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Common Types of Elbow Injuries

The elbow is a complex joint that permits extension and flexion of the lower arm. It also permits the rotation of the wrist and hand. The elbow is actually the junction of 3 bones: the humerus, the radius, and ulna bones.

Common Elbow Injuries

There are variety of ways you can injure your elbow. Let’s take a look at some of these ways and how orthopedic doctors typically treat them.  You will notice some of the most common injuries are named after sports. This is because the injuries are often incurred by athletes who play those sports. However, the injuries are not exclusive to athletes. There are a lot of people who do not play sports but still incur these injuries because their hobbies, activities, or occupations require similar movements to that of sports. 

Pitcher’s Elbow – Also referred to as Little League elbow, Pitcher’s elbow is an injury caused by excessive throwing motions often used in sports such as baseball or softball. Not only does Pitcher’s elbow cause pain, it can also interfere with the motion of the elbow which influences performance. Most cases of Pitcher’s elbow are treated through rest and non-surgical treatments. 

Golfer’s Elbow – This is a type of cumulative trauma injury in which the tendons that attach to the inner elbow degenerate. Golfer’s elbow is caused by repetitive motions that are similar to swinging a golf club. It causes pain that radiates from the elbow and down the forearm. Most cases of Golfer’s elbow can be treated through rest and non-surgical treatments. However, in some cases, the tendon degenerates significantly and needs surgery to fix.

Tennis Elbow – Tennis elbow is the deterioration of the tendon that attaches to the bone on the outside of the elbow. This is an overuse injury most common when the movements of hitting a ball with a tennis racket are repeated too often. Tennis elbow is most often treated through rest, physical therapy, and pain medications. 

Fracture – A fracture refers to when a bone breaks due to too much force being applied to it. The elbow is made of up the humerus, ulna, and radius bones. If one of these bones is fractured, it can cause a lot of pain, swelling, and immobility. Fractures are often treated using immobilization using splints, casts, and slings, pain medications, and physical therapy. In the situation where the fracture is significant or the bone is broken into multiple pieces, surgery may be required to fix the damage.

Elbow Pain Relief in Colorado Springs, Colorado

If you are suffering from elbow pain or have suffered an elbow injury recently, it’s important for you to see a doctor immediately. If left untreated, elbow injuries can cause a lot of unnecessary pain and become more complex and difficult to treat. The experts at the Colorado Center for Orthopedic Excellence have a wealth of knowledge, training, and experience treating every type of orthopedic injury and would love to help make you feel better. Make an appointment by calling (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.

When You Should Go to an Orthopedic Urgent Care

Every year, millions of Americans sustain an orthopedic (musculoskeletal) injury either at home, on the job, in their cars (in accidents), or while competing in their favorite sport. Their injuries can range from minor to serious to life-threatening, involving everything from a sprain or strain to a broken bone or a torn ligament.

Regardless of the severity of the injury, our first instinct is usually to rush to the nearest emergency room (ER) or urgent care center, especially if our primary doctor is unavailable.

Often, visiting an ER or a regular urgent care center means waiting a long time to see a doctor. And when you finally do, the doctor can end up referring you to an orthopedic surgeon, which could result in having to wait even longer to see the right specialist for your condition.

In addition, a regular urgent care facility may not have the right equipment to diagnose your acute injury or do the best job of stabilizing the injured body part. And to add inconvenience to injury, a trip to the ER can be very expensive.

Why Should I Go to an Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic?

Our orthopedic urgent care clinic in Colorado Springs provides service during convenient business hours and helps patients with a wide variety of orthopedic/musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses. You can simply walk in and receive specialized care.

Not only does orthopedic urgent care increase your access to quality healthcare exclusively focused on orthopedic conditions and injuries, but it also decreases costly emergency room visits. This is beneficial not only for patients but also for overloaded emergency departments which can then focus their efforts on more immediate health problems.

Specialized Care for Sports Injuries and Other Orthopedic Issues

Research indicates that about one in six visits to an urgent care center involves some sort of musculoskeletal injury – and nearly 70 percent of the time, these patients end up being referred to an orthopedist. Not only does this delay treatment, but it can cost the patient twice as much.

Unlike a general urgent care center, an orthopedic urgent care clinic is designed to provide swift, cost-effective, specialized quality care. That means you have prompt access to the right specialist and can start your treatment and recovery right then and there.

Orthopedic urgent care clinics are staffed with board-certified or fellowship-trained experts in orthopedic medicine who can diagnose and treat any injuries or conditions affecting your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, tissue, or cartilage.

In the event that an orthopedist is not available, an orthopedic urgent care clinic has highly skilled and trained physician’s assistants (PAs) on hand to attend to your needs. These PAs have specialized training in the field of orthopedics as well as years of experience in diagnosing and treating most orthopedic conditions. These clinics also have the specialized equipment required to handle practically any orthopedic problem on the spot.

Contact Your Local Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic Today

Recognizing the need for our patients to always have access to immediate care for orthopedic and sports-related injuries, the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence recently opened its own orthopedic urgent care and sports medicine clinic. Our goal is to always find a way to provide our patients with access to high-quality, comprehensive orthopedic care, in addition to (non-operative) primary care sports medicine on an urgent care basis.

We understand the importance of primary care physicians and the overall health and wellness of each individual patient. Our clinic is not intended to replace this relationship between patient and primary care physician, but to offer a convenient option when the patient needs care quickly and in a more cost-effective manner. Therefore, our sports medicine specialist, Dr. Jarrod Harrall, collaborates with our orthopedic surgeons and staff to provide our patients with world-class care and service.

To learn more about the benefits of orthopedic urgent care, and what ours has to offer, call Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 or fill out our online appointment form, or call our Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Urgent Care center at (719) 394-4800 today

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.

Could Your Sports Career Lead to Knee Pain?

The knee is made up of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, all working as one. The knee sits in the middle of three bones: the tibia (your shinbone), the femur (your thighbone), and the patella (the kneecap). The patella is a flat, round bone that protects the knee joint. Your knees provide stability and allow your legs to bend, swivel, and straighten. Due to their intricacies, the hip and knee joints are the least stable in the body, susceptible to accelerated aging, deterioration, strain, and repetitive injuries. If the knee becomes injured, it can be due to many different things, but your sports career is a common one. Some sports may take more of a toll on the knees than others, such as distance running and basketball, while others tend to present more opportunities for impact, such as football or soccer.

If you are an athlete, and have ever sat on the sidelines with a knee injury, you probably appreciate more than ever, about how your knees have powered you through various sports and activities: kicking, jumping, running, and pivoting. Sport injuries can affect almost any part of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments).

Although a knee problem is often caused by an injury to one or more of these structures, it may have another cause. Some people are more likely to develop knee problems than others. In other words, all those working parts mean there are bunches of ways to injure a knee. Many jobs, sports and recreation activities, getting older, or having a disease such as osteoporosis or arthritis increase your chances of having problems with your knees.  Common causes for injuries are overuse from repetitive motions, sudden stops or twists, or direct blows to the knee. To avoid knee injuries, it helps to understand how your knees work and what you can do to protect them.

Common knee injuries due to sports:

  • Sprains and Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Meniscus Tears (ACL, MCL)
  • Fractures and Dislocations

When overuse damage, orthopedic trauma, or sports injuries occur, it can be devastating to your game, your workouts, your physical health, and your mental health. That is why the sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence work just as hard as you play your game to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and world-class care. Our goal is to return you to play as quickly as possible, while preventing re-injury and improving your body’s response to stress. 

Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete who is experiencing knee pain, our sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence can help. Call our office at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment, or you can request one online.