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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dr. Koval on KLBJ News: Men & Osteoporosis

Even though 1 in 4 men over 50 years old will suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis, few men are getting screened and treated for the disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Dr. Robert Koval, Texas Orthopedics' rheumatologist, specializes in treating and diagnosing osteoporosis and other health issues affecting the joints, muscles and bones. He spoke to KLBJ news radio about the new study and how men can improve their bone health. Click here to hear the story on

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

'Tis the Season To Lend A Helping Hand

The bitter temperatures couldn't keep the Texas Orthopedics team from fulfilling their promise - to help build a new home for a family in need through Austin Habitat for Humanity.

While the Texas Orthopedics team is used to providing medical care or administrative assistance, they proved to be great home builders, too! Some of the projects completed for Austin Habitat included landscaping, building a fence, painting, caulking, and other home improvement projects. The result was a beautiful home for a family in need.

Austin Habitat is the largest nonprofit provider of affordable home ownership opportunities in Central Texas. The mission and vision of Austin Habitat are anchored around our dedication to ending the cycle of poverty housing and the deeply held belief that everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Excessive Texting Causes More Damage Than You Think

We all know that texting and driving is dangerous. But did you know that texting can be a danger to your neck and spine too? There has been a steady increase in neck and back pain due to the forward head posture that comes with the constant use of a handheld device or phone.

A new study in the journal Surgical Technology International examined this trend in neck pain and calculated the amount of force exerted on the head while looking down. Researchers found that your head bears the weight of approximately sixty pounds when you assume the texting position.

Sixty pounds is roughly the weight of four adult-sized bowling balls. Or six plastic grocery bags full of food. Or an 8-year-old. Now imagine any of those things sitting on the back of your neck for an extended period of time - not good.

A New York back surgeon came up with this figure via a computer model of the human spine. The average head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds, and tipping it down to check a phone increases the gravitational pull on the neck exponentially.

This diagram demonstrates how the pressure bearing down on your neck surges at various inclinations resulting in possible muscle strains, disc herniation, and even pinched nerves.

To avoid stress on your spinal system, orthopedists advise taking frequent breaks from your phone, about every 20 minutes, and performing light neck and shoulder stretches.

Also try raising your hand to eye level so that you are looking at the phone straight on, granting your neck muscles a much-needed rest.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Osteoporosis Does Not Discriminate

A recent study revealed that men are just as at risk for osteoporosis as women, if not more, yet few men are getting screened and treated for the disease.

Osteoporosis causes the thinning and weakening of bones, often resulting in painful breaks or fractures. It is commonly regarded as a condition that mostly affects women, but a recent study in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery states otherwise. In fact, 1 in 4 men over 50 years old will suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis.

A bone density test can determine if you suffer from osteoporosis. This test is routinely performed on women in their 60s, but rarely on men.

Broke or fractured wrists and hip bones are typical causes of osteoporosis. Wrist fractures are the earliest of the fragility fractures and tend to be a precursor to a more serious hip or spine injury.

According to this study, hip fractures in men can be particularly dangerous as they have twice the mortality rate of women during the initial hospitalization and first year after a hip fracture.

Men should be more aware of the possibility of osteoporosis if they have suffered from a wrist or hip injury. In conjunction, doctors should educate men about the warning signs - such as these types of breaks or fractures, or an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle that can diminish bone strength.

Osteoporosis prevention tips for men include:
  • Performing weight-bearing exercises
  • Jogging, running, or other high-impact activities to improve bone density
  • Maintaining a healthy vitamin D and calcium intake
If you're over 50 years old, speak to your doctor about osteoporosis and steps you can take to improve your bone health.

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Monday, November 17, 2014

Camp Mabry Soldier Opts for Non-Surgical Back Treatment

As we honor our veterans this November, we are reminded of their courage, strength and desire to serve and protect. A fine example of such commitment is Camp Mabry soldier SFC Jon Martinez who faced debilitating and possible career-ending back surgery due to a herniated disc. His dedication to the Army, and his wish to continue serving in the Middle East, led him on a different path to address his back issues.

He chose a non-surgical approach and was treated by Dr. Ai Mukai, an interventional spine and electrodiagnostic medicine specialist at Texas Orthopedics. An epidural steroid injection, couple with intense physical therapy, put this soldier on the road to recovery and the successful completion of several subsequent tours of duty.

Click here to see his story on

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Is it a Concussion? Would You Know What to Do?

A recent news report from the Journal of Athletic Training found many high school football players don't know enough about the symptoms and consequences of a concussion. Concussions are serious business. They can lead to brain hemorrhage, coma and death if not properly treated.

Texas Orthopedics is committed to our community's young football players, so we thought it was important to provide the following important information about concussions.

What Causes a Concussion?

A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Concussion Symptoms

Here are a few of the most common symptoms:
  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Dizziness or "seeing stars"
  • Appearing dazed
 Some symptoms you may not know about:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
Some of these symptoms appear immediately, while others may not be noticeable until days or months after your injury.

What to Do If You Think You Have a Concussion

Most importantly, don't return to the field. A player should try to relax and rest. Seek medical attention immediately.

To learn more about concussions related to football and sports, check out the CDC's website here. And keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic). 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Start Exercising Again After an Injury

Athletes and regular exercisers are prone to recurring injuries. But once the pain subsides, you can go back to exercising, right? Not so fast... follow these tips:

Follow the 10% Rule

Instead of going from 0 to 100, which is a common way to reinjure yourself, increase your activity by 10% each week. Pick a place you're comfortable starting and increase the distance, intensity, weight lifted or time of exercise by 10% each week until you're back to your normal routine.

Work Out Different Muscles

Overuse injuries are very common, but maintaining muscle balance across the joint helps to keep these injuries at bay. So for example, to protect and strengthen your ACL, lift weights with both your quads and your hamstrings.

Make Sure You're Eating Right

Don't take a break from good eating habits while you're injured. Make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need to sustain your workout again. And don't forget to stay hydrated!

Stay Positive

An injury may impede your progress to your goals, and that can get you down. But no matter your fitness level, it's important to stay positive and keep going.

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Bones and Joints

November is American Diabetes Month®, a time to focus the nation's attention on issues surrounding diabetes.

Did you know people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing several bone and joint disorders? Here are some of them:

Charcot Joint

Charcot (shahr-KOH) joint, affecting the feet, occurs when a joint deteriorates because of nerve damage - a common complication of diabetes. Symptoms include numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in the affected joints. Treatment includes the use of orthotic supports to the affected jointed and surrounding structures.


Osteoarthritis is a joint disorder characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. People with have type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of osteoarthritis, mostly because of the obesity problems associated with type 2 diabetes. Osteoarthritis causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness, as well as loss of joint flexibility or movement. Treatment involves exercising and maintaining a healthy weight; caring for and resting the affected joint; medications for pain; and in some cases surgery.


Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and prone to fracture and people with type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk. Symptoms are silent in the early stages, but once the disease has progressed people experience loss of height, stooped posture or bone fractures. Weight-bearing exercises like walking and eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D are the best ways to reduce additional damage.

Frozen Shoulder

Diabetes is a common risk factor for frozen shoulder, a condition characterized by shoulder pain and limited range of motion. Symptoms include pain or tenderness with shoulder movement, stiffness of the joint, and decreased range of motion. If started early, aggressive physical therapy can help preserve movement and range of motion in the joint.

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Physical Therapy Before Surgery Reduces Costs and Care Needs

Most patients assume they only need physical therapy after surgery. But a new study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reveals that one or two sessions of prehabilitation (physical therapy before surgery) can reduce postoperative care use by 29% for patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement, saving $1215 per patient.

According to new research, the main benefit of prehabilitation is that in just one or two sessions patients are more prepared for postoperative physical therapy. These sessions can include patient training on walking devices (such as a walker or cane), planning for recovery, and managing patient expectations.

To find out more about the physical therapy team at Texas Orthopedics visit their website 

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).