Treatment for a Torn Meniscus

When left to their own devices, most children run around with abandon, increasing their chances of getting a torn meniscus whenever they make sudden stops and turns or accidentally twist or rotate their knee. The risk for this type of knee injury is especially high for young athletes who participate in sports that involve plenty of pivoting motions like tennis and basketball.

A torn meniscus leads to a persistent knee pain and can even lead to osteoarthristis in the later stages. At the time of injury, a loud popping sound will be heard, followed by swelling and pain afterwards. A “locking” sensation where the knee cannot fully extend or straighten can also be felt at times. There is also the possibility that the knee will give way at times and will not be able to support your child’s weight.

Conservative Treatments

The meniscus is a cartilage that serves as a cushion between the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). If the meniscus is injured, conservative treatments such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical rehabilitation can be done to give the knee plenty of time to heal on its own.

Pain and swelling will go away in a matter of days; however, full recovery requires a long-term commitment to ensure that the muscles surrounding the knee grows strong. To return the knee to its normal function, your child will need to maintain his or her ideal body weight and avoid activities that can aggravate the tear.

Surgical Intervention

If these initial treatments do not heal the tear, an arthroscopy will be done by a San Diego orthopedic doctor to repair or remove the damaged cartilage. This is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure done to repair the meniscus tear, and has a faster rehabilitation and better outcome than a traditional open surgery.

Is a Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery the Right Treatment for Your Kid?

If your child injures a knee and requires surgery, the doctor may advise you to either go for a traditionally open surgery or a minimally invasive one. Going for the traditional open surgery route means having a long vertical incision made at the center of the knee so that the surgeon can view and repair the injured joint.

The minimally invasive knee surgery is quite similar in theory, but there is less tissue cutting involved. The procedure involves smaller incision and lesser blood loss. It is less invasive than traditional open surgery, so there is less tissue disruption and reduced post-operative pain. It also means a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery times for your child so that he or she can resume everyday activities sooner than later.

Minimally Invasive Surgery Risks

A minimally invasive surgery does not mean it is not without its own set of risks. This medical procedure is done with the use of an arthroscope, a small camera that is inserted into the small incision made by the surgeon. The camera allows the surgeon to see the inside of the knee in greater detail and fix the problem using the small instruments from the arthroscope. Since the incision is much smaller than a traditional open surgery, the surgeon has a limited view of the joint which makes the procedure more challenging and can lead to a longer time on the operating table.

If your child is going under the knife for a minimally invasive procedure, you need to go to a highly recommended and highly skilled San Diego orthopedic doctor to get this done. The doctor will weigh in all the options available and determine if an arthroscopic surgery is indeed the best choice for your child.

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

Do you feel a persistent pain or stiffness in your shoulder? This could be due to a frozen shoulder. The shoulder is made up of three bones: the upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The humerus fits into a socket and is surrounded by synovial fluid that allows the joint to move without friction. Sometimes, a scar tissue will begin to form in the shoulders, causing the capsule to become too thick and tight. There is less lubrication which makes it hard for the shoulders to move.

Why a Frozen Shoulder Happens

Frozen shoulders frequently happen to people who have recently experienced a shoulder injury or fracture. Other risk factors include being more than 40 years old, being a woman, and having diabetes.

There are 3 stages to a frozen shoulder. The freezing stage is where the pain gradually increases, and most sufferers will have a hard time sleeping at night because of the pain. The next stage is the frozen stage where the pain will no longer worsen but the shoulders will remain stiff. The thawing stage is where the pain will slowly fade away and the shoulder will return to normal.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Once you have been diagnosed by a San Diego orthopedic doctor, you will be given a treatment program based on the stage of your condition and the severity of your pain. It is worth noting that with a frozen shoulder, recovery is slow and may take some time. The initial stage is always the worst in terms of pain, so treatment is mainly focused on relieving it.

The orthopedic doctor may prescribe paracetamol and even give corticosteroid injections if the pain becomes too much to bear. Physical therapy such as stretching and gentle exercises can also be implemented to keep the shoulder mobile and improve the shoulder’s condition.

The 3 Types of Shoulder Fractures

Most people think that the shoulder is made up of only one bone when in fact, it is made up of three types of bones: the collarbone (clavicle), the humerus (upper arm bone), and the shoulder blade (scapula). If any of these three bones get fractured, pain, swelling, tenderness, and a limited range of motion will be experienced by the injured person.

The shoulder fracture can either be displaced or non-displaced. Most fractures are non-displaced, meaning the bone is separated but are still aligned and have not moved from their original position. If the shoulder had been displaced, the bones on opposite sides of the joint are no longer aligned.

Clavicle Fracture

The clavicle is the bone that serves as the connection between the shoulder blade and breastplate. This is the most common shoulder fracture experienced by children, frequently resulting from a fall, direct trauma, or contact sports. The fracture causes the shoulder to sag downwards and is accompanied by a bump, which is the prominent end of the fracture under the skin. The injured person will have difficulty raising the arm because the ends of the broken bones rub off against each other, creating the unnecessary friction.

Proximal Humerus Fracture

The humerus is the bone located at the upper part of the arm that rotates within the shoulder socket. This fracture is experienced by people who have osteoporosis, a medical condition where the bones become weak and brittle, making them more susceptible to a fracture.

Scapula Fracture

The scapula is a flat, triangular bone that connects the humerus and the clavicle. The scapula fracture is the rarest type of fracture because the shoulder blade does not break quite so easily, and it is protected by the chest and surrounding muscles.

If the shoulder fracture is severe, it needs to be seen by a San Diego orthopedic surgeon so that the right treatment plan can be implemented and the road to recovery can begin right away.