10 Hidden-Gem Parks In Louisville, Kentucky

Where to Bike, Run, Hike, or Play Sports in Louisville, Kentucky

Whether you identify as a runner, fast walker, or recreational dog walker, you’re probably well-versed in the public parks around your house. In the past year, record numbers of people have flocked to their nearest park for recreation, exercise, social activities, and enjoying nature. Everyone has been spending more time outside, and it’s no wonder why—Just 20 minutes in a park is proven to have a sizable effect on mental health by reducing anxiety and improving sense of wellbeing! Public parks have become a safe haven, a neutral, grounding space that can be enjoyed for free, anytime of day.

If you live in Louisville, Kentucky, or the surrounding areas, you probably have a favorite park or two. Jefferson County boasts over 120 parks, so chances are, you haven’t seen them all. Keep reading to learn about 10 of the best, lesser-known parks and trails in Louisville.

10 Underrated Parks in Louisville, Kentucky

1. Arthur K. Draut Park

There’s a park right behind the malls?! Hidden in suburban St. Matthews, Arthur K. Draut Park offers 25 acres of native wetlands, beautiful landscape, and paved paths.

2. Shawnee Park

 An expansive 285 acres along the Ohio River, Shawnee Park offers baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, and volleyball courts! Enjoy multipurpose fields, miles of paved walking/running trails, and beautiful views of the Ohio, as well. 

3. Fairmont Falls

Only three cars are allowed at Fairmont Falls, per day! Located in South Louisville, this hidden-gem of a park offers a short trail to a huge, stunning waterfall. Make sure to book your visit a few days in advance!

4. Broad Run Park

The southernmost park in the Parklands of Floyds Fork, Broad Run was opened in 2016 and only continues to expand. It contains over 600 acres of paved and wooded trails, a scenic overlook, huge meadows, multiple fishing/paddling access points, a kid’s waterpark, pavilions, and a state-of-the-art woodland garden

5. Lannan Memorial Park 

Another beautiful park along the Ohio River, Lannan Memorial is located in the heart of the Portland Neighborhood, adjacent to the Portland Wharf Park. Enjoy verdant trails and fields along the Ohio, jump on the Louisville Loop biking paths, or play basketball. Plus, Lannan will soon be a short walk from the Future Waterfront Park Expansion.

6. Iroquois Park 

Iroquois is pretty popular, but it offers so much that it’s worth a mention! Tucked in the midst of downtown Louisville, Iroquois features miles of forest with hiking trails, paved paths, a huge golf course, a frisbee golf course, an outdoor amphitheater, a horse paddock and paths, a stunning scenic overlook, basketball courts, a playground, event patios, huge meadows, ponds, and more. You can explore Iriquois for months and still have more to see.

7. Waverly Park 

You may know Waverly for the infamous sanitarium on its grounds, but did you know that it’s also a 300 acre park? Just south of Iriquois, Waverly offers a beautiful fishing pond, mountain bike trails, miles of forested walking paths, a golf course, and a dog park.

8. Tyler Park 

If you love Cherokee and Seneca Parks but find them too busy, head over to Tyler Park, located off of Baxter Ave in the Highlands! While fairly small, Tyler Park offers 13 acres of multi-purpose fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground, and nice paved paths. 

9. Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing

This 300-acre historic property on the river offers beautiful grounds to explore, sprawling fields, and miles of walking/biking paths either North or South, via accessing the Louisville Loop.

10. Long Run Park

On the eastern outskirts of Louisville, Long Run features a huge pond for kayaking and fishing, a 2-mile paved loop, a golf course, baseball fields, picnic spots, and a playground/sprayground. This 400-acre park is truly a well-kept neighborhood secret! 

If you or someone you love has suffered an activity or sports-related injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients. Same day appointments and telemedicine appointments are also available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

Preventing Cross Country Running Injuries

Student athletes running in a race are commonly injured

One of the most popular after-school sports in the fall is competitive, long-distance running, known as cross country. Cross country is highly accessible and draws interest from students of all ages and ability levels. 

Despite the fact that many running-related injuries are very preventable, the rate of injury remains quite high for cross country runners. Recent studies have shown that around 41% of young female runners and 37% of males are injured each cross country season. 

Why do so many cross country runners get injured? Injuries can be attributed to many controllable factors, such as running at too high mileage, sudden changes in training routines, running on irregular surfaces, failing to warm up properly, poor sleep quality, or having a preexisting injury. If properly educated on the importance of safe running, coaches, athletic trainers, and athletes can work together to prevent injuries.

Running injuries commonly occur throughout the legs, in the knees, feet, ankles, and calves. Most running injuries are chronic, overuse injuries. 

Some very common conditions include: 

Preventing Cross Country Injuries

While some injuries are simply unavoidable, there are many ways you can improve your chances of avoiding injuries as well as your strength, ability, and success as a cross country runner. 

  • Build up by following the 10% rule.

The rule states that you shouldn’t increase your mileage by more than 10% each week. To follow this, coaches should evaluate their training schedules and kids should consider building up mileage on their own before the season begins. 

  • Rest, rest, rest.

Overtraining is the #1 cause of injuries. Taking regular rest days is essential to improving recovery and injury prevention. Unfortunately, many coaches and athletes are unaware of this.

  • Mix it up.

Changing the terrains you run on, the distances, and the speed, every workout, can help prevent injury and overtraining. 

  • Focus on form.

Maintaining good form is vital to reducing injury. However, many kids begin the sport with no knowledge of form. Even high-level runners can have very poor form! It’s generally the coach’s responsibility to monitor and inform the kids if their form needs to be changed. Poor form can also lead to issues with pronation.

  • Always warm up and cool down.

Cold, tight muscles are far more susceptible to injury, especially during high-intensity runs like intervals or hill repeats.

  • Stretch before running.

Stretching should be considered a part of conditioning. Static and dynamic stretches can help improve muscle and bone health as well as flexibility and range of motion.

  • Wear proper running shoes.

Make sure you’re wearing the right shoes, and that they’re not too worn out. If you’ve experienced prior foot pain, consider investing in orthotics

  • Hydrate.

Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, fainting, and more.

  • Eat well.

Running burns a lot of calories, and many kids have a poor grasp on the proper nutrition necessary to maintain optimal performance. Eating a balanced diet, full of protein, fruits, and vegetables, is essential to optimize energy and endurance.

  • Monitor you/ your child’s mental wellbeing.

It’s hard to perform well if you are struggling with mental health, social problems, or academic issues. Check in with your peers or kids. If you are a runner who is struggling, don’t hesitate to seek support. Female athletes in particular are susceptible to female athlete triad.

  • Cross-train.

Incorporating weight-training or other forms of exercise, can help strengthen and balance overworked muscles. 

  • Wear good socks.

Blisters are very common in runners. While they’re not serious, they are very painful and can hinder your movement.

  • Run for fun.

If you don’t get fulfillment or pleasure out of running, don’t run! Some kids get “forced” into participating and only give a half-hearted effort, resulting in injury and frustration.

If you or your child has sustained a running-related injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Read the inspiring story of a high school cross country runner’s recovery here. Orthopaedic Specialists is currently accepting new patients, and same day/telemedicine appointments are also available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment today, call 502-212-2663.

Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms and Treatment

Heel Pain? It's Probably Plantar Fasciitis.

Did you know that 10% of the population will experience plantar fasciitis at some point in their lifetime?

As one of the most common foot injuries and the leading cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis ((PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is especially prevalent in runners and athletes, 40-60 year-old adults, obese adults, those who wear low-support shoes (like heels or thin-soled shoes), and people who spend a lot of time standing. 

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury, caused by inflammation. The thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, from your heel to your toes, called the “plantar fascia,” is responsible for absorbing shock as well as supporting the arch of your foot. Naturally, it carries a lot of pressure, and can be easily stretched or torn through repeated straining. 

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can develop slowly or seemingly overnight. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can include:

  • Sharp or dull pain in the heel, particularly in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Pain in the heel when walking, running, or stretching the foot, or directly after exercise.
  • Pain in heel while walking up stairs.
  • Pain in heel when walking barefoot.

Ignoring the pain of plantar fasciitis can worsen it, making it become a chronic injury. Taking action and pursuing proper treatment is necessary for healing. 

Diagnosing & Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Your doctor may diagnose plantar fasciitis through an analysis of your symptoms, or a medical imaging test like an X-ray or MRI to rule out fractures or arthritis. 

Home therapy options include rest, icing the foot, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and massaging and stretching the foot. Investing in a night splint can help stretch the inflamed tendon. Purchasing proper inserts (orthotics) for tennis shoes can help support and improve the injury. Buying a foot roller or rolling the foot on a hard ball can help relieve pain as well.

Working with a physical therapist is also highly encouraged. A physical therapist can help you assess your gait, perform strengthening and stretching exercises on the foot, tape it to relieve pain, and more.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are another option to target inflammation. PRP is made by placing the patient’s blood in a centrifuge. Different components of the whole blood such as the platelets, red cells, and stem cells with growth factors are separated. The cells that can reduce inflammation and heal the injury are then injected into the area of the plantar fascia.

For more severe or prolonged cases, treatment options include corticosteroid injections, casting, and surgery. 

If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day/telemedicine appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 502-212-2663.

Common Elbow Injuries In Young Athletes

A young baseball player, suffering from Little Leaguer's Elbow

While the socialization and fitness found through joining a sports team provides innumerable benefits for children and young adults, most activities come with a heightened risk of accidental injury. Elbow injuries are particularly common in kids and young adults who play sports, whether from day-to-day overuse or an acute incident, like falling. Because children often focus on a single sport, year round, they constantly use the same muscles, tendons, and ligaments, placing relentless stress on still-developing growth plates. Before your child starts their very first or last sports season this fall, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of these common elbow injuries.

“Little Leaguer’s Elbow” (Medial Apophysitis)

Youth (11 to 15 year old) baseball or softball pitchers and throwers are very susceptible to this chronic overuse injury, caused by throwing a ball too hard or too often. This injury occurs when the soft growth plate of the inside arm/elbow is continually stretched and overexerted, beginning with soreness and worsening into swelling, stiffness, loss of motion, loss of strength, and pain. While the injury tends to heal naturally through rest and physical therapy, untreated cases can result in a complete tear of the growth plate, which requires surgery to repair.

It is actually recommended by the American Sports Medicine Institute that adolescent pitchers are limited to two appearances per week. Check out my blog to see the other recommendations for youth baseball players.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a common overuse injury, caused by irritation to the bony part of the outer elbow. It is characterized by pain with any activity associated with wrist extension, such as shaking someone’s hand or picking up a cup of coffee. This injury is most common in beginner tennis and racquet-sport players who use the wrong-sized racquet or have poor technique. This injury can usually be fixed by rest and wearing a band.

Elbow Fractures

Elbow fractures are quite common, making up about 10% of all fractures found in children. Fractures are usually caused by acute injury, like falling, and result in swelling, sharp pain, discoloration, inability to move the elbow, bruising, and a visibly crooked or deformed appearance. It’s recommended that you see an orthopedic physician immediately if your child shows these symptoms.

Preventing Sports Injuries

  • Overtraining is a major risk-factor for chronic injury. Adequate rest days, every week, are vital.
  • Proper form is key. Make sure your child has a good coach or professional observing the way they hit, pitch, or throw, so that they don’t further irritate the elbow.
  • Cross-training and strength training can help strengthen the muscles in the arm, shoulder, and wrist, improving the elbow’s wherewithal.
  • Good nutrition and hydration is essential. Kids are far more likely to get injured if they aren’t healthy.
  • Be engaged. When a single coach is handling 30+ kids, it’s impossible for them to monitor everyone. Regularly check-in with your child regarding how they feel and the types of activities they are performing at practice.

If you or someone you love has suffered a sports injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

8 Must-Do Bike Trails In Louisville

Louisville trail biker

If something positive could be said for the past year, it would be the growing participation in outdoor activity. As pandemic lockdowns shut down restaurants, stores, schools, and our entire way of life, many people began to get more active, whether it be to entertain pent-up children, to get in shape, for mental wellbeing, or to simply occupy free-time.

Outdoor sports, such as swimming, running, basketball, and tennis, have seen spikes in participation. National parks are overrun with visitors looking to hike, camp, and enjoy nature. One sport that has seen record interest, in particular, is biking. From e-bikes to road bikes to gravel bikes, bike sales are up over 100% in many countries. And it’s no wonder why: biking is an accessible, rewarding sport. It can be as serious as you make it. Whether you join a local league to push your limits or simply enjoy pedaling around your local park, biking is fun, relatively inexpensive, and a great form of exercise.

Louisville is a biker’s paradise. With hundreds of miles of paved and dirt trails, dozens of bike rental options, and a thriving bike community, there’s no end to opportunity. Check out these 8 great paths for all types of bikes and skill levels:

8 Best Bike Paths in Louisville

1. Louisville Loop: Parklands of Floyds Fork

One of the most exciting initiatives in recent history is the Louisville Loop, a 100+ mile path planned to circumnavigate the city. While the Loop isn’t fully completed, many sections of it are entirely accessible. One 19-mile section runs through the Parklands of Floyds Fork, a massive system of 4 interconnected parks featuring hiking trails, scenic overlooks, event venues, fishing, sports fields, kayaking, and more. The Louisville Loop at the Parklands is accessible for any level of biker, boasting stunning panoramas, clear mile markers, 5 bike repair stations, and easily accessible parking lots and bathrooms. See the full map here.

2. Cherokee and Seneca Park (Paved/Dirt Paths)

Two large, interconnected parks in the heart of metropolitan Louisville are Cherokee and Seneca Park. New bikers, families, and experienced teams can use the web of wooded mountain bike paths, paved paths, and bike lanes. These parks offer challenging hills as well as flat, open terrain.

3. Louisville Loop: Shawnee Park to Caperton Swamp

Another completed section of the Louisville Loop path runs 11.6 miles alongside the Ohio. This route goes through the many riverside parks and bridges as well as downtown Louisville, allowing easy access-points. It is very flat and accessible for every type of biker.

4. Turkey Run Park (at the Parklands)

For mountain bikers, the Parklands: Turkey Run Park offers multiple rugged forested paths (Paw Paw Trail, Hickory Trail, Chinkapin Trail, etc.) and an incredible bike-only park at the Silo Center. Explore these trails here.

5. Clinic and Twisty Bend at Waverly Park

Mountain bikers looking for a thrill should explore the Waverly Park bike paths, a series of fast, manicured dirt loops. Although short, these trails are said to be excellent for race-training.

6. Iroquois Park Loop

Iroquois Park offers a 3.3 mile paved perimeter trail as well as a challenging car-free road that ascends to the top of Iroquois Hill, a scenic overlook that provides views as far as downtown Louisville and Floyds Knobs in Indiana. Iroquois offers options for both families and seasoned bikers.

7. Ohio River Greenway Trail

While not technically in Louisville, the Ohio River Greenway Trail is a short-trip across the Big Four Bridge. This beginner-friendly, 6+ mile paved trail runs alongside the river, through Jeffersonville, Clarksville, the Falls of The Ohio State Park, and into downtown New Albany, connecting to the Clarksville Heritage Trails as well.

8. Anchorage Trail

Another great family option is the 2.1 mile Anchorage Trail, an easy, paved path that offers beautiful views of a creek and rolling fields.

Get Involved

If you’re looking to get involved in the Louisville bike community, you may be interested in perusing this list of local organizations and bike shops, linked here, or the local race teams page, here.

If you or someone you love has suffered a bike or sports-related injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients. Same day appointments and telemedicine appointments are also available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

Achilles Injuries: Everything You Need To Know

Achilles rupture, achilles tendonitis, achilles tear

The Achilles tendon is the most common tendon to rupture spontaneously. In athletes, it is the most commonly hurt tendon of the lower extremities. About 24% of competitive athletes and 40% of runners experience an Achilles tear at some time. In short, injuring the Achilles is certainly not rare. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Here’s everything you need to know about the physiology of the Achilles tendon, types and symptoms of Achilles injuries, treatment options, and the best prevention practices.

Physiology

The Achilles tendon is a tough, fibrous band of tissue that runs from the calf to the heel. More specifically, the Achilles unites the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the back of the calf and connects them to the calcaneus (heel bone). Small fluid bursae sacks cushion the tendon at the heel. The Achilles in the largest and strongest tendon in the entire body. Consequently, a massive amount of tension is placed on it in order to walk, run, jump, or tip-toe, and it is very prone to injury.

Common Achilles’ Injuries

While the majority of Achilles injuries are sustained by athletes, they can really happen to anyone in varying degrees of severity.

The most serious damage that can occur is a complete rupture of the tendon. This is characterized by a “popping” sound and sharp, immobilizing pain. Treating a rupture often requires surgery and a long-term recovery process. Based on severity, surgery can be minimally invasive (through a scope), or require partial/total replacement of the tendon.

The next most severe injury is a partial tear. Achilles tears can be tiny (microtears) or quite big. They can occur suddenly, or over time. Symptoms of tears include swelling, pain, stiffness, sensitivity, the feeling of being “kicked in the calf”, and the inability to fully bend the foot downward.

Achilles tendonitis is another possible injury. This is a type of strain and degeneration caused by overuse, usually from running or another repetitive exercise. Tendonitis begins with a mild chronic pain, stiffness, or swelling, and can worsen without proper treatment. Luckily, if handled quickly, tendonitis can usually be resolved in a matter of weeks.

Preventing Achilles Tear

While some Achilles injuries are simply unpreventable, you can reduce your risk by taking proper precautions. For athletes, this includes:

  • Wearing proper shoes. Worn-out trainers won’t cushion your feet properly and can increase your risk of injury. Regularly replacing your shoes is a must-do.
  • Stretching daily. A couple minutes of stretching helps maintain flexibility.
  • Doing cross-training and strength training. Diversifying your exercise routine can better prepare your Achilles for stress.
  • Taking your rest. Overtraining is a huge risk factor for Achilles tendon injuries. Gradually increasing the intensity of your activity or following a balanced fitness plan is the way to go.
  • Knowing your risk factors. If you are a male, an athlete, or an older adult, you already are more likely to be injured. Having a naturally flat arch or being overweight can also put more pressure on the Achilles. Certain medical conditions and medications can also increase your risk, such as having psoriasis or high blood pressure, or taking antibiotics like fluoroquinolones.

If you are experiencing chronic Achilles pain or an injury, it is advisable that you consult a qualified medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. For those in the Louisville, Kentucky region, orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is accepting new patients. Call 502-212-2663 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Playing it Safe: Common Pickleball Injuries

For years, pickleball has been the fastest growing recreational sport in the United States. It’s especially popular among elderly Americans, who enjoy it for socialization and low-impact exercise. Though very similar to other racquet sports like tennis and badminton, pickleball does vary in court size, net height, serve style, and other minor specifics. While pickleball is a fun and rewarding sport, it does pose a risk of injury, especially for those aged 65+.

History of Pickleball

Developed by Washington state congressman Joel Pritchard in 1965, the sport began with a “pickle”– Pritchard and his friend wanted to play badminton, but couldn’t find a full set of rackets, so they used wooden ping-pong paddles and a hole-filled plastic ball. The game caught on with Pritchard’s family, and soon they built the first permanent court. Legend has it that the sport was eventually named after Pritchard’s family dog, “Pickles.”

Most Common Pickleball Injuries

Pickleball’s newfound popularity means that there are few formal studies concerning injury rates. However, this May, a major study was published which compiled data from 2010-2019. The study also compared pickleball injuries to tennis injuries, as a way to establish a standard of injury. According to the study, slip/trip/fall/dive accidents were most common (63% of all injuries), which resulted in strains/sprains (33.2%), fractures (28.1%), and contusions (10.6%). Interestingly, senior males were 3.5 times for likely to suffer strains and sprains, while senior females were 3.5 times for likely to suffer a fracture, and, specifically, 9 times more likely to suffer a wrist fracture! The study found that pickleball injury rates very closely resembled that of tennis injuries. 

Preventing Injuries 

While accidents can always happen, especially in competitive sports, there are some preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of injury:

  1. Invest in yourself. Even if you’re a casual player, you should have a decent pair of court or tennis shoes. Court shoes greatly reduce the risk of injury, compared to wearing regular running sneakers.
  2. Choose the right paddle. Pickleball paddles vary in size and weight, so if your paddle feels heavy or fatigued after playing, you probably need a lighter paddle!
  3. Cross-train. Condition yourself to handle the lunging, balancing, and quick-motion of the sport, not just the technical aspects. As we age, the need to cross-train only becomes more important. Whether you do aerobics, weight training, or stretching, you will better prepare yourself. 
  4. Warm up and recovery. So many people don’t take the extra 5 minutes to warm up, putting themselves at risk for severe injuries. And if you’re sore afterwards, icing, compression, and rest can help bolster achy muscles.

Play Pickleball Locally

If you already play pickleball, or are interested in getting started locally, there are a number of locations and leagues to check out. Most tennis clubs and neighborhood facilities have courts. EP Tom Sawyer state park is in the process of converting 6 asphalt tennis courts to 16 pickleball courts! To find courts and leagues nearby, use the USA Pickleball “Places 2 Play” site, linked here.

If you or someone you love has suffered a sports injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

5 Most Common Knee Injuries

Millions of Americans suffer from knee pain and knee injuries each year, and it’s no wonder why. The knee is our largest joint, placed between the two longest bones in the body. As it bends, your entire body weight is transferred onto it. Whether you’re standing still or running a marathon, there’s a constant pressure on the knee and the complex system of bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage within it. As powerful as it is, the knee is simply prone to injury. There are many common knee injuries as a result.

Risk factors also contribute to the chance of knee pain. Playing high-intensity sports and overtraining, being overweight, being a woman, having osteoporosis, having certain diseases, and the natural aging process can all increase your risk of knee injury. This is why everyone should be aware of common symptoms of knee injury as soon as they appear.

Symptoms of Knee Injury

Typical symptoms include swelling and stiffness, redness and warmth to the touch, weakness or instability, popping or crunching noises, bruising, and an inability to fully straighten the knee. Different injuries cause different types of pain and require different types of response.

Most Common Knee Injuries

Torn Meniscus

There are two menisci in the knee, C-shaped cushions of cartilage that create a buffer between your shinbone and thighbone. The meniscus can tear when you forcefully twist or pivot the knee. You may feel a popping sensation, and experience immediate swelling, pain, stiffness, and weakness.

Fractures

Knee fractures indicate a breakage in the patella, or the nearby shin or thigh bones. Fractures can vary from minor to quite severe, and are often caused by blunt trauma or a fall. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, and even a deformed appearance. It’s recommended that you immediately consult with a doctor, as fractures often require surgery.

Patellar Tendinitis

Patellar Tendinitis is a common overuse injury, caused by tiny, repeated tears in the patellar tendon, which connects to the shinbone. Continued stress on the tendon causes increasing pain and inflammation overtime, eventually impacting your ability to do basic movements.

ACL Knee Injuries

An ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a band of tissue that connects your thighbone to your shinbone, stabilizing and supporting the knee. Sudden changes in direction while playing a sport can cause an ACL injury. The injury is often accompanied by a popping sensation, loss of motion, and pain, and requires immediate care.

Bursitis

Bursitis occurs in the bursae, which are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee joint. The bursae can become inflamed through constant, repetitive motions, causing pain, achiness, and swelling. Resting the knee can often improve bursitis, but some cases require medication, therapy, and surgery.

Active people and athletes should take particular caution to prevent knee injury. By wearing proper footwear, warming up, practicing weight training to strengthen the knee, and limiting overtraining, you can reduce your risk of severe knee injuries.

If you are experiencing chronic knee pain and it is not going away, it is advisable to seek out qualified medical attention. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor serving patients across the Louisville Kentucky area. For information about Dr. Grossfeld and her Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC practice, call 502-212-2663 today.

Understanding Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) is a condition in which the hip joint is
not properly formed in newborn babies and infants. Found in every 1 in 1,000
babies, DDH is a treatable condition, detected and diagnosed through a physical
exam.

Hip Physiology

The hip joint is a “ball-in-socket” joint, meaning that the rounded top of the femur
naturally fits into the cup-shaped hip socket. This spheroidal structure provides
the freest range of motion of any type of joint, and is also found in the shoulder.
Thanks to the “ball-in-socket,” we can swing, twist, and bend our arms and legs
with ease.

In DDH, the hip socket is underdeveloped, meaning that it is too shallow to
properly hold the femoral head. This means that the hip joint is “loose,”
sometimes to a point of dislocation. In turn, the surrounding ligaments may
stretch or loosen, which can cause pain, reduce mobility, and hinder growth.
Severity of DDH ranges from subluxatable (loose in the socket) to complete
dislocation (entirely out of the socket).

Diagnosing DDH

In the first few days after birth, every baby undergoes a physical exam. Part of this
exam includes checking for DDH by gently moving the baby’s hips. If the baby
experiences any pain with this motion, it is likely they have DDH to some degree.

If the infant shows symptoms of DDH, the next step is to conduct an ultrasound
scan. An ultrasound is also recommended if they have a family history of hip
issues, was born or spent time in breech position, is a twin, or is high-risk in any
way. DDH is also more common in first-born babies and in females.

Some cases of DDH take longer to develop or are virtually unidentifiable. Some
covert symptoms to look out for are different sized legs, one leg “dragging” when
they crawl, uneven skin folds, an abnormal walk, or restricted
movement/flexibility in one leg. If your baby shows any of these symptoms,
contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Treating Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

When doctors identtify DDH during infancy, they can usually treat the baby with a
Pavlik harness, a soft fabric splint that secures and stabilizes the hips. Per your
doctor’s instruction, the harness is easily adjustable and removable with time.

If DDH is severe, if the Pavlik harness is ineffective, or if the child is diagnosed
with DDH after 6 months of age, they may require orthopedic surgery. This
surgery poses minimal risk and is very effective. Based on the individual’s age and
level of severity, surgical options may include closed reduction or open hip
surgery. Recovery usually requires wearing a cast for several months.

It’s important to remember that DDH is typically congenital, meaning that it’s
unpreventable. The only instance that it can be directly caused is through
prolonged, unsafe swaddling techniques. Always make sure to practice healthy
swaddling, which allows your infant to move their hips and legs freely.

For more information about hip and other orthopedic conditions, contact a board-certified orthopedic physician. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC
is double board certified in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. Dr. Grossfeld
serves patients of all ages from children to adults throughout Kentucky and
Southern Indiana. For additional information or to schedule an appointment call
Dr. Grossfeld’s office at 502-212-2663.

Arthrogryposis: An Overview

Arthrogryposis, also known as arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), is a condition characterized by multiple joint contractures throughout the body. Arthrogryposis is a congenital condition. Doctors often diagnose it at birth, and it doesn’t progress or worsen over time. It is heterogeneous, meaning it differs from case to case. It is a descriptive term or symptom of a different disorder, rather than an illness in itself. Approximately 1 in 3000 babies are born with arthrogryposis, making it very rare.

How To Identify Arthrogryposis

Although this condition varies on an individual basis, doctors generally identify it through the occurrence of joint contractures. A contracture is when a joint becomes permanently fixed in a bent or straight position, which can limit or entirely restrict movement. In arthrogryposis, two or more contractures occur throughout the body. It is not to be confused with an isolated congenital contracture, which is a contracture found in only one body area, such as clubfoot.

The most common symptom of a joint contracture is the lack of movement, but it can also characterized by weakened muscles and tissue, slender or fragile bones, shortened or elongated limbs, asymmetrical features, or cleft palate. The joints of the legs and arms are usually the most affected, but contractures can even occur in the jaw or back.

One of the most common forms of severe arthrogryposis is amyoplasia, which can be identified through a series of analogous contractures. The shoulders, elbows, and wrists are usually drawn inward or outward. Individuals may have significant contractures in the shoulders and hips, clubfoot, and a red birthmark on the face. While the external impacts of amyoplasia can be quite severe, those affected usually have normal intelligence and no internal issues. Unlike some other forms of arthrogryposis, amyoplasia is not genetic.

Causes Of Arthrogryposis

Arthrogryposis can be due to a variety of external and internal factors. In about 30% of cases, it is associated with a genetic disorder, such as a single-gene defect or chromosomal abnormality. Neuropathic abnormalities or abnormal brain development, such as meningomyelocele, anencephaly, and hydranencephaly, can cause arthrogryposis. Furthermore, some forms may occur in utero. This can be due to low amniotic fluid or inadequate room for growth.

Diagnosing Of Arthrogryposis

Doctors usually diagnose arthrogryposis through the identification of key traits, followed by comprehensive testing, which includes blood work, genetic tests, imaging tests, muscle biopsies, an electromyography (EMG), a nerve conduction study, and other examinations when individually applicable. Full diagnosis can be a continual or even indefinite process, as it requires identifying the underlying causes of the condition, not just the physical indicators.

Treating Arthrogryposis

There is no general treatment for arthrogryposis. Treatment options vary at an individual level. Occupational or physical therapy can help improve joint mobility and function. Orthopedic surgery is another option, which varies based on the age and physical development of the patient. Braces, splints, and assistive devices can help stabilize joints. Treatment is often a long-term and multi-disciplinary endeavor, beginning in infancy, by nature. However, affected individuals can still live happy, independent lives.

If you are concerned that you or someone you love might be experiencing arthrogryposis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Stacie Grossfeld today. Dr. Grossfeld is double board certified as a sports medicine physician and an orthopedic surgeon. She has decades of medical experience treating patients of all ages. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 502-212-2663 today.