Orthopedics is a branch of medicine that deals with the musculoskeletal system, and visiting an orthopedic surgeon from our office is your first step in finding comfort or pain relief due to problems in your musculoskeletal system. This system is the framework or mechanism of the body that enables it to function, and any pain or injuries can affect your daily life.
Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you.
Common Orthopedic Disorders
There is no shortage of possible orthopedic conditions and disorders, but there are some that are more commonly seen by an orthopedic surgeon than others.
Arthritis: This type of inflammation affects the joints. The two main types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is the most severe manifestation of arthritis, is an inflammation of the joints as well as the heart, lungs, skin, and eyes. Osteoarthritis is an inflammation of the feet, knees, hands, elbows, and spine.
Osteoporosis: This refers to a condition characterized by the thinning of bones. As osteoporosis progresses, the affected person’s bones begin to break. In the late stages of osteoporosis, the injured person experiences loss of height, fractured bones and back pain.
Degenerative Discs: This disease describes the changes in a person’s spinal discs as he or she begins to age. Degenerative disc disease affects the lower back and neck. Breakdown causes nerve damage and a lot of pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition affects the nerve of the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by tingling, numbness, and pain on the affected person’s hand and fingers.
Causes of Orthopedic Disorders
Are you at risk for an orthopedic condition? While anyone can suffer from orthopedic problems, some characteristics are more predictable than others. Ultimately, only your orthopedic surgeon can determine the cause of your problem.
Work Posture and Repetitive Movements: Activities such as standing for extended periods can lead to muscular fatigue, low back pain, and sore feet. If your job requires you to stand for a long time, warm up before you start and change positions frequently. When you use the same muscle and joint groups for extended periods of time, you are likely to suffer from muscle or joint problems. For example, the use of computer keyboards for an extended period of time can damage the tendons and muscles of the fingers and arms.
Force of Movements: The way you lift things can strain your lower back and cause ruptured hernias and discs. It is important to learn how to stoop, lift, and bend correctly.
Vibration: Musculoskeletal disorders can be caused by vibrations that affect tendons, muscles, nerves and joints. For instance, a jack hammer operator is likely to suffer from an orthopedic disorder because of the vibrations caused by the jack hammer. You should use insulated headphones, protective shoes, and gloves when dealing with vibrating equipment.
Cold Temperatures: Handling cold substances or working in cold temperatures can numb your joints. When your joints or muscles are numb, your positions or movements become stiff and awkward. It is advisable to wear clothing and gloves to keep you warm and allow flexibility when working in cold conditions.
Aging: As you age, you lose your height and your back begins to curve. For example, conditions such as osteoporosis mainly occur when during aging.
Trivial Injury: Some orthopedic conditions, such as the tear of meniscus, can result from trivial injuries such as those sustained by athletes or people who engage in rigorous sporting activities.
Common Symptoms of Orthopedic Disorders
The symptoms of orthopedic conditions vary depending on the particular condition you are suffering from, and your orthopedic surgeon will be able to help you pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. The most common symptoms associated with most orthopedic disorders include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Joint dysfunction
- Joint deformity
- Poor mobility
- Pain during movement
- Bone pain
- Restricted movement
Diagnosis for Orthopedic Disorders
Laboratory Tests: There are many different types of laboratory tests that may be performed by an orthopedic surgeon. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a test for measuring a person’s red blood cells. When a patient’s muscles are injured, there is a high count of red blood cells in the blood. Another laboratory test used for orthopedic disorders is the patient’s level of creatine kinase. This is an enzyme that is released in a person’s blood stream when his or her muscle gets damaged. A high level of creatine kinase indicates injured muscles.
X-rays: This procedure is conducted to evaluate deformed, painful, or abnormal sections of bone. X-rays help diagnose infections, injuries, tumors, fractures, and deformities but cannot be used to view soft tissue damage.
CT Scans, MRIs and Ultrasonography: These procedures help study the exact location and the extent of damage. CT and MRI tests provide more detail when compared with x-rays. MRI is mainly used for imaging tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Since x-rays do not show soft tissues, MRI is used when the source of pain is suspected to be a soft tissue. CT scans are used for imaging bones, soft tissues, and blood vessels. Ultrasonography is popular for identifying inflammation around the joints or tendons.
Common Treatments for Orthopedic Disorders
Braces and Supports: If you are suffering from injured joints, your orthopedic surgeon will recommend braces and supports to support your weak muscles.
Medication: Some of the common forms of medication used for orthopedic conditions are glucosamine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
Injections: In many cases, an orthopedic surgeon will choose to use injections for administering medication such as cortisone.
Surgery: Many orthopedic conditions are treated using surgery after all other forms of treatment fail. The common types of surgery include knee surgery, hip replacement, ankle replacement, and elbow replacement.
Arthroscopic Surgery: This is a special kind of surgery where the orthopedic surgeon makes small incisions and inserts a camera into the joint. Arthroscopic surgery is the standard procedure for many joint problems. Some common examples of arthroscopic surgeries include hip arthroscopy, knee arthroscopy, shoulder arthroscopy, ankle arthroscopy, and wrist arthroscopy.
Contact our office today to take the first step toward comfort and freedom of movement.