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

Youth Injuries & Sport Care: When It’s All In Your Head

Missouri Orthopedics, Advanced Sports & Medicine, Stl doctor, concussion

Youth head injuries are frightening and frustrating, especially when you’re a driven and determined athlete used to pushing through other injuries. Even a mild concussion can cause significant injury to your brain, and this makes it even more important to understand what to expect during the process of recovery.

When your injury is “all in your head”, sometimes it is difficult to take ongoing symptoms seriously. Since giving your brain a chance to heal is so important to your future performance, here are a few important things to keep in mind.

1. Be honest. Let your coach, parents, and doctor know if you’re experiencing symptoms of concussion. While you may be tempted to gloss over lingering headaches or trouble concentrating after an injury, ignoring symptoms may mean you re-injure your brain and have an even longer recovery.

2. Expect recovery to take time. According to a study published February 2016 in The Journal of Pediatrics, recovery from a concussion takes more time for younger players and those who have yet to go through puberty, with the average recovery time between about 33 and 54 days.

3. Expect frustration. You may have trouble with things like balance, sleeping, and concentration. You may have less of an appetite, experience headaches, and have a hard time predicting your emotional response to stress. While your brain heals, its normal to feel frustrated with symptoms.

4. If symptoms come back after you’ve been cleared to return to active sports, speak up! Recovery from concussion is a complex process and some symptoms can linger. Your doctor is the best one to determine a safe level of activity depending on what you’re experiencing.

While youth injuries are frightening and frustrating, the good news about having an injury that’s “all in your head” is that most young people with a concussion do experience complete recovery. Understanding what to expect during the process will help reduce your stress as you work to regain complete health.

Providing treatment for youth injuries and sport care is a big part of what we do. We’re committed to working with you to help manage your symptoms and get you back to active sports as soon as its safe for you to do so. Please contact us and we’ll work with you every step of the way.

Do you need Total Joint Replacement?

Joint injuries are common in the athletic field, regardless of the sport.

However, a joint injury doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing. It is possible to repair through total joint replacement surgery.

Total Joint Replacement, Missouri Orthopedics, Dr. Irvine, Elbow Joints

The most common joints replaced are the knee, hip, and elbow joints, though the shoulder, wrist, and ankle can handle the surgical procedure. It is one of the last resorts that many doctors will use, however if it is used, it is due to medical necessity.

Dr. Irvine will typically recommend total joint replacement in the event that other alternative treatments are not working to heal your injury. A medication is typically prescribed in hopes of easing the pain and symptoms, place you in physical therapy, and alter your daily activities to ease the pain. While these have worked in many instances, it is not always the best route to take.

According to research in 2010, not only is it possible to have total joint replacement surgery safely, but you can continue to play your sport freely. In fact, the researchers were shocked to announce that the participants that engaged in “non-recommended sports actually showed higher knee and function scores” than the ones who didn’t.

Should you get total joint replacement? There are a few signs that you should discuss this with a doctor.

  • recurring or persistent joint pain
  • immobility
  • stiff or swollen joints
  • grating joints
  • previous injury to the joint in question
  • difficulty climbing in/up and out/down

You can discuss this, and other alternatives, with MO Sports Med. Contact us today!

Common Hockey Injuries

Concussions, Back Injuries, Elbow Injuries

Hockey Players Take A Beating, Typically

It is no surprise that hockey player undergo some physical pushing and shoving during the game. Sometimes the game is so physical that it can lead to injuries to their body which requires the medical attention of a doctor. We recommend an advanced sports medicine doctor like our very own, Dr. Irvine.

Ice hockey players fighting during game, Dr. Irvine, Sport Medicine

What are some common hockey player injuries?

Concussion This is a traumatic brain injury which may alter the way your brain functions.

Shoulder Injury* Our team evaluates and treat shoulder injuries including labral tears, Bankart lesions, rotator cuff tears & more.

Elbow Injury* Dr Irvine helps east the pain from elbow injuries such as fractures.

Back Injury Hockey players are especially at risk for lower back injuries which can affect your skating stride and overall comfort.

Hip Injury* Dr Irvine is experienced in treating hip arthroscopy as well as performing total hip replacement.

Knee Injury* Our doctor can perform ACL and PCL reconstruction, whether it be minimally invasive or a total reconstruction. However, his experience does not stop there. He is also able to treat a number of other knee conditions and injuries.

Wrist Injury* If you are experiencing a mallet finger injury and/or a wrist or hand fracture, then Dr. Irvine is your guy to call.

* Denotes services in which Dr. Irvine can help diagnose & treat.

If you are interested in jumping onto the road of recovery, and would like to become a potential patient of ours, please call today to schedule your appointment 314-567-5850.