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Sat, 02 Jun 2018

ACL Tears: A Commonality Among High School Athletes

What is an ACL tear?    acl tear orthopedic doctor

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is an injury to the knee that commonly affects athletes that participate in high –demand sports such as soccer, football or basketball.   Approximately 70% of ACL tears in sports are the result of non-contact injuries caused from a rapid change of direction, stopping suddenly or landing from a jump incorrectly. ACL tears are very common and women are four-to-six times more likely than men to experience this type of injury.

    The ACL is one of the major bands of tissue (ligaments) connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia) at the knee joint.    When the ACL is torn, you may feel a sharp, intense pain or hear a loud “pop” or snap. You might not be able to walk on the injured leg because you can’t support your weight through your knee joint. Usually, the knee will swell immediately (within minutes to a few hours), and you might feel that your knee “gives way” when you walk or put weight on it.

Immediately following an injury, you should be examined by an orthopedic doctor for a thorough examination and evaluation to assess the damage to the ACL and also  to assess potential damage to other parts of the knee.

Most people who sustain an ACL tear will undergo surgery to repair the injury; however, there are a few instances where surgery may not be required.  It is best to see an orthopedic specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

With proper treatment and physical therapy, people who have experienced a torn ACL can often be back in the game within 6 to 12 months.

If you are looking for help with an ACL tear or another orthopedic injury, contact Miller Orthopedic Specialists today.

Thu, 03 May 2018

Vertebral Compression Fractures

 

An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and an additional 34 million are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for developing vertebral compression fractures.

Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common fracture in patients with osteoporosis, affecting about 750,000 people annually.

VCFs occur when the bony block or vertebral body in the spine collapses, which can lead to severe pain, deformity and loss of height.   While osteoporosis is the most common cause, these fractures may also be caused by trauma or metastatic tumors.

The main clinical symptoms of VCFs may include any of the following, alone or in combination:

  • Sudden onset of back pain
  • An increase of pain intensity while standing or walking
  • A decrease in pain intensity while lying on the back
  • Limited spinal mobility
  • Eventual height loss
  • Eventual deformity and disability

While a diagnosis can usually be made through history and a physical examination, plain x-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help in confirming diagnosis, predicting prognosis and determining the best treatment options.

Traditionally, people with severe pain from VCFs have been treated with bed rest, over the counter medications, bracing, use of heat or ice and a slow return to mobility.  Surgery may also be advisable depending upon the servility of the pain and injury.   After sustaining a vertebrae fracture, a patient is at risk for more fractures, so treatment of the underlying osteoporosis is an important part of the treatment plan.

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