Posts

Different Types of Hip Injuries

The hips are one of the strongest parts of the human body and serve a crucial role in keeping us on our feet. Unfortunately, there are a variety of hip injuries that not only cause a lot of pain but can also bring a person’s life to a halt. Let’s take a look at some of the most common hip injuries and ways orthopedic physicians treat them. 

Hip Labral Tear

A labral tear is a type of hip injury in which the cartilage structure covering the ball and socket joint in the hip is torn or detached from the socket. Cartilage provides stability to the joint, absorbing and distributing shock and pressure when the pelvis moves. A hip labral tear is typically corrected through surgery or physical therapy, depending on the severity of the tear.

Hip Fracture

Hip fractures happen when a bone in the hip breaks. Repetitive motion and traumatic injuries due to sudden impact are common reasons for a hip fracture. As we age, our hips are more prone to fractures, so elderly individuals have to be careful in avoiding falls and accidents. A hip fracture typically require surgery to fix.

Snapping Hip Syndrome (Dancer’s Hip)

A hip condition that is caused by repetitive movements is the snapping hip syndrome (also called Dancer’s hip). This condition causes discomfort and pain when getting up to stand from a sitting position and when walking or running. It causes a snapping or popping sound when the pelvic region is flexed or stretched. Dancer’s hip often occurs to ballet dancers, gymnasts, and equestrians. Snapping hip syndrome is treated in a variety of ways including rest, physical therapy, and steroid injections.

Bursitis

Bursitis is considered one of the most common hip injuries. Bursitis happens in the hip when the bursae, a liquid filled sac that serves as a cushion to the bones, tendons, and muscles near the pelvic joint, is inflamed. This condition often occurs in women and middle-aged people. Common symptoms include pain during squatting, climbing steps, and walking, and swelling and warmth in the outer thigh. Bursitis is treated through medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. The specific treatment a patient needs depends on the severity of the condition.

Hip Dislocation

A hip dislocation is a misalignment of the thighbone out of the ball and socket joint. This happens when a strong force is applied to the hips or due to a congenital deformation, such as hip dysplasia. The most common symptoms associated with a hip dislocation are pain and inability to bear weight on the hip. A hip dislocation is typically treated through a process called reduction (manipulation of the leg to move the hip bones back into place) or surgery. 

These are just a few hip injuries the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence treats every day. If you experience hip pain and or have a hip injury, get an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians for a correct diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. Call us today at (719) 623-1050 or set an appointment online.

Common Gymnastics Injuries

Common gymnastics injuries occur as gymnastics is the kind of sport that requires coordination, endurance, and strength. The ability to mold and bend the body into different movements and positions display an individual’s ability to balance and control parts of the body such as the arms, legs, shoulder, back, chest and abdominal muscles. However, if the body is not appropriately conditioned, bending and stretching the body at a certain angle could cause serious injury.

In gymnastics, failing to achieve a particular position affects the points given in competition and could negatively impact a gymnast’s career. Therefore, flexibility or bending and stretching at a certain angle plays a vital role in such a sport. Flexibility helps improve your balance and increase your strength and stability. However, if you are not properly trained or conditioned, you can permanently damage your body. 

Common gymnastics injuries include:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear. One very common injury gymnasts suffer from is an anterior cruciate ligament tear, commonly known as an ACL tear. It occurs in the knee, when making rapid changes in direction. In an ACL tear, one of the main ligaments in your knee is torn. Among gymnasts, this type of injury may be likely to occur during tumbling, vaulting, or dismounting. 
  • Achilles Tendonitis. This tendon injury occurs when a tendon the back of the lower leg – usually at the back of the heel – is irritated or inflamed. The Achilles tendon, or calcaneal tendon, connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The injury often occurs when there’s repetitive stress from jumping and landing. Treating Achilles tendonitis may involve ultrasound, stretching, activity modification, and calf exercises.
  • Ankle Sprain. Ankle sprains are extremely common. They occur when you land awkwardly on your foot, especially after a jump. When you twist your ankle in this way, what you’ve done is stretched or torn ligaments that attach bones to muscles at the joints. You will feel the effects of an ankle sprain right away – and may not be able to put any weight on the affected ankle. Surgery is rarely needed to treat ankle sprains, but it can sideline you for a while until the ankle is strong enough to return to the gym. Once you sprain your ankle, you are susceptible to re-injuring the area in the future.

Preventing Gymnastics Injuries

Gymnastics is one of the most physically challenging sports. It requires intensive training, which itself requires that you be in good physical condition to avoid injuries or damages to the body.

To avoid injuries and fractures, make sure to warm up properly and stretch regularly before strenuous routines or practices. Muscles and ligaments require conditioning; and muscles need to be warmed up before are flexible enough to properly stretch.  

Pay attention to your body. Gymnastics or any type of athletic activity requires you be in good shape enough for the activity before you begin it. To stay healthy, you must be constantly aware of any changes, damage, or injury. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, see an orthopedic specialist right away.

Orthopedic Care in Colorado

If you are in Colorado Springs and you happen to have a concern regarding your bones, muscles, joints, or any orthopedic-related issue requiring diagnosis and treatment, visit the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence.

Meet our board-certified specialists, surgeons, and physical therapists and find out how they can help you. Call (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment today.

Orthopedics and Teen Sports Injuries

Every year, there are millions of teen sports injuries who participate in some form of high school sports. And every year, many of them sustain sports-related injuries.

Whether it’s baseball, football, basketball, soccer, hockey, or other activity that involves running, jumping, sliding, tackling, or other form of contact, injuries will happen.

The most common of these high school teen sport injuries are sprains and strains to ankles, knees, wrists and thumbs. But there are many other orthopedic injuries that frequently require treatment, including:

  • Tendonitis and bursitis
  • Knee ligament tears such as tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
  • Meniscal tears in the knee
  • Achilles tendonitis and tears
  • Shoulder dislocation and instability
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Shin splints … and much more

Although youngsters tend to be physically resilient, a sports injury can have a significant impact on their bodies. Not only is it frustrating for the teen be sidelined due to an injury, but also the pressure to return to play despite a minor injury can lead to a subsequent injury with long-term effects. An injury sustained in high school could also cause orthopedic problems – including arthritis – later in life.

That’s why, when a sports injury occurs, it’s important to seek proper treatment immediately regardless of the severity of the injury. The sooner the injury is properly diagnosed and effectively treated, the sooner the teen athlete can heal, get off the bench, and back into the game.

At the Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence, our goal is to return teen athletes to play as quickly as possible while, at the same time, preventing re-injury and improving the young athlete’s response to stress. To accomplish this, we use cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment methods to help eliminate pain and improve and young athlete’s range of motion. Our goal is to get athletes back to throwing the ball or running toward the finish line feeling just as good or better than before the injury.

While surgery is sometimes necessary for more severe injuries, the sports medicine doctors at Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence use the least-invasive techniques whenever possible. Also, our fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons take care to operate with precision on injured joints, ligaments, and tendons to ensure that delicate nerves, tissues, and other surrounding anatomy is preserved, thus reducing discomfort and hastening recovery.

In many cases, physical therapy is recommended to avoid surgery. Our doctors work closely with our rehabilitation team to help teen athletes build strength and renewed mobility in injured muscles, bones and joints, achieve full recovery, and avoid future injuries.

Whether it’s a teen involved in high school sports or an amateur or professional adult athlete, the orthopedics doctors at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence provide expert care. They have decades of experience treating all sorts of injuries for all levels of athletics with successful outcomes. Make an appointment today with one of our sports injury specialists by calling (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment now.

The Most Common Sports Injuries by Season

There’s a sport for every season – and an injury for every sport.

Every year, an estimated 2 million sports injuries result in approximately 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations.  And that’s not even counting professional athletes, adult weekend warriors and other sports enthusiasts prone to injuries!

As long as sports involve vigorous physical activity and contact, common injuries will occur. Let’s take a look at some of those injuries for some of the most common sports by season.

Most Common Injuries for Fall and Winter Sports

Football is one of America’s most popular sports, both as a spectator and a participant. Perhaps the ultimate contact sport, it can take quite a toll on a player’s body. Much has been debated recently about head injuries and concussions. However, traumatic knee and ankle injuries are extremely common on the gridiron.

Ice hockey can be just as brutal on the upper body. Whether slamming against headboards, falling on the ice, or getting into fistfights with opposing players – and despite the use of protective padding – hockey players frequently sustain shoulder, wrist, dental and head injuries. Shoulder injuries often include broken clavicles and acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation, while wrist injuries usually include sprains and fractures.

Most Common Injuries for Spring and Summer Sports

Although baseball and softball are not considered contact sports, they do involve a lot of running, throwing, catching, and pivoting, all of which can result in knee, leg, arms, and shoulder joint problems. For example, a baseball pitcher who specializes in fast balls can suffer a rotator cuff injury, tearing shoulder tendon tissue. Other players may suffer hamstring muscle injuries, sprained ankles or shin splints run around the bases or on the field. And who can deny that sliding into home – or another player for that matter – doesn’t classify as contact?

Many of the same leg injuries occur during soccer games, affecting adolescent players as well as adult athletes. You can add Jones fractures (of the bone on the outside side of the foot beneath the little toe) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, which is the ligament in the center of the knee, to the list. Plus, heading the ball over time puts an athlete at risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in those who have a history of repetitive brain trauma.

With swimming, injuries tend to result from the overuse of one’s joints and muscles. Shoulder injuries are common, as is breaststroker’s knee, which can become painfully inflamed. 

All-season Sports

Year-round indoor/outdoor sports like basketball and volley tend to create frequent cases of meniscus tears. This is a common “court” injury in which forceful twisting results in the tearing of certain knee tissue. Jumping to slam dunk a basket, block a shot, snatch a rebound can lead to patellar tendonitis (jumper’s knee), in which the tendon attaching the kneecap to the shinbone can be torn.

Meanwhile, a heated game of tennis can result in any number of injuries including ankle sprains, rotator cuff tears, stress fractures, and – yes – tennis elbow, the inflammation of the tendons joining the forearm muscles to outside of the elbow.

Whatever the season, there is the risk of injury while participating in your favorite sport. If or when it happens, it’s important that you get the proper and prompt medical attention of a specialist trained in sports medicine.

The orthopedic surgeons at Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence diagnose and treat all kinds of joint conditions including sports injuries. We look to non-invasive methods first before resorting to surgery. For expert and compassionate care in the Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.

When Is an Orthopedic Injury an Emergency?

Orthopedic physicians deal with injuries to the bones and their related structures. Orthopedic treatments and procedures cover fractures, torn ligaments and tendons, strained muscles, and similar injuries. They also deal with acquired and congenital skeletal deformities and degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis.

With new knowledge and technology in orthopedic medicine, older procedures have been replaced by bone grafts, joint replacements, prostheses, and special footwear. Orthopedic treatment frequently combines rehabilitation with traditional medicine and surgery.

When Does an Orthopedic Issue Become Urgent?

Orthopedic emergencies are conditions that should be seen by a physician the same day the injury occurs, to help prevent harm and long-lasting negative impact to the patient. Major trauma with complex fractures, deep and/or wide cuts, and loss of consciousness definitely demand immediate care at the hospital emergency room (ER).

Other orthopedic emergency conditions can develop slowly, with little or no apparent trauma. They often occur at home with no obvious injury. It can be difficult to judge whether they qualify as emergencies and need immediate attention, or whether such attention can be deferred, or whether a physician should at least be consulted about the condition.

So if you do have an emergency orthopedic issue, where is the best place to get the care you need? Knowing when and where to go can save you future problems and significant time and money.

Common Emergency Orthopedic Conditions

There are many serious and painful orthopedic conditions. When these occur or are discovered, an immediate call to the orthopedic physician is needed.

The most common orthopedic injuries – which usually occur in the aftermath of surgery or an accident – that require urgent and emergency attention are:

Severe back pain along with weakness in the legs and difficulty in urinating, especially after lumbar spine surgery or epidural spinal injection, could be caused by bleeding in the area around the spinal cord.

Severe pain and swelling in a joint, accompanied by fever and chills, could be due to a joint infection.

Calf pain and swelling shortly after being injured or having surgery in the legs could indicate a blood clot deep in the veins. This can become a life-threatening embolism.

Dislocations are joint injuries that force the bones out of their normal position.

Falls or twists in a post-operative limb, along with significant pain, could mean a positional change in the setting of the fracture, another new fracture, or a dislocation of the new joint.

Increasing pain, swelling, and numb fingers or toes in a patient with a solid cast could indicate cast-compression syndrome.

Neurovascular injury in an injured extremity can compromise neurovascular function. Signs of this type of injury can be pain, numbness, or tingling. Delays in treating the condition can affect nerve function and blood flow to the limb. This can result in the need for amputation of the extremity, or even death.

Exposed fractures or joints, such as open injuries to the knee, sprained ankle, or other broken bones, are severe health concerns requiring immediate attention.

Osteoporosis accompanied by pain in the thigh or groin, and difficulty walking, could mean an osteoporotic fracture of the hip due to insufficient bone matter.

Septic joints can occur when a bacterial infection invades a joint – in the knee, hip, shoulder, or spine. Any joint is vulnerable to infection, so never hesitate to have it evaluated by a physician.

Chest pain, shortness of breath, and cough manifesting a few weeks after total hip, knee, or shoulder replacement, or any surgery for fractures, could indicate a blood clot to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Spontaneous draining of body fluid oozing out of a wound in a post-operative patient requires treatment by a physician. 

Orthopedic Injuries that Are Treatable at Urgent Care Centers

Most orthopedic injuries can be safely treated at an urgent care center. While life-threatening conditions require true emergency-room treatment, orthopedic urgent care is the better option for treatment of conditions that are not life-threatening, as these specialized facilities are less crowded and pressured. 

Orthopedic urgent care centers can address injuries and problems that include:

  • Cast or splint issues
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Fractures
  • Ligament tears
  • Painful, swollen joints
  • Pediatric injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Sprains, strains, and discolorations

Injuries that Should Be Treated at Hospital Emergency Rooms

Any injury or condition that may be life-threatening should always be directed to a hospital emergency department for expert care and management. The emergency room is open 24 hours a day, offers top-of-the-line resources, and is the best choice for severe orthopedic injuries if:

  • Arm or leg is severely fractured and/or out of alignment
  • Bone is fractured and exposed through the skin
  • Significant blood loss has occurred
  • Other injuries from falls or accidents are present

Pediatric Emergency Care 

For severely injured children, the emergency room offers the most appropriate environment for handling their injuries immediately. Emergency rooms also feature the widest range of services and access to medical specialists.

Cases that require pediatric care at a hospital emergency room include:

  • A child with a fractured bone remains in pain and is irritable, despite treatment and medication. This could indicate dangerous swelling at the site of the fracture.
  • A child who has no obvious symptoms of an injury but is crying, restless, feverish, and unable to walk. This could indicate a serious hip joint infection.
  • Children with large, deep cuts or wounds.
  • A child who has positional deformities of the limbs.

Family Orthopedic Care in Colorado Springs

The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence (CCOE) offers expertise spanning the entire spectrum of orthopedic specialties. We can diagnose and treat your orthopedic issues with state-of-the-art treatment options and the personalized care and attention you deserve.

Contact us today and make an appointment with one of our orthopedic doctors for award-winning orthopedic and sports medicine treatment. Fill out our online appointment request form, or call (719) 623-1050 today. We look forward to helping you live a more pain-free and active lifestyle.

10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Whether it’s softball, football, basketball tennis, golf or soccer, participating in sports can be a fun but physically demanding activity, making you prone to injury. Here are ten tips you can follow to minimize your risk of sustaining a sports injury and stay in the game:

Tip #1: Be sure to warm up before you play.

For example, play catch, take batting practice, jog around the field, or shoot baskets for about 10 minutes before the game or round starts. Warming up prepares your body for the more intense and competitive exercise you’re about to engage in. It gradually boosts your heart rate, pumping blood to your muscles and connective tissue to improve your mobility and the functionality of your body’s movements. By warming up, you’ll be less likely to suffer a muscle or tendon strain because your muscles will be loose and pliable.

Tip #2: Be sure to take refreshing breaks.

Allow yourself to cool down after strenuous play (e.g., between innings, sets, and quarters). Hydrate yourself and relax while you can. This will help flush out waste by-products and safely reduce your heart rate and blood pressure and allow your breathing to moderate. If you’ve been running, slow down to a trot or walk; or, if you’ve been swimming, float on your back for a while.

Tip #3: Stretch to loosen muscles and avoid strain.

After you cool down, do some stretching exercises to maintain flexibility in your main muscle groups, such as leg stretches after running or chest, shoulder, back and arm stretches after other sports that affect those body parts. This is another way to avoid muscle and tendon strains.

Tip #4: Focus on your technique.

How you play is important in avoiding sport injuries. There’s a time and place to sprint, pivot, jump, slide, and spin around. One wrong move and you can pull a muscle or tear a ligament. If necessary, seek guidance from your coach or other professional who can advise you on the correct training protocols. Record yourself going through your activities so they can be critiqued.

Tip #5: Use the right sports gear.

Choose the right footwear and wear any preventative equipment for your particular sport to avoid sprains, strains, fractures or head injury. Take the time to visit a retailer who specializes in sports gear, explain your requirements, and follow their advice especially when it comes to the right footwear.

Tip #6: Rest your body between sporting events or activities.

Allow your body to recover from your last game or training session, especially if you’ve sustained a minor injury (pulled muscle, bruise, etc.). If you neglect rest, you’ll only weaken your body and make it more susceptible to future injury.

Tip #7: Don’t overdo it when training or playing.

Too much practice or playing won’t make you stronger or necessarily a better athlete. In fact, it may have the opposite effect as your body can only take so much stress and impact.

Tip #8: Opt for a balanced health and fitness program.

This includes resistance training, cardiovascular and core training aimed at enhancing your flexibility and coordination to reduce the likelihood of injury, illness, or both. For example, if your sport requires running, stretch and train with weights.

Tip #9: Maintain good nutrition and hydration.

This is an important part of total training and injury-free sports performance. Eat small meals regularly. Avoiding long gaps between your meals and snacks helps prevent energy lows. Be sure to get plenty of lean protein since it is critical for growth and repair. Stick to an unprocessed diet as much as you can. This of course also means keeping your body hydrated, not only during your activity, but off the field or court as well.

Tip #10: Work with a sports therapist.

Whether it’s a team or private physician, a sports therapist can restore your body to its pre-game condition with skilled massage and other techniques to treat and prevent injuries.  

The orthopedic surgeons at Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence diagnose and treat all kinds of sports injuries. For expert and compassionate care in the Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.

Sports Medicine: Benefits of Working Out in the Winter

Ward off those winter blues. During the winter months, colder weather brings on the winter blues. It’s not uncommon for those snowy or overcast skies to bring about some sort of stress, lack of energy, and gloom. Due to this, people have a tendency to lose motivation and start to become inactive, wanting to instead just lay inside and watch movies all day. However, doing so comes with its downfalls, such as sickness, fatigue, allergies, and seasonal depression, called SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

This tendency to be inactive during the cold winter months is a paramount problem, as days are shorter during the winter. Well, they seem shorter to the mind and body, anyways. This is due to limited sunlight (shorter daytime, longer night), leaving people little motivation to get up and do something active.

Those of us who have trouble becoming active, blame this lack of energy on the early darkness of winter, which leaves us feeling hopeless and disempowered to make a positive change. The unfortunate irony in all this, is that we find it most difficult to exercise during the winter when we actually need it most.  

So, are you tempted to hide under your covers, eat junk food, and hibernate when cold weather hits? It certainly seems like an amazing idea or a good excuse, but exercising in the cold actually has some cool advantages!

Moderate exercise gets the body to release hormones called endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. Exercise is extremely beneficial to our overall health, both mentally and physically. It provides a boost to our mood and health, helps manage stress, helps with cognitive thinking and memory, protects our immune system, and gives us energy. In other words, the benefits of exercise are limitless.

Besides the typical winter sports you might think of, such as downhill skiing or ice skating, there are plenty of healthy activities to draw you out into the winter wonderland. Going for a hike is healthy in any weather, so long as you have the proper attire and gear. Besides downhill skiing, there are activities such as cross-country skiing, and even snowshoe hiking, that are excellent activity options. 

Along with exercise, good nutrition and diet is crucial to also maintain your weight and good health. Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you need to bulk up on the carbs and fats. Stick with a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains. And a big tip – stay hydrated during outdoor winter activities. Since it’s not as hot, people tend to think they are not perspiring, and therefore do not need as much water. You always need to stay hydrated. To motivate yourself, visualize your goal and the finish line, your body will thank you for it in the long run.

To learn more about the benefits of exercise during the wintertime, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.