Tag Archive for: orthopedic doctor

I Broke a Bone, What Should I Do?

Broken bones, or fractures, are painful injuries that have a wide range in severity. Most of the time, a broken bone is caused by trauma, such as a fall, an auto accident, or other strong impact. The type of fracture, amount of pain you feel, and presence of other injuries along with the fracture should determine the course of action to take.

Types of fractures and what to do:

·       Stress fracture – This is a simple break where the bone does not come out of place. It usually happens after repeated stress, as in playing sports. You may not be able to move the part of your body with the broken bone, or it may be red, swollen and sore but able to move with some pain. Call your doctor or sports medicine specialist for an appointment the same day the injury occurs. Your doctor will confirm the fracture with an X-ray and treat it by immobilizing it as needed.

·       Stable fracture – A “clean” break where the bone remains aligned but there is a break across the bone. Depending on the amount of pain and whether you can move the limb or not, you should go to the ER for immediate treatment. If the pain is not extreme, you should call your primary care physician or orthopedic specialist for a same-day appointment.

·       Compound fracture – If a bone breaks and there is any wound that breaks the skin, it is called an open or compound fracture. The bone may be visible through the wound, or not. This type of fracture means the bone is out of place and may be broken in more than one place. Emergency help is needed, especially considering the risk of bleeding and/or infection.

·       Comminuted fracture – If a bone shatters into three or more pieces, the fracture is called comminuted. This type of fracture can occur when there is a great deal of force, like from a car accident or a bullet. Emergency attention is needed and surgery from an orthopedic physician will be necessary. 

The most advanced orthopedic care in Colorado Springs is found at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence. From professional sports medicine including the US Olympic team, to treatment of conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons provide the best possible care. If you have a non-emergent broken bone, call (719) 623-1050 for a priority appointment.

Does Your Joint Replacement Have a Warranty?

One of the most common questions patients tend to ask their orthopedic surgeons, is about how long their joint replacement will last. Will it last a certain number of years, or is there a designated warranty that comes with the joint replacement, whether hip, knee, shoulder, etc.?  While you might think this type of question would be easy to answer, your orthopedic surgeon will tell you it’s not that simple.

This question is actually quite complicated to answer for orthopedic surgeons. Everyone’s anatomy is unique and built differently. In the past, surgeons used to say after joint replacement surgery, that a patient’s artificial joints would last about 10 to 15 years. However, with modern materials and updated surgical techniques, current studies and evidence-based research show that approximately 96 percent of today’s modern joint replacements, especially knee replacements, will still be functioning past the 15-year mark.

Your joint replacement does not necessarily have a warranty, per se, as each patient is unique in both their anatomy and their level of physical activity. Sometimes a patient is notified by their surgeon that they will require revision surgery. This means that the patient will need to undergo a second surgery to fix their problem. The failure of a joint replacement can occur for variety of different reasons.  These include infection, trauma, loosening of the implant, degeneration (wearing out), or poor positioning of the original implant.

For patients who are suffering from debilitating chronic pain due to degenerative diseases such as arthritis, people who are candidates for joint replacement often suffer from severe joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, muscle weakness, and limited mobility. Therefore, undergoing joint replacement surgery can help relieve their pain, improve their mobility, and most importantly, improve their quality of life immensely.

With a drastic improvement in surgical techniques, high-quality care and materials, such as metal, ceramic, and plastic, the new artificial joint is attached the bone, allowing the bone to grow into the implant. Physical therapy will be recommended afterwards by your surgeon, as rehabilitation will dramatically increase mobility, help with balance, and decrease the recovery time, giving the patient a higher quality of life in the end.

At Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, we utilize the most advanced surgical methods available today, including minimally invasive procedures whenever possible.

To learn how you can make your joint replacement last, and if you may be a candidate for joint replacement surgery, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050, or request an appointment online.