Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to diagnose and sometimes treat joint injuries and disease through small incisions in the skin. It is often performed to confirm a diagnosis made after a physical examination and other imaging tests such as MRI, CT or X-rays.
During an arthroscopic procedure, a thin fiberoptic light, magnifying lens and tiny television camera are inserted into the problem area, allowing the doctor to examine the joint in great detail.
For some patients it is then possible to treat the problem using this approach or with a combination of arthroscopic and “open” surgery. Sports injuries are often repairable with arthroscopy. Tendon tears in the knee are frequently repaired in this way. Other potentially treatable injuries include torn cartilage or ligaments, inflamed joint lining, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and loose bone or cartilage.
Nearly one in three adults suffers from the swollen, stiff and painful joints of arthritis. Arthritis is the most common chronic ailment among the elderly, although it can affect people of any age, including children.
There are over 100 different types of arthritic diseases. The most common is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage protecting the bone ends wears away. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition in which the body’s own immune system attacks the joint lining.
Treatment typically involves a combination of anti-inflammatory medication and devices to relieve stress on the joint (canes, crutches or splints). Regular exercise, weight loss for overweight patients, and cortisone injections may also be helpful. In severe cases, orthopedic surgery such as joint replacement may be the only way to improve or restore function and relieve pain.
SPORTS INJURIES TREATMENT
Sports injuries refer to a range of orthopedic conditions that commonly affect athletes. The repetitive motions utilized by many sports activities put participants at a higher risk of injuring the associated joints and bones. At Augustin Orthopedics, we specialize in treating a wide range of sports injuries, including:
- Ankle sprain refers to the stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments, the tough fibrous bands responsible for keeping the ankle bones in place. They can occur as a sport injury, or as a result of an accident. Twisting, rolling and turning the feet are the movements known for causing ankle sprains. Symptoms of ankle sprains may include pain, swelling, stiffness and bruising. The occurrence of ankle sprains can be minimized with the help of adequate footwear and exercising caution on uneven surfaces.
- Shin splints are a condition that is typically associated with exercise. It is characterized by pain along or just behind the shins. Pain occurs about two-thirds of the way down the leg below the knee, spans several inches, and tends to worsen with activity. This discomfort results from inflammation of the thin layer of tissue covering the tibia, as well as from the bone itself and two of the muscles that attach to it. Shin splints are common in people that begin training after a period of inactivity. Proper footwear while exercising can minimize the occurrence of shin splints.
- ACL tear is one of the most common knee injuries. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), along with three other ligaments, connects the femur to the tibia. Individuals who play sports that are likely to damage the knee – such as football, basketball, soccer or skiing – are at greatest risk for injuring their ACL. Only about 30 percent of ACL injuries result from direct contact with another player or object. The rest occur when the athlete decelerates while cutting, pivoting or sidestepping; lands awkwardly; or plays recklessly. Symptoms of an ACL injury may include pain, swelling, and instability immediately after the injury, followed hours later by heightened pain and swelling, limited motion, and an inability to walk comfortably. To minimize the occurrence of an ACL tear, it is important to stay fit year-round.
- Tennis Elbow occurs as a result of overuse and most commonly affects tennis players. This condition affects the lateral epicondyle, the area where the tendons of the forearms connect with the bony outer portion of the elbow. The symptoms of tennis elbow may include forearm weakness, pain when the wrist is extended, and pain that spreads from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist. There are certain elbow and wrist muscle exercises that can be done to minimize the occurrence of tennis elbow. Proper training is also helpful in preventing tennis elbow.