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.

Hip Arthroscopy: A Minimally Invasive Option

HipArthoscopy

The hip-joint is one of the most amazing and important joints of the body. A ball and socket joint, it is one of the most flexible, providing a level of mobility that allows the femur to rotate freely through a 360-degree circle and is capable of supporting half of the body’s weight along with any other forces acting upon the body.

Estimable as it may be, like any other part of the body, the hip-joint is capable of suffering several painful conditions due to falls or repetitive use that is common in athletes. The normal wear and tear that comes with age plays its part as well and can lead to arthritis or tears of tendons and ligaments.

Non-surgical treatments that include rest, physical therapy and injections to reduce inflammation can help but some injuries and even diseases demand a more aggressive approach. Bone spurs around the socket; dysplasia and snapping hip syndrome are a few of the conditions that may fall into this category.

In cases like these, your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy, a procedure where your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your hip-joint. The camera then displays pictures on a screen, allowing the doctor to use these images to guide miniature surgical instruments to the affected area.

Hip arthroscopy is generally performed under general anesthesia and on an outpatient basis.

Recovery will likely include crutches for a specified amount of time, as well as physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility.

For more information on how we can help, contact us

Supporting Youth After Sports Injuries

An injury for any athlete is difficult. He or she deals with physical pain, as well as a variety of powerful emotions. Sports injuries in youth can be even more difficult to handle. Kids are not simply “little adults” and therefore are not as physically, emotionally or intellectually developed. An injury to them can feel much more traumatic and “life-ending”. This is why it is important to know how to support them during and after treatment.

The initial emotions after an injury include anger, fear, frustration and discouragement. A skilled doctor can help the athlete feel secure and confident in the prescribed treatment, and support and encouragement at home will solidify that. If the injury is severe and surgery is required, it often will be the youth’s first time experiencing hospitals, anesthesiologists and all that goes along with it. Explaining what will happen and staying positive about the final outcome will help lessen any anxiety.

After surgery it is very important to follow the doctor’s orders. Do not push the child too hard, or allow the child to push himself too far either. Strictly adhering to the recommended recovery and rehabilitation plan will yield the best results, regardless of the pressures to return to the game. Studies have shown that optimism during the rehabilitation process helps the athlete’s emotions shift from the initial negative outlook on the injury to excitement and confidence in returning. Along the same lines, approaching rehab with negativity causes the child to doubt and fear that she can ever play again. Remove any pressure to be healed and perfect right off the bat.

Overall, a parent needs to remember that when helping a child cope and recover from a big injury a balance must be maintained between helping and not helping. Support them, but don’t coddle them. Don’t do things for them that they can do for themselves, even when on crutches or in a wheelchair. Allow them small achievements so they can work up to the bigger ones.

Injuries can be heartbreaking, but they aren’t the end of the road. Recovery is possible and you can help your child athlete navigate the journey back to health and success.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help with the process of healing.

Knee Arthroscopy: Your First Step to Minimize Your Time on the Sidelines!

Your knee hurts. Maybe it’s been building slowly to this point, or maybe you know exactly when it happened. Maybe it’s a dull ache; maybe it’s a sharp pain that makes everyday activities unbearable. In any case, when you are tired of the pain impacting your performance, it is time to consult a professional like Dr. Irvine.

One of the most common methods of diagnosing knee pain is knee arthroscopy. With this procedure, several small incisions are made on and around your knee and a small high-resolution camera is used to view the joint. Arthroscopy can also help your doctor repair your knee, as the other incisions are used to insert small instruments to remove or repair damaged tissue.

The procedure can be performed under either local, regional or general anesthesia, and is commonly performed in a matter of hours as an outpatient procedure, so no overnight hospital stays are usually required.

While recovery time depends on a number of factors, typical recovery time from arthroscopic knee surgery is 4-6 weeks, which is generally much faster than the time required to recover from open knee surgery. Of course, your results will largely depend on your willingness and ability to be an active participant by following your doctor’s instructions for post-surgery care and adhering to your prescribed physical therapy regimen.

No procedure is guaranteed to alleviate knee pain, and it is important for your doctor to evaluate your symptoms and medical history before determining whether you are a candidate for knee arthroscopy.

For more information about knee arthroscopy, or to schedule an appointment, contact us to take the first step to getting off the sidelines and back into the game.

Osteoarthritis & Tylenol

Relieving Pain While Living With Osteoarthritis

Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen, is a pain relieving pill often taken for temporary moderate relief from osteoarthritis. However, note that Tylenol does not treat the inflammation that often times comes with this arthritis. It is important to consult with Dr. Irvine, or your general practitioner before taking Tylenol as some prescribed, and other over-the-counter medications contain acetaminophen. Consuming and digesting too much acetaminophen can be harmful to your overall health including your liver.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common diagnoses of arthritis, and there is currently no cure; only ways to relieve temporary pain and discomfort. This becomes present when the cartilage found on your bones wear down; typically in aging bodies. This type of arthritis can cause pain & irritation in your knees, hips, hands and even your spine/back.

Woman grimacing in pain

Who is more likely to get osteoarthritis?

  • Older humans
  • Women
  • Being Overweight
  • Injuries over time, especially to the joints
  • Occupations that contain a lot of stress on a particular joint
  • Bone deformities
  • Diabetics, or other diseases like gout and rheumatoid arthritis

Do you think you have osteoarthritis?

common Symptoms to pay attention to:

  • Pain during, or after movement
  • Tenderness after applying light pressure to area
  • After inactivity, or waking up in the morning you may experience stiffness
  • Less flexible when trying to move in a normal range of motion
  • When using your joint, you may experience a grating noise or feeling
  • Little spurs around the bone

When to make an appointment with Dr. Irvine:

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms for longer than two weeks and are growing concerned, then please give our St. Louis, MO office a call at 314-567-5850.

You may want to consider trying to answer the questions to come better prepared for your visit:

  1. When did your joint pain begin?
  2. How frequent is your pain?
  3. Do certain activities make your pain worse/better?
  4. Has this joint been injured before in the past?
  5. On a scale of 1-10, what level is your pain?