Posts for category: Orthopedics
There are several reasons why people end up suffering from lower back pain, whether it be a result of lifting something heavy or the factor of a condition such as arthritis. Whatever the cause, this is a common condition and many Americans experience it at some point in their life. Not all lower back pain is serious but if you were injured and have certain symptoms (numbness, weakness, or tingling in the legs) you'll need to call the doctor. Here at Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St.Thomas and St. Croix, treat these issues with a variety of approaches—read on to learn a few.
Lower Back Pain Management
- Try icing your back within the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury, for this helps reduces inflammation. You can also switch over to using heat pads, but remove it after 20 minutes to let your skin rest.
- Continuous movement such as walking, swimming, biking, and other activities help, but you need to avoid overexerting yourself; therefore, ask your physicians about which exercises are safe and suitable for you.
- Stretching, sitting up straight, and taking occasional breaks from your desk every 20 minutes.
- Create a smart workspace that doesn't require hunching forward to reach your mouse/keyboard or see your computer monitor. Find the proper chair that supports your lower back and enables your feet to stay planted on the floor.
- Women tend to wear high heels which create an unstable posture, so opt for flats instead of four-inch pumps to avoid pain that may develop in the lower spine.
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen may help reduce back pain.
If you would like to learn more about lower back pain management, call one of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists' offices today:
Your knee is a more complex joint than you may realize. And, when it hurts, you notice it and how it affects your mobility. At Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in Saint Thomas and St. Croix, Dr. Jeffrey Chase is the expert to see for diagnosis, treatment and healing of your knee pain.
What's the source of your knee pain?
There are a wide variety of factors that cause knee pain--age, injury, arthritis, cystic conditions, worn/torn cartilage, and more. Trauma or a disease process can precipitate these conditions, affecting the knee cap, or platella, upper and lower leg bones, as well as the ligaments and tendons which support and move them.
Common sense says knee pain is not normal. If you have trouble bearing weight on your knee, see swelling or signs of infection, or notice your knee has a different shape than it usually does, contact Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in Saint Thomas or St. Croix.
Expect a thorough diagnostic work-up. Tell Dr. Chase about the timing, severity, and location of your knee pain and whatever may worsen or relieve it. He will examine your knee and how you walk and also take a series of X-rays and other tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging and/or ultrasound to view the softer tissues of the joint. From there, he can plan treatment.
Treating knee pain
Your treatment plan encompasses several treatment modalities. Some, you likely know:
- Ice to reduce swelling
- Compression and support with an elastic bandage
- Elevation above heart level
Additionally, whether you need surgery or not (arthroscopy or knee joint replacement as examples), physical therapy is important to restore balance, strength, and full mobility. Dr. Chase agrees with the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons which highly recommends a knee strengthening and conditioning regimen as part of your treatment for knee pain.
Preventing knee pain
Here are some tips on keeping your knees functional and healthy:
- Maintain your ideal weight.
- Stretch before you work out, and be sure to keep yourself in good overall physical condition (in other words, stay as active as possible).
- Rest, ice, and elevate after a strenuous workout even if you are not in pain.
- Wear proper knee pads and shoes as appropriate to your sport or work activity.
Always seek good advice
At Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, the professional team enjoys seeing people feel better and be completely rehabilitated from the cause of their knee pain and dysfunction. For more information on our various specialties, or if you are in pain, call either of our two offices for a consultation. In St. Croix, phone (340) 692-5000. In Saint Thomas, call (340) 714-2845.
Chronic pain makes every aspect of your life less enjoyable. Luckily, your St. Thomas and St. Croix orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Chase of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, offers pain management treatments that may help relieve your pain.
What pain relief options are available?
Treatment of your pain depends on your injury or condition but may include one or more of these therapies:
- Pain Medication: Medication can be very helpful in decreasing pain. Prescription or non-prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be useful in controlling chronic pain. These drugs not only tackle pain but also relieve swelling and stiffness in your joints.
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, whether in pill or injectable form, can be helpful if pain medication alone doesn't improve your painful symptoms.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy sessions help you stretch and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Treatments can help relieve pain and improve range of motion and flexibility. Physical therapy may also be recommended as part of a post-surgical recovery plan.
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESW): ESW can be helpful if you have tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, or another condition that affects your tendon. Low-dose sound waves applied to your body decrease pain and promote quicker healing.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment: This innovative therapy uses platelets from your blood to boost your body's healing capacity. The treatment is often used to treat sprains, fractures, back pain, tendonitis, arthritis, and other conditions that affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection: Your St. Thomas or St. Croix orthopedic surgeon injects a combination of a steroid and anesthetic in your spine around the nerve root to relieve lower back pain and pain that travels from your back to your legs.
- Surgery: Although surgery is only used when other treatment methods don't relieve your pain, it can be very helpful. Surgery may be used to replace damaged or worn joints, repair torn ligaments and tendons, fuse vertebrae, or treat fractures. In many cases, your orthopedic surgeon may be able to use minimally invasive surgical techniques to perform your surgery.
Are you tired of dealing with constant pain? Schedule an appointment with your orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Chase of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, by calling (340) 714-2845 for the St. Thomas office or (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix office.
Could total joint replacement be the best option for you?
An aching knee or stiff hip can be enough to greatly impact your daily routine and your quality of life. Of course, even if our Virgin Islands medical team, led by both orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Chase and cardiologist Dr. Ahmet Sayan, recommends getting total joint replacement, it’s still important to understand what the pros and cons are to undergoing this surgery.
More about Total Joint Replacement
Osteoarthritis is a common reason for joint problems. While this form of arthritis cannot be cured, there are nonsurgical options such as medications that can slow the progression and prevent severe joint damage. Unfortunately, many people don’t seek treatment right away, which means that there is significant joint damage by the time they actually receive proper medical care.
Here are some signs and symptoms that you may want to consider getting joint replacement surgery,
- Severe and Persistent Pain: You are in pain more often than not throughout the day and night. Your pain can be so bad at times that it even wakes you up at night. You’ve also tried pain relievers (either over-the-counter or prescription) and nothing seems to be working.
- Reduced Functionality: It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to complete everyday tasks such as doing laundry, making dinner, or cleaning your home. You may find that you aren’t able to complete a lot of the tasks that you once were able to. You’ve also tried steroid injections, bracing, and physical therapy but nothing seems to help.
- Intense, Chronic Stiffness: You are finding it more and more challenging to climb stairs because of joint pain. You may be relying solely on a cane or a walker to help you move around.
- You’re Concerned About Your Safety: This is a concern that should be taken seriously. If your joint pain, stiffness, or other symptoms are so severe that you are worried about falling and injuring yourself, then this warrants talking to our Virgin Islands orthopedist to find out whether total joint replacement is the way to go.
- Significant Joint Damage: If your doctor has already run tests and determined that there is extensive joint damage, then the only way to repair the problem is through replacement surgery. While our goal is to prevent the progression of arthritis and joint damage, if you have sought treatment after the disease has advanced, the best way to repair joint damage may be through surgery.
If you are wondering whether you could benefit from total joint replacement, then it’s time to sit down with the experts at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists. We have offices in Saint Thomas and St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to serve you better.
Walking upstairs, exercising, and even standing for short periods of time become much more difficult if you have a knee injury or condition. Fortunately, Drs. Jeffrey Chase and Ahmet Sayan of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in St. Thomas and St. Croix, VI, offer treatments that can relieve your painful symptoms.
Sprains and strains
Falls, overuse injuries, and even poorly fitting shoes can increase your risk of a knee sprain or strain. Sprains occur when the ligaments that connect the bones in your knee stretch or tear, while strains tear or stretch muscles or tendons.
Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can affect the knee causing swelling, pain, and deformation of the joint. Osteoarthritis is particularly common in people over 50 and occurs when the cartilage at the end of the bones begins to wear away. Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system disorder that causes your body to attack your joints. Arthritis can also occur years after a knee injury.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury
The ACL connects your tibia (shinbone) to your femur (thighbone) and helps keep your knee stable. It can be injured if you change direction suddenly or land awkwardly after jumping. Women and people who play tennis, basketball, volleyball, and other sports which require quick movements are at increased risk of an ACL injury.
Your knee may be moved out of its normal position if you fall or receive a blow to the knee. Dislocations are often accompanied by ligament injuries.
Meniscal tears affect the cartilage between your femur and tibia. Athletes who participate in sports that require sudden turns, starts, and stops are more likely to develop the tears, although aging is also a factor. In fact, you can develop a tear simply by squatting or lifting something heavy if you're older!
How are knee injuries treated?
Your St. Thomas and St. Croix sports medicine doctors offer a variety of treatment options for knee injuries and conditions, including braces, pain medication, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and surgery.
Need care? Give us a call!
Does knee pain keep you from doing the things that you want to do? Schedule an appointment with Drs. Jeffrey Chase and Ahmet Sayan of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine by calling (340) 714-2845 for the St. Thomas, VI, office or (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix office.