Orthopaedic FAQs

Orthopaedic Injury FAQs

How do I know surgery is the right option?

Surgery may be necessary if other, less invasive treatments like activity modification do not fix the problem. Typically, those are tried first.

Will I need physical therapy?

This depends on the type of procedure that was performed. Physical therapy can help many people regain motion and strength in their joints. Therapy can last from 2-6 months.

What are some risks associated with surgery?

As with any surgery, risks include bleeding, infection, stiffness and nerve damage. Ask your surgeon what the risks are for your particular procedure.

When can I return to daily activities?

This depends on the type of procedure done, and can be anywhere from a few days to a few months. A full return to all activities, sports and exercise can take from four to six months. The patient’s physician will advise them on their individual progress.

What can happen if I avoid surgery?

Some complications that can come from avoiding needed surgery are pain, loss of motion, weakness, numbness and an early onset of arthritis.

What are the most common injuries?

The most common orthopaedic injuries are sprains and strains, knee injuries, swollen muscles, shin pain, fractures and dislocations.

How can I prevent getting injured?

Exercising is good, but you can become injured without the proper precautions. Poor training practices, improper gear when playing sports, being out of shape and inadequate warming up or stretching can also lead to injuries.

Arthritis FAQs

What is arthritis?

Arthritis encompasses joint inflammation and other conditions that affect the joints and tissues that surround the joints. The pattern severity and location of symptoms can vary depending on the specific form of the disease. Typically, arthritis is characterized by pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly.

Am I at risk for arthritis?

The risk increases with advanced age, while genetics can also play a role. Modifiable habits include being overweight, injury, infection and certain occupations that involve repetitive knee bending or squatting.

What causes arthritis?

Specific infections can cause certain forms of arthritis. The causes of many forms of arthritis are unknown. Scientists are studying the role of factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environment in the various types of arthritis.

Can I prevent arthritis?

Depending on the form of arthritis, there are steps that can be taken to reduce risk. Maintaining an appropriate body weight has been shown to decrease the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Protecting your joints from injuries or overuse can reduce the risk of osteoarthritis as well.

How is arthritis diagnosed?

Diagnosing arthritis often requires a detailed medical history of current and past symptoms, physical examination, X-rays and blood work. It is possible to have more than one form of arthritis at the same time.

Osteoporosis FAQs

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If left untreated, it can progress painlessly until a fracture occurs.

Are women more likely to get it?

While women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, men also suffer from the disease.

What causes osteoporosis?

Specific causes are not known, but risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing the disease include being female, having a small thin frame, older age, early or surgically-induced menopause, a diet low in calcium, cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use, heavy caffeine intake and physical inactivity.

Can osteoporosis be cured?

Currently, osteoporosis cannot be cured. But no matter the patient’s age or the extent of osteoporosis, it is never too late to begin a rehabilitation program. Symptoms can be substantially controlled and quality of life can be improved.

Carpal Tunnel FAQs

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Most likely the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition. The carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture; an overactive pituitary gland; hypothyroidism; rheumatoid arthritis; mechanical problems in the wrist joint; work stress; repeated use of vibrating hand tools; fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause; or the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal. In some cases no cause can be identified.

Who is at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome?

Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, perhaps because the carpal tunnel itself may be smaller in women than in men. The dominant hand is usually affected first and produces the most severe pain. People with diabetes are also at high risk. Carpal tunnel syndrome usually occurs only in adults.

How can I prevent getting carpal tunnel syndrome?

At the workplace, workers can perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, wear splints to keep wrists straight and use correct posture and wrist position. Wearing fingerless gloves can help keep hands warm and flexible. Workstations, tools and tool handles, and tasks can be redesigned to enable the worker’s wrist to maintain a natural position during work.