While it’s an increasingly common condition, not many are familiar with what exactly carpal tunnel syndrome entails. Caused by pressure on the wrist’s median nerve, this condition most commonly affects people whose wrists and hands are subject to constant, repetitive motions – like carpenters, assembly line workers, and more. The median nerve runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand and controls sensations and movement in the thumb and first three fingers, the area most affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’re ready to learn more about this condition, keep reading to find out answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Top Patient Questions about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What are the symptoms? Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically include pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand or wrist, generally in the area where the median nerve runs. Patients also report increases in pain at night and with increased use of the hand, in addition to weakness in the affected area.
What causes it? While carpal tunnel syndrome is usually brought about by constant and repetitive motions of the wrist and hand, there are other factors that contribute to their onset. Some common causes include smoking, certain illnesses, pregnancy, and obesity.
How is this condition diagnosed? If you’re experiencing any symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a physical exam can help your doctor identify it. After learning more about your medical history, blood or nerve testing may be done to help reach a diagnosis.
What are the treatment options? Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome typically depends on the severity of the case. If symptoms are mild, it can usually be treated with home remedies, like ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and the use of a wrist splint. More serious cases may require surgery, so make sure to tell your doctor if your symptoms are becoming more severe.
Is it preventable? For those worried about their risk, there are some steps that can be taken to lower your risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking can all help to reduce your risk, and frequent breaks from wrist-heavy activity may prove effective. It can also be helpful to try and keep your wrists in a neutral position, and switch hands whenever possible.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Westwood, Hackensack and Montclair
For more information about carpal tunnel syndrome, contact us today and schedule a consultation. You can reach our Westwood office at (201) 358-0707 , Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277 and Montlcair at (973)680-7831. We look forward to hearing from you.
Our bones protect our vital organs, and are essential to our daily lives. While it is important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood, it is also important for adults to protect their bones, since bone strength decreases with age.
So, how can you care for your bones? Here are some top tips to help with lifelong bone health:
Stay active. Not only is exercise essential to a healthy lifestyle, but people who are physically active throughout their life have a much better chance for greater bone health. You don’t have to take up high-impact exercises to have healthy bones; activities such as jogging, tennis, or golf, are great activities to help keep you body (and by extension, your bones) healthy.
Maintain a diet rich in calcium. Calcium is a mineral which helps keep bones strong. If we do not have a sufficient amount of calcium in our diets, our bones can grow weaker leading to the bone disease osteoporosis, in which the bones become extremely fragile and thin. Osteoporosis can lead to bone fracture, joint damage, and more. Calcium can be obtained through foods like cheese, tofu, and kale, or through vitamin D supplements.
Avoid smoking . Smoking decreases bone mass, especially in older adults. Smoking also damages your blood vessels, as well as nerves in the feet. This can increase your risk for falls or bone fracture.
Avoid excessive alcohol. Like smoking, drinking alcohol in excess is unhealthy, not only for your body but for your bones! Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages each day interferes with the absorption of calcium in your body, which increases your risk for osteoporosis. If you do drink, remember: “Everything in moderation.”
Take medications. There is currently no cure for osteoporosis, though there are several effective medications currently on the market which can help treat and prevent the condition. Like with any medication, there are certain risks with osteoporosis medications. Speak to your doctor before taking any new medication to see what will be best for you.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Westwood and Hackensack
If you have any questions about bone health or how to treat it, contact us today to schedule a consultation. You can reach our Westwood office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to serving you!
Many people enjoy working out during the summer months, whether they are running, swimming, cycling, or participating in other outdoor events. The sun is out, it isn’t too cold, and all of the sweating is a good sign, right? However, the harsh summer heat can have damaging effects on your bodily health if you aren’t properly prepared.
No matter what activity you are participating in, you should always exercise extreme care in high temperatures and high humidity. You should always be aware of your body’s limitations, and never push yourself past your boundaries. Let’s take a look at some of the other methods you can use to stay safe while exercising in the heat.
Top 5 Ways to Exercise Safely in the Summer
Time of day. The best time of day to work out is the early morning, as the temperature will typically be hottest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The only time you should exercise in the heat of midday is if you are training for an event that takes place during that time.
The right clothes. Light colored clothing will reflect light, and cotton clothing will help in the evaporation of sweat. Buying special running clothing is also a great idea, as they are usually made to help keep you cool.
Check the weather. If the forecast includes a heat advisory, that means there are high levels of ozone and air pollution, which can cause damage to your lungs. On these days, it is better to work out indoors to avoid this issue.
Use sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, you should be applying sunscreen. The UV rays can cause a wide variety of sun damage and burns on your skin, leading to other health issues as well.
Stay hydrated. Drink one to two glasses of water before you leave to exercise, and continue drinking every 15 minutes while working out — even if you aren’t thirsty. At the end of the exercise session, drink a few more cups of water.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Westwood and Hackensack
If you have any questions about how to properly exercise or how to treat injuries caused by exercise, contact us today to schedule a consultation. You can reach our Westwood office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to serving you!
Did you know that the knee is the most commonly treated area for sport injuries? The knee is a complex area susceptible to many different kinds of damage, as most of us have seen in our daily lives and professional sports alike. Let’s take a look at some of the most common knee injuries seen in athletes.
Top 5 Common Knee Injuries
ACL Injury. Tears in the ACL can be caused by a rapid change in direction, landing from a jump, or slowing down after running. Athletes most susceptible to an ACL injury include basketball players, skiers, and any athletes who wear cleats for their sports.
Runner’s Knee. This is a more general term, also known as chondromalacia patellae, to describe a common knee injury among active runners. It causes knee pain that is exacerbated when the joint is bent, and which may be caused by repetitive stress on the knee.
MCL Injury. Damage to the MCL typically occurs with a hard hit to the outside of the knee. Athletes who have a high risk of an MCL injury are those who play contact sports like football and soccer.
PCL Injury. Injuries to the PCL occur with a direct hit to the front of the knee. They may also occur after an athlete makes a simple misstep while playing.
Torn Cartilage. Typically, torn cartilage refers to a torn meniscus, which is the cartilage attached to the knees ligaments that absorbs shock to the joint. Direct contact is often involved in tearing the meniscus, like getting tackled on the field. Other causes may include cutting, decelerating, pivoting, or twisting.
Treatment for these injuries varies depending on what was damaged, to what extent the damage goes, and many other factors. Individual treatment plans may include simple R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), physical therapy, surgery, or more. If you feel any pain, notice any swelling, begin limping, or experience any injuries at the joint, be sure to contact a board certified professional right away.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Westwood and Hackensack
If you have any questions regarding knee injuries or treatment, contact us today to schedule a consultation. You can reach our Westwood office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to hearing from you!
While running is a popular sporting activity that presents a number of important health benefits, it’s not without its risks. Many runners experience an injury at some point or another, due to overuse, improper technique, or another similar factor. So what are some of the most common running injuries?
Top 5 Running Injuries:
Runner’s knee. Chondromalacia patellae, known colloquially as runner’s knee, is a general term describing any damage or irritation to the cartilage under your kneecap. While the exact cause is currently unknown, it’s thought to be related to repetitive stress on the knee joint, or any trauma to the kneecaps. It’s typically associated with a dull pain in the knee, that can be aggravated when your leg is bent.
Achilles tendinitis. A common overuse injury, Achilles tendinitis is essentially an inflammation of the Achilles tendon – what connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It can cause pain in the back of your leg, and is commonly brought on by a sudden increase in the intensity of your physical activities.
Plantar fasciitis. Affecting over 2 million patients each year, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It occurs when there is too much pressure placed on the heel, damaging the plantar fascia – the ligament that connects the front of your foot to your heel.
Shin splints. A term used to describe medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints can cause runners to feel pain on the inner side of the shin, both during rest and exercise. It’s caused by excessive stress to the shins, and results in small tears in the muscles around the shin bone.
Stress fractures. Defined as tiny cracks in a bone, stress fractures occur due to repetitive force and are commonly seen in long-distance runners. Symptoms generally include swelling, pain, and tenderness in any affected areas.
Tips for Preventing Running Injuries
For runners who want to reduce their risk for injury, here a few easy tips you can follow.
Wear the right shoes. The right pair of running shoes can play a huge part in injury prevention. Make sure to select a pair with the contour of your feet in mind – and buy for comfort, not just looks.
Listen to your body. Many of the most common running injuries are caused by overuse. Don’t push through the pain – if your body is telling you to stop, continuing on will typically only worsen your condition.
Stretch. Warming up and stretching before a run is a crucial component in preventing injury, as it can loosen up the muscles that are most susceptible to damage.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Westwood and Hackensack
To learn more about common running injuries as well as their prevention and treatment, contact us today to schedule your consultation. You can reach our Westwood office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to serving you.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, is the only hormone in the body that increases with age. High cortisol levels are associated with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Stress reduction is key; and for those who need more help, an intergrative medicine physician can measure cortisol levels and help with management. – Dr. Lynn Corrigan
For more information please visit www.theactivecenter.com or call (201)487-4600 for a consultation.
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably heard the term “rotator cuff injury” before. A group of muscles and tendons that connect the shoulder blade to the upper arm, the rotator cuff is responsible for stabilizing the arm and giving it its full range of motion. Particularly important to swimmers, pitchers and tennis players, the rotator cuff is also susceptible to injury.
What Causes a Rotator Cuff Injury?
Rotator cuff injuries tend to fall into two categories: acute injuries and repetitive use injuries. Acute injuries can result from situations such as a hard fall or lifting something too heavy. Any repetitive movements – such as overhead throwing – can also put a strain on your shoulder and potentially lead to a rotator cuff injury. In older patients, a rotator cuff injury can be a result of normal wear and tear.
When it comes to warning signs of a rotator cuff tear, the first and most obvious symptom will be shoulder pain. This can range from a dull ache to severe pain, depending on the severity of the injury. Many patients also complain of shoulder weakness and a limited range of motion. While a shoulder injury can certainly be a discouraging experience – especially for athletes – it’s important to remember that rotator cuff tears are often treatable.
How Are Rotator Cuff Injuries Treated?
In some cases, a rotator cuff injury will heal on its own. If your doctor suspects this to be the case, he or she may simply recommend icing the injury, getting plenty of rest and taking over-the-counter medications. Physical therapy may also be recommended.
For more serious rotator cuff injuries, a patient may require surgery. Very often, rotator cuff surgery can be performed arthroscopically. A minimally-invasive surgical procedure, shoulder arthroscopy is performed through a series of small incisions. Using a fiber-optic device known as an arthroscope and tiny surgical instruments, a surgeon can reattach the tendon to the bone and remove any loose fragments from the shoulder. Compared with an open procedure, this approach tends to result in a speedier recovery, less scarring and less post-surgical pain. Adhering to a structured physical therapy regimen, many patients make a complete recovery.
Rotator Cuff Repair in Westwood and Hackensack
Think you may be suffering from a rotator cuff injury? Contact our orthopedic offices today. You can reach our Westwood location at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack location at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to serving you.
The knee is the most complicated joint in the human body, so it’s not surprising that it’s quite susceptible to injury. This is of particular concern to athletes, especially those who participate in contact sports. Let’s take a brief look at one of the most common knee injuries: meniscal tears.
Top 5 Patient Questions about Meniscal Tears
What is a meniscus? The meniscus is a crescent-shaped disk made of cartilage that cushions your knee. Each knee has two of them, one for the outer and the inner edge, and they also work to keep the knees steady.
How can they tear? Meniscal tears frequently occur during forceful twists of the knee, a common occurrence in sports. They’re often seen in older people as well, as the cartilage thins and wears over time, leaving them more prone to injury.
What are the symptoms? The symptoms are typically dependent on the severity of the tear. Those with a minor tear might experience some slight swelling or pain, which can go down on its own. The symptoms of a moderate tear might be stiffness in the knee, pain in the side or center of the knee, and swelling. If you’ve experienced a severe meniscal tear, you may have difficulty straightening your knee due to torn pieces of the meniscus moving into your joints. Your knee will likely feel wobbly, and can swell for a number of days.
What are the treatment options? Many doctors begin to treat meniscal tears by simply advising rest, ice, and occasionally over-the-counter medications. If the tear is large or too severe to heal on its own, your doctor may offer surgery as a solution.
What does the surgery involve? In partial meniscectomy and arthroscopic knee repair procedures, the torn section of the meniscus will be removed. In rare cases, your surgeon will be able to suture the edges of the meniscus, allowing them to heal without being removed. Other patients require a full meniscectomy, a procedure in which the entire meniscus is removed. If the need for surgery arises, your doctor will lay out your options and help you decide which treatment is best for you.
Meniscus Surgery in Westwood and Hackensack
If you think you might be suffering from a meniscal tear or just want more information, contact us today to schedule your appointment. You can reach our Westwood office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to hearing from you.
Orthopedic Surgeons Dr. Michael L. Gross, M.D., Dr. James C. Natalicchio, M.D., Dr. Oscar Vazquez, M.D., Dr. Steven Weinfeld, M.D., Dr. A. Ylenia Giuffrida, M.D.
and Dr. Richard D. Rhim, M.D., and Anti-Aging Specialist Robert Ortiz, serving Bergen County & Passaic County New Jersey, including Westwood, Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Fair Lawn, Oradell, Teaneck and the surrounding area.