Monthly Archives: November 2013

Anterior Hip Replacement


Over the past 5 years a major advance in the surgical approach to performing a hip replacement has been developed and is known as an anterior hip replacement.  In addition to remaining minimally invasive, this approach avoids cutting any major muscle groups.  The incision is placed over the front of the upper thigh and avoids lateral hip pain when sleeping on one’s side.

What are the advantages?

  • No muscle cutting, allowing improved hip strength after surgery
  • Lowest dislocation rate compared to all previous approaches
  • Improved leg lengths-allows more accurate equalization of leg lengths.
  • No restrictions after surgery –sitting, crawling, stooping is allowed with no postoperative limitations.
  • No restriction on weight bearing or exercises
  • Reduction in postoperative pain
  • Decreased hospital stay and a quicker recovery.

If you are suffering with arthritis, hip pain and stiffness you can now choose anterior hip replacement surgery.  Dr. James Ramser with Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center is one of the few physicians who performs this surgery routinely in Virginia.  Call our joint replacement specialists for more information today at (540) 347-9220 (Warrenton location) (703) 743-2814 (Gainesville location) to schedule an appointment or visit  for more information.

Our Goal: Get YOU Back to Good Health and Get YOU Back to Living.

When Knee Pain is Unbearable


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.  To speak to one of the joint specialists @ Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center please call 540.347.9220 (Warrenton location) or 703.743.2841 (Gainesville location) or visit for more information on the comprehensive services offered by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center.  Most insurances are accepted!

Is Neck Pain Interfering In Your Life?


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. For more information on the comprehensive services offered by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center please contact our specialists @ 540.347.9220 (Warrenton location) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville location) to get started on the path to less pain.  Visit

Fact: Bunions are more Common in Women!


A bunion (hallux abducto valgus) is a deformity characterized by the big toe which protrudes outwardly and is made up of bone and soft tissue.  Heredity plays a small part in the cause of bunions with the most common cause being extended wear of poorly fitting shoes.  According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society 88 percent of women wear shoes that don’t fit properly and 55 percent have bunions.  Bunions are nine times more common in women than men.  Follow these guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons ( to ensure a proper shoe fit:

  • Always judge how the shoe fits based on how it fits on the foot!  Don’t always rely on your shoe size as sizes vary among brands and styles.
  • Select a shoe that fits as closely as possible to the shape of your foot.
  • Did you know your feet change as you grow older?  Have your feet measured on a regular basis.
  • Size your feet at the end of the day when the feet are the largest.
  • Stand while fitting and verify that there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe.
  • Make sure the ball of your foot fits perfectly into the widest part of the shoe.
  • Don’t buy shoes under the belief they will stretch!  Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a slight amount of slippage.
  • Before purchasing, walk around to make sure the shoe fits and feels comfortable.

Foot pain can have a debilitating effect on your daily life.  At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center we offer a variety of surgical and non-surgical methods.  We take great care to understand the root cause of a problem, not just its symptoms.  This allows us to identify the most desirable treatment to achieve lasting recovery in the shortest time possible.  For more information please contact one of our foot and ankle specialists at 540.347.9220 (Warrenton location) 703.743.2814 (Gainesville location) or visit

What is Arthroscopy?


Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to examine and often treat damaged joints.  The benefit of an arthroscopy over conventional open surgery is that the joint does not have to be completely opened up.  This article from KRAMES staywell (,P00903) tells us the joints most frequently examined by arthroscopy, what arthroscopic surgery entails and conditions commonly associated with arthroscopy.

Joints frequently examined –

  •  Shoulder
  • Wrist
  • Ankle
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Knee
  • Spine

What does arthroscopic surgery commonly entail –

  •  General, local, or spinal anesthetic is dispensed
  • Small incision is made in the patient’s skin
  • Arthroscope (Small tube that consists of lenses, video, and light) is inserted through the incision
  • Other incisions may be made to introduce other small grasping, probing, or cutting tools
  • Corrective surgery, if required, may be executed during the initial diagnostic procedure
  • Bandages or dressings may be applied to the postoperative area

 Conditions most commonly found with arthroscopy

  •  Inflammation in the lining of the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist or ankle
  • Injuries – Rotator cuff tendon tears, impingement syndrome, frequent dislocations in the shoulder, cartilage tears, wearing or injury of cartilage cushions, and ligament tears with instability in the knee
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist
  • Pieces of loose bone or cartilage (commonly found in the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow, or wrist)

The benefit of an arthroscopy over conventional open surgery is that the joint does not have to be completely opened up.  Only two small incisions are made – one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical instruments to be used in the knee cavity.  Having arthroscopic surgery significantly reduces recovery time and less scarring occurs than with a typical open surgery.  In most cases arthroscopic procedures can be done on an outpatient basis.

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 a joint specialist today @ 540.347.9220 or visit for more information.