What is Total Ankle Arthroplasty (Total Ankle Replacement)?

Suffering from pain when you’re trying to move can lead to less movement on your part. When you’re trying to stay in shape, get in shape, or just keep mobile, pain can put a stop to all of those. Ankle pain can cause you to not want to leave your home or being reduce to having to have assistance when walking. Pain from arthritis can most times be tolerated but when it progresses it can leave you dealing with more pain than you can handle.

How can you deal with this type of pain? How can you keep living life as you want to live it pain free and on your terms? There is a procedure called a total ankle arthroplasty that can offer some light at the end of your tunnel. Discover what this total ankle replacement is and who it might help.

What is a Total Ankle Replacement?

Total Ankle Arthroplasty, or commonly known as TAA, is a total replacement of the ankle joint area. This is used when there is significant arthritis in the joint due to age or sometimes a previous injury such as breaking the ankle. When you’re suffering from arthritis in the ankle, it can lead to deformation of the joint area, pain, and loss of cartilage.

The procedure is performed by an orthopedic surgeon and the entire goal of this process is to allow you to walk and move your ankle with no pain and better movement. The surgeon will inform you on when it is best to have the procedure for your specific case. Not all cases are alike and some may benefit from this total ankle replacement while others may need to put the surgery off.

There are some cases where TAA is not recommended such as those who have had infections in the joint area, neuropathy in the lower limbs, or in cases where dead bone is attached to the ankle area. These would not be good viable cases for the TAA as an option.

What Happens After Surgery?

After you have the total ankle replacement surgery, you’ll have a time where you do not need to put weight on the ankle. This will allow the ankle to completely heal and the joint to set in place as it should. You should use crutches to assist you in walking and keeping off the foot as much as you can. You’ll probably be placed in a type of cast or boot to help keep it stable and in place.

Talk with your orthopedic surgeon to find out if you’re the perfect candidate for total ankle arthroplasty today and get back to living life on your terms.

Types of Push Up Injuries and Prevention Tips

Trying to get in new exercise routines can be exciting but also dangerous if you’re not sure of the prevention tips you need to keep injury at bay. One of the easiest exercises to do to build your upper body is a push up. However, push up injuries can cause you to be in a lot of pain and reduce the exercise routine you’re wanting to do. It can also stop your progress if you’re having to recuperate. Here are a few of the common injuries seen with this type of exercise and also some push up injury prevention tips you can use to protect yourself.

Common Push Up Injuries

When you’re doing a push up there are a few places you can typically experience injury and pain if not done properly. One of those places is in your wrist. If you have a previous injury or your wrists are not strong enough, you can experience pain and discomfort in the wrist area.

Other areas that can be injured during your push up exercises include the rotator cuff in your shoulder, chest injuries, injuries to your back and elbows as well.

Prevention Tips

Doing a push up properly will help you to prevent any injury during the popular exercise. Make sure that your position and method of doing the specific exercise is correct. Incorrect positioning of your hands, shoulders, and elbows are key factors in push up injuries. When you’re not positioned correctly, you can end up in a lot of pain and have to restrict your exercise routine.

You must also make sure your back is aligned properly during the exercise itself. If you let your body hang to low when pushing up, you can strain your lower back area. Keeping your back straight and aligned over top of your arms will help to prevent that.

Make sure that your hand positioning is not turned out or in and that you are not spread too far apart with your arms. This can cause injury to your wrists and elbows, and possibly your shoulders if not done correctly.

Be sure that when you’re doing push ups that you are performing them in slow steady motions. You do not want to jerk back up and down as this can cause push up injuries as well. Be sure that you’re keeping the proper positioning and keeping your movements smooth and steady.

Push up injuries can be quite often and can take you down for several weeks if you’re not careful. Be sure to follow these push up injury prevention tips above to keep your exercise routine moving forward.

Types of Lower Back Pain (Lumbago)

Back pain is something that no one wants to deal with; however, many people deal with it daily. Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of different scenarios ranging from a pulled muscle to something more involved such as a slipped disc or degenerative disc disease. Understanding low back pain, or lumbago as it is sometimes called, is easier to do when you know what you’re dealing with. Check out the different types of lower back pain and what they are caused by. Learning the signs and symptoms may help you to find a diagnosis quicker rather than later.

Sciatica Back Pain

Many people suffer from this type of pain where the sciatic nerve is being compressed. It causes pain in the lower back that shoots down the leg when the area is aggravated. It can cause shooting pain when you try to stand up or change positions, is worse when sitting down, and can cause weakness in your leg or foot of the affected nerve. This lower back pain needs to be seen by a doctor as if it is left untreated, it can cause permanent nerve damage.

Nighttime Back Pain

If you’re able to get relief when you lay down from the pain you’re dealing with during the day, most times you can start to heal. Rest is needed and is very crucial for the body’s healing process. However, if you’re dealing with nighttime back pain, laying down to rest can make the pain worse. Lower back pain when you lay down can be caused by things such as arthritis, kidney stones, spinal disease, or degeneration of the spine. Because you cannot rest when you lay down with nighttime pain, you should consider seeing your doctor sooner rather than later. As mentioned, rest is crucial to the healing process and pain when you try to rest could be a sign of a more serious lumbago pain.

Low Back Strain

You can strain your lower back region by doing a variety of things such as sitting in one position for too long, moving heavy objects, or physically exerting yourself over your limits. With a strain in your lower back you may feel things such as stiffness in your back when trying to move about, pain in the thighs or buttocks, and even pain that gets worse whenever you cough or try to bend over. If so, you should consult your doctor as this can be a simple strain or signs of a worse condition.

Lower back pain is not something to just push to the side. If you’re dealing with lumbago, lower back pain, it is best to consult your doctor to rule out anything serious and prevent irreversible nerve damage.

Finger Dislocation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

A variety of different things can cause a finger injury. You can bruise it or cut it when you’re in the kitchen, or even smash it when working out in the shop. But, a finger dislocation is a totally different type of injury. Take a look at the causes, symptoms, and your treatment options should you find yourself in the position of having a dislocated finger.

Causes

The cause of a finger dislocation is either “jamming” your finger on the end of the fingertip with an excessive force, or it can be caused if your finger becomes overextended in a particular direction. This can happen due to you experiencing a fall and landing wrong on the outstretched hand when you’re trying to catch yourself. It can happen when you’re playing a variety of sports such as basketball or baseball and having the ball jam your finger. You may also get your finger caught in either sports equipment or other type of equipment and pull your finger out of its normal placement.

Symptoms of Finger Dislocation

Typically, when you have dislocated your finger you’re going to know it. It’s not a subtle injury that you may question what happened. Your finger will look either crooked or bent in an odd shape and there will be pain and swelling as well. You may also experience numbness or tingling in the finger and the finger will start to look pales as well. There’s also a chance, depending on how severe the finger injury is, that it will break the skin when you have a finger dislocation.

Treatment Options

Any sign of a finger dislocation calls for a trip to the doctor or ER. You need to have the finger put back into place before any permanent damage is done. The longer you wait to receive treatment, it can make it more difficult to put it back into place or can cause irreversible damage.

Before you get to the doctor, make sure to remove any items of jewelry from the injured finger if you have any on. Travel to the doctor’s office with ice on your hand. Once you arrive at the doctor they will most likely give you a local anesthetic or some pain medications via IV or mouth so that the doctor can put your finger back into its proper place. Once that has happened you’ll receive either a splint or have your finger taped to the healthy one next to it. This will help it to heal and prevent any chance of it slipping back out of place during healing.

What is Referred Shoulder Pain?

Feeling pain is never a good problem to go through. However, sometimes pain in one area of the body can be a sign of an issue in another area. While you may have shoulder pain and you at first think it’s something to do with your arm or shoulder, it could be something called referred shoulder pain instead. It may not have anything to do with the actual location of the pain in your body.

Referred shoulder pain is actually pain that shows up in the shoulder but could be an indication of gallstones, heart blood vessel problems, lung infection such as pneumonia, or a variety of other problems. The pain you’re feeling in your shoulder could be from another area instead of your actual shoulder. If you’re noticing pain in that area and it doesn’t change when you move your arm or neck, it could be referred shoulder pain.

When You’re Having Pain

It is always best to have your doctor check you out when you’re feeling pain, whether it’s in your shoulder or in some other area. Pain is a sign that something is not quite as it should be and should not be ignored.

Shoulder pain can be from an injury to the shoulder such as a fall or sports injury. It can also be caused by something entirely different. Things to look out for include:

  • Pain that is felt not only in the shoulder but in your shoulder blade areas, neck, armpit, or even in the chest
  • Left arm and shoulder pain can be signs of a serious problem such as inflammation around the heart or a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a procedure done recently it could be gas that was used in the process causing the pain
  • Intense pain that comes on quickly
  • Swelling in the area
  • If you have the inability to use your arm or move the shoulder joint

These are signs that you should be watching out for to make sure you seek medical attention when it’s needed. If you’re having shoulder pain and you have shortness of breath or tightening of your chest, call the emergency officials to assist you. It could all be signs that something dangerous is on the horizon.

If you know what your referred shoulder pain is from, such as a recent medical procedure or you’ve had a diagnosis, you can use some of these tips to help with the pain. Be sure to rest the shoulder and use ice to help relieve the inflammation. Over the counter pain relievers can also be a huge help to reduce the pain and swelling.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (Muscle Pain): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Suffering from pain of any type can be difficult to handle. Sometimes the pain may be minor and can be worked through, while other times it can debilitating and hard to handle. One chronic condition that involves muscle pain that many deal with is called Myofascial pain syndrome. This involves inflammation that is in the soft tissues of the body and cause pain in different areas. It could involve one particular muscular area or a group of muscles causing pain. Here are a few things you should know if you’re dealing with muscle pain or if you think you’re dealing with myofascial pain.

Causes and Symptoms

The causes of myofascial pain can be due to an injury or strain of a muscle in the body. It could be due to repetitive motions that injury the muscle groups being used, an excessive strain that is put on the muscle, tendon or even ligaments, or it can be due to inactivity in a group of muscles. This could be due to having an injury to your arm and not being able to move it due to the cast or sling you’re having to wear.

This type of muscle pain provides “trigger” points that are the symptom of the problem. It can produce pain in these specific areas, or it can also produce other problems such as depression, behavioral problems, or fatigue due to the pain the patient is in.

When you’re being examined for myofascial pain, you may have two types of trigger points, active or latent. The active trigger point is very tender when manipulated whereas the latent trigger point can cause problems but isn’t causing them at the time. It is basically lying in wait to cause problems with pain.

Treatment Options

There are several options available to treat this type of muscle pain depending on what you’re dealing with at the time. You can opt for massage therapy to help reduce the trigger points and work out the kinks in the muscles. There’s physical therapy to help you gain movement back in those muscles if you’ve dealt with an injury that restricted your movement. You may also find that trigger point injection therapy works well for you. This is where the doctor will inject either anesthetic, saline, or corticosteroids into the trigger point and make it dormant so that it doesn’t cause pain any more.

One other method that may be used is the “spray and stretch” method. This is where the trigger point is sprayed with a cooling type spray and then it is slowly stretched out.

You can also take anti-inflammatory medications to assist with the pain as well.

Tailbone Pain (Coccydynia): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Dealing with pain is never an easy situation. However, when you deal with coccydynia, or tailbone pain, it can be difficult to do even the most normal daily tasks such as sitting at your desk. Tailbone pain can be caused by a variety of things and is more common in women than it is men. Here is a look at the symptoms of coccydynia, causes of the pain and how it can be treated to get you back to living life as normal.

Causes and Symptoms

A variety of things causes this type of pain such as a fall or trauma to the area, childbirth, and in some rare cases an infection or tumor in the area. As mentioned before this is more typical in women than men but men do suffer from it as well. The symptoms are usually pain that is worsened by sitting or putting pressure on the area itself. If it is tender to the touch or noticeably worse when sitting, it could be coccydynia. It may feel worse if you’re constipated or you may feel relief after having a bowel movement. You may also notice worse pain when you go from sitting to standing positions.

Treatment Options

Dealing with tailbone pain can be a difficult process but there are some things to try that will hopefully relieve the pain noninvasively. Your doctor may suggest to use NSAID’s to help with the inflammation and swelling in the area. They may also suggest to apply cold packs to the area several times every day to help reduce the swelling. You can also add heat later to help reduce the pain.

Making sure you stay off the area for prolonged periods of time can help reduce pain as well. Make sure not to sit in one position for too long, but get up and walk around to reduce the pressure on the tailbone area. You can also utilize a donut shaped pillow to help reduce the pressure applied on the coccyx area when you’re in a seated position. If you notice that constipation or a bowel movement causes or removes pain, then it’s important to be sure to get enough fluid and possibly take a stool softener to help reduce the pain during those times.

Other methods that are non-surgical include gentle stretches, chiropractic manipulation of the area, and injections to block the pain. There’s also physical therapy ultrasound techniques that can help to reduce the pain in the area. In severe cases where nothing else has helped after months of treatment, surgery may be required to fully get rid of pain.

What is Knee Arthroscopy? – Procedure & Benefits

If you suffer from knee pain or have had an injury to the knee, your doctor may suggest knee arthroscopy to see what is going on. This procedure is an evaluation of the knee without making a large incision. It will permit your doctor to see exactly what is going on in your knee and what is causing your pain without a huge invasive procedure being done. Your doctor may suggest this less invasive procedure if you have torn a meniscus, have inflamed tissue that needs removed, have an infection in the knee, or if you have kneecap issues that can be repaired.

How Does It Work?

Very tiny incisions are made into the knee where your surgeon can insert the arthroscope to see what is injured or going on in the knee. This camera will portray pictures on the monitor your doctor is watching to let them see exactly what may be causing your knee ailments at the time.

During the procedure, your doctor may repair problems they find through other tiny incisions in the knee. There are special tools they can use that do not require the larger incisions of most surgeries that are performed. Your knee can be repaired while you’re in the procedure during the knee arthroscopy and it can help you heal faster.

Benefits

There are many benefits to having a knee arthroscopy done instead of major surgery. One of the major benefits is this is less invasive than most other knee surgeries out there. There are only tiny incisions made so the scarring is also reduced.  This also keeps the infection risk down as the incisions are smaller, and you do not have a huge wound to recover from.

Using knee arthroscopy also helps to reduce the recovery time that is needed after knee surgery. If your knee has been completely opened or replaced, your recovery time will be much longer than with this procedure. You can typically return to normal activities within six weeks of this procedure and only be restricted from driving for about one to three weeks depending on the severity.

You will still experience some pain as you have had a surgical procedure done. Your doctor may prescribe something for pain and also for inflammation to keep the swelling down. You’ll also be taught how to care for your wound before you leave the hospital and how to dress it as well.

All in all, this procedure is a much better route to take, if possible, when you are experiencing injuries or knee problems.

Clavicle Fracture (Broken Collarbone): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

It takes a lot to break a bone in the body and the collarbone is no different. A collarbone fracture can be quite painful and it takes a lot of force, in general, to break the bone that is one of the major ones in your shoulder area. Learning what the causes, symptoms and treatment options for a clavicle fracture can help you to understand what will happen if this injury occurs to you or your loved one.

Causes and Symptoms

How do you break your collarbone? Typically, the clavicle fracture is caused by a direct hit to the bone such as in sports like football, hockey, or even wrestling. It may also happen during a bad fall or car accident. You’ll find that in most cases those who suffer from this type of fracture most are males between the ages of 13 and 20.

The symptoms of a clavicle fracture vary in intensity and type. Most times the person suffering with this injury will find immediate pain in the affected area, there will be a grinding noise when the arm is moved or tried to be lifted, and an inability to lift the arm because of the pain you have.

Treatment Options

Most collarbone fractures will heal themselves with time. In some cases, however, surgery is needed to repair the injury before the patient can go home. In cases where surgery is needed, you will be in a sling for around six weeks after surgery. Most cases are simply treated with a certain type of sling to keep the bone in place and refrain the patient from moving the arm too much until the fracture is healed. The sling is usually worn for a length of three to four weeks. The doctor may suggest you start doing some small movements and exercises immediately to help with the healing process. Strengthening exercises will come in later during the process so that you do not reinjure the shoulder area before it has had a chance to heal.

For those who are dealing with huge amounts of pain, over the counter remedies typically help reduce it long enough to relax and get some rest. Your doctor may prescribe something before you leave to start with to help get through the first few days.

If your collarbone fracture is severe and your younger in age, then surgery may be recommended. If not, then you will most likely leave the hospital with a sling to immobilize the bone and help you to recover.

Should I Have Bunion Surgery? – Pros and Cons

When it comes to everyday life your feet play a huge role. They take you from one place to the next, help you get where you need to go, and enjoy life playing sports, hanging out with friends and family, and just in general taking care of you. What happens you’re dealing with the pain of bunions or even embarrassment of the problem? Suffering with bunions on your feet can be painful and make it hard to enjoy everyday life activities that you so want to take part in.

There’s a variety of bunion treatment options and bunion surgery is one of them. Some people opt to have the surgery so they can wear their favorite shoes or sandals again, and to get rid of the pain. Others tend to wait until it’s the only option left before choosing bunion surgery as their treatment option. Here is a look at the benefits and disadvantages of having the surgery on your feet.

Pros

One of the main benefits to having bunion surgery is the relief of pain. Bunions can cause quite a bit of pain in your feet and make it impossible to enjoy your favorite activities such as walking or jogging. By having the corrective procedure, your pain can be a thing of the past. It also means you can become more active as the pain may have stopped you from exercising or moving.

Another benefit to the surgery option is that you will be more comfortable with the look of your foot. As bunions can become quite large, some people feel ashamed to wear sandals or shoes that shoe their feet. By having the surgery, you can start to enjoy your shoes again.

One other benefit to this type of bunion treatment is that you can get the best results with surgery. When you work with a surgeon who specializes in this treatment, you can get the most efficient treatment of your bunions.

Cons

While there are many benefits to this bunion treatment, you should also consider the downsides. There can be reoccurrences of the bunion a year or so down the road. It may come back in the future. You will experience some pain after the surgery still as it takes time to heal the foot completely. It can limit the shoes you wear during the healing process and even after it depending on the type of shoe you are trying to wear.

Of course, as in any surgery, you can have trouble in walking afterwards as your body tries to heal. There’s also a slight chance that the correction will not work or be successful.

Be sure to weigh all the pros and cons with your medical practitioner to make sure that bunion surgery is your best option.