A category of sports medicine is ankle fracture surgery. A fracture is defined as a “complete or partial break in the bone”. The purpose of ankle fracture surgery is to get the ankle bone set and healed into the normal shape it was before the fracture.
Symptoms of a fractured ankle:
- Severe pain when moving or standing
- Unable to put any weight on injured ankle
- Ankle looks deformed or out of place
- Tender when it is touched
Signs of needing surgery to a fractured ankle: When the fractured ankle is in a bad or unstable position, causing symptoms of a fracture, surgery is needed to re-position the ankle back to the normal location. There are other instances where it is an open fracture, when the bone is sticking out of the skin, and it does require surgery to readjust the bone back to it’s normal position.
What is the procedure of ankle fracture surgery? An incision is made where the ankle is fractured, and the fractured parts are re-positioned back to its normal location. After it is re-positioned, a metal implant, or screw, is placed in the ankle to keep it in place. Once the metal implant is placed and the incision is closed, the ankle is placed in a splint to keep it straight while it heals.
What is the healing process after surgery? For a few weeks after surgery, the ankle will be in a splint and immobile while it heals. Once the wounds are healed, your doctor will fit either a boot or a cast to use and slowly make the ankle more mobile. When the ankle heals more, some weight can be put on the ankle while in the boot or mobile cast. It typically takes up to a year for the ankle to get back to feeling normal, and being able to use it while doing normal activities.
While the ankle is healing, it is best to take movement slow so that there is no over-straining or possible damage to the fixed ankle. It is very important to speak with your doctor to make sure the activities you are doing will not re-fracture or permanently damage the ankle while it is healing. Once the ankle is fully healed, normal activities can be done without the boot or cast. Some people may need physical therapy after surgery is done to be able to get back to normal activities. Any problems you experience after surgery is best to discuss with your doctor to help find the best healing plan for you.
There are many different types of knee replacements that are available with total knee replacement surgeries, but there are not as many as unique as the ConforMis knee.
What is it? The ConforMis is a type of knee replacement that is crafted specifically to your knee. A CT scan is done of the knee before surgery, and the replacement is crafted out of cobalt chromium molybdenum, a standard metal used in orthopedic implants, based on the imaging to make it more specific to you.
How is it any better from other knee replacements? With the ConforMis knee, it is specifically crafted to fit your knee. With other knee replacements, they are made in bulk as a “generic” knee. They don’t always fit correctly on the knee, whereas the ConforMis knee is crafted to fit the knee similar to the original knee.
The plus side of the ConforMis knee:
- Less bone is removed during surgery
- Less bleeding occurs after surgery
- Less pain after surgery
- Recovery time is faster
- Range of motion is better
- Kinematics of the knee closely resemble a normal knee more than other “generic” knees on the market
- High satisfaction rate with patients that have the ConforMis knee
- “Resurfaces” the original knee, as opposed to replacing it
The ConforMis knee is currently the only patient specific total knee replacement in the United States. Not everyone is able to get this type of total knee replacement, for instance, if the knee has severe deformities, severe bone loss, severe loss of motion, or severe ligamentous instability, the surgeon may recommend a more “generic” knee that they choose best to work with. It is important to discuss with your surgeon on what the best options are for you.
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When using our hands is a normal part of our everyday life, having carpal tunnel can hinder the use of them. Carpal tunnel is caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist, which gives feeling to your thumb and fingers, not including the pinky. This condition occurs when the median nerve is compressed or squeezed as it goes through the wrist.
Early diagnosis and treatment is very important with carpal tunnel, since in most patients it gets worse over time. In mild cases, wrist braces and avoiding certain activities can help the symptoms of carpal tunnel. In severe cases, surgery to take pressure off the median nerve is recommended.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel:
- Numbness, tingling, burning and pain in the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger.
- Pain or tingling that might travel up the forearm to the shoulder.
- Weakness or clumsiness in the hand, which may cause you to drop objects when picking them up or holding them.
- Shock-like feelings on occasion that radiates from the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger.
There are two different types of surgeries that can help with carpal tunnel, the main goal for both is to relieve the pressure off of the median nerve in the wrist:
- Open Carpal Tunnel Release: What happens in this surgery, is the surgeon makes a small incision in the palm of the hand, and views the inside of the hand and wrist through the incision. During the procedure, the surgeon with divide the carpal ligament in the wrist, and relieve pressure off of the median nerve. The ligament may in time grow back, but it will create more room for the median nerve and decrease the pressure on it.
- Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release: What happens in this surgery, is the surgeon makes one or two small skin incisions, or portals, and uses a small camera, or endoscope, to see the inside of the hand and wrist. During this procedure, the surgeon with use a special knife to go inside of the incision, and divide the carpal tunnel ligament in the wrist, which relieves pressure off of the median nerve. This is similar to the Open Carpal Tunnel Release surgery.
With either of the surgeries, you will be encouraged to raise and elevate the hands above the heart, and move the fingers to help reduce swelling and stiffness. You may have to wear a splint or brace for several weeks, while using the hands for light activities, and avoiding severe discomfort and pain in the hands and wrists. Some pain, stiffness, and swelling should be expected after surgery. Your doctor will advise you on when you can return to work, and what restrictions you may have for the following weeks/months.
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