How Chronic Conditions Can Raise The Risk For Work Related Injuries

Work related injuries may be directly related to chronic health conditions. Certain medical disorders can lead to daytime sleepiness, unsteady gait, joint pain, poor eyesight, and diminished hand strength, all of which can heighten the risk for occupational injuries. Here are three medical disorders that may contribute to on-the-job accidents.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can cause snoring, gasping, and cessation of breathing while sleeping. Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include obesity, consuming spicy foods and coffee, certain medications, drinking alcohol, acid reflux disease, and hiatal hernia.

Because those with sleep apnea awaken numerous times during the night, daytime sleepiness can occur, raising the risk for work-related injuries. To diminish this risk, chronic snorers should undergo sleep studies for further evaluation of their apnea so that an effective treatment plan can be implemented.

Carpal Tunnel

Individuals who have conditions of the hand that decrease grip strength and manual dexterity such as carpal tunnel syndrome may be more likely to get hurt while at work.

Wearing hand splints, icing the affected area, physical therapy, and taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce the pain and swelling associated carpal tunnel.

In some cases, release surgery is recommended to mitigate pain and resultant inflammation of the hand so that strength and mobility of the finger joints is restored.

Diabetic Retinopathy

People with diabetes, especially those with long-standing diabetes or people with poorly managed blood sugar levels may develop diabetic retinopathy. This condition leads to damaged blood vessels inside the retina, causing poor visual acuity and raising the risk for work-related injuries.

Maintaining effective control over blood sugar levels may help prevent the progression of retinopathy, however, if the normalization of glucose is ineffective in improving vision, laser surgery may be recommended. To learn more about preventing work-related injuries, contact us anytime.

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?

Missouri Orthopedic Care St. Louis, Advanced Sports Medicine

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.

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

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.