Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is located in the shoulder and is made up of a group of muscles and tendons that serve to keep the upper arm bone firmly attached into the shoulder socket.

Injuries to the rotator cuff are typically associated with repetitive movement that requires overhead motion of the shoulder. People who are susceptible to rotator cuff injuries are baseball pitchers, painters, tennis players, construction workers and seniors. There also may be a family history factor that can make a person susceptible to this type of injury.

Rotator cuff injuries can be divided into three categories. Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the shoulder caused by overuse. Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid filled sacs that are located between the bone and the tendons. Strains and tears of the rotator cuff are caused by an overstretching of the tendons that attach the muscles to the bone.

Signs and symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • A dull ache in the shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping on the affected side
  • Arm weakness
  • Difficulty reaching behind the back
  • A popping sound when moving the shoulder
  • Limited range of shoulder motion

One way to prevent a rotator cuff injury is to do stretching exercises every day to keep the muscles and tendons in good condition.

Diagnosing a rotator cuff injury involves a thorough history and physical exam ,an x-ray to see if there is a bone problem or either an ultrasound or MRI.

Failure to treat a rotator cuff injury could eventually lead to loss of mobility in the shoulder and degeneration of the shoulder joint. Treatment of a rotator cuff injury depends on the severity and nature of the problem. Short term use of an over the counter anti-inflammatory may help the symptoms.  If the problem  is caused by repetitive movement over a period of time, physical therapy which includes either applying heat or ice to the area and strengthening exercises may be one way to help the symptoms. A cortisone injection to the area will help to reduce the inflammation and usually that will help reduce the discomfort too.  However, if  there is a  tear of a tendon, surgery may be required.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with an orthopedist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the backbone (spine ). In the majority of cases,  the cause of this curvature is unknown. However,  there are cases where the curvature is due to a person having muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Other causes of scoliosis include birth defects, heredity, and spinal injuries. Not all abnormal spinal curvatures are considered scoliosis. A non-structural deformity can be due to one leg being longer than the other. In general, girls have a higher risk of developing scoliosis than boys do.

Many cases of scoliosis are considered to be mild and other than the spine having an abnormal sideways curvature, there is little impact on the body’s ability to function properly. In bad cases, the curvature of the spine may be so severe that it affects the chest cavity and causes problems with lung function and being able to breathe normally. It may also affect the heart’s ability to function properly.

Symptoms of scoliosis:
• Hips that are uneven
• Uneven shoulders
• Uneven waist
• Back pain
• One shoulder blade that protrudes more than the other

In severe cases the ribs on one side of the body may protrude more than the other side
In order to diagnose scoliosis a physician will perform a physical exam that includes visualizing the patient’s posture, taking a family history, performing a neurological exam checking for muscle weakness, numbness, and abnormal reflexes. A series of x-rays will also be taken to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of scoliosis is determined by the severity of the abnormal spinal curvature, the age of the patient, the location of the curvature, and whether or not the curvature is “C” shaped or a “double S “. In many cases no treatment will be required, only careful monitoring to see if the condition worsens over time. In cases that are moderate, a brace may be prescribed to prevent the worsening of the condition. Severe cases of scoliosis may require surgical intervention. This procedure involves fusion of two or more vertebrae and the use of either rods, plates and screws to hold the spine in place.

If you think that your child may have an abnormal curvature of the spine, speak with your pediatrician about an evaluation. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Shin Splints

A shin splint is a condition characterized by tenderness running along the tibial bone which is the large bone in the lower leg, also referred to as the shin bone. They are the result of an increased amount of repetitive activity, such as running, dancing, walking, or working out that causes the overworking of the tendons, muscles or bone tissue in the lower leg.
Contributing factors of shin splints:
• Poorly fitting shoes
• Weak ankles or hips
• Flat feet
• Failure to warm up prior to exercising
• Lack of support in shoes
Treatment of shin splints requires some time to heal. It is important to give the leg time to rest. In the acute phase, putting ice on the shin for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for the first few days will help. It may be helpful to take an anti-inflammatory medication to ease the swelling and to help with the discomfort. It is also sometimes helpful to use orthotics, either custom made or over the counter, to give the foot support. Physical therapy is also very helpful to build up muscle strength and also to help ease the discomfort.
Preventing shin splints is as important as treating them. Some of the things you can do to prevent them from occurring are stretching exercises, wearing good shoes, participating in activities that are low impact, add shock absorbing insoles to your footwear.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National School Backpack Awareness Day

Backpacks are essential back-to- school items for kids.  They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and most importantly they help children to carry their belongings.  Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that has the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt
  • Correct size (A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso).

Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr. Tips from Yan-Qun Sun, MD

Yan-Qun Sun, MD is an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Sun specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of injuries and disorders involving the musculoskeletal system, such as hip replacements, arthroscopic surgery, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, ankle and knee and congenital disorders.

With the summer at hand, it is more likely that you will participate in activities enjoyed in the great outdoors such as running, power walking and hiking. There is a risk of obtaining injuries while being physically active. One of the most common injuries that people achieve are ankle sprains.  Dr. Sun would like to give you a few tips on how to identify and treat a mildly sprained ankle.

As Dr. Sun described, “An ankle sprain occurs when you have stretched or torn the ligaments in your ankle. This is often caused by making too quick of a movement, which forces the joint out of its normal position.”

Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage has been done to the ligaments.  Typically symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Stiffness or restricted range of motion
  • Redness or warmth in the area

If your symptoms are mild you can treat your injury by:

  • Applying ice- This will help in reducing swelling and pain.
  • Resting the ankle- This can be done by using crutches and keeping the affected leg elevated.
  • Taking over the counter (OTC) painkillers- OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen are effective in managing pain and swelling.
  • Applying compressions- Wrapping your ankle with adhesive bandages or wearing a brace will help reduce swelling and provide protection.

Typically mild sprains tend to last seven to ten days; however, if you are experiencing intense pain, abnormal swelling and are unable to place weight on your ankle, it is likely that your case is severe and needs immediate medical attention.

If  left untreated severe ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability, chronic pain and early onset arthritis.  To reduce the risk of furthering your injury, schedule an appointment with your doctor if symptoms continue past 10 days.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sun at Flushing Hospital Medical Center call 718-521-4206.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Stiff Neck

Whether it has occurred when first waking in the morning or developed after performing strenuous activities; most people have experienced a stiff neck at some point in their lives.

A stiff neck, typically characterized by limited mobility (commonly from side to side) and pain is often caused by muscle strain, inflammation of the joints or soft tissue sprain.

Examples of activities that may contribute to a stiff neck include:

  • Looking at smartphones or similar electronic devices for an extended period of time
  • Driving for a long period of time
  • Sleeping with the neck in an awkward position
  • Falling or sudden impact
  • Turning the head repeatedly from side to side during an activity
  • Experiencing prolonged periods of stress, which can lead to tension of neck muscles

The following self-care treatments can be applied for mild cases of a stiff neck:

  • Heat or cold therapy
  • Resting the neck by reducing activities that require frequent movement
  • Over-the-counter medications ( used as recommended or as advised by a physician)
  • Low impact exercises
  • Massages

On rare occasions, a stiff neck may be indicative of a more serious health condition. If a stiff neck is accompanied by the following symptoms, it is advised that medical attention is sought right away:

  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Coordination issues
  • Changes in mental state (confusion or mood swings)

It is also recommended that you see a doctor if milder symptoms of a stiff neck including pain and limited mobility do not improve after a week.

 

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Arthritis Awareness Month

arthritis -599969806May has been designated National Arthritis Awareness Month and Flushing Hospital, along with the Arthritis Foundation want to raise awareness about conquering this disease.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America. It is not a single disease, but a grouping of conditions that affect joint pain.  There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.  More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. While arthritis can affect both men and women, it is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go and can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain and inability to do daily activities. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-rays. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.

To learn more about arthritis, visit http://www.arthritis.org

If you think you have arthritis and would like to schedule an appointment, please call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718- 670-5486.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What Could Wrist Pain be Telling You ?

Wrist pain

Wrist pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand caused by pressure exerted on a major nerve and tendons in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist through which passes the median nerve and these tendons.  It usually starts gradually with numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers that at first may appear to come and go and then as it progressively worsens, remains constant. Four out of the five fingers will eventually be affected, the little finger is exempt. It generally affects women more frequently than men.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
• Tingling or numbness of the thumb, index finger and middle fingers
• Weakness of the hand with difficulty holding on to objects
Compression of the median nerve can be caused by a few different factors. Some people have naturally occurring smaller carpal tunnels which can lead to increased likely hood of damage. Any damage to that area of the wrist can cause a problem. A previous wrist fracture or anything that may cause swelling in that area can lead to the problem developing. In addition, there are certain health related issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and arthritis which can be associated with this condition.
Temporary relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be addressed  by:
• taking quick breaks from repetitive activities of the hand
• rotate your wrists and stretch your palms and fingers
• avoid sleeping on your hands and wrists
• ultrasound therapy which makes the area of the wrist warm and more flexible

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome really depends on what the cause is and how severe it has become.  If symptoms appear, never wait too long before seeking treatment options as this can lead to permanent damage. Some simple remedies include stopping any activity that may be compressing the nerve, putting ice on the wrist for 10 – 15 minutes once or twice an hour, taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling, and wearing a night splint to take the pressure off of the nerve. Some cases can be helped with injections of corticosteroids. When the condition is really severe, surgical intervention may be required.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to be treated by a orthopedic physician at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

History of the Total Hip Replacement

One of the most common orthopedic procedures performed today is a total hip replacement (THA) .  This procedure is often suggested for patients who have extensive deterioration of the hip joint and whose quality of life is suffering. It was first developed in 1891 by a German physician, Themistocles Gluck, who described using ivory to replace the femoral heads. Early in the 20th century surgeons experimented with different types of tissues as a way of smoothing out deteriorating articular hip surfaces. Some of these tissues that were used were skin, and pig bladder submucosa.
In 1925 an American surgeon, Marius Smith-Petersen, first used hollowed out glass placed over the femoral head. Later on this same surgeon started to experiment with stainless steel.  In the early 1960’s, Sir John Charmley, an orthopedic surgeon in England, developed a hip replacement that uses three components: a stainless steel femoral head, a polyethylene acetabular socket and acrylic bone cement.  This is considered to be a low friction arthroplasty and is the one most commonly used today.
Today hip replacement surgery is done routinely on tens of thousands of patients a year. It is one of the most commonly performed orthopedic procedures and has greatly improved the quality of life for the patients.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon at Flushing Hospital to discuss whether a hip replacement would benefit you, please call 718-670-5486thinkstockphotos-516732975.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

When is the Right Time for Knee Replacement Surgery?

If you are experiencing prolonged periods of knee pain or stiffness that makes it hard to perform simple everyday tasks, you may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery.

Knee joint orthopedic replacement implant

Knee replacement surgeries are often performed to treat patients who have suffered a serious trauma, but the most common reason for someone to need this procedure is to treat progressive osteoarthritis or other diseases that affect the knee joint. This procedure is usually a last resort and your doctor might recommend it only after all other forms of treatment or medications have proven unsuccessful.

Performed by an orthopedic surgeon, knee replacement surgery involves replacing some or all of the components of the knee joint with a synthetic implant, to repair the damaged weight-bearing surfaces that are causing pain. A total knee replacement surgery replaces all three compartments of the diseased knee joint. A partial knee replacement involves an implant in just one or two compartments of the knee, retaining any undamaged parts.

Minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized knee replacement surgery. Minimally invasive knee joint replacement requires a much smaller incision, which leads to less pain, decreased recovery time and better motion due to less scar tissue formation. The average hospital stay after knee joint replacement is usually three to five days.

Rehabilitation is almost always necessary after knee replacement surgery. The physical therapy you receive after surgery, whether in a sub-acute facility, an out-patient center, or in your home is an essential part of your healing process as proper exercise will prevent scarring, maintain muscle strength and joint stability. The frequency and duration of therapy varies from patient to patient.

Flushing Hospital’s team of highly qualified orthopedic surgeons performs over 1,500 procedures every year, including hundreds of minimally invasive knee replacement procedures. They also perform surgeries to repair hip fractures, fix broken wrists and ankles, as well as shoulder replacement surgery. For more information about the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Flushing Hospital, or to schedule an appointment to speak with a surgeon, please call 718-670-3135.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.