Arthritis can occur anywhere, and it is characterized by joint inflammation. There are different types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Causes: Inflammatory issues can lead to arthritis, as well as normal wear and tear on cartilage that occurs with aging.
Symptoms: Stiffness and pain are common symptoms of arthritis.
Conservative Treatments: Exercise and physical therapy can be used to manage arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications can also be taken or prescribed.
Surgery: For more advanced cases, surgery is performed to remove damaged joint lining, or to realign joints. Joints may also be surgically replaced.
Muscular dystrophy is characterized by a group of conditions that contribute to a loss of muscle mass. There is more than one type of muscular dystrophy. It can show up in early childhood or not until adulthood.
Causes: Muscular dystrophy is usually inherited. Sometimes, a spontaneous genetic mutation can occur.
Symptoms: The symptoms experienced depend on the type of muscular dystrophy. The most common symptoms include muscle pain and stiffness and frequent falls. It can also be difficult to run and eventually difficult to walk.
Conservative Treatments: There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. Treatment focuses on the management of symptoms and can include physical therapy, bracing, mobility aids, corticosteroids, and exercise.
Surgery: Surgery may be performed to correct a curve in the spine that can hinder breathing.
Nerve Compression Syndromes
Nerve compression syndromes can affect many different areas of the body.
Causes: The syndromes are caused by pressure placed on a single nerve.
Symptoms: Muscle weakness, pain, tingling, and numbness are all symptoms of nerve compression syndromes.
Conservative Treatments: The best way to treat nerve compression syndromes is to treat the underlying cause. For example, if excess weight is the cause, then losing weight is the best way to treat the syndrome and reduce pressure.
Surgery: In some cases, surgery is used to relieve pressure on a nerve.
Nonunion & Malunion
Nonunion occurs when two ends of a fractured bone fail to heal. Malunion occurs when the healed ends have not lined up properly following a fracture. The hip, pelvis, and elbow are common sites for these conditions.
Causes: Both nonunion and malunion are caused by lack of blood flow or stability in the area during the healing process. Smoking, infection, diabetes, and trauma to the area can also contribute.
Symptoms: Tenderness, pain, swelling, and visual deformity are signs of nonunion or malunion.
Surgery: Nonunion and malunion are treated surgically. The bone is cut at or near the fracture site, and plates, rods, or pins are implanted to hold the bone in place.
Characterized by bone loss, osteoporosis can lead to fractures when the bones become weak and brittle.
Causes: Osteoporosis affects both women and men, but it is more frequently seen in women. There are many things that can contribute to the risk of bone loss, such as not getting enough calcium.
Symptoms: There are no symptoms of early bone loss, so many patients do not realize that they are experiencing it. When bone loss has progressed further, symptoms include height loss, back pain, and stooped posture. Fractures will also occur more easily than expected.
Conservative Treatments: There are no ways to treat osteoporosis or restore lost bone. However, medications, low impact exercises, and supplements can help to slow additional bone loss.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Tendonitis, bursitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome are all examples of repetitive stress injuries.
Causes: These types of issues occur when overuse leads to an injury. For example, patients who do construction work or work daily on the computer are more at risk.
Symptoms: Common symptoms include weakness, pain, stiffness, numbness, and tingling in the affected area.
Conservative Treatments: Icing, splints, rest, elevation, and medications are all tools that can be used to heal a repetitive stress injury.
Surgery: Surgery may be needed to repair the area in serious cases.
Soft Tissue & Bone Tumors
These types of tumors can develop from muscles, blood vessels, nerves, fat, and more. There are approximately 50 different types of soft tissue and bone tumors, and they can be benign or malignant.
Causes: Tumors are caused by masses of abnormal cells that rapidly grow.
Symptoms: There is a wide range of possible symptoms, depending on the location of the tumor. Some patients experience no symptoms, while others experience pain.
Conservative Treatments: Soft tissue and bone tumors may be treated with radiation or chemotherapy.
Surgery: Sometimes, surgery to remove the tumor is needed.