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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, August 28, 2017

Your Knees and Arthritis

With modern technologies and so many advancements in arthritis care, you'd think that the instances of the disease would be decreasing. Not so, according to a recent story published in Science magazine.

A new study depicts how arthritis of the knees in particular, has doubled in Americans dating back to the start of World War II, from six percent to 16 percent since 1940. Researchers gathered data from more than 2,500 skeletons, some as old as 6,000 years, to make this observation.

Knee arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability and immobility, with nearly 20 percent of Americans over the age of 45 suffering from it. So it’s important to understand the nature and progression of the condition.

When knee arthritis, or osteoarthritis, sets in, the cushiony cartilage between joints breaks down leaving a painful sensation with the bone grinding on bone. 

The scientists in the study examined whether or not there were smooth patches between knee joints signifying a loss of cartilage, and thereby pointing to a potential diagnosis of arthritis during that person’s lifetime.

Initial thoughts from the study indicate that as people are living longer, their bodies have a greater chance of deteriorating and being affected by some sort of debilitating illness or injury.

Another theory is that Americans are more sedentary than ever before, leading to an increase in obesity, which puts great pressure on cartilage and joints causing them to wear down.

Centuries ago when people relied more heavily on physical labor to survive (hunting, farming, etc.), joints may have been healthier due to the active lifestyle.

To help prevent the onset of arthritis, Texas Orthopedics encourages people of all ages to engage in some form of exercise or physical activity each day to keep joints lubricated and flexible allowing for the growth of fresh and abundant cartilage.

If you have signs of knee arthritis, such as joint pain or stiffness, please contact us for an appointment.

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

(Adapted from Men’s Health)

Hip-Pain Deconstructed

When you hear about hip pain and injuries, you picture seniors, right? Wrong. Trends now show that younger people are experiencing the aches and pains of their older counterparts.

Some factors that may contribute to hip pain in younger folks include spending too many hours seated sedentary at a work desk, or conversely, going at it too hard at the gym and overworking the hip joints and muscles.
With so many intense fitness trends like Cross-Fit and HIIT training, that feature quick, cutting and repetitive movements, your hips may never get the break they need.
In addition, the hips are constantly working to make sure that the upper and lower bodies are coordinated and in sync for just about every motion you perform daily from walking to sitting.
Common injuries and conditions that we see at Texas Orthopedics plaguing the hips include:
To make sure your hips stay healthy, always stretch and warm-up before exercising, and vary your routines frequently. To avoid putting too much pressure on these joints, alternate intense activities such as squats and lunges.
Take a break from running and try swimming every once in a while, to alleviate pressure and provide your hips a more cushioned environment. Or change it up by doing an upper body work out one day, followed by lower body the next, so your hips aren’t doing double duty.
Additionally, like any part of the body that is being worked-out heavily, your hips need rest.
If you experience any hip pains that are sharp or severe, or nagging over a long period of time, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

(Adapted from Men's Health)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Preparing Your Child for Fall Sports

The start of school is around the corner and so are fall sports.

Preparing your kiddos for the upcoming season is key if you want to avoid common injuries like sprains and strains, fractures and broken bones, concussions, and even heat exhaustion due to the still triple-digit temps.

Whether they are heading out to the field for soccer or football, or hitting the trails for cross-country, here’s how to ensure your child is ready for their fall sport:
  • Make sure they’ve had recent physicals and are cleared to play by their physician, especially if they’ve had a serious injury or illness in the not-too-distant past.
  • Start training now, if they haven’t already. Check with your child’s coach if there is a preseason routine they’d like them to follow. Or have them do their own light workout such as jogging or swimming laps, along with proper stretching, a few weeks before tryouts or practices start.
  • Invest in proper equipment. Helmets, knee and elbow pads, mouth guards, cleats, and other sports shoes should all meet standard safety regulations and fit properly.
  • Get to know your child’s coaches before the season starts. It’s important to be familiar with who will be working with your child regularly on their team. Alert them to any pre-existing medical conditions or past injuries.
  • Know the warning signs for concussions and watch out for them. Concussions are all-too-common now in youth sports. If your child experiences any nausea/vomiting, dizziness/blurred vision, or sensitivities to light and noise following a collision or fall, have them checked out immediately.
  • Fuel them up with nutritious food and encourage hydration. Lots of lean proteins, fruits/vegetables, whole grains, and tons of water will help your child’s body to be primed for the season ahead.
If your child suffers a sports injury this season, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists. Or if it’s after-hours, as many sports injuries tend to be, visit our Urgent Injury Clinic where no appointment is necessary.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).
(Adapted from

Visiting Urgent Care vs. the ER

If you’re sick or suffered a serious injury, where’s the best place to go for quick treatment? It used to be the ER at your closest hospital. But with an urgent care center on just about every corner, how do you know the best place to get treatment? And will they be any faster or less expensive? Those are the burning questions so many people have today.

Here’s a helpful guide to determine when you might need the complete care of an ER, or if a visit to an urgent care or injury clinic will be enough:

Broken Bones or Fractures

Urgent care: possible peripheral bone break such as a foot, ankle, wrist or finger. If you think you’ve suffered a broken bone, or other sports injury, Texas Orthopedics’ Urgent Injury Clinic is a great option for a walk-in with no appointment necessary, and X-ray, casting, and bracing services are available onsite.

ER: possible major bone break such as a leg, arm, hip, neck, or spine; or for a break where the bone is protruding through the skin

Stomach Pain

Urgent care: if you have a regular intestinal problem that is acting up more than usual, such as IBS, acid reflux, or an ulcer

ER: if you have quick, onset severe shooting pains, or cramping in the abdominal area

Fever and Vomiting

Urgent care: a temperature of 102.5-F or more if it persists for over 24 hours

ER: a temperature of 102.5-F or more if it also accompanied by sharp abdominal pain or cramping, or a severe headache; or if it’s a small child experiencing a very high temperature


Urgent care: a shallow cut where you cannot detect muscle tissue or bone

ER: a deep cut, or puncture wound, where bone is visible and it has not stopped bleeding after 15 minutes of direct pressure; also for an animal bite, you would want to visit the ER to determine if there was any exposure to a serious issue like rabies

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

(Adapted from Women’s Health)

Monday, August 14, 2017

What's the latest on cryotherapy?

Everyone from pro athletes to seniors with arthritis are singing the praises of cryotherapy, or ‘freezing’ therapy to eliminate aches and pains and help the body heal after injury. 
WBC (or whole-body cryotherapy) involves subjecting the body to extremely cold/negative temperatures in order to treat medical conditions like arthritis or multiple sclerosis, decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and facilitate muscle recovery after intense exercise.
Here’s how it works:
The shock of the searing cold sends distress signals to the brain which then releases a special protein (norepinephrine) that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. This also blocks pain receptors to dull whatever pain you are feeling, while causing blood to re-oxygenate and replenish nutrients that are circulated through the body in hopes of repairing damaged muscles and tissue.
Although devotees of cryotherapy claim that it helps with pain in the immediate aftermath, the jury is still out scientifically speaking regarding its long-term effects on an injury or serious condition.
Studies show that the cold temps can reduce inflammation in the body, but there have been no proven results to date showing the benefits to muscle recovery.
People interested in trying cryotherapy should speak to their physician first about it, especially if you have a known heart condition. The extreme drop in temperature could be dangerous.
At Texas Orthopedics, we suggest healthy diet, exercise, and personalized physical therapy as a first line of defense to treat arthritis, and other sports injuries. If you have questions about cryotherapy, or would like to discuss options to treat any pain you are experiencing, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

(Adapted from Stop Sports Injuries)

Reminder About Too Heavy Backpacks

At this time of year, with all the excitement of heading back to school, we want to remind you about backpack safety, specifically, the hazards of a backpack that is too heavy, or one that is ill-fitting.
Before you purchase a cool, new backpack for the coming year, whether for your kiddo or even yourself if you’re an adult student, you’ll want to be sure it fits properly and wears well in proportion to your body.
A backpack that is too big or too heavy can negatively affect posture, cause shoulder, neck or back pain, sprains or muscle spasms, and even more serious issues like a pinched nerve.
Here’s how a backpack should correctly be worn:
  • With two shoulder straps that are wide and padded
  • Secured with straps along the waist and chest to help support the weight
  • Placing heavier objects in the center and bottom of the backpack
  • Never slung across one shoulder or hanging low around the hips
In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child's backpack should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight. Have them hop on the scale, then weigh their loaded backpack separately. Do the math, and make sure you are within these guidelines to protect their growing bodies.
Get in the habit of cleaning out backpacks regularly, maybe every Friday after school is over, to get rid of unnecessary items.
Also, consider talking to your school about online versions of textbooks that might be available or duplicate copies so that one set can be kept at home and one in the classroom eliminating the cumbersome transport back and forth. 
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Monday, August 7, 2017

Slow Running

Are American runners falling to the back of the pack on the marathon circuit these days? New research says, yes.
A recent study compiled by RunRepeat analyzed data from nearly 25 million race times (international events with more than 2,000 runners registered) between the years 1996 and 2016. What they found is that the average American runner, whether participating in a 5K or full marathon, is getting slower.
In fact, the past two years --2015 and 2016—showed Americans were at their all-time slowest pace during the course of the twenty-year study. 
So, what’s the reason Americans are lagging behind?
The study suggests the following:
  • There has been an increase in more U.S. women entered in running events than men in recent years, and they tend to generate slower times.
  • Americans as a whole are less fit than those from other countries. The study cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicated a national uptick in obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. People may register for a race under the false notion that they are capable of running in a competitive manner, but in reality, they may not even be fit enough to finish.
  • Many runners enter a race just to do so, with no real intention of securing a decent time. There was reference to the American culture of everyone getting a ‘participation trophy,’ so there is no actual incentive to be fast. It’s satisfaction enough to just show up for an event, perhaps only to socialize, and then walk the entire way.
The study was encouraged however by the great number of Americans entering marathons and other shorter distance races meaning that it is a sport/pastime that has really gained popularity over the past several years.  
At Texas Orthopedics, we treat runners of all abilities every day. Whether you are a dedicated marathoner, or a casual weekend trail runner, it’s a great sport to enjoy with numerous health benefits. We encourage you to just go at your own pace, and contact us for an appointment if you’ve ‘run’ into trouble and suspect a common running injury like tendonitis, stress fractures, or plantar fasciitis.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Is there hope after ACL surgery?

Will I or won’t I be able to return to sports? That’s a heavy question for those who’ve undergone ACL reconstruction surgery. An ACL tear is one of the most common sports injuries. It occurs when the ligament holding the knee joint together snaps, as a result of quick cutting and weaving motions, or an unlucky collision with another player. 
Surgery is often the only way to repair the injury, which often comes with a great deal of pain and instability making it difficult to even stand up.
The thought of returning to sports is a daunting one, but one that is likely not far off in an athlete’s mind.
The good news is that the majority of ACL injuries are not career-ending. But they are ‘couch-time’ extending. This means you really need to allow yourself ample time to rest and recuperate in order to heal properly.
Following your physician’s directions for staying off your feet, you’ll then need to adopt a rehabilitation plan –typically with the assistance of a physical therapist--to strengthen your newly repaired ligament.
Experts stress that it’s important not to focus on when you can return to sports, but rather that you will. For some, it could be as soon as six to eight months following injury, for others it could take up to two years.
In younger patients especially, heading back onto the field too soon can result in a second ACL injury. 
Through various assessments and strength testing in your physical therapy, your recovery team will be able to best determine your personal timeline for return.
If you’ve suffered an ACL injury and are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our specialists or physical therapists, please contact us.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).
(Adapted from Stop Sports Injuries)