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.