The knee is a hinge like joint, formed where the thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap meet. It is supported by muscles and ligaments and lined with cartilage. Over time, cartilage can wear away, causing the knee to become stiff and painful. An artificial knee joint can replace the painful joint and restore movement. This prosthesis lets you bend your knee easily again. With smooth surfaces, the bones can once again glide freely!
At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center we recognize that painful joints can interfere with your sleep, limit daily mobility, or keep you from participating in activities you love. If managing your joint pain is no longer working, our team of joint replacement specialists can help by replacing all or part of your problem joint. Please contact our joint specialists at 540.347.9220 to schedule an appointment or simply for more information.
Our goal – Get YOU back to GOOD HEALTH
Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?
- Pain restricts your everyday activities, such as walking or bending.
- Stiffness makes it hard for you to get mobility in your legs.
- You are in pain while in a restful state.
- Pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs is minimal.
- You have tried other treatment options and persistent pain does not go away.
Many times we don’t want to admit to ourselves that our bodies need a little help. Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center offers a wide arrangement of comprehensive services to assist in making your life easier. Please contact one of our Joint Replacement Specialists today @ (540) 347-9220.
Shoulder injuries are often caused by repetitive motion, like swinging a hammer, golf club, or tennis racket. Activities like swimming and weightlifting can wear down shoulders, too.
How do you know the difference between general soreness and an injury that needs attention? Ongoing stiffness, a loose feeling joint that seems like it could pop out, inflammation or noticeable weakness in one or both shoulders are signs that should be taken seriously—and taken to an orthopedist.
Most shoulder injuries are related to muscle, tendon, or ligament problems. Often the rotator cuff—the group of tendons and muscles that hold the shoulder joint bones together—is involved.
As this AAOS blog post explains, orthopedic specialists put shoulder injuries into two categories: instability and impingement. Instability comes when the joint is forced out of position, while impingement is caused by shoulder muscles rubbing against the top of the shoulder blade.
For more on the types of injuries that cause shoulder pain, see this related post on our blog.
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, weakness, or joint mobility limitations, don’t try to “play through” the pain. Contact our shoulder care experts for a consultation and we’ll find the treatment that is right for you.
The phrase “shoulder pain” is a common term for several ailments. As this American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons post explains, should pain usually falls into four categories, which are explained below.
1. Tendons: tendinitis, bursitis, and tears
Tendinitis is the wearing down of a tendon. Chronic tendonitis occurs over a long period of time, such as with age, while acute tendinitis is caused by excessive, repetitive motion—such as lifting weights or swinging a golf club.
Bursitis is inflammation of small sacs—called bursae– in joints including the shoulder. The sacs help reduce friction between muscle and bone., but can become
A tendon tear is just as it sounds. Tendon tears can be caused by age, excessive wear, or sudden movements, and can happen to anyone, regardless of physical condition or age.
2. Joint instability
In the shoulder, instability means the upper arm bone is separated from the shoulder socket. This is commonly called a separated shoulder. Separated shoulders can be partial (a subluxation) or complete. Once a shoulder separation occurs, the resulting loosening of the associated tendons, ligaments and muscles means the likelihood of more separations increases.
Arthritis in the shoulder is typically osteoarthritis, which is caused by aging and wear and tear on the cartilage that protects the ends of bones. It usually develops slowly and gets worse over time. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness.
A broken bone in the shoulder usually involves the collarbone (clavicle), upper arm bone (humerus) or the shoulder blade (scapula). Significant swelling, severe pain, and bruises are signs of a shoulder fracture.
Shoulder pain can be complicated. Fortunately, it is very common and can almost always be successfully treated.
Anterior hip replacement is gaining popularity, especially among patients with more active lifestyles. This Augusta Chronicle piece tells the story of 74-year-old Merelyn Hendricks, who was not only back on the golf course just four weeks after an anterior hip replacement, but he was moving very well–he shot a 73!
We talk about the advantages of anterior hip replacement in this blog post, but the article offers a few more good points. One of them is the advantage of the patient being able to be on his back during an anterior hip replacement, Dr. Randal Meredith explains in the article:
Going in the front also means patients can lie on their backs during surgery, which makes it a little easier to do the procedure, Meredith said. As he worked to replace a hip recently in an operating room at University Hospital, he was able to mark his progress with X-rays, carefully checking to see whether the replacement parts were snug against the bone, eyeing the size to see if it matched up. Meredith checked the placement against the other hip to see that they were well aligned. In fact, the patient had previously had a hip replacement on the left side that might have left that side a little long, so Meredith’s goal in replacing the right hip was to even that out.
If you are considering hip replacement surgery, our joint replacement team would be glad to meet with you to discuss your options. Contact us today and set up an appointment to meet with someone from our team.
When non-surgical treatments like physical therapy and medication aren’t enough to make debilitating hip pain manageable, hip replacement surgery is often the recommended next step.
Hip replacements have been performed for decades to treat arthritis and other hip-related ailments. Here in the U.S., more than 285,000 total hip replacements are done each year. In recent years, a new type of hip replacement–the anterior hip replacement–has been gaining in popularity.
In hip replacement surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the leg, opens the hip joint, and implants a ball and socket on an artificial stem. This takes the place of a worn-out joint.
No muscle or bone cut
In a traditional hip replacement procedure, the incision is made in the side or toward the back of the leg, and access to the joint is gained by either cutting muscle or bone around the joint. In an anterior hip replacement procedure, a smaller incision is made more toward the front of the hip, and joint access is gained by spreading the muscles apart. The same joint replacement procedure is done, yet no muscle or bone is cut.
By leaving the muscles intact, the anterior hip replacement approach does less damage during surgery, which shortens the patient’s recovery time. The entire joint also is more stable immediately after surgery, meaning the patient can get back to everyday activities
Anybody can be a candidate for an anterior hip replacement. Our joint replacement team has performed hundreds of successful hip replacements, including anterior hip replacements. If you’re experiencing chronic hip pain, our team would be happy to meet with you and talk about your options.
A recently published study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine demonstrates that screening strategies vary widely in identifying women residing in nursing homes who are eligible for treatment of osteoporosis. However, the researchers concluded that a reasonable clinical approach would be to consider osteoporosis treatment for those with clinical fractures of the hip or spine, radiologic evidence for a vertebral fracture or osteoporosis by bone mineral density classification.
Led by Susan Greenspan, M.D., professor of medicine at Pitt, the study, published in this month’s Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, sought to identify nursing home patients who would benefit from pharmacologic treatment of osteoporosis, which could decrease their risk for bone fractures. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and break easily.
“Osteoporosis in the frail elderly can have devastating consequences, but we have yet to perfect a system for identifying those patients who would benefit most from the treatment,” Dr. Greenspan said in a news release issued about the study.
The researchers evaluated a variety of osteoporosis screening strategies in more than 200 women residing in 11 long-term care facilities in the Pittsburgh area. Screening measures included history of bone fracture, bone mineral density by standard Dexa scanning, the fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX) with body mass index (BMI), FRAX with femoral neck bone density, and heel ultrasound.
The study found that depending on the screening strategy used, identification of treatment eligibility varied from 17 percent for clinical fracture to 98 percent for FRAX with BMI. Also, three-quarters of vertebral fractures were “silent,” meaning they caused no symptoms, and were identified only through X-ray or special screening scans.
“This is worrisome because many physicians rely on bone density screening, but that approach missed half the women with vertebral fractures who would be candidates for osteoporosis treatment,” Dr. Greenspan said. “Still, some form of screening for vertebral fractures is appropriate because treatment could prevent more osteoporosis damage and future fractures.”
If you have suffered a fractures of the hip or spine, radiologic evidence for a vertebral fracture or osteoporosis by bone mineral density classification and are interested in being screened for osteoporosis, set up an appointment today by clicking here or calling our office at (540) 347 9220.
When knee pain becomes too unbearable for treatments like medication or a walking cane, knee replacement surgery is often the next step.
A knee replacement brings pain relief and an improved quality of life to patients suffering from injuries or arthritis. New research indicates that the benefits could go much further.
A study recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests that knee replacements improve health and life expectancy. The study examined some 135,000 patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee from 1997-2009. Some 54,000 of the patients opted for knee replacement.
The results, according to the New York Times Well Blog:
Three years after diagnosis, the knee replacement patients had an 11 percent lower risk of heart failure. And after seven years, their risk of dying for any reason was 50 percent lower.
While experts aren’t ready to accept the study’s findings completely, the results support similar knee replacement studies done in Scandinavia. Continues the blog:
Given the big numbers in the study and the size of the effect, the data strongly suggest that knee replacement may lead to improvements in health and longevity.
If knee pain is reducing your quality of life, knee replacement surgery may be an option. Click here for more on Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center’s Joint Replacement Center of Excellence.