Signs You May Have a Pinched Nerve

pinched nerveNerves: What Are They?

You have two kinds of nerves in your body: motor nerves and sensory nerves. Motor nerves send signals from the brain to the rest of your body. Say, for instance, your brain wants to to change the channel with the remote. Your motor nerves are the telephone line that tells your arm to rise.

Sensory nerves, on the other hand, send information the other way from the body to the brain. They connect to our senses: seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and touching. Any time you see a rainbow while smelling freshly picked flowers and hearing your favorite song with the taste of your favorite food in your mouth and a warm breeze running across your skin, your sensory nerves are sending that information back to your brain.

What Is A “Pinched Nerve?”

When a minor injury or trauma compresses a nerve, rendering it unable to carry its signals, it is “pinched.” Even simple actions like lifting a heavy bag or twisting your back at a weird angle can result in a nerve compression. Typically, a persona with a pinched nerve only feels symptoms for a couple days maximum.

If the nerve compression doesn’t heal, the protective barrier that protects it can break down which allows fluid to build up. That build up can lead to swelling, pressure, and scarring that can permanently interfere with the nerve’s function.

Pinched Nerve Symptoms

Symptoms of a pinched nerve include localized pain near the compression. However, a person can also feel pain far removed from the point of pressure of a pinched nerve. Say you have a pinched nerve in the neck. You may feel pain in the neck, but the discomfort can also travel down the nerve’s path– for instance, down your arm, through your wrist, and even into your hand and fingers.

Because your nerves travel to all extremities of the body, you may feel symptoms of a pinched nerve.

Other signs you may have a pinched nerve include:

  • Radiating pain from the spine.
  • “Pins and needles” sensation in extremities.
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty performing normal movements (i.e. turning one’s head)

If your pinched nerve symptoms persist, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld.  With over 10 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Grossfeld has extensive knowledge surrounding musculature. If you are suffering from prolonged pinched nerve symptoms, contact Orthopaedic Specialists today at 502-212-2663.

5 Facts About the Elbow from an Elbow Specialist

elbow specialistUnless you are an elbow specialist or orthopedic surgeon, you probably rarely think about your elbows unless you’ve recently hit your “funny” bone. While our elbows may exist without much thought, they are complex joint systems that makes a multitude of daily activities possible. The elbow is a hinge joint system made up of three bones: the ulna, radius, and humerus. Thanks to these bones and a system of nerves, muscles, and tendons, we are able to bend and straighten our arms. This complex system that makes our elbows also allows us to twist our wrists and make a variety of other movements. 

Elbow injuries are common occurrences in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. More often than not, elbow injuries arise from overuse. Common elbow injuries that are of orthopedic concern include: Golfer’s elbow, Tennis elbow, and tears to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL). These injuries can all be prevented. However, a lot of people aren’t aware of prevention methods and other facts about the elbow that could help keep them out of an orthopedic surgeon’s office. To help others, we’ve outlined a collection of five facts about the elbow from Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, an orthopedic surgeon and elbow specialist, in Louisville, Kentucky.

5 Interesting Facts about the Elbow and Elbow Injuries from an Elbow Specialist

    1. Most athletes are familiar with the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) and its vulnerability.

      However, not all athletes are aware of the other vulnerable parts of the elbow including: the epicondyles which flare from the humerus and have muscles attached to them, as well as the olecranon which forms the pointed part of your elbow and the coronoid process. Athletes commonly tear their UCL, but fractures to the other projections in the elbow are more common among children. Osteoarthritis often affects these areas, as well, and can often result in a complete elbow replacement if the condition becomes detrimental enough.

    2. As previously stated, athletes and children are the most common parties to obtain elbow injuries.

      One of the leading causes of elbow injuries in children is an unsuspecting backyard toy – the trampoline. In fact, trampolines are the cause of so many broken elbows and wrists among children that the American Board of Pediatrics issued a warning against recreational trampoline use.

    3. The main muscles that control your elbow are your biceps and triceps.

      Your biceps are located on the front of your upper arm and bend your elbow while your triceps, on the back of your arm, straighten your elbow out. These muscles work together to give us the power to lift objects and perform other functions. However, there are 21 other muscles called flexor and extensor muscles that help control the elbow and provide it with stability as well as flexibility.

    4. Tennis elbow is one of the most common elbow injuries that orthopedic surgeons see.

      Despite the name, you don’t need to play tennis to get tennis elbow. The medical term for tennis elbow is “lateral epicondylitis. While tennis players are more prone to this injury, it can happen to anyone. Lateral epicondylitis is the degeneration of the tendons that are on the outer side of the elbow. Repetitive movements often cause lateral epicondylitis and an elbow specialist will  recommend seeking medical attention as soon as the pain starts.

    5. Orthopedic surgeons and elbow specialists have noticed a recent rise in cases of ulnar neuritis in the past 10 years.

      Ulnar neuritis occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes inflamed and results in numbness or tingling sensations in the hand. Cases of ulnar neuritis have skyrocketed since the rise in smartphone usage. Orthopedic surgeons recommend that if you are experiencing ulnar neuritis that you put down your phone and monitor your ergonomics.

The elbow is a fascinating part of the body that often gets overlooked until it’s injured.

Prevention is key to avoiding an elbow injury. By learning more about the elbow, its anatomy, and functionality, you can easily prevent injuries. However, not all injuries are preventable. If you do suffer an elbow injury, it is most likely going to be from overuse or blunt trauma. Early treatment when overuse injuries start to arise can help prevent permanent elbow damage. If you start to feel pain in your elbow, contact an orthopedic specialist or elbow specialist as soon as possible. Additionally, blunt trauma injuries should be examined immediately and a treatment plan should be established to avoid permanent damage.

If you are suffering from elbow pain or have recently injured one of your elbows, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld immediately. Dr. Grossfeld is a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a focus in sports medicine who routinely treats and repairs elbow injuries. Dr. Grossfeld can be reached at either of her two office locations in Louisville, Kentucky by calling 502-212-2663.

Common Types of Joint Pain During Pregnancy – An Overview

joint pain during pregnancyWhen you’re pregnant, you get to know your body in a way unlike any other. This happens as you experience a plethora of new sensations including some that are not all that pleasant. For instance: you may begin to feel soreness, stiffness, or even downright pain in your elbows, fingers, knees, hips, and other joints. Joint pain during pregnancy is actually fairly common among women. This is especially true for women experiencing first-time pregnancies. This stiffness and pain can make it difficult for a woman to get around comfortably in her day-to-day life.

Pregnancy Weight Gain and Joint Pain

You may think it’s your body simply reacting to weight gain and you are partially right. If this is your first time being pregnant, the extra pounds your baby adds can cause soreness especially in the knees and heels. But while weight gain may be a contributor to your pregnancy joint pain, it may not be the only reason for joint pain.

Hip & Pelvic Joint Pain During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant your body begins to release additional pregnancy-specific hormones. These hormones soften your hip and pelvic joints in order to prepare your body for delivery. These hormones also soften the ligaments in these areas, which makes it easier for them to overstretch which causes pain in the hips, groin, pubis, inner thighs, and lower back. This pain typically comes on around the second trimester. By the third trimester, the weight of the baby puts more of the pressure on the joints in the legs (see above).

Other Kinds of Expected Joint Pain During Pregnancy

  • Sacroiliac joint pain occurs in your lower back, around the spinal area. This pain limits movement and can affect ligaments and muscles in the back.
  • Pregnant women often develop carpal tunnel syndrome that causes joint pain in the fingers, hands, and lower forearm. The woman’s grip is weakened and the compression of nerves in the hand may cause tingling sensations.
  • Fluid collection in or around joints can cause joint pain during pregnancy.

Minor joint pain during pregnancy is normal and can be expected. However, if you are unable to walk, move, or stand for normal periods of time, you may be experiencing something more serious. If you are experiencing joint pain during pregnancy, or any other severe pain, contact your doctor.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and experiencing joint pain, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists in Louisville, KY. Dr. Grossfeld has over 15 years of medical experience and can help treat and relieve joint pain due to the changes your body goes through when pregnant. Contact the office today at 502-212-2663 to discuss your pain and schedule an appointment.

Determination, Devotion and Joy Define Louisville Elite Master Athlete and Triathlete Champion Della Irby

ironman Though Della enjoyed a successful career in banking, her true passion has long been as a competitive athlete. She started her athletic career as an avid runner. After successfully completing more than 25 marathons, she decided she was ready for a new kind of challenge so she decided to try a triathlon. A triathlon can be short, medium or long distance. A short distance is called a “sprint,” a medium distance is either a half Ironman or 70.3 mile distance and the long distance triathlon is an Ironman which is 140.6 mile distance.

Della completed her first sprint distance triathlon at Tom Sawyer Park in the late 90s. Following that experience, Della recalls watching the Ironman World Championship on television one day and saying to herself, “I want to do THAT!” … And this was the beginning of a journey that continues today.

This new challenge was significant on many levels. Della did not have any previous experience doing Ironman distance triathlons and she was not a particularly skilled swimmer.  There were a lot of obstacles she had to work through in order to land herself a place on the starting line of the Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii, which is likely the precise reason why Della found it so compelling. While most of us would see this sort of task at hand as too enormous to contemplate, Della has a completely different perspective. Instead of talking herself out of major obstacles and challenges, she gravitates towards them. For Della, it’s the bigger the challenge the better.

ironmanDella Keeps Her Eyes on the Prize: The Road to Kona

Della completed her first Ironman Triathlon at Ironman Florida in 2002. Reflecting back on it she explains… “Even though it was the slowest swim of my life, I came in 12th, and that was encouraging.” Soon she was looking for other triathlons to compete and working hard to fine-tune her swimming technique.

For years Della kept her focus, doing a variety of triathlons around the country, tirelessly practicing her swim technique, and improving along the way. And in 2007 in the Ironman Louisville she accomplished a major life goal – she qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii. Six weeks later, there she was, 45 years old and achieving a dream. And after that initial year, she’s qualified every year for Hawaii until 2015 when she was sidelined by a sports injury.

Pushing through Sports Injuries as Part of Life

When you push your body as much as Della you’re going to suffer a few injuries along the way. Talking about her various sports injuries, Della chuckles: “You name it, I’ve had it! I’ve put a lot of miles on this body.”

Here are just a few of the physical hurdles Della has dealt with and overcome. She’s undergone hamstring reattachment surgery, various knee injuries, back problems and a broken foot, just to name a few.

Talking about her approach to injury, Della explains: “In order to be 55 years old and still competing as much and as hard as I am, you’ve got to have a good orthopedic doctor in your back pocket. Someone you can really trust. And I do. For me, that person is Dr. Stacie Grossfeld.”

Dr. Grossfeld is one of Della’s favorite doctors, in large part because of the care she puts into treating elite athletes. Della explains: “Stacie goes the extra mile for athletes. She really ‘gets’ me. She understands my passion and she works with me. For example, this year the Tuesday before the Louisville Ironman, I needed an injection in my knee. I had an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld and that made all the difference.”

ironmanTriathlon Training at an Elite Level: The Physical

Della maintains a rigorous fitness schedule that involves a combination of biking, running and swimming throughout the week. When Della talks about her training routine, her face lights up with joy.

Though Della obviously loves a good race, she explains that she enjoys training even more than competing.  That might be in part because it is something that she frequently shares with her husband. Not only does he attend all of her competitions, but they also ride bikes together and he often accompanies her on her longer training bike rides on the weekends.

Della works closely with Coach Kevin Purcell to create a schedule designed to keep her in great shape while also helping to avoid injury. She explains, “My coach helps me listen to my body more closely. He helps me avoid overtraining. He really understands master female athletes.”

Similarly, Della also spends time working as a coach for aspiring triathletes. Not only does she offer more than 25 years of endurance racing experience, but she’s also an IRONMAN Certified Coach, USA Triathlon certified coach and US Cycling certified coach. She’s coached people at every skill level from beginners to seasoned pros.

The Mental Edge: Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Being ready for a triathlon involves a lot of things. It involves plenty of time training in each event (swimming, running and biking) and it involves good nutrition and hydration. It also requires mental toughness, which, according to Della, is something you can’t really teach. Della explains, “At the end of the day, you have to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable. You really have to get used to that.”

Della explains though that this discomfort is not the same thing as injury. There is a difference between being injured and hurting because you are pushing yourself outside your normal comfort zone. This is where the mental toughness really comes in, and Della is a true master of it.

Della explains: “When I line up on the starting line, I know that sometimes I am competing with athletes that are better than me on paper (not fitter but faster) but in a long event like an Ironman, I can often beat them. This is because I have the mental psychology to do it.”

Della explains that sometimes successfully completing an Ironman triathlon is not about who is going to slow down because everyone is. It is about who is going to slow down the least. In an event as long and as grueling as the Ironman distance triathlon (140.6 miles)… a lot of people start to give up and some even quit.

And this is where Della is different.

She has an unusual tenacity and grit that spurs her to carry on, no matter what.She explains, “Every time I compete I know I’m going to really push my body, and I know it is going to hurt. But I’m not going to die from that.” Weeks before a race, Della explains that she does a lot of personal affirmations or “self-talk” where she admits to herself outwardly that she knows she will hurt in the upcoming race, that she knows it is going to be painful and difficult, but that she’ll be OK. She’ll pull through and finish the race.

In all the competitions that Della has entered, she has only dropped out of one. That is because she actually passed out. It was in 2003 in Wisconsin in 97 degree weather. Della was so disappointed not to have finished the race that the next day she signed up to do it the following year. Laughing, she says, “I was going to conquer that race. It wasn’t going to conquer me.”

ironmanLooking Ahead to What’s Next – “I can; I will!”

Goal setting is a major part of Della’s strategy. For example, this year as she turned 55 she set two big goals: qualify for the Boston Marathon and qualify for the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii. She achieved both goals, competing in many other races in between including the Gulf Cost and the Louisville Ironman.

As she looks ahead, she anticipates spending a little less time competing in the Ironman distance, but she’ll still race in the half Ironman distance and local races. She also looks forward to more time focused on her two adorable grandchildren. Talking about her preschool age grandson, Della’s face breaks out into a huge smile: “He brings out the very best in me” she explains.

Della also plans to continue doing more with her work coaching triathletes and working with local organizations like the YMCA (she has previously served on the Board of Directors for the organization).

Regardless of what she decides to do next, one thing’s for sure. If Della puts her mind to it, we know she’ll accomplish it.

Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC Wins Louisville Business of the Year 2017 from Business First

Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC receives Business of the Year Award

Over 300 attendees filled the Seelbach ballroom in downtown Louisville to recognize the achievements of 19 Louisville-area businesses and organizations. Businesses and organizations of varying sizes and across industries were recognized in six different categories: Very Large, Large, Medium, Small, Emerging, Non-Profit. Louisville orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine doctor, and business owner Dr. Stacie Grossfeld was in attendance to accept the Louisville 2017 Business of the Year Award for the “Small Business” category on behalf of Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC.
This Business First program has been recognizing Louisville-area businesses since 2005, identifying top companies that demonstrate growth, innovation and excellent leadership. 
Business of the Year 2017 Award to Orthopaedic Specialists PLLCIn receiving the award, Dr. Grossfeld recognized all of the contributions various members of the Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC team contribute each and every day which made an award like this possible.

This year’s event sponsors included: Stites & Harbison PLLC; Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co.; WHAS-TV, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller and Nanz & Kraft Florists.

Along with business awards, the Excellence in Leadership award was given to Gill Holland for the work he is currently doing to redevelop Louisville’s Portland neighborhood.

Louisville Business First is part of American City Business Journals (www.acbj.com) and is led by Market President and Publisher Gary Tyler.

 

 

 

Safety Risks that Often Result in Pediatric Amputations

1 out of every 200 people in the United Statespediatric amputations has an amputation. Most of them are caused by complications of the vascular system, especially in patients who suffer from diabetes. However, traumatic amputations are another factor and are much more common in children. Between 1990 and 2002, most of the traumatic limb pediatric amputations “occurred around 1 year of age with a steady decline seen up to 7 years of age.” A 1996 retrospective study observed 74 patients under 18 admitted into emergency rooms with a traumatic amputation injury and found there were three major safety risks that lead to these cases.

3 Main Causes of Pediatric Amputations Among Children

1. Power Lawn Mowers

Accidents involving power lawn mowers are the most common cause of pediatric amputation. In 2007 over 16,000 children were admitted into the ER because of a lawnmower accident. A 2006 study found that 5% of pediatric mower injuries resulted in amputations.

Help protect your children by following these safety procedures when using a power mower:

  • Only allow children 12 and older operate any lawn mower, 16 and older if it’s a riding mower.
  • Never carry a child as a passenger on your riding mower.
  • Invest in a mower that stops moving if the operator releases the handle.
  • Never let a child adjust the blade settings.
  • Always wait for the blades to completely stop before performing maintenance on the machine.

2. Motor Vehicle Crashes

Auto accidents aren’t always preventable, but there are certain safety measures all parents should take to protect their children.

  • Kids under 13 should not sit in the front seat.
  • Use appropriate seats and restraints for your child’s size.
  • Follow all directions when installing restraints.
  • Pick a car with high safety ratings.
  • Never leave your child or children in a car unattended.

3. Gunshot Wounds

Gunshot wounds result in the longest mean length hospital stays for pediatric amputations. If you are one out of three American households with a gun, talk to your kids about safety measures. Teach them to never touch a gun and if they see one, to leave the area right away and get an adult. Keep your guns unloaded, out of reach, and locked where your children cannot access them.

Children are at a higher risk for injury in general because of their inexperience and energy; however, there are plenty of ways to prevent your child from severely hurting themselves. The precautions mentioned above are a great place to start in injury prevention. If your child is severely injured and may be in need of an amputation, contact your local orthopedic surgeon immediately.

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has over 10 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon including pediatric orthopedics. If you would like more information on pediatric amputations and recovery, contact Orthopaedic Specialists today at 502-212-2663.

The ABCs of Orthopedics: Part 2

orthopedicsLast week, Orthopaedic Specialists published an article entitled “The ABCs of Orthopedics: Part 1” that listed common terms related to orthopedics. We covered letter A – M and are back this week to complete the list in Part 2.

We hope that by defining 26 common terms used in the study of orthopedics, we will help patients become familiar with verbiage and more relaxed. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld strives to have a relaxed and comfortable office environment at both of her Louisville, KY locations. Familiarity with terms used by office staff can often remove the edge of nerves induced by an office visit. So, without further ado, we present the second installment of the ABCs of Orthopedics as defined by Dr. Stacie Grossfeld.

The ABCs of Orthopedics: Part 2 (N-Z)

N is for Neuropathic Arthritis

More commonly known as “Charcot foot”, neuropathic arthritis is the degeneration of a weight bearing joint. Neuropathic arthritis often results in a bony obstruction and deformity. There are many reasons that one can develop neuropathic arthritis including: diabetes, leprosy, syphilis, a spinal cord injury, or peroneal muscular atrophy. Despite all the causes, diabetes is the leading cause in America and the foot is the most commonly affected part of the body.

O is for Osteoporosis

Bone health is extremely important for orthopedic surgeons and their patients, but unless you’ve recently suffered a bone injury then it’s safe to say you don’t really think about your bones. However, osteoporosis – the degradation of bones – affects over 50 million Americans with one in two being women and one in four being men.

P is for Pediatric Orthopedic Injuries

Unfortunately, pediatric orthopedic injuries are common and most often include: wrist sprains, femur fractures, trampoline injuries, winter sports injuries, and broken clavicles. While pediatric orthopedic injuries are scary for parents and children alike, they are easily treatable and often heal without any issues arising.

Q is for Quadricep Tendon Ruptures

Quadricep tendon ruptures are classified as a sport injury and most often occur in football players. Interesting studies done by the AJSM looked specifically at injuries in the NFL and specifically reviewed quadricep tendon ruptures. Both studies found that men who used steroids were much more likely to rupture their quadricep tendons. Diabetes, renal failure, RA, and infections could also predispose players to ruptures.

R is for Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is a part of your shoulder that allows you to move your arm in a full circular motion without pain. However, often due to injury or overuse, it is crucial that the rotator cuff undergo repair. Rotator cuff repair is a common surgery performed by orthopedic specialists like Dr. Stacie Grossfeld and she specializes in rotator cuff repair performed arthroscopically.

S is for SLAP Tear

A SLAP tear is a term for a common shoulder injury that refers to a tear or rip in the labrum. The labrum is the tissue that surrounds and protects your shoulder socket and when it is torn, it is referred to as a SLAP tear which stands for Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior. SLAP tears are common injuries among people who often lift heavy things or exercise a lot of repetitive overhead movements. However, SLAP tears can also occur when a person falls on their shoulder or when someone braces themselves during a car crash.

T is for Tendinitis

Tendinitis occurs when the tissue that connects bone to muscle inflames and affects the area in which it has swelled. There are different types of tendinitis that focus on different areas of the body. Most often they are named after the sport that is most commonly the cause of the inflammation. Examples include “tennis elbow” and “golfer’s elbow”; however, tendinitis can affect other areas of the body including the knees, shoulders, calves, and wrists.

U is for Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury

An ulnar collateral ligament injury is similar to an ACL injury. However, UCLs affect elbows and are an injury that commonly affects the throwing athlete. Repetitive forces to the elbow from throwing tend to place abnormal stress on the joint and predispose athletes to acute injuries. However, like a torn ACL, a torn UCL can be fixed through reconstructive surgery.

V is for Voluntary Muscle

A voluntary muscle is a muscle that can be controlled by will and is attached to the skeleton. You can often identify a voluntary muscle because it is one that can be worked out through strength training exercises. Voluntary muscles include: quadriceps, biceps, pectorals, etc. In contrast to voluntary muscles, your body is also made of involuntary muscles that do not need to be controlled, but instead simply work on their own accord. A perfect example of a involuntary muscle is the heart which is often thought of as an organ, but is in fact a muscle.

W is for Weight Loss

Body weight affects health much more than most people are aware of. Being overweight, or obese, can have negative effects on your bones, muscles, joints, and organs. Weight loss is a great way to maintain your health. Often, for someone who is in need of a total knee replacement or other repair, weight loss is required to become an eligible surgical candidate. At Orthopaedic Specialists, we want our clients to live the best and healthiest lives they can which often starts with weight loss and exercise.

X is for Lower Extremity Avulsion Fractures

Lower extremity avulsion fractures are common injuries in pediatric and adolescent patients. This is because youths have growth plates that are still open and connected to tendons. When a traumatic event happens to areas of the body, often the plate suffers an avulsion fracture.

Y is for Youth Sport Specialization

What is considered as sport specialization? According to Dr. Brian Feeley, youth sport specialization is year-round, intensive training in a single sport. However, Dr. Feeley is also concerned that youth sport specialization at a young age increases the rates and risk of overuse injury and burnouts mentally. This can be especially true for youth athletes who start specializing in a single sport at a young age with a large group of peers. Some sports that fall into this category and should be monitored for overuse injuries include: cheerleading, gymnastics, football, and baseball.

Z is for Zika Virus

The Zika virus gained attention after the media started covering it after it started spreading at a fast rate. However, the Zika virus has been a concern since the 1950s in Central and South America. Due to the seriousness of the virus, it is important people are aware of symptoms. Symptoms include: headaches, rash, fever, joint and muscle pain. Conjunctivitis is also a main symptom of the Zika virus that can be a telltale sign if one is confused on what their symptoms mean. While there are no vaccinations against the virus, acetaminophen will help manage the pain until it passes. Once a person is infected with the virus, they are protected against future infections.

At Orthopaedic Specialists, we strive in making our patients and office visitors as comfortable as possible. We know that the medical field can be overwhelming and confusing. This is why we work so hard to achieve transparency between our office staff and patients. We hope these two installations of the ABCs of Orthopedics help to alleviate some confusion. 

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists in Louisville, KY has over 20 years of medical experience. If you are suffering from bone, joint, or muscle pain or have experienced a sports-related injury, contact her today. You can contact Orthopaedic Specialists by calling 502-212-2663 or filling out a contact form.

The ABCs of Orthopedics: Part 1

orthopedicsOrthopedics is often thought of a branch of medicine, but it is in fact a branch of surgery. Orthopedic surgeons, like Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, treat musculoskeletal trauma and other bone and joint health problems using both surgical and nonsurgical means. Often, orthopedic surgeons have a specialty focus whether it be spinal diseases, congenital disorders, or sports injuries. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld of Orthopaedic Specialists in Louisville, KY is an orthopedic surgeon with an American Board of Orthopedic Surgery Certification in sports medicine.  

However, regardless of an orthopedic surgeon’s approach or specialty, there is terminology that is important to every doctor studying orthopedics. This terminology is also important to patients who are undergoing orthopedic surgery or rehabilitation. The more familiar a patient is with terminology, the more comfortable they will be during their procedure. To familiarize patients of Dr.Stacie Grossfeld with orthopedic terminology, we’ve created our own version of the ABCs of Orthopedics below.

Important Terms in Orthopedics: Part 1 (A-M)

A is for Anterior Cruciate Ligament

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is more commonly known as the ACL. The ACL is a ligament that runs on the inside of the knee joint and supports the shin. Together with the knee and shin, the ACL prevents the tibia from sliding in front of the thigh bone. ACL injuries are one of the most common sports injuries that affect athletes who participate in high school and college sports.

B is for Bone Mineral Density

Bone mineral density is a test done using an X-ray to measure the density and strength of your bones. Orthopedic doctors use bone mineral density tests to diagnose the strength of a patient’s bones. BMDTs can also measure the rate of bone loss and the likelihood of a patient developing osteoporosis.

C is for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a brain condition that is a result of repetitive trauma to the head and brain. No testing is available to diagnose CTE, but it is often detected post mortem during an autopsy by an increased amount of TAU protein and widespread neurofibrillary tangles. CTE can cause neuropathic changes and development of neuropsychiatric conditions, changes in behavior, and cognitive deficits.

D is for Distal Bicep Tendon Rupture

A distal bicep tendon rupture most often occurs in men between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. This injury is usually a result of a sudden flexion of the elbow. This can occur when someone is lifting an object that is heavier than realized. Most often, a pop is heard at the moment of injury followed by swelling and discoloration in the area affected. There are three tests that can determine if you have suffered a Distal Bicep Tendon Rupture without the need of an MRI.

E is for External Iliac Artery Endofibrosis

External Iliac Artery Endofibrosis is often called the “arterial disease of cyclists”. This is because EIAE results from putting pressure on the external iliac which is part of the artery that is found in the hip area and splits to run down the legs. Cyclists often put pressure on that artery when bending forward while cycling. Overtime, the artery becomes irritated and hardens resulting in the endofibrosis.

F is for Femoroacetabular Impingement

The term Femoroacetabular Impingement is used to describe a pre-existing medical condition in which a person’s hip bones are not shaped as they should be. Because the hip bones are misshapen, they fit together incorrectly and rub which in turn damages the hip joint and often requires hip replacement surgery.

G is for Golfer’s Elbow

Medial Epicondylitis, more commonly known as Golfer’s Elbow, is an elbow injury that is a result of overuse and chronic inflammation of the medial collateral ligament. While swelling does not normally occur, people who are suffering from Golfer’s Elbow typically experience pain on the inside of the elbow.

H is for Hemiarthroplasty

Hemiarthroplasty refers to a surgical procedure in which one half of a joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic. The hemiarthroplasty procedure is most commonly opted for in the case of a fractured hip which commonly occurs in the elderly population or a fractured shoulder which is a more common injury among younger patients, especially athletes.

I is for Injury Prevention

‘I’ is for injury prevention because strengthening muscles, bones, and ligaments is an important step towards a healthy lifestyle. It is understandable that injuries occur, but by adopting a health diet, safe warm-up and cool-down routine, and habit of wearing proper safety gear when playing a sport, you are much more likely to prevent an injury and continue to strengthen your health and wellness.

J is for Joint Pain

Joint pain is one of the most common reasons that people visit an orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Stacie Grossfeld. Joint pain can be a telltale sign of a larger problem be it: joint pain during pregnancy, early signs of osteoarthritis, or even Lyme disease. If you are experiencing pain in your knees, elbows, shoulders, or neck, visit an orthopedic specialist. A medical professional can help you get answers as well as pain relief.

K is for Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a common surgical procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons day after day. The medical term for a knee replacement surgery is a total knee arthroplasty. The occurrence of these surgeries has increased by 160% in the last 20 years. This is due in part to increased levels of athleticism among U.S. citizen. It is also due to higher numbers of obese citizens. If you are in need of knee replacement surgery, it is important you know what to do prior to surgery, what to expect, and how to recover.

L is for Labral Hip Injury

A labral hip injury is a tear in the ring of cartilage that lines the socket portion of a hip joint. Most common in rowers, golfers, ballet dancers, and hockey players, labral hip injuries are another overuse injury (similar to Golfer’s Elbow) that occur in athletes. One of the most telltale signs of a labral hip injury is consistent pain in the hip area after exercise. However, research is starting to suggest that labral hip injuries may be a side effect of a pre-existing condition like Femoroacetabular Impingement which was discussed earlier in this article.

M is for Meniscal Tear

A meniscal tear is similar to osteoarthritis in that it is also a knee injury. However, it differs in almost every other aspect including: pain, location of the injury, treatment, and recovery. If you are suffering from a meniscal tear, you will feel a sharp, sudden pain that may result in a popping or clicking sound when the knee bends and swelling to the area. The treatment plan for a meniscal tear requires surgery whereas osteoarthritis can be treated with medications.

We’ve come to the end of Part 1 of the ABCs of Orthopedics. Stay tuned for Part 2 which will be published in the next week. If you have further questions about these terms and what they mean, contact Orthopaedic Specialists today!

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has over 20 years experience in the field of orthopedics. She specializes in both orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. If you are suffering from joint pain, muscle weakness, or a sports injury – contact her today by calling 502-212-2663 or filling out a contact form.

What is Sarcopenia, What Causes It, and How Can You Maintain Muscle Mass As You Age?

Every person gains muscle mass and strength from birth until middle age. However, after the age of 30, your muscles start to weaken and lose functionality. The cause of this muscle loss is age-related and while it can be treated, it cannot be prevented. Sarcopenia is when the loss of muscle mass becomes so severe that it results in a person becoming disabled. Physically inactive people are more susceptible to severe cases of sarcopenia than those who workout regularly. People who are physically inactive can lose anywhere from 3% to 5% of their muscle mass every 10 years after the age of 30. Those who are active regularly will still see muscle loss, but it will be at a much lower rate.

Muscle loss occurs naturally and in all humans, eventually. The medical issue arises when the sarcopenia severely affects the person in question. For some, sarcopenia starts to seriously affect musculature as early as 65-years-old and for others, it doesn’t set in until 80. The complex process of muscle degeneration has stumped scientists and doctors for years. It is still unknown why sarcopenia can affect sedentary and active people with the same severity. Scientists have found some factors that play a key role in the development of sarcopenia as aging occurs, including: a change in hormone levels, dying motor neurons, and altered requirements around protein. All of these factors, plus the fact that as people age they become more sedentary naturally, play a role.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to maintain muscle mass while you age. As stated earlier, loss of muscle mass starts in middle age, but it is not severe enough that it causes any sort of disability-related issues. This is the best time to start working on maintaining muscle mass. How? Below we’ve collected a list of ways to help maintain muscle mass and prevent sarcopenia from setting in early.

5 Ways to Maintain Muscle Mass While Aging & Avoid Sarcopeniasarcopenia

1. Establish An Exercise Routine

As you age, the worst thing that you can do to stave off sarcopenia is adapt to your sedentary lifestyle and remain inactive. Exercise is the best way to intervene with muscle loss and prevent it from escalating at a fast rate. When establishing an exercise routine, it is important to focus on resistance exercise. Resistance exercises use weights and reps to improve strength in muscles and decrease frailty. If you can get into the gym or find time to exercise at home at least 3 days a week then your chances of losing muscles and developing sarcopenia will become much lower.

2. Increase Your Protein Intake

It is extremely important that as you age, you increase the amount of protein you consume. Protein is a food that is directly relating to repairing muscle fibers and building more muscle. In a study that was recently completed, it showed that over 10% of men and almost 25% of women over the age of 70 years old do not get the recommended amount of protein in their daily diet. By increasing your protein intake, you’re setting your body up to maintain musculature. There is a simple formula that can be used to determine the amount of protein you should be incorporating into your day-to-day diet. First take your weight and multiply by .45 to determine your body weight in kilograms. Then multiply that number by 1.2 to determine how many grams of protein you should be eating every day.

3. Balance Hormone Levels

Ensuring that your hormone levels are balanced is another important factor in maintaining muscle mass. This is especially true for women who are post-menopausal. Deficiencies in hormones among men and women have been directly linked to sarcopenia. There are many ways to monitor your hormone levels and plenty of ways – medically and naturally – to balance or supplement your hormones. Hormone maintenance starts with blood work that is done by your doctor to establish the existing levels within your body. You’ll then develop a plan on increasing or decreasing hormones until you reach a healthy balance that promotes muscle maintenance.

4. Introduce Vitamin D Into Your Diet

Multiple medical studies have shown that lower muscle strength is directly associated to low levels of vitamin D in a person’s blood. Lower levels of vitamin D result in instability and frequent falls in older adults. No matter race, ethnicity, or sex – low levels of vitamin D is the most common nutritional deficiency among the elderly and low levels have been associated with sarcopenia. By supplementing vitamin D into your diet, you can improve the function and mass of muscles and prevent sarcopenia.

5. Decrease Pro-Inflammatory Foods & Increase Anti-Inflammatory Foods

It is important for overall health to cut back on the pro-inflammatory foods you consume daily. The two biggest substances that you want to avoid if cutting pro-inflammatory foods out of your diet are high fructose corn syrup and trans fat. Processed foods are also guilty of containing omega-6 fatty acids and other substances, such as refined sugar and carbohydrates, that create inflammation. By decreasing pro-inflammatory substances in your diet and increasing anti-inflammatory foods, you’ll improve any onset sarcopenia and your overall health. It is recommended to adopt a Mediterranean diet if you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits. You can learn more about what foods and substances make up a Mediterranean diet here.

Muscle loss occurs naturally as we age, but that does not mean that we cannot maintain muscle mass to fight off sarcopenia. These five suggestions above are a great place to start working on maintaining muscle mass. If you are interested in getting more information about exercising and dieting to improve your overall health, visit the health section of the Orthopaedic Specialist website.

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has over 10 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon with a focus on sports medicine. Healthy muscle mass is crucial for athletes and adults, alike, and Dr. Grossfeld has extensive knowledge surrounding musculature and healthy ways to maintain muscle mass as we age. If you are suffering from limited mobility and strength due to a loss of muscle mass, contact Orthopaedic Specialists today at 502-212-2663.

Growing Pains: What They Are and How To Get Help from a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Growing Pains and Your Child

Mystery pains are no fun… but if your child is between the ages of 5 and 12, their intermittent pain may not be such a mystery after all. Growing pains are the benign aches children get throughout their limbs at this time of their lives. About 35% of children experience them at some time of their life and they are the most common type of limb pain in juveniles.

Growing Pains Myths growing pains pediatric orthopedic surgeon

Despite the name, modern medicine has discovered that these aches and pains are not actually associated with your child’s growing body. The term “growing pains” comes from the 1930s and 40s when people hypothesized that the pain was due to an accelerated growth of the bones that couldn’t keep up with tendon grown. In fact, there is no evidence connecting bone growth to pain. In fact, bones grow very slowly– so slowly that there’s no way it could cause noticeable aches.

It’s also a myth that any old ache your child experiences can be written off as growing pains. Growing pains can be characterized as muscle aches in the legs and arms. The most common areas for pain are the calves and quadriceps (the muscles that make up the front of the thigh). Additionally, they most often occur in the late afternoon or evening and resolve by the morning. Therefore if your child experiences persistent pain throughout the body, it’s time to take them to the doctor for an examination.

So What Causes Them?

If they aren’t caused by growth, what causes growing pains? The answer is not clear at this point in time. Some evidence points to hypermobility or flexibility in children. Other children that report growing pains tend to have very low pain thresholds and often experience abdominal pain and headaches. Some studies point to decreased bone strength in children that experience pain.

The best theory doctors have at the moment is children experience greater amounts of aches and pains after particularly active days. “Overuse” of muscles from jumping, climbing, and running throughout the day leads to fatigue and aches later in the evening. Growing pains may just be a juvenile form of the delayed onset muscle soreness adults experience when beginning a new exercise routine.

Diagnosis of Exclusion

Since doctors do not exactly know what even causes growing pains, it’s not easy to diagnose them. Doctors determine whether or not your child’s aches are growing pains through diagnoses of exclusion. If the doctor does not find another cause for the pain after a thorough examination and your child’s symptoms do not exceed those typically associated with growing pains, they come to this conclusion. If your child experiences fever, limping, persistent pain, swelling, rashes, fatigue, loss of appetite, or a change in behavior, their doctor will want to dig deeper to find the cause of their pains.

Treating Growing Pains

If your child’s doctor establishes their aches as simple growing pains, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Lightly massaging their arms and legs relaxes sore muscles and reduces inflammation associated with pain. Teach your child to regularly stretch after exercise to keep muscles limber and reduce achiness. Your child may enjoy yoga as a way to unwind after a day that can also help lengthen and tone their growing muscles.

A warm bath with Epsom salt may help relieve pain and reduce muscle soreness for your child. Though there is little scientific evidence to back this claim, anecdotal evidence is abundant. A heating pad or hot water bottle placed around the area of soreness helps alleviate muscle pain as well.  A doctor approved pain reliever can also be administered to help your child’s aching limbs.

Talking to a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

If your child experiences severe, persistent aches and pains, you will want to take them to a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon for examination. Before the appointment, identify the answers to the following questions:

  • How long are periods of pain?
  • What time of day does your child experience the pain?
  • Where on the body does your child experience the pain? Is there one concentrated area?
  • Does your child wake up at night because of the pain?
  • Are there any additional symptoms including swelling, fever, headaches, or abdominal pain?
  • Does anything help alleviate the pain?

Your Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon will examine your child’s bones and muscles to see how he or she responds to touch and movement. Signs of tenderness may signify a deeper issue that necessitates X rays or other tests.

 

If your child experiences persistent pain in their muscles and joints, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld today. Dr. Grossfeld has over 10 years of experience as an Orthopedic Surgeon for both adults and kids alike. As a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, she helps families identify the causes behind abnormal aches and pains in order to find the best treatment. Call 502-212-2663 to make an appointment.