, a SLAP lesion may be caused by the wear and tear in the superior labrum that occurs over time, as a result of the aging process. ...


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SLAP Lesion Repair

A superior labral anterior and posterior lesion, commonly known as a SLAP lesion, is an injury to the labrum, the rim of cartilage that surrounds shoulder joint. The labrum forms a cup for the arm bone to move within, increasing shoulder stability. Injury to the labrum is often caused by a repetitive motion that pulls on the biceps tendon, or an acute type of trauma such as a shoulder dislocation or a fall with the arm stretched out. A SLAP lesion may also be caused by wear and tear in the superior labrum that occurs over time and generally appears in individuals over the age of 40. Patients with a SLAP lesion may experience pain with movement,limited range of motion, frequent dislocation and a catching sensation in the shoulder. ...


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Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) typically involves implanting an electronic device in the body to help relieve chronic back and leg pain. The device, called a "spinal cord stimulator" or "dorsal column stimulator," sends electrical impulses through wires/electrodes placed near the spinal cord; the impulses block pain signals from reaching the brain. SCS does not cure chronic pain, but usually lessens it by 50 percent and more by replacing a patient's feeling of pain with a tingling sensation. Before implantation, a patient is asked to go through a trial period with an external device; this allows pain levels to be evaluated, and determine whether they decrease when the device is used. ...


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Spinal Instability

Spinal instability, or disc disruption, is a disorder in which there is abnormal motion between the vertebrae. This can be caused by a congenital condition or may be the result of a traumatic injury. It can also be caused by spinal degeneration due to arthritis or osteoporosis, previous surgery, or the presence of a tumor. When a disc degenerates and possibly extends beyond the parameters of the spinal column, vertebrae move in an abnormal way, shifting the vertebral (facet) joints out of proper alignment. Too much irregular movement of the facet joints encourages the growth of bone spurs in the joints as well as arthritis which may further exacerbate the problem. ...


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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing in one or more areas of the spinal canal as a result of injury or deterioration of the discs, joints or bones of the spine. Most cases of spinal stenosis develop as a result of the degenerative changes that occur during aging. Osteoarthritis is the main cause of spinal stenosis, since this condition causes deterioration of cartilage in the area that leads to the bones rubbing against each other. As bones make repeated abnormal contact, bone spurs form, narrowing the spinal canal. ...


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Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a displacement of one of the bones of the spine. When the displaced vertebra slips out of its normal location onto the bone beneath it, it may compress a spinal nerve, causing pain. This condition most commonly occurs in the lumbar (lower) region of the back and may occur for a variety of reasons. Spondylolisthesis is graded by radiologists according to the amount of slippage that has occurred, Grade I being the mildest displacement and Grade IV the most serious. ...


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Sports Medicine

Sports medicine is a subspecialty of orthopaedics that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries suffered during athletic activity. The goal of treatment is to heal and rehabilitate injuries so patients can quickly return to their athletic activities. Participating in sports places wear-and-tear on the body, and can lead to orthopaedic injuries. Athletes are susceptible to injuries that include stress fractures and chronic pain, as well as tearing or stretching of internal structures. Treatment for these conditions can involve surgery, orthotics, physical therapy and rest. ...


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Sports Physicals

A sports physical exam, also known as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), is a thorough medical examination that determines whether or not it is safe for an athlete to participate in a particular sport. The purpose of a PPE is to prevent as many injuries and medical emergencies on the court or playing field as possible Sports physicals are often required for children and teens before they are allowed to join a team sport and are usually repeated before each season. PPEs are required by most state governments as well. ...


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Steroid Injections for Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes, pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Treatment for arthritis may vary, but the main goal is to reduce inflammation and pain. Most patients may try several different treatment options before finding a method that works best for their individual condition. Steroid injections are an advanced treatment option for patients with arthritis and other sources of joint pain, that have not responded well to other treatments such as exercise and oral medications. These injections deliver relief directly to the source of the pain and are considered safe for nearly all patients. ...


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Stress Fractures

A stress fracture is a very thin crack in a bone that can result from repetitive stress. Playing sports or performing other activities that put repeated pressure on bones are often causes of stress fractures. Although they can happen to anyone, stress fractures are more common in athletes such as runners, dancers, gymnasts, and basketball or tennis players. Stress fractures can also be caused by diseases that weaken bones. ...


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Subacromial Decompression

Impingement is a common shoulder condition that causes pain as a result of pressure on the rotator cuff from the shoulder blade. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilizes the shoulder and permits lifting and rotating movements. When impingement occurs and the arm is lifted, a bone or ligament can rub against the rotator cuff, producing pain and limiting movement. Shoulder impingement typically worsens over time. ...


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Sympathetic-Nerve Blocks

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for regulating involuntary body functions, including blood flow, heart rate, digestion and perspiration. Sympathetic nerves spread outward from the spine, and, when compromised, can cause pain in various parts of the body. A sympathetic-nerve block is an injection of medication into whichever of these nerves is causing the pain. It works by numbing the nerve, which interrupts the pain signals the nerve is sending to the brain. It is used both to diagnose damage of and treat pain caused by the sympathetic nerves. ...


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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, is a disorder of the foot that may result in significant pain. The tarsal tunnel, the canal that runs between the inner ankle and the band of ligaments that stretch across the foot, houses several vital arteries, nerves and tendons, which provide flexibility to the foot. Since the walls of this tunnel consist of either bone or tough fibrous material through which these blood vessels, tendons and nerves have to pass, the inflexibility of the walls may create a problem. ...


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Tendinosis

Tendinosis, as opposed to acute tendonitis, is a chronic degenerative disorder, involving tiny tears in the connective tissue of the tendons, the bands that connect muscle to bone. This condition can occur anywhere in the body, but most often affects the shoulder, knee, biceps and Achilles tendons. This condition frequently affects athletes and happens when too much stress is placed on the tendon as a result of overuse, improper movement technique or traumatic injury. ...


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Tendonitis

Tendonitis is an inflammation of one of the tendons, the soft flexible cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone. Such inflammations can occur as a result of overuse or traumatic injury. Tendonitis can occur anywhere in the body, but most often occurs in joints such as the shoulder, knee, wrist, ankle and elbow. ...


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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a disorder in which pain results from the compression of nerves or blood vessels within the thoracic outlet, the space just below the neck, between the collarbone and ribs. This condition commonly develops as a result of traumatic or repetitive injury. Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome vary depending on the type and severity of the condition, but frequently present as pain between the muscles of the neck and shoulder or between the first rib and collarbone. In the majority of cases, the condition is neurogenic, not vascular, in origin. ...


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Thumb Arthritis

Arthritis is commonly caused by inflammation in the lining of the joints, which in addition to pain, may result in stiffness, swelling and loss of movement in the affected joints. Arthritis of the thumb, also known as basal joint arthritis, occurs when the cartilage of the thumb joint (carpometacarpal joint) wears away from the bone. This cartilage normally acts as a cushion between the bone and the joint, and when it is worn away, the direct contact and friction between the bones causes pain, swelling, decreased strength and range of motion. Arthritis of the thumb may cause difficulty in performing simple tasks such as turning doorknobs, opening jars, and pinching or gripping items. ...


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Tibial Osteotomy

An osteotomy is a procedure that involves the cutting of a bone and may include removing or adding a section of bone near a damaged joint. A tibial osteotomy may be performed on patients who experience chronic pain as a result of severe arthritis in the knee, that has not responded to prior treatment. This procedure helps to shift the weight away from the damaged cartilage to an area with healthier cartilage, relieving pain. A tibial osteotomy is often performed on younger and more active patients, as an alternative to total knee replacement surgery. However, in many cases, a total knee replacement may eventually be necessary. ...


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Tibial Plateau Fracture

The tibial plateau is the top surface of the tibia, or shin bone, made of cancellous, or cartilage-like bone. A tibial plateau fracture is often the result of a fall, or a sports-related or a traumatic injury. Fractures that involve the tibial plateau often occur when an injury pushes the lower end of the thighbone (femur) into the soft bone of the tibial plateau, causing the soft cancellous bone to compress and remain sunken. A fracture may also cause the bone to break into two or several pieces. An injury to the tibial plateau is especially distressing on the body, as the majority of standing body weight rests on this bone. Fractures of the tibial plateau affect the alignment, stability and movement of the knee. ...


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Toe Fracture

A toe fracture, though very painful, is not usually a serious injury. Nonetheless, it must be appropriately treated to ensure proper healing. In most cases, a toe fracture, particularly of one of the small toes, can be treated nonsurgically, frequently by home remedies. At times, however, if the fracture is more severe, greater immobilization or surgery maybe required to prevent permanent damage. ...


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Total Knee Arthroplasty

Patients with severe pain and stiffness that does not respond to conservative treatments or more moderate surgery may require total knee arthroplasty, commonly known as knee replacement, to relieve pain and restore function. Whereas in a healthy knee smooth cartilage cushions the connecting bone ends, when osteoarthritis develops, the resulting pain and stiffness may require surgical intervention. ...


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Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Tear

The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is an area of cartilage and ligaments on the side of the wrist that is opposite the thumb. It enables the wrist to straighten, bend, twist, and move side to side. Falling on an outstretched hand, receiving a direct blow to the hand or the side of the wrist, swinging a bat or racquet, or twisting the wrist can all cause the TFCC to tear. In addition to pain, a TFCC tear usually results in a clicking sound when the wrist is moved. A TFCC tear is diagnosed by examining the hand, and taking an X-ray or performing an MRI scan. Arthroscopy may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis. ...


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Triceps Injuries

The triceps muscle, which allows the arm to straighten, runs from the shoulder to the elbow. It is attached to the adjacent bones by a large tendon. Damage to this muscle or tendon are know as triceps injuries. Complications from triceps injuries are uncommon, with most injuries healing on their own, as long as the triceps is rested for a sufficient period of time. ...


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Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a common and painful disorder of a finger's flexor tendon that causes the finger to "catch" or "lock" when bent or released (if the thumb is affected, the condition is called "trigger thumb"). Trigger finger can be caused by repetitive motion of the finger, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and gout. Grasping something for an extended period of time can also result in trigger finger. ...


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Trigger-Point Injections

Trigger-point injections treat pain in areas that have developed trigger points, which are knots of muscle that form when muscles contract and but cannot relax. Trigger points are caused by injury to or overuse of the affected muscle; they can also be caused by stress and anxiety. They can irritate the nerves around them, which causes pain in other areas of the body. The chronic pain brought on by trigger points can also decrease the affected muscle's range of motion. ...


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Turf Toe

Turf toe, which is a sprain of the soft tissue in the main joint in the big toe, is a common sports injury. Although it derives its name from the fact that it is frequently suffered by football players who play on artificial turf, it is also a common ailment of wrestlers, gymnasts, soccer players and dancers. Turf toe is usually caused by jamming or pushing the big toe while running or jumping, which results in swelling, pain and limited joint movement at the base of the toe. Typically, the injury to the toe is sudden (a "pop" may be felt), although it sometimes develops gradually after repeated trauma. Turf toe is diagnosed by physical examination. ...


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Ulna Fracture

The forearm is made up of two bones, the radius and the ulna. The ulna spans from the wrist to the elbow and is located on the "pinky side" of the forearm. Although it is more common for both bones to be broken from a forearm injury, when only one bone is broken, it is typically the ulna, possibly resulting from a direct blow to the outside of the arm. A fractured ulna may also be caused by a fall, a sports-related injury, or a motor vehicle accident. Forearm fractures can affect the ability to rotate the arm, as well as bend and straighten the wrist and elbow. ...


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Ulnar Neuropathy

Ulnar neuropathy, also known as ulnar nerve dysfunction or cubital tunnel syndrome, is an inflammation of the ulnar nerve, the nerve that runs from the shoulder to the hand and affects the forearm, wrist and fingers. When this nerve is damaged, often at the wrist or elbow, patients may experience pain, numbness, weakness and restricted thumb movement. Risk factors for the disorder include prior fractures or dislocations of the elbow, bone spurs, cysts or inflammation of the joint, and prolonged or repetitive use of the elbow in a flexed position. ...


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Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction

The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is located on the inside of the elbow and connects the bone of the upper arm to a bone in the forearm. The UCL is vital to maintaining elbow stability and function. This ligament may be torn as a result of injury or dislocation of the elbow, or damaged by overuse and repetitive movement and stress. If injuries do not heal properly, the elbow may become loose or unstable. Symptoms of a UCL injury include pain on the inside of the elbow, numbness, tingling, and decreased arm and elbow strength. A UCL injury is more common in athletes, especially baseball players, who use their arm constantly in a throwing motion. ...


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Ultrasound-Guided Joint Injections

Joint injections are a minimally invasive treatment for relieving pain caused by inflammatory joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and gout. To reduce pain and inflammation from these conditions, medications such as corticosteroids and hyaluronic-acid preparations are sometimes injected into the problem joint. The medications affect only the targeted areas, and usually do not cause side effects. Joint injections are administered under local anesthesia, and cause only brief, mild discomfort. ...


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Unicondylar Knee Arthroplasty

Unicondylar knee arthroplasty, also known as partial or unicompartmental knee replacement, is a less invasive alternative to a total knee arthroplasty. Partial knee arthroplasty is designed to replace only the portion of the knee that has been damaged by arthritis, leaving the healthier areas intact. Partial knee replacement allows patients to benefit from less scarring, shorter recovery time and a fuller range of motion. ...


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Viscosupplementation

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect the knee. It causes the surface layer of cartilage to break down and wear away, and the joint's synovial fluid to lose its ability to lubricate. This combination causes pain, stiffness, limited joint motion, and inflammation in the knee. Osteoarthritis of the knee is often initially treated with pain relievers such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid injections. However, these methods are not always effective, and can have adverse effects such as gastrointestinal problems, allergic reactions or kidney damage. ...


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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that aids in overall health by keeping bones strong and healthy. The body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorous, which are crucial in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Although some studies seem to indicate that adequate levels of vitamin D can strengthen the immune system and protect against various health conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and high blood pressure, there is no definitive data to support that conclusion. ...


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Waterproof Casting

When a bone is fractured, it is usually put in a cast for several weeks to help hold it in place so that it can heal naturally. Most casts need to be kept clean and dry in order to promote healing and lower the risk of infection or other complications. This can be difficult, however, especially where bathing and swimming are concerned. Waterproof casting lets a person shower and swim regularly, even soon after breaking a bone. Waterproof casts, which are made of fiberglass, keep the limb immobilized for optimal healing but cause minimal disruption to a patient's daily routine. Waterproof casts are also lighter and less bulky than traditional plaster of Paris casts. ...


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Workers' Compensation

Workers' Compensation is a federal program designed to cover costs for employees whose ability to work is compromised by an injury at the workplace or an occupational disease. Employees receive workers' compensation in exchange for relinquishing their right to sue their employer for negligence, an agreement known as "the compensation bargain." ...


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Wrist Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used both to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions that affect joints. In the wrist, arthroscopy is used to treat ligaments, tendons and other types of tissue that become damaged as a result of degeneration, trauma, or disease. ...


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Wrist Sprain

A sprain is a common type of injury that involves a stretching or tearing of ligaments, the strong bands of tissue that connect bones to one another. A wrist sprain is often caused by falling onto an outstretched hand or by bending the wrist backward. Although anyone can sprain a wrist, athletes, including gymnasts, baseball and basketball players, skiers, skaters and skateboarders, are particularly susceptible. Protective splints or braces can offer some protection from injury for those at greatest risk. ...


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