Orthopedic Surgery | Sports Medicine | Westwood | Hackensack Orthopedic Services | Westwood | Hackensack Orthopedic Surgeons Westwood | Dr. Michael L. Gross MD | Dr. James C. Natalicchio MD | Dr. Steven Weinfeld MD | Hackensack Specialties Physical Therapy | Sports Rehabilitation | Westwood | Hackensack Patient Information Patient Information Orthopedic Care | Westwood | Hackensack The Active Center for Health & Wellness Active Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine - Westwood Office: 390 Old Hook Rd. | Westwood, NJ 07675 | Tel: 201.358.0707
   
 

Understanding Shoulder Arthroscopy

May 15th, 2015

Arthroscopy is a medical procedure used by orthopedic surgeons that helps with inspection and diagnosis of problems within joints. It can also be used in the treatment of injured joints. It is an endoscopic process and is minimally invasive, since the surgeon does not need to make any major incisions on the patient’s body for the procedure. Here is a little more information about shoulder arthroscopy and what the procedure is all about.

What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is an endoscopic procedure that is performed at the shoulder joint to diagnose problems and treat them accordingly. The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, though general anesthesia may be used for longer diagnostic or treatment purposes.

In the procedure, a small incision is made near the shoulder and a long tube with a tiny camera at the end is inserted inside the shoulder joint. The doctor views the images of the shoulder that the camera relays to diagnose problems with the joint and inspect the extent of damage. Shoulder arthroscopy is recommended if you do not respond to medication and exercise after a shoulder injury, or continue to experience inflammation, pain and other symptoms of shoulder injury or disease.

Shoulder arthroscopy is often used for certain kinds of endoscopic shoulder treatments as well.

  • Common treatments: The procedure is commonly used for bone spur removal, repair of torn or damaged ligaments and damaged rotator cuffs, correction of repeated shoulder dislocation, repair or removal of the labrum, and removal of inflamed tissues or cartilage.
  • Lesser known treatments: The procedure may sometimes be used to repair a fractured shoulder joint, in the release of squeezed nerves, and for excision of painful or troublesome cysts.

Being an endoscopic procedure, only a few small incisions are required to perform the entire procedure. It reduces recovery time and scarring as when compared to traditional open surgery.

Interested in Learning More About Shoulder Arthroscopy? Contact Active Orthopedics Today.

To learn more about shoulder arthroscopy, contact us today and 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 soon.

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Ten Ways to Avoid Treadmill Injuries

May 12th, 2015

It’s the dead of winter; so many if us who want to exercise are locked inside with a treadmill. Treadmills are an easy way to
maintain you cardiovascular fitness in the comfort of your own home or in the warmth of the gym. However, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, treadmills are the most common cause of injuries among all types of exercise equipment. Statistics show the injuries happen to people of all ages, at home and in gyms. Here are 10 common mistakes that can sideline you while you’re already limited by indoor restrictions.

1. Not Warming Up

This a common mistake many people make when doing any exercise, not just using the treadmill. While it is tempting to just hop on the treadmill and start running at your desired speed, your body needs to tune itself for your run. Cold muscles lack flexibility and blood flow, so it is important to warm them up before putting stress on them through exercise. A good warm-up may begin by performing static stretches and range of motion exercises and then walking slowly for five to 10 minutes. If you just start running, you risk injury to your muscles, tendons and joints. You also run the risk of cramping up, which can shorten your workout or lead to injuries.

2. Not Cooling Down

Cooling down is just as important as warming up. When using a treadmill, it is good practice to reduce your speed gradually toward the end of your run instead of just jumping off of the machine. Most treadmills will automatically cool you down by taking about two minutes to reduce speed as you reach the end of your program. Many treadmills also include a cool down program about five minutes long, to use at the end of your workout. Cooling down the muscles is an important part of injury prevention because muscles tighten quickly if activity suddenly stops.

To effectively cool down their muscles, exercisers should run or walk at a slower pace for the last 10% to 15% of their time on the treadmill. They should also stretch their hips, legs and lower back. This is to avoid cramping as well as feeling dizzy when you are done working out. If you run at maximum speed and immediately stop, your heart rate experiences a sudden drop. This results in dizziness, which can lead to injury. Cooling down properly will reduce your heart rate in an efficient manner.

3. Holding the Bars

While holding onto the handlebars may provide you with a certain measure of security, it is not a good idea. Primarily, holding the bars is reducing the efficiency of your run. Holding the bars makes it easier to run, so you aren’t getting the most out of your routine. More importantly, it is altering your running form. You are increasing your risk of neck and back injuries because you are leaning over. People think that holding onto the treadmill makes the machine safer. In fact, the opposite is true. By holding on, and aligning your body in an unnatural way, you increase the risk for longer-term injuries and pain, especially in the shoulders, knees, lower back and hips. Odds are you will be very sore when you step off the treadmill after you are done running. In addition, holding onto the machine makes the exercise easier and less intense. That means fewer calories burned. The treadmill may display one number for total calories burned, but the treadmill doesn’t know that you’re holding on. It’s estimated that holding onto the treadmill results in 20% to 25% fewer calories burned. If holding the bars gives you a feeling of security, decrease the speed, the incline or both. I like to remind patients the bars are there to help you get on and off the treadmill, not to use while you are moving.

4. Stepping Off the Treadmill While It’s Still Moving

This should fall under the category of common sense. Don’t spit into the wind and never step off of the treadmill while it is still moving. You may think this does not pose an issue, but you are taking an unnecessary risk. Many people decide to get off the treadmill while it is still in motion for a number of reasons. However, when you do so, you are cutting out your cooling down period. And, most importantly, you run the risk of slipping off or losing your balance. If you do that, you could wind up with a serious injury. Slow to a stop before getting off.

5. Improper Incline Use

Most treadmills allow you to adjust the incline. This can increase the efficiency of your run by making you move uphill. Most experts agree that a 1%-2% incline helps to make a treadmill workout more comparable to an outdoor work- out. However, some people use too steep of an incline when exercising. There are several potential problems involved with using a large incline. First, you run the risk of falling off the treadmill if the speed is too high. Second, you are putting dangerous pressure on your back and knees each time you increase the incline, which is not the goal of your run. You are better off using a modest incline and a slightly faster speed to get the most out of your run. If you do want to add hill work to your routine, I usually recommend not going above 5% and not going for more than five minutes at a time. You should avoid running at a steep incline for more than five minutes. You’ll get a much better, safer workout if you switch between running a couple of minutes with an incline and running a couple of minutes without an incline. You could even do shorter hill intervals, like 30 or 60 seconds, to mix things up. It will make your runs more interesting and prevent boredom.

6. Exceeding Optimal Heart Rate

Most treadmills come with tools to measure your heart rate. This is something you should take advantage of when running. To figure out your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Depending on the style of training you are doing, there are certain heart rate levels you should maintain while running. Even for the most intense training, you should keep your heart rate below 85% of the maximum. If you are exceeding that number, you are putting strain on your heart. Pushing the maximum heart rate won’t help you burn any more calories, and it’s certainly not good for your heart, so it is definitely not worth the risk.

7. Taking Bad Strides

Running on a treadmill has a different feel than running on the street or sidewalk. The belt makes many people nervous, and they compensate by taking shorter strides. This is not a good way to run. It increases your chances of stumbling, which could lead to major injuries. It’s common for people to feel nervous about falling off a treadmill, so they change their running form and don’t use the same running form as they use outside. You should be running on the treadmill in the same way you would run outdoors. Try to run with your natural gait; avoid taking short, choppy strides.

Another common form mistake is overstriding, or landing heel first with your foot well ahead of your body’s center of gravity. Since the treadmill’s belt is moving you forward, overstriding creates a braking force with the belt. To avoid this, try to keep your feet under your body, not ahead or behind it. When you first start using a treadmill, you should figure out a comfortable stride that is efficient. Then, do your best to maintain that stride every time you run. Using strides that are too big is equally dangerous. The key is to find the right balance.

8. Adopting Bad Posture

Anything that throws off your posture, whether it is hunching over to watch your feet or leaning to the left for a better view of the TV or your buddy on the next treadmill, is generally a bad idea. Your neck is pulled to the right or dropped forward and one part of the musculature is getting stretched while another is getting tightened. If your gym is equipped with TV screens, you’re better off in the back row so you don’t have to crane your neck to see the screen. Best is a treadmill equipped with its own screen.

9. Texting While Running

Gym-goers who exercise while constantly checking their iPhones, watching TV or reading the newspaper make trainers nervous. Distractions may help pass the time, but multi-tasking can be dangerous if it throws off your stride or hinders your balance.

Before you get on the treadmill, have everything you need with you. This includes water. You want to stay hydrated, and the last thing you want to do is cut your run off in the middle so that you can get water. Most treadmills have pockets where you can put things you might need. Also consider bringing a towel in case you sweat.

10. Not Knowing Your Limits

You want to push yourself while you run, but not to the point where you lose control. It is important to find a workout that serves you best. If you feel strained, you should stop running or transition to jogging. Not knowing your limits can lead to a series of aches, pains and injuries. Everything from tendonitis to sore feet can occur if you push yourself too hard.

Treadmills are great exercise tools, especially once the cold weather sets in. However, they are only useful if you can use them. Unnecessary injuries are not only frustrating, but will keep you from maintaining the fitness level for which you are training. Common sense and good exercise habits should help you to avoid the common pitfalls that come with running on a treadmill. Take some time to get used to your treadmill and your running habits. After that, you should be fine and might even get to love the treadmill.


Dr. Michael Gross, the founder and director of Active Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, is the section chief of sports medicine and the orthopedic director of the Center for Sports Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center as well as medical director of Active Center for Health and Wellness. He can be contacted at drgross@activeorthopedic.com.

Want To Learn More About Injury Prevention? Contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

To learn more about preventing muscle strain, contact us today and 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 soon.

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Everything You Need To Know About Muscle Strain

April 30th, 2015

Muscle strain is not something that only sports players need to worry about. Many patients end up pulling a muscle after the most harmless physical activity. In fact, you may be unaware that you have caused damage to your muscle and you may simply ignore the twinges of pain, only to have the problem escalate in a short while. Visiting your orthopedic doctor as soon as you have suffered a muscular strain allows you to treat the problem before it worsens. Whether it is a sports injury or joint disease that is causing your muscle strain, we can give you immediate relief from the pain and long term solutions for the condition at Active Orthopedic.

Signs Of Muscle Strain

When you are experiencing pain because of natural aging process or as a result of a recent injury, it is important to determine if  you are suffering from muscle strain. The common symptoms of muscular strain are:

  • Inflammation: The most visible and evident symptom of muscle strain is swelling in and around the area. The skin may be reddish in this area and bruising may also be present if the muscle strain is caused by an injury.
  • Continual pain: A sharp or dull, throbbing pain the area even when you are not doing any physical activity is often a sign of muscle strain that has occurred over a prolonged period.
  • Sharp pain when the muscle is in use: A clear indicator of muscle strain is that sharp pain arises whenever the damaged muscle is put to even the least amount of stress or when a joint that is related to the muscle being used.
  • Inability to flex the muscle: When the muscle is significantly strained, it may become impossible to move the joint associated with it or to use the muscle at all.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important for you to contact us at the earliest so that we can offer the right treatment to resolve the problem and prevent further damage to the muscle. We will carry out a thorough physical examination to determine the extent of damage and arrive at the most appropriate treatment method to bring immediate relief while resolving the problem most effectively.

Want To Learn More About Injury Prevention? Contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

To learn more about preventing muscle strain, contact us today and 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 soon.

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Running Injuries And How To Prevent them

April 14th, 2015

It is important to stay fit and exercise regularly. However, at times, exercising can become the cause of detriment to your health too. This often happens when you push yourself excessively, such as when you are running too hard and for too long without allowing your body to acclimatize itself to the stress. Running injuries are common in individuals who have recently started this form of exercise or who have ramped up their exercise regimen suddenly.

Preventing Running Injuries

Take a look at how you can prevent these common injuries with these simple tips:

  • Overuse of misaligned kneecap: If you have been experiencing severe pain in and around the knee region after using the stairs, if you squat for long or when you bend your knee for a prolonged period, you may have excessively strained your knee cap. This is a common problem in individuals who have a marginally misaligned kneecap. The overuse exacerbates the condition and adds to the stress and strain sustained  by your knees resulting in pain. Avoiding overuse is an effective solution.
  • Pain in the shin: If you are experiencing severe pain along the shin bone, it may be because you have not allowed your body to accustom to a new workout routine or an increase in the hours or extent that you workout. Taking a few days off from your exercise is important and so is adding some stretching exercises to your regimen.
  • Muscle pull: A very common condition that occurs with over use, muscle pull is indicated by the popping sensation you experience when you subject the muscle to strain. This is actually your muscle tearing because you have stretched it beyond limit. Complete rest, icing followed by compression and elevation of the joint is an effective remedy after consulting with your physician.

Want To Learn More About Running Injury Prevention? Contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

To learn more about preventing sports-related  injuries, contact us today and 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 soon.

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5 Ways To Prevent A Knee Injury

March 30th, 2015

Once someone has injured a knee, it can become prone to repeat injuries. These knee injuries are not only painful, but when multiple injuries happen in the same area, further damage can occur. However, there are ways to protect the knee. By learning how to prevent knee injuries, full mobility can be regained and life can continue as before, even if that means evening jogs or tennis matches.

Tips To Prevent Knee Injuries

  1. Keep knees strong. By doing regular exercises, the knee can build up strength to prevent further damage or injury. A strong knee strengthens the entire body and keeps movements easy and pain-free. When exercising the knee, especially after an injury, it’s always important to warm up before any physical activity. This loosens the joint and muscles and makes them more flexible during the work out.
  2. Wear supportive shoes. Anyone who has suffered from a knee injury should be sure to wear appropriate shoes with good arch support. Athletes should take special concern to always wear the right sporting shoes that fit well. For people prone to knee injuries, it’s important to replace shoes regularly, typically every 300 to 500 miles.
  3. Learn to move right. Many knee injuries occur due to not moving in the appropriate way. Knee straining activities, such as squatting and lifting, should be limited. Objects that are too heavy should also be avoided, as well as improper sporting moves and techniques.
  4. Wear a knee brace. Once a knee has been injured, it is more likely to be injured again. To prevent further damage, a knee brace can be worn. There are different styles of knee braces that help with different complications, and some work better with different body types. Talk to a doctor to see which braces are appropriate for which conditions.
  5. Let existing injuries heal. One common cause of subsequent knee injuries is that the knee was not completely healed before activities were resumed. Just because the knee no longer hurts or the swelling is reduced, it does not necessarily mean the knee is healed. Ligaments can take six to 10 weeks to completely recover, so be sure to allot the required amount of time for the knee to heal.

Want To Learn More About Injury Prevention? Contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

To learn more about preventing sports-related  injuries, contact us today and 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 soon.

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Tennis Injuries: What Every Player Should Know

March 19th, 2015

Sore wrists, elbows, shoulders, back and legs come with the territory for tennis players. So do scrapes and scars for aggressive athletes unafraid to give up their bodies to save serves and score points. Fortunately, the majority of tennis injuries can be avoided, and almost all can be treated effectively. Here is what to keep in mind to stay in the game.

How Most Tennis Players Get injured

The United States Tennis Association identifies the following as the most common types and causes of injuries among tennis players:

  • Muscle tears and ligament sprains due to overuse
  • Tendinitis (painful swelling) in the elbows and knees
  • Sprained and broken ankles from trips
  • Bruises, scrapes, cuts and fractures from falls and dives

Adult tennis players also face higher risks than non-players for hip, stomach muscle and wrist injuries.

Tips To Prevent Injury On The Tennis Court

Following three basic strategies can help prevent injuries while playing tennis.

  1. Strengthen the muscles in the hands, arms, upper back, core and legs. Do not neglect the development of any major or minor muscle groups.
  2. Progress slowly through the different strokes, tactics and surfaces. Do not overtax muscles and joints with long workouts and games, and concentrate on learning how to play a good grass, hardcourt or clay game before trying to master surface-specific techniques.
  3. Take time to complete a comprehensive, dynamic warm-up before playing a match. The stretching and exercise routine starts with swinging the arms in circles while not holding anything, proceeds through lunges and trunk twists, and concludes with hugging the body around the shoulders.

Know How To Treat Tennis Injuries

Most tennis injuries resolve with first aid and rest. Applying antibiotic cream to a skinned knee, wrapping a heat pad around a sore lower back and staying off the courts for a few days is usually enough.

The time to seek medical care comes when an injury is serious or when pain, decreased strength or limited range of motion lasts long after the game or practice. Diagnosing a tennis-related injury often requires extensive physical testing and medical imaging. Consulting with an experienced orthopedic surgeon can help to find an answer on what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix it.

Have You Suffered A Tennis Injury? Contact Dr. Michael Gross

If you have experienced a sports injury and need to be evaluated by an orthopedist, contact us today to schedule your appointment. You can reach our Emerson office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to hearing from you.

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ACL Injuries | Triggers and Treatments

February 27th, 2015

There are few sports injuries more debilitating than an ACL tear. And, with thousands of cases in the US each year, it’s also one of the most common sports-related conditions.  So, what exactly is the ACL?  The anterior cruciate ligament or “ACL” is one of the most important ligaments in the knee.  It’s responsible for stabilizing and minimizing stress on the joint. Varying in severity from a slightly stretched ligament to a complete tear, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains that, “Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments.” In essence, anyone whose sport is heavy on pivoting, cutting or sidestepping is at a higher risk for an ACL injury.

Of course, preventing an injury is always better than treating an injury.  And, while there is no surefire way to prevent an ACL tear, there are ways to reduce your risk.  Although there is no substitute for consulting with your physician or using good judgment, here are a few ACL injury prevention programs, borrowed from a report by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM):

  • Balance Training: This type of training uses exercise balls, wobble boards, and other devices to promote balance and improve kinesthetic awareness.
  • Plyometrics: Often referred to as explosive exercises, the AOSSM explains that “High-intensity plyometrics may be key in reducing the number of ACL injuries.”
  • Strength Training: Strength training exercises — especially involving jumping and landing – can improve stability and help ward off an ACL injury.

ACL Reconstruction

Of course, despite our best efforts, an ACL tear is sometimes inevitable.  When this happens, patients will often require an ACL reconstruction procedure.  Here’s a brief introduction.

ACL reconstruction is usually performed several weeks after the injury, once swelling and inflammation have been reduced. Since reattaching the torn ligament is not enough to repair the ACL, most patients require a tissue graft – either from the patient’s own body or using donor tissue.  In many cases, the entire procedure can be performed arthroscopically, whereby a camera and tiny surgical instruments are passed though small incisions in the knee.  This offers patients less scarring, shorter recovery times and an overall less invasive procedure.

Physical therapy begins soon after surgery and may continue for several months.   Assuming an active role in your own recovery, patients must commit to a long-term rehabilitation program. This is the best way to ensure effective pain relief and restored knee function.

ACL Surgery in Westwood and Hackensack

If you think you are suffering from an ACL or other sports-related  injury, contact us today and 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 soon.

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Most Common Ice Hockey Injuries

February 27th, 2015

Ice hockey is notorious for being a rough sport that is physically demanding. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the New Jersey Devils, in a recreational league, or simply playing for fun, hockey players often sustain many serious injuries. Here’s a look at the most common injuries ice hockey players face.

Concussion

  • A concussion can occur without the loss of consciousness.
  • After forceful contact with another player or the ice or rink where the head is involved, players may report “not feeling right,” or “feeling funny.” If this is associated with a headache, the player likely has a concussion.
  • If it is suspected that a player has sustained a concussion, they must be evaluated immediately and should not continue to play. Concussions cause brain swelling.

Back Injuries

  • While skating, players’ posture is often angled forward, which places strain on the lower back.
  • Proper strengthening and stretching of the hip and back muscles can avoid lower back pain or pulled muscles.

Shoulder Injuries

  • Most commonly, hockey players experience dislocated shoulders or broken collarbones.
  • In minor cases, rest, ice, and immobilization (use of a sling) can help the shoulder heal.
  • For serious shoulder injuries, arthroscopic surgery may be required to repair a torn rotator cuff.

Elbow Injuries

  • Bursitis, a condition that develops in the elbow as a result of overuse, is commonly seem in hockey players.
  • Wearing well-fitting elbow pads can help protect the joint and reduce the risk of recurring inflammation.

Wrist Injuries

  • A player that suffers a fall or jolt into the rink guards that pushes the wrist out of its normal range of motion could result in fracture.
  • Broken wrists often require hard casts in order to heal.
  • Hockey players should use their forearms to brace themselves, rather than their hands.

Hip Injuries

  • Ice skating is the main reason hockey players suffer hip injuries.
  • Most common hip injuries include groin strain, hip flexor strain, trochanteric bursitis, and hip pointer.

Knee Injuries

  • Knee injuries are common in almost all athletes, hockey players are most susceptible to to medical collateral ligament (MCL) tears because of the leg position when pushing off from or stopping while skating.
  • Hockey players often suffer anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, and meniscus (knee cap) disruption.

Have You Suffered a Hockey-related Sports Injury? Contact Dr. Michael Gross Today to get Back in the Game

If you suffered a sports injury and need to be evaluated by an orthopedist, contact us today to schedule your appointment. You can reach our Emerson office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277. We look forward to hearing from you.

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What is Hip Arthroscopy?

February 27th, 2015

While hip surgery is often associated with older patients, younger patients may also need hip surgery. One surgery commonly performed on younger patients is minimally-invasive Hip arthroscopy.

Hip arthroscopy repairs damage to the hip joint that is unresponsive to nonsurgical treatments.  This surgery uses a small camera (an arthroscope) so the doctor can see what needs to be done. Let’s take a look at the most common questions about Hip arthroscopy.

  1. When is hip arthroscopy necessary? If a patient is experiencing pain or inflammation from a hip injury or trauma that cannot be relieved with nonsurgical methods, such as medication, physical therapy or rest, surgery may be necessary.  Hip arthroscopy can relieve symptoms that are associated with hip joint infections, inflamed joint tissues, and loose joints.
  2. Who is a good candidate for this surgery? Generally, patients who undergo this procedure are younger adults in relatively good health. Prior to the surgery, your doctor will need to assess your overall health, in order to identify any problems, such as health conditions or medications, that may hinder the progress of the surgery. If a patient is generally healthy, the hip arthroscopy is performed as an outpatient procedure, and may require an overnight stay in the hospital.
  3. What will happen during the surgery? First, the patient’s leg is put into traction, which means the hip will be pulled away from the socket enough so the surgeon can see the entire joint. Once traction is applied, the surgeon will make a small puncture in the hip for the arthroscope was be inserted. Through the small camera, the doctor can identify the area targeted for surgery. During surgery, the doctor repairs torn cartilage, and remove any inflamed tissue around the hip joint. The surgery will usually take a few hours.
  4. Is there a long recovery period? Most patients only need to stay in the hospital for a few hours following the procedure, before returning home. Physical therapy may be required, though most patients make a complete recovery in a few months. Complications associated with the surgery are rare, though patients may need to make permanent lifestyle changes to avoid future injuries.

Orthopedic Surgeon in Westwood and Hackensack

If you have any questions about hip surgery, 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!

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How are Bunions Treated?

February 27th, 2015

Bunions are abnormal, painful bumps which form at the base of the big toe, where the toe attaches to the foot. Since bunions occur at a joint, the toe bends in when you walk. This means your entire body weight will rest upon that bunion every time you take a step!

While bunions occur for a number of reasons, they are  most commonly caused by wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Common symptoms of a bunion are thickened skin on the feet,  corns or calluses, or swelling on your feet.

Treatment for bunions will depend on how serious the condition is. Here are some common treatments (and preventative measures) for bunions:

  1. Change your shoes. Since wearing shoes that are too tight are usually the cause for bunions, wearing comfortable shoes is a preventative measure for bunions.  However, wearing more comfortable shoes can help ease any pain caused by a bunion. Early treatment for bunions, which includes wearing comfortable shoes, is considered highly-effective.
  2. Medications. For most patients, simply using an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve, will help ease the pain cause by bunions. Additionally, getting injections of Cortisone may help ease symptoms.
  3. Use  shoe inserts. Wearing padded shoe inserts can keep your bunion from becoming worse. The insert can also help ease the stress and pain put on your feet, and distribute your body weight more evenly.  Shoe inserts are available in many drug and grocery stores, though some other inserts may require a prescription.
  4. Surgery. When nonsurgical treatments are just not enough, surgery may be necessary. There are a number of surgical procedures used for bunions, although there is no one surgery that is best for every case. Most surgeries for bunions will include a “bunionectomy,” which involves removing swollen tissue from around the big toe. The procedure also helps straighten the big toe. However, surgery should only be used if your bunion pain interferes with your daily movements and activities.

Bunion Treatments in Westwood and Hackensack

If you have any questions about bunions or how to treat them, 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!

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