FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for deciding when to have surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will help you determine when surgery is the most appropriate next step. Key considerations include whether you’re in pain, if you’re experiencing instability or decreased mobility, and whether the injury or condition is affecting your quality of life.
The immediate response is called RICE; and don’t ever hesitate to call your doctor for evaluation.
- Ice (No heat)
- Compression (wrap it)
The incision will drain some, usually a pinkish-brown fluid as healing starts, if the fluid turns any other color, call your doctor. The incision will be pinkish-red as it heals. It should not be fiery red or hot to touch.
Most fractures heal in 6-8 weeks, but this varies tremendously from bone to bone and in each person – based on age, health, and other factors. Hand and wrist fractures often heal in 4-6 weeks whereas a tibia fracture may take 20 weeks or more.
Foot & Ankle
This is a common problem particularly with runners, although it can affect anyone. As in any bone or joint, a repeated tension can cause an overload producing inflammation. The most common place for pain is the heel, but it may also occur midsole or near the toes. Diagnosis and treatment require orthopaedic evaluation so please call us for an exam.
A twisted ankle is when you stretch your ankle ligaments past the normal point. Typically it feels better quickly without any medical intervention.
A sprained ankle is when you stretch or possibly tear the ankle ligaments. Ankles that are swollen, bruised and painful are most likely sprained. Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe pain.
If you hear a crack during your ankle injury, it is most likely broken. If your ankle looks crooked or deformed, feels numb, extremely painful or you cannot put any weight on it, it may be broken. We will confirm the break with an X-ray.
There are three kinds of arthritis that might affect the ankle – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Arthritis occurs when the lubricating fluid and cartilage in the ankle decreases, causing bones to grind against each other. This causes pain and inflammation.
Ankle Replacement is a surgery that replaces the damaged bone and cartilage in the ankle joint with an artificial ankle joint. Ankle replacement surgery offers both pain relief and mobility.
The rotator cuff can become damaged or inflamed (tendonitis) in many ways. Overuse causes an irritation of rotator cuff, pinching or impingement can cause painful symptoms, untreated severe tendonitis can cause a partial or complete tear.
There are a number of simple diagnostic tests we’ll do initially in the office. With an accurate medical history and exam, an x-ray or MRI may be necessary to assist in diagnosis. There are a number of conservative treatments which might include rest, cold and heat, medication, and in some instances specific physical therapy instruction which may assist in healing and strengthening.
That’s a question that requires an orthopedic surgeon. Most clavical fractures don’t require surgery and will heal while the arm is stabilized in a sling. However, when the bone is severely damaged, surgery may be required to realign the parts of the bone. This may require plates and screws to hold the bone in place. A sling will help keep the clavical immobile during healing.
Tommy John Surgery, more formally known as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, is used to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow. This surgery is
While surgery may be required for severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, many cases can be handled at home. Home care for carpal tunnel syndrome is straightforward and can often provide relief for mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Many sufferers find relief by wearing a wrist splint, which can be purchased at most drugstores. The purpose of the splint is to keep the wrist in a neutral position at rest. Splinting is usually tried for a period of four to six weeks. Some people wear their splints at night only and others wear their splints both day and night, depending upon when the symptoms are at their worst. If no relief is found at four to six weeks, the splints are not likely to help, and it’s time to call a doctor.
Hip & Knee
Ligaments supporting the knee are tough fibrous tissue joining the upper & lower bones. Injuries are quite common, but if torn ligaments may not fully heal without help. Please consult your orthopaedic specialist.
Depending on where it hurts gives us a lot of information about what is going on. The hip joint is located right behind the groin area, and most people with a worn joint will feel pain in the groin. Pain on the side of the hip may indicate bursitis or tendon inflammation. Pain near the buttock is most likely spine pain or nerve related. A check with our hip specialists will help you get the right relief treatment.
Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows doctors to view the knee joint without making a large incision (cut) through the skin and other soft tissues. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of knee problems.
- You cannot bear weight on your knee
- You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight
- Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks
- Your knee is deformed or misshapen
- You have a fever or swelling around the knee
- You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling in the calf below the sore knee
- You still have pain after three days of home treatment
Great question – and one that your surgeon must answer. For the right patient, robotic procedures offer real advantages in precision that are unmatched by the human hand. But all people might not be good candidates. That’s why your doctor’s experience is so important.