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Are You Too Old for Hip or Knee Joint Replacement?

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

In the past, surgery to replace troublesome knee and hip joints was reserved for folks over 60. Yet, the desire by today’s mature adults to be more active and not surrender to aging has driven up total joint replacements among the 45-60 age groupAs we live longer – and try to remain more active – the question arises: How old is TOO old for hip or knee joint replacement? “We do know that osteoarthritis – the primary condition requiring joint replacement -- gets worse with age,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Rodney Alan. “So, the chances of needing surgery increase as we age.” 

Prepping for Your Total Joint Replacement

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

It finally hits home. You’re sitting with your family physician, pain management or orthopedic specialist and you hear the words, “You need a joint replacement.” Certainly your knee or hip has given you daily bouts of pain and limited your activity.  You want to feel better.  But now – OMG! -- you face the reality of hospitalization, surgery, rehab and recovery.  “What a patient does BEFORE the surgery is as important as what follows,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Rodney Alan.  “Mental, emotional and physical preparation sets the stage for successful surgery and a faster return to normal life activities.”

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopaedics

Sam looked up as his Orthopedic Surgeon entered the exam room.  “I think we need to move to a total joint replacement on your knee,” said the surgeon. Sam didn’t hear much after that. The surgeon’s comments were drowned out by the waterfall of questions washing over Sam's brain. “Questions are common for people facing major knee or hip joint replacement,” says Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Rodney Alan. “Each patient has some questions specific to their situation, but a study funded by the National Institutes of Health identified the 4 Most Important Questions patients have about their pending joint replacement surgery.”

10 Tips on Handling Fall Recreation Injuries

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Adam Ploeg, MS, ATC McLeod Sports Medicine

The most dangerous student sport in the autumn is…(would you believe) cheerleading, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research. While that may surprise you, the fact that football and soccer are also near the top of the list is not surprising. If you or your child is engaged in fall sports, here are some tips to help you navigate the rough waters of autumn competition.  Remember, that the rate of injury for youth athletes is about the same as professional athletes.

Medically reviewed by Al Gilpin, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

First, the clothes for Physical Education. Add a pencil case, calculator, water bottle and MP3 player. Stuff in a couple textbooks. Don’t forget one or two 5-subject notebooks. Top it off with some keys or hand sanitizer. And voila’! You have a student’s school backpack. If your student’s backpack is like most these days, it may weigh 20 to 25 pounds, about 20%+ of your student’s total body weight. Today’s school bags are twice as heavy as ten years ago. One study found that more than 5 out of 10 of U.S. school students carry a backpack that’s too heavy for them.

Elbow Pain: Reaching for Solutions

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Pat Denton, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

“No matter what, I’m going to finish this (golf, tennis, gardening, carpentry, painting, insert your activity). An attitude like that can lead to success. However, it can also lead to a painful elbow due to Tendonitis or Bursitis. FIRST, SOME BACKGROUND. Three long bones meet in the elbow, forming a hinge joint supported by muscles. Your elbow joint and muscles are critical to reaching, lifting and rotating.

Medically Reviewed by Pat Denton, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Repetitive, one-sided twisting of the spine. Bending over, repetitively to pick up weights from 10 to 40 pounds. Chronic wear and tear on shoulder and elbow joints. Muscle and tendon tears that create scar tissue. Golf can be fun.  Yet, half of all amateur golfers report some type of orthopedically related injury. (That’s a lot, even when we subtract the 10% who were hit by a club or ball.) For the most part, golf injuries do not vary considerably based on the amateur golfer’s age or handicap.

Medically Reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

Millions of people are enjoying the quality of life and end of pain that a total knee or hip joint replacement delivers. Many of those people will also experience the need for a second replacement – also called a “revision” – of their artificial joint. 

Medically reviewed by Adam Ploeg, MS, ATC McLeod Sports Medicine

Does your knee hurt?  It could be a bad joint that’s calling out for replacementOr it might be a stretched or sprained ligament. Before we discuss injuries and treatments, let’s take a quick course in “knee ligament basics.” (Refer to the image with this article to better understand the importance of knee ligaments.) “Ligaments help connect bones to other bones,” says Adam Ploeg, Certified Athletic Trainer with McLeod Sports Medicine.  “In the knee, there are 4 ligaments that help to stabilize the knee and connect the portion of the leg above the knee (thigh) to the leg below the knee. These ligaments can sometimes look like a bundle or intertwined rope and vary from the thickness of a pencil to a thickness of 3 fingers.”

Medically reviewed by Michael Sutton, DO McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

“Two of the primary benefits of a total knee or hip joint replacement are less pain and more life, thanks to the ability to move again,” says Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Sutton of McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon. “As more joint replacements are being performed on young and younger patients, a key question they ask is: ‘When can I get back to work?’”Let’s layout a possible timeline for your recovery after joint replacement surgery:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

All eyes turned as Donna walked in. Her face was beautiful.  The silhouette, striking. And those high spike heels!  Whew!  Every man – and a few women – inhaled sharply, losing interest in their year-old magazines.  Donna smiled sweetly, knowing that she was causing a ruckus – and thinking to herself, If only my knees didn’t hurt so much.  Well, maybe when the nurse calls my name, the orthopedic specialist can tell me what the problem is“A number of studies have shown the increased risk from high heels of developing osteoarthritis in your knees,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Eric Heimberger. “The knee joint deteriorates, possibly leading to total joint replacement.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. David Lukowski McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Last year, nearly 54,000 people had their vacations ruined by luggage-related injuries. Most of those injuries involved lifting bags in a hurry (probably in a rush to or at the airport) that were too heavy, over packed, or just plain bulky. “The most common injuries are to the shoulder, neck, wrist and back,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. David Lukowski. “However, luggage handling can also aggravate existing knee and hip problems by exerting extra stress on these joints or creating bad posture.”  Here are some tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that can help keep your vacation healthy and enjoyable:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton, Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Hip Joint?  Bad Knee?  Leg Cramps? Torn Muscle? Hairline Fracture? Inflamed Tendon? “In medical terms, those questions are the beginning of a differential diagnosis,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Pat Denton of Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates. “For most people, the term leg pain can be the key to a multitude of medical issues – some minor, some serious. Many – but not all – are handled by Orthopedic Specialists.” Let’s try to sort things out a bit. Orthopedic Specialists primarily deal with problems related to your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Below are some common leg pain issues treated by Orthopedic Specialists:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton, Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Ever try to hold up 150 or so pounds and keep it stable ALL DAY? That’s what your knees do. And small C-shaped wedges between the cartilage and bones in your knee act as stabilizers and shock absorbers.  Each of these wedges is called a “meniscus.” Given their work assignment, it’s not hard to understand that a meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries.  

Medically reviewed by Dr. Rodney Alan, McLeod Orthopaedics

“Pssst.”  “Down here.”  “Listen carefully.”  “I need your help to keep us both out of trouble.” A bit overly dramatic for sure.  Our knees don’t talk.  But if we don’t treat them right, in time we may not be able to ignore our knees, whether they talk or not. “Knee joint replacements are soaring, especially among younger people between 45 and 60,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rodney Alan.  “And while total joint replacements are some of the most successful surgeries performed, it’s important to do what you can to make your original knees last as long as possible.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Rodney Alan, McLeod Orthopaedics

The trend toward younger people seeking hip and knee joint replacements is pretty clear.  But who are the people seeking them and just how “young” are they? Here’s a brief look at these questions.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Sutton, McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

Total Joint Replacement  for Knees and Hips can reduce pain, increase mobility and enhance overall quality of life. So, why do people wait…and wait…delay…put off…find excuses to avoid the surgery?  For many, it’s anxiety over the pain they’ll have while recovering from the surgery. “There will be pain, as there is with any surgery,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Sutton. “Yet, remember two things.  One: Unlike the pain from your knee before surgery, this pain will ease and eventually vanish as you complete your rehab.  Two: New developments continue to improve post-surgical pain management.” 

Is Shoulder Surgery in Your Future?

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically Reviewed by David Lukowski, MD McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

If you look at the statistics, shoulder problems are not as great a problem as knee and hip joint issues.  Annually, total shoulder joint replacements number only about 1/20th as many as total knee joint replacements.

Medically Reviewed by Pat Denton, MD - Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Although it is not generally used for total joint replacement surgery, arthroscopy is very commonly performed on the knee and other joints for diagnosing and treating problems.  One source claims more than 4 million are performed worldwide annually. In this article, we’ll focus on the knee arthroscopy, because 17 out of 20 of the procedures are performed on this joint.

When Two Joint Replacements are Better Than One

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Michael Sutton, MD McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

Not only was Darth Vader the father of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, but all that light saber fighting took its toll. Darth – in real life, actor Dave Prowse – needed a hip replacement. And not just one hip – but both. Like many people (even those who don’t fight with light sabers) Vader (AKA Prowse) had to decide whether to have BOTH hip joints replaced in one surgery…or first have one hip replaced, recover, then have the second replaced, also called staged replacement. He decided on doing both at the same time, also called bilateral joint replacement.  

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