Ouch! What’s going on with my elbow?

You are used to doing everything you want to do. Lately, though, just picking up a gallon of milk with your right hand hurts so much it almost makes you cry. You made an appointment with your primary care provider, who thinks you are developing osteoarthritis in that elbow. She referred you to us, the Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine Center.

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After hearing your story, reading your history and reviewing some plain x-rays your PCP had obtained, one of the tools our board-certified surgeons may use to both diagnose and treat your elbow pain and dysfunction is elbow arthroscopy.

What is Elbow Arthroscopy?

The elbow, like all the joints of the human body, is a truly amazing anatomical structure. Through small spaces between the bones pass all of the nerves and blood supply for your hand. In addition to the pain symptoms you are currently experiencing, problems in the elbow can cause pain, numbness and weakness to everything past the elbow – your forearm and hand. Compromised blood flow from the elbow to the hand can cause even more serious symptoms.

Arthroscopy is ideally suited to examine the elbow. Instead of a large, open surgical procedure, one or more tiny incisions are made in the elbow to pass a small fiber-optic camera and various small instruments into the elbow space to both diagnose and potentially treat your pain.

While the x-rays your PCP ordered rule out obvious fractures, elbow arthroscopy can also treat arthritis, loose bodies in the elbow, stiffness, tennis elbow and many other conditions of the elbow.

Because arthroscopy does not use large incisions, less soft tissue has to heal, leading to less post-operative pain and speedier recovery times.

To set up an appointment, please contact us. There’s no need to put up with the pain and limitations! We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Total Joint Replacement

Having Total Joint Replacement

Total joint replacement is not a step that is ever taken lightly, but should you need this advanced surgical option, Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine is committed to making this a winning experience from evaluation to recovery: Missouri Sports Medicine. Before deciding your joint’s condition warrants replacement, several less drastic forms of care may be tried. These can include physical therapy, injections, and arthroscopic surgery. If these ameliorative treatments don’t restore the joint’s normal function, an x-ray, and possibly an MRI, may be ordered to determine any joint and tissue damage.

The Decision for Surgery

Assuming that you are healthy enough for surgery, joint instability, pain that won’t allow you to sleep at night, the inability to perform the normal daily functions of life, and being prevented from doing the things you enjoy are all factors that may lead you to decide that total joint replacement is the best option. After you and your doctor decide that you will go ahead with the surgery, you will be thoroughly briefed on what to expect, and you will also be informed about the preparation that should take place in the home, so your recovery phase will run smoothly. In most cases you will be administered general anesthesia before the procedure begins. Using knee-joint replacement as an example, damaged parts of the joint will be removed in preparation for your new knee, and after the surfaces of the joint have been prepared, the new components of the knee will be anchored in place.

Post-Total Joint Surgery

After coming out of surgery, a great number of post-surgical tasks will be taking place. You will, of course, be having pain medication administered, but steps will also be undertaken to monitor the surgery site for infection. You may also receive blood thinners to prevent blood clots from forming, and as soon as possible, steps will be taken to maximize the joint’s flexibility. Your hospital stay may last from 3-5 days, and, in addition to post-operative care, light physical therapy will begin.

Recovery From Total Joint Surgery

By far, the greatest part of your recovery will take place during the 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. The physical therapy and follow-up doctor visits you keep will have you well on the way to a much-improved quality of life. If you need a consultation about possibly needing this procedure, please contact us.

How To Maximize Your Health & Performance

Recovery & Rehabilitation

Recovery and rehabilitation means something different to almost every patient. And medical professionals have a variety of different ways to evaluate both recovery and rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation: Not Just for Athletes

Returning to “peak performance” can mean returning to a full work week (without the need to rely on pain medications) or it can mean returning to independent living. Or, certainly, it can mean returning to the sports field (or track, or court) to be as competitive as ever.

Dr. David Irvine and the entire staff here at Missouri Orthopedics specialize is treating a wide variety of patients, with a wide variety of injuries and chronic conditions. We strive to understand each individual patient’s condition, extent of the injury, and set realistic – but optimistic – goals for recovery.

Activity Can Continue After Treatment, During Recovery and Rehabilitation

We have seen many patients who have put off orthopedic exams and treatments because they thought that once treatment (or surgery) was needed, it signaled the end of particular activities. But that’s simply not the case.

Advances in understanding human physiology, as well as advances in orthopedic treatment, mean that today’s procedures provide a means to a more active lifestyle – not the end of activity.

Anytime you have joint pain or limited movement, it affects your overall health. Our goal it to increase your joint strength and mobility, so you can return to your sport (or work, or previous level of activity, in any aspect of life) with better overall function and a reduced chance of further injury.

That’s the real goal of recovery and rehabilitation – can’t we all agree?

Don’t wait to take care of yourself. Contact us for an evaluation so we can help you get back to working, playing, and living life the way you want to.

St. Louis Blue Playoffs Run

St. Louis hockey fans have reason to be excited as the St. Louis Blues continue an exciting playoff run. The Blues have made it to the second round of the NHL playoffs, now battling against the Dallas Stars after knocking off the 2015 Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues are seeking their first ever Stanley Cup Championship.

The Blues won a thrilling 7-game series against the Blackhawks, winning game 7 of the series 3-2. The Blues were led by Vladimir Tarasenko with four goals in the series, and some outstanding play from goalkeeper Brian Elliot, who made 236 saves on 254 shots during the series.

The round two series against Dallas is proving to be an exciting one, with two games that have gone into overtime, and some big wins for the Blues on two occasions: 4-1 and 6-1.

The Blues have avoided injuries thus far in the playoffs, and will welcome back forward Steve Ott to the lineup for game six against the Stars. Ott ripped his hamstring after an awkward collision against the boards during a game back in December. The Blues were extremely supportive of Ott as he recovered, paying him visits and sending gifts. Just as Ott was ready to begin playing again in April, he was diagnosed with Colitis, an inflammation of the inner colon, and was unable to play for another two weeks. But now Ott is ready to go for this series against the Stars.

Join us in cheering on the Blues this playoff season! If you have suffered from a hockey injury or any other sports injury, contact us at Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine and let us help you get back in the game.

Understanding Elbow Arthroscopy

The elbow joint consists of three bones: the humerus bone of the upper arm, and the ulna and radius bones of the forearm. The ulna and the humerus meet at the elbow and form a hinge, allowing the arm to straighten and bend. Life without this ability would be difficult, indeed.

Thanks to elbow arthroscopy, conditions inhibiting the normal use of the elbow can be treated, relieving pain and enabling one to freely use their elbow again.

What is elbow arthroscopy?

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Arthroscopy is a procedure that allows surgeons to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems such as releasing scar tissue to improve range of motion, removing loose cartilage and bone fragments, repair lesions, among others.

Common procedures include:

  • Removing loose fragments in the joint
  • Repairing fractures
  • Treatment of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis (arthritis that causes wear and tear)
  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory arthritis)
  • Treatment of elbow stiffness often caused by fractures and other injuries

How is elbow arthroscopy performed?

Under general or regional anesthesia, a fiber-optic camera is inserted through a cut the width of a pencil in the elbow, magnifying and projecting the structures of the elbow on a television screen. This allows the surgeon to diagnose the condition. Several other small cuts allow insertion of additional instruments into the joint for treatment.

Recovery and rehabilitation.

Arthroscopy is usually an outpatient procedure; expect to return home with a bandage over your incisions, your arm possibly placed in a splint to keep it still and instructions to put ice on it and elevate it regularly for the next couple of days. You more than likely will be given instructions for certain exercises to perform to build strength and increase movement and may even need physical therapy to complete the rehabilitation process. While recovery from elbow arthroscopy is often faster than that of open surgery, expect it to take several weeks for your joint to completely recover.

For more information on elbow arthroscopy and how we can help, contact Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine.