Hip replacement surgery is used to correct hip pain when other treatments, such as physical therapy, and medication, are not sufficient. Hip replacement helps alleviate pain from a number of ailments, including arthritis or a fractured hip. There are many factors that go into recommending hip replacements. As this AAOS Orthoinfo article explains:
There are no absolute age or weight restrictions for total hip replacements. Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total hip replacement are age 50 to 80, but orthopaedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total hip replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.
In a total hip replacement, artificial components replace damaged bones and cartilage. Orthoinfo explains the process as follows:
- The damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or “press fit” into the bone.
- A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femoral head that was removed.
- The damaged cartilage surface of the socket (acetabulum) is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are sometimes used to hold the socket in place.
- A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
Your orthopaedic specialist can determine if you are a good candidate for a hip replacement. Factors including your medical history, physical examination results, and X-ray results will help determine if a hip replacement will help you.
If you are experiencing chronic or debilitating hip pain, contact us to set up an appointment with one of our specialists. We can help determine your pain’s cause and the best treatments for you.
Neck pain can have many sources. This Spine-Health article discusses some of the more common forms of neck pain. We’ve summarized them below.
Pain that radiates down the arm
If you experience neck pain moving down your arm and possibly into your hands with symptoms of numbness, burning or tingling, this could indicate a cervical herniated disc or foraminal stenosis, resulting in a pinched nerve. Non-surgical treatment, such as physical therapy and medication, is often successful.
Neck pain related to certain activities or positions
If your neck pain is present only during certain activities or when holding your head in certain positions, this could indicate cervical foraminal stenosis. Non-surgical treatment is often effective, but severe and/or prolonged pain may require surgery.
Arm Pain with Lack of Coordination
Arm pain combined with reduced motor skills in the arms and legs is often caused by cervical spinal stenosis with myelopathy, which stems from a cervical herniated disc or degenerative changes in the joints that can cause pressure on the spinal cord. These symptoms often develop slowly over time. Treatment often requires surgery to decompress the spinal canal.
Is neck pain interfering with your life? Our spine center and pain management specialists can help determine both the cause and, most importantly, the most appropriate treatment for you. Contact us today to get started on the path to less pain.
Lower back pain can be caused by lots of ailments. How can you tell when it stems from degenerative disc disease.
Nothing beats an MRI for detecting disc degeneration. But there are other signs that point to degenerative disc disease. This Spine-Health article lists four common symptoms:
- The low back pain is generally made worse with sitting, since in the seated position the lumbosacral discs are loaded three times more than standing.
- Certain types of activity will usually worsen the low back pain, especially bending, lifting and twisting.
- Walking, and even running, may actually feel better than prolonged sitting or standing.
- Patients will generally feel better if they can change positions frequently, and lying down is usually the best position since this relieves stress on the disc space.
Often, these symptoms cause severe episodes of pain lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months. These episodes are in addition to the chronic pain the patient feels constantly.
Are you suffering from lower back pain that you fear may be chronic? Our spine center and pain management specialists will listen to you, analyze your symptoms and situation, and recommend the best course of action for you. Contact us today to get started on the path to less pain.
Categories: spine center, pain management, physical therapy and rehab.
Basketball is a great game for all ages. It also puts a lot of strain on your body, no matter how old you are. The sudden starts and stops, quick direction changes, and jumping—all on a hard surface like wood or blacktop—can lead to muscle strains. Be sure you take these factors into consideration when you warm up before a basketball game or practice.
The Livestrong blog offers these simple but effective ways to get loose before hitting the court.
1) Aerobic warm-up
A short jog around the court or some jumping jacks will increase your heart rate. Continue warm-up until you break a light sweat.
2) Static stretching
A key part of most warm-ups, stretching is particularly important for basketball. Your stretches should allow your muscles to lengthen, and special focus should be given to the legs. Static stretching combined with an aerobic warm-up will result in an effective pre-hoops regimen.
3) Dynamic warm-up
This approach combines stretching and aerobic exercise into one routine. Stretches aren’t held, but rather the body moves continually, elevating the heart rate while loosening up the muscles. Raising your knees up to chest level while running, is an example of a dynamic warm-up element.
A great workout routine starts with great preparation. Our sports medicine and physical therapy specialists can help ensure you’re starting your exercise routines out right. Want more information? Contact us today!
Cycling is great exercise. It’s also very hard on the body—particularly the back. While riding a bike on the road or over rough trails does wonders for your lower body, it’s hard on your back. Riding a bicycle does little to strengthen your back muscles, and the posture required to excel on the bike puts strain on your back, especially if you also ride off-road over uneven, challenging terrain.
None of this should prevent you from enjoying cycling, however. Here, via Spine Health, are some tips you can use to keep your back—and your riding—strong:
- Make sure your bike matches your riding. For casual bike riders, consider a mountain bike with higher, straight handle bars, which keeps your posture more upright, and fatter tires, which offers more cushion and shock absorption.
- Make sure the bike fits your body. Your local cycling shop should be able to help with this.
- Use proper form. Your arms should support some weight, to keep your chest up. Shift positions periodically to keep your body—particularly your neck-from getting stiff.
- Remember to push and pull with the legs while biking. It shouldn’t be just downward thrusts when pedaling!
- Use shock-absorbing bike accessories such as seats and seat covers, handlebar covers, and gloves.
- Work some back strengthening exercises into your off-bike workout routine. Your back will thank you as you roll down the road!
Suffering from back pain? Concerned about adding cycling to your workout regime? Our spine, sports medicine, and physical rehabilitation experts can help. Contact us today and let’s talk!
Admit it, swimmers: after watching the incredible feats of Olympians like Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, you’ll swim just a bit harder the next time you get back into the pool. There’s nothing wrong with that—so long as you’re taking proper care of yourself between workouts.
One of the most commonly injured areas for swimmers is the shoulder. Preventing shoulder injuries is impossible, but minimizing their likelihood is definitely something all swimmers should focus on.
Here, courtesy of USA Swimming, are some great exercises that you can perform out of the pool to help keep your shoulders strong in the pool.
1) Rotator Cuff—Internal Rotation
2) Rotator Cuff—External Rotation
3) Shoulder Blade Squeeze
As USA Swimming notes, the exercises must concentrate on the intended areas, and should be done until the muscles burn and become tired. Conduct the exercises three days per week with a day of rest in between.
Do you have shoulder pain? The experts in our shoulder care center of excellence are available to assist you, analyze the condition, and recommend the most effective treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Lifting weights can do wonders for your body, even if your not out for an Olympic medal. If you’re not careful, however, it can do painful things to your back.
Here, courtesy of Spine-Health, are tips for protecting your back as you push yourself in the weight room.
- Keep weight amounts within your personal limits before you begin weightlifting. The condition of your back plays a role!
- Use less weight but do more repetitions.
- Use a training machine rather than free weights for certain weightlifting exercises. This helps ensure your form is consistent. A machine may reduce stress on the back and can generally be used by someone with little or no supervision.
- Use a spotter when working with free weights.
- Discuss wearing a weight belt with your spine specialist or trainer. Studies are inconclusive on the value of belts, but your particular circumstance may merit one
- Do not perform exercises such as the clean and jerk, dead lift, snatch or squat without proper supervision. These exercises pose greater risk for back injury and back pain.
Weightlifting can deliver tremendous benefits. Before you develop a program, however, come see our spine and sports medicine specialists to discuss limitations and proper approaches.
So, you’ve planned out your exercise routine—the cross-country run, off-road bike ride, or peaceful row in the lake. But how much thought have you given to your warm-up routine?
The right warm-up can make the difference between a great workout and a bad day. According to this LiveStrong blog post, a proper warm-up routine consists of two main elements”
- 5-10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise,
- 5-10 minutes of stretching, focusing on the muscles that will get the most use during the workout
Beginner or seasoned athlete?
Beginners should spend a little more time warming up—think a 15- to 20-minute walk for your cardio, followed by stretches that hold positions—but don’t involve bouncing or pain—for at least 30 seconds.
More advanced athletes should be fine with five or so minutes of warm-up cardio followed by the stretching.
Did you recently have a bad day working out or playing sports? Our sports medicine and physical therapy teams can help. Contact us and we’ll get you on your way back to the top of your game.
In a recent blog post, we discussed some scenarios where back surgery is appropriate. Here, we’ll explore lower back surgery.
Surgery to treat low back pain can be extensive. Usually, patients are given six to 12 months of more conservative treatment, such as physical therapy, before surgery is recommended for lower back pain.
Recovery is also extensive, taking anywhere from three to 12 months to return to routine daily activity. As with any surgery, success rates vary—in the case of lower back pain, a success rate of between 70 percent and 90 percent is expected, with the main variable being the specific condition being treated.
Osteoarthritis and more
Lower back pain is caused by several factors. In patients 55 and older, it is often caused by degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) that might result in a narrowing of the canal (spinal stenosis) and/or instability of one vertebral segment, as this Spine-Health article explains. The article continues:
Generally, the low back pain and/or leg pain created by these back conditions will get worse with walking and will improve with sitting. Often, the symptoms will have been present for years, and may get worse at a very slow rate. Once a patient gets to the point that he or she can no longer adequately function because of the low back pain, lumbar decompression with or without spine fusion may be recommended to help increase the individual’s activity tolerance and quality of life.
Spine surgery is usually elective and follows many months of alternative treatment. However there are two scenarios that may require emergency back surgery. As Spine-Health explains:
- Sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence (either the inability to retain or hold waste) or progressive weakness in the legs. Either of these symptoms could indicate nerve damage or cauda equina syndrome.
- Severe, continuous abdominal and back pain, which could indicate an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Our Spine Center experts handle all types of back pain, and provide a range of appropriate treatments, from physical therapy through surgery. If you’re suffering from back pain that is getting worse or won’t go away, contact us and let’s talk.
Pain in the lower back can be caused by lots of factors. But surgery isn’t right for all of them.
As Spine-Health explains, lower back surgery can only correct anatomical conditions that result in either spinal instability or nerve pinching. These problems show up on an MRI or other imaging procedure. The article continues:
If either of these problems is present on an imaging study and the patient’s symptoms fit with the clinical and radiographic picture, then spine surgery may be indicated. If there is no identifiable anatomic cause of a patient’s low back pain … then back surgery is not an option. If non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate a patient’s pain, this is not in and of itself an indication for having spine surgery. There must also be an anatomical lesion that can be identified as the cause of the patient’s low back pain.
If surgery is an option, the decision is almost always up to the patient. (There are some rare instances where immediate medical attention is required.) The spine surgeon will explain the pros and cons of surgery, and lay out a realistic timetable and plan for recovery.
For more information on lower back surgery and determining whether it is right for you, see this short Spine-Health video.
Are you ready to talk to someone about your back pain? Is surgery an option for you? Our spine center experts will be happy to talk to you about your options.