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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, March 27, 2017

Single Sports and the High School Athlete

The spring sports season is underway, and then summer will be here before we know it. However, a whopping 45 percent of high school students continue to play sports, and specifically the same sport, right through summer making it a year-round commitment. 
A new study recently shared by the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) examined the growing trend among student athletes to specialize in just one sport early on, as early as high school. This is earlier than the current generation of collegiate and professional athletes claimed to do so by two whole years.
This early specialization at a young age is leading to a higher rate of musculoskeletal and pediatric and adolescent overuse injuries due to their still-developing bodies.
The study, involving more than 3,000 athletes at the scholastic, collegiate, and professional levels, also showed that:
  • Focusing on one single sport all year long is happening as early as 12-14 years of age.
  • High school athletes are spending approximately the same time training for a single sport as professional athletes do, around eight to 10 months per year.
  • Only 61 percent of pro athletes thought specializing in a sport early on helps advance your career, while nearly 80 percent of high school athletes believed the same.
Perhaps the most telling tidbit from this research was that only 22 percent of professional athletes would want their own kids to pick just one sport to play during childhood and adolescence.
We encourage parents to expose their child athletes to lots of different sports to see what they like. Remember to switch it up for them each season, and take a break between activities so their bodies can properly rest and recover.
Don’t forget we have same day appointments and after hours care, if your child does experience an overuse injury. 
(Courtesy of AAOS)
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There's No Place Like Home After Joint Replacement Surgery

One of the reasons people needing total hip or knee replacement shy away from the procedure is fear of an extended hospital stay afterwards for their recovery—often costing a large sum in extra medical fees and keeping them apart from loved ones.

For many patients, outpatient joint replacement surgery at Texas Orthopedics, may be an option at our surgery center.

And new research shows that returning home to recover may be just what the doctor ordered, even if you live on your own.

In the past, doctors have been reluctant to send a patient home alone following joint replacement, due to concerns over post-surgical complications. However, results of this research shared by the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) show that most people are happier to recover at home, leading to an improved mental state and better physical healing.

Additionally, the presence of mobile devices at everyone’s fingertips these days means that help is just a call, text, or post away, if needed.  

Of the nearly 800 patients surveyed after joint replacement, most of whom were 75-plus years old, there was no increase in complications, unplanned office visits, or pain reported in those discharged to recover at home, even in those living by themselves.

And the cost savings can’t be beat. The estimated savings of a patient being allowed to recover at home was approximately $10,776, according to researchers from the Rothman Institute who authored this particular study—“Even If You Live Alone, There is No Place Like Home After Total Joint Arthroplasty.”

If you would like to discuss your options for total joint replacement, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

(Courtesy of AAOS)

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Update on Arthritis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs Reports just issued new statistics on arthritis, and experts say they are alarming.
Roughly one in four American adults, that’s about 54.4 million, has been diagnosed with one of the more than 100 different types of arthritis—a painful condition caused by joint inflammation.
And research suggests that number is only expected to rise over the next several years, with a projected 78.4 million people to be newly diagnosed before 2040.  Contributing to this increase is the number of people getting diagnosed for diabetes and heart disease caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, both of which are common triggers for arthritis.
Treating arthritis costs the country upwards of $81 billion in medical fees. That money is spent on therapy and rehabilitation, prescription medications, and even assisted living for those left immobile due this devastating condition.
The report also points out that, despite popular belief, arthritis is not just an ‘old person’s disease.’ More than 32 million suffering from it are under the age of 65.
Quality of life is often greatly compromised by arthritis. It can affect the ability to get around self-sufficiently, or perform simple tasks like climbing stairs, opening cabinets and doors, and bending over to pick up something.

At Texas Orthopedics, we frequently prescribe regular exercise as a way to help treat arthritis. The movement helps with flexibility and keeps joints well-lubricated. Exercise is shown to help alleviate arthritis symptoms and pain by up to 40 percent.

If exercise is not enough, and you still have trouble managing your arthritis, please contact us for an appointment.

(Courtesy of CNN-Health)

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Basketball Injuries

Basketball lovers rejoice when the month of March comes around…with the NCAA’s March Madness tournament as the highlight of the year for many frenzied fans. What’s not a highlight though is when one of your favorite players get sidelined with a serious injury.
Stress fractures are unfortunately the most common injury in basketball, and can keep a player on the bench for a few weeks, the entire season, or in extreme cases, indefinitely.  
We frequently see many young athletes, and adult recreational league players, at Texas Orthopedics who are suffering from stress fractures.
These fractures that develop over time, similar to an overuse injury, are worsened by the constant high-impact jumping and pivoting on a hard court.  The most affected areas are the lower extremities including the leg, knee, ankle, and toes. A common symptom of stress fractures is a constant aching pain that can range from dull to shooting.
You can help prevent stress fractures even if you regularly shoot hoops by the following:
  • Ensuring that shoes fit properly.
  • Taking time to warm up before each practice and game, and taking time off to rest in between games.  
  • Learning correct landing techniques to combat the pressures of non-stop leaping and jumping.
  • Fueling up with adequate amounts of calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones.
Stress fractures are diagnosed by a simple X-ray. Treatment prescribed typically involves rest, and lots of it. Occasionally, surgery may be necessary to repair the fractured bone.

Contact us for an appointment if you are suffering from any pain that matches these signs of a stress fracture. 

(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)
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Monday, March 13, 2017

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries were once thought to be more common among kids in the fall with sports like soccer and football. But new research shows these types of injuries are occurring year-round at a rapid rate due to the growing number of kids focusing on one sport across multiple seasons.
A recent study published in Pediatrics (journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) shows that ACL tears have increased upwards of two percent annually among kids in the U.S., ages 6 to 18 years old.
Additionally, girls are now suffering a higher rate of ACL injuries over boys due to their ever-growing participation in youth sports.
Other findings include:
  • Sports that require quick cutting or weaving, along with frequent pivoting, are the riskiest for ACL tears--such as soccer, basketball, and football.
  • Lack of cross-training in multiple sports, employing various muscle groups, leads to “overuse injuries” when the same sport is played over and over. This contributes to stressed and weakened ligaments that are ripe for a tear or injury.
  • Athletic trainers, coaches, physicians, and parents are getting better at recognizing the signs of an ACL injury resulting in more definitive and frequent diagnoses.
ACL injuries occur when the ligament holding the knee joint together splits, pops, or tears into two pieces causing instability, sometimes inability to walk, and often great pain and discomfort.
Depending on the severity of the injury, physical therapy and sometimes surgery may be necessary.  
To prevent ACL injuries in kids, experts encourage coaches to provide ample time for stretching and warm-ups before play, and recommend that parents not permit their child to focus solely on one sport all year long.
If you have any concerns about your child suffering from an ACL injury, please contact us for an appointment.
(Courtesy of CBS
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Texas Orthopedics Celebrates National Athletic Training Month

Texas Orthopedics is a loyal fan and supports many of our professional and school teams.

In honor of National Athletic Training Month, we’d like to give a shout-out to all the great trainers we partner with on a regular basis from the following organizations and schools:

Professional Teams

Austin Spurs
Texas Stars

High Schools

Cedar Park High School
McNeil High School
Westwood High School
McCallum High School
Austin High School
Bowie High School
Hays High School
Lehman High School
Bastrop High School
St. Andrews
St. Michaels

Some of the common sports injuries we help these tough teams and trainers tackle include sprains and strains, overuse injuries, broken bones, and stress fractures.

These dedicated trainers that we have the privilege of working with give a ton of heart and soul to their athletes.

National Athletic Training Month is held annually each March and is organized by the National Athletic Trainers Association, promoting positive healthcare for life and sports.

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

Monday, March 6, 2017

Slope Safety

If you’re one of the lucky ones about to hit the slopes for Spring Break, have fun, but make sure you stay safe.

In 2015, more than 88,000 people were injured in skiing accidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Another 61,000 suffered injuries from snowboarding, including sprains and strains, dislocations, and fractures.

Many skiing and snowboarding injuries are actually preventable. Here are seven tips for staying safe on the slopes:
  1. Ski or snowboard with a buddy. If you do opt to go solo, let someone else know your whereabouts.
  2. Warm up before you head out, just as with any sport.  A few minutes of jumping rope, jumping jacks, or light stretching will get your blood flowing and prepare muscles, tendons, and ligaments for the workout ahead.
  3. Wear proper protective gear at all times, including a helmet (especially a helmet!), eye goggles, and gloves.
  4. Have all equipment fitted and checked by a professional before using it, especially ski boots. Ensure that all fasteners work well and that nothing is either too loose or too snug.
  5. If not a regular on the mountain, or this is your first time skiing or snowboarding, take a lesson from a qualified instructor. Knowing how to fall, and get up correctly, can greatly reduce the risk of injury.
  6. Always pay attention to weather conditions for the day and heed any warnings from the National Weather Service, the ski patrol, or your resort.
  7. Wiggle your way throughout the day by frequently checking on toes and fingers to avoid getting frostbite. You should always be able to move and feel these extremities even as they are tightly bundled up. If you have lost sensation at all, find shelter and warmth before removing garments,  and seek medical help immediately. 
Finally, remember to call it a day whenever you feel any pain or exhaustion. Most mountain injuries happen late in the day once your body is tired and weak and vision has likely become impaired from the setting sun.

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

Simple Ways to Relieve Back Pain

According to the American Chiropractic Association, more than 31 million Americans suffer from back pain. That’s a lot of bad backs.

The most common type is lower back pain, and it can be caused by everything from too much or too little activity.

If your back pain doesn’t have you hunched over, or isn’t a result of a serious injury, try these simple things to soothe it:

1. Book a massage

Research shows that pressure receptors in the skin respond favorably to another person’s touch. Massages also reduce stress and stress-related hormones like cortisol, releasing tension and pain throughout the body.

2. Roll with it

Use a foam roller a few times a day to loosen muscles and ease tightness. Roll it under your back in the morning after waking up to open up the spine, and again at night before bedtime for one final soothing stretch.

3. Sweat it out

Research shows at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise several times a week, such as running, cycling, or swimming, can alleviate lower back pain by up to 28 percent.  A good workout gets blood flowing, muscles warmed up, and joints lubricated all efficiently and simultaneously so there is less chance for pain and tightness.

4. Be mindful

A few minutes spent each day either meditating, or centering yourself with some concentrated relaxation, can help reduce pain.  Experts say clearing your mind also helps with pain perception. Reading, listening to music, or spending time doing what you enjoy puts you in a relaxed state of mind.

5. Stretch

A regular stretching routine, or practicing yoga, has been shown to ease back pain. The more that your back muscles are conditioned and limber, the better they will be at resisting the familiar and frequent tightness brought on by inactivity.

If your back pain is ongoing and severe, please contact us for an appointment to rule out an underlying or more serious condition.

(Adapted from Men’s Health)

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