Straight Leg Rising Test

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The straight leg rising test is a test that orthopedists give to determine if you have a herniated disc in your back or not. People with back pain and pain in their legs often receive this test because a herniated disc is often the cause of the pain but generally this test is part of the regular physical exam. When you go in for the test, the doctor will place you on your back and then you will need to fold in one of the legs. Then you would turn your leg towards the chest. After this the doctor would ask you to lift the other leg in a straight manner. If during the test you have pain and discomfort, it is likely that you could have a herniated disc.

You Can Do This Test At Home

You do not have to wait for a visit to the doctor to get the test because you can perform it at home. Start by sitting on an exercise mat with one leg folded in and the other leg straightened. You would put your arms around the leg that is folded in while you lift the straightened leg off the floor. Then lower the straightened leg and repeat with the other leg.

The Test Showed That I Have A Herniated Disc. Now What?

If you took this test and it is discovered that you have a herniated disc, here is how you can get treatment for it. If the herniated disc in your back is not too severe, you can get physical therapy for relief and there are also steroid injections that you can take so that your back pain will improve. Some people turn to chiropractic techniques to improve the herniated discs while others may choose to get surgery to treat it.

How to Prevent Herniated Disc

To avoid having to take the straight leg rising test to detect herniated discs, there are ways to prevent. You should lose excess weight since this contributes to back problems and herniated discs. You should also eliminate your smoking habit because it decreases the ability of your back’s discs to take in nutrients. Improve your posture daily and lift heavy objects properly. In conclusion, the straight leg rising test is a simple and non-invasive method of finding out if you have a herniated disc.

Different Ways to Avoid a Knee Injury

Knee injuries can be some of the worst to recover from. They often make it difficult for you to do anything else and often they lead to gaining weight and other medical issues. Any time you are immobile you run the risk for bacterial infections or other problems. It is best to avoid knee injuries in order to keep on with your normal, healthy lifestyle and there are a few things you can do to do just that.

Proper Body Mechanics

This is huge when you are working out or lifting. We often let our knees compensate for lack of strength in other areas and this is a mistake. Your knee cannot take all that pressure. You should work on standing, stretching and sitting in ways that do not strain your knees. You should also limit impact on your knees when you are working out by choosing exercises that are right for you and your situation.

Lowering Your Weight

Being overweight puts extra stress on all your joints. You will want to reduce your weight in order to better your knees. People who are overweight often injure their knees during a fall or a twist because the extra weight puts too much torque on the knees and causes  the ligaments to become injured. These are hard things to recover from and should be avoided.

Knee Brace

Using a knee brace is also important. If you have ever injured your knee in the past you should consider using a knee brace when putting any pressure on your knee. This includes different activities like riding a bike, skiing or even jogging. This just gives your knee the extra support it needs to stay on track. It often can save you from a worse injury and helps the ligaments regain their position.

Low Impact Exercise

Knees take lots of impact for the body so if you have knee trouble you should seek lower impact workouts. You cannot keep pounding your knee into the ground and think it will be okay. You simply need to choose things like yoga, water exercises and even walking in order to reduce the stress on the knee. Overall you will find you have less knee pain and are less likely to develop future arthritis if you take the time to treat your knee properly. It is worth the effort.

How to Prevent Injuries During Football

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Football is one of the favorite sports and it is one that requires strength, speed and agility. Many football players suffer from pain and injuries during play and even training. Concussions, sprains, knee injury, tendon tears, fractures are among the many injuries that a football player can have during his lifetime. These injuries can also be reasons why football players don’t last long and cannot play anymore because some of these can be debilitated for a lifetime. Many football player always take due care during the game to prevent injuries that can lead to knee surgery and all other types of treatment that will prevent them from playing. Although, there are treatments such as knee surgery, bone alignment or tendon tear surgeries, etc. it is not enough. The key to lasting in football is to take precaution and safety measures during game and practice. Below are some ways injuries can be prevented.

Consistent Practice

Football is a very strenuous game and it requires strength and speed. It is important that players practice always and train in consistent schedules to condition muscles. It is because out of practice muscles, when forced to be active, are likely to injure. Muscles, especially those on the legs of football players should be active all the time so that during game season, players will not tire and injure easily.

Proper Warm Up and Cooling down

This is true for all players of active sports. Football players must ensure that their muscles are properly stretched during warm up before the game or training. Muscles that are conditioned will be flexible enough to last over-stretching during a match and it will be able to bear stress. This is important during football games because constant running is required. Cooling down is also very important to ensure that the body relaxes well. Cooling down allows muscles to transition from being active and stressed to being relaxed.

Proper Clothing and Equipment

This is very important for players because they are in an active state, the body should be free. Proper socks are required as well as shoes. The leg is in constant use, therefore players should ensure they wear footwear and socks that allows proper circulation. When there is proper circulation, there is less pain and the leg can be stretched properly to meet speed and force demand.

Conducting a Proper Evaluation

Physician evaluation and recommendation is very important. Players that are not physically well will not be allowed to play because complications can occur during a game. Most football players have a thorough physical examination before game season to ensure they are fit and well to play.

How to Recover From a Knee Surgery

Arthroscopic knee surgery

There are numerous types of knee surgeries available to be administered by surgeons.  The most common forms of surgery to the knee are knee arthroscopies and knee replacements. It is usual for a patient to take longer to recover from an arthroscopy rather than a replacement. The time taken to fully recover from surgeries really depends on the amount of motivation the patient has to give toward getting back to be fully active. A few steps on how to recover from a knee surgery are as follows.

  1. Know how you are getting home directly after the surgery, it will be very difficult to get home straight from the hospital even after up to four hours resting period it will be extremely difficult to travel
  2. Regarding your leg during the first few recovery days be sure to keep it raised above your heart, even a small pillow will do the job. Use ice packs on your knee that has been operated on and change them regularly.
  3. Remember to stick to any medicinal schedule given to you by your doctor. This includes taking antibiotics. This is especially key on how to recover from a knee surgery.
  4. When washing avoid the use of baths and instead use a shower. Keep your wound away from water to avoid infection.
  5. As soon as physically possible stop using crutches or any other means of help. It will help force the body into getting used to walking normally again.
  6. Stay off work until your doctor gives you permission to go in again, as you will likely to injure yourself again especially if it is a physically intensive job.

These are some easy tips of how to recover from a knee surgery fast and effectively.  If you follow these easy steps and pay attention to how you generally act you should be on your way to a fast recovery back to full health.

The above image was taken from www.kneesurgeryarthroscopic.net. I do not own the image, nor do I claim any rights over it.

Benefits of Knee Surgery

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Knee replacement was not an option for people 50 years ago. Even though the first knee surgery was done in 1968, the advances from that time have made the results today even better. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that 500,000 knee surgeries are done every year in the US alone. When you decide to have knee surgery done, it will be a decision made with your family and your surgeon’s aid. A lot of patients don’t want to have surgery done quickly because the road to recovery is tough. As soon as they do get better and make it through rehabilitation, most patients are glad they had the surgery.  So, some of the main benefits recorded by patients are; less pain, better quality of life, better motion in their joints, and correcting deformities. The Academy of Orthopedic surgeons reports over 90 percent of those who decide to undergo knee surgery experience a dramatic reduction in pain and a significant improvement in their daily activities that had been hindered due to injury. Not only that, but they can return to a life almost as good as normal. They are allowed to go skiing and to do most activities with the exception of high impact sports like tennis or jogging (and of course, no football).

The clinical website Uptodate reports that 91 percent of patients raved over their results in one study. The study consisted of 223 patients and noted that time is important and that it may take a year or over to  get the full relief benefits. This information makes the idea of having knee surgery a great decision. Although many people are afraid of surgeries in general, and one does cringe when hearing or picturing going under the knife. However, since the prosthesis that are being used in knee surgeries do not last forever, most doctors warn patients to wait until the pain is really bad before they decide to go have surgery. The risks of complications in comparison to other surgeries is fairly low when doing a total knee replacement and, of course, your doctor will do their best to make sure your risks are even lower. The common complications of surgery include a bad reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, damaging blood vessels and all the rest are possible, but highly improbable. Some complications after surgery can include infection, knee pain, stiff joints, and perhaps a loosening of your prosthesis.

In net, getting a knee surgery far outweighs any of the disadvantages. The improvement in the quality of life (enjoying everyday activities) alone is reason enough to consider this type of surgery.

The above image was taken from http://walkingfit.ucr.edu. I do not own the image nor do I claim any rights over it.

Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery

Chicago knee replacement surgery complications can cause pain.

Picture from HealthPages.org

First, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

As we head into 2013, my mind is beginning to worry a little bit about the knee replacement surgery my dad has decided to go ahead and have. While I was in large favor of this at first, the more I learn, the more nervous I become.

What I’ve heard recently are many stories of people who have had knee replacements who are near my dad’s age, but the pain afterward is quite extraordinary. I’ve even spoken to several people who had Chicago knee replacements and then were in the hospital for a week or more because of the pain they were experiencing.

Knee replacement surgery carries the same risk as any other procedures, including excessive bleeding as well as problem with anesthesia and risk of infection. These are relatively uncommon in Chicago knee replacements, but are a risk.

However, these aren’t what are causing me the anxiety around my dad’s knee replacement surgery. It’s the other complications that can come following a knee replacement surgery. Here are a few things I’ve been reading about:

Chicago Knee Replacement Surgery Complications

Kneecap ProblemsThis is one of the major problems I’ve heard about. Apparently after a knee replacement surgery, there can be severe complications with the knee caps. This is, in part, due to the excessive strain that is put on a knee cap during just normal use. When you introduce a replacement knee joint, it can be difficult to get the knee cap to continue functioning well with these replacement parts.

Alignment ProblemsAccording to what I’ve read, one of the challenges brought with a knee replacement, is getting the replacement implants properly aligned. While I couldn’t find a lot of information on this, what I understand the alignment to be associated with is the bone being removed evenly.

These are just a couple of knee replacement complications, I’m sure. Do you know anything more about either of these, especially the knee replacement alignment?

I’m also curious for any suggestions on Chicago knee replacement surgeons who are willing to educate their patients. I want to be sure my dad’s knee replacement surgery is a success and that we are fully educated before he ever gets put under.

Happy New Year, I hope it’s a good one for you.

Partial Or Total Knee Replacement

Knee replcacement models for total knee replacement.

Image from abcnews.com

Did you know there are different types of knee replacement surgeries? Of course there is the different hardware that is used by various knee replacement surgeons. However, until recently I didn’t know that there wasn’t only one actual type of knee replacements.

As I mentioned in the last article, my dad is preparing for double knee replacement surgery. I’ve taken it upon myself to get educated about what knee replacement actually is, and learn as much as possible in order to help my dad. And boy have I been learning a lot.

In this post, I’d like to explore a little about these two very different types of Chicago knee replacement surgery options.

Chicago Total Knee Replacement Surgery

So in a total knee replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the femur and tibia are removed. The bones are then reshaped and fitted with the metal and polyethylene components. The polyethylene is was helps the joint move smooth without little friction.

Chicago Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Partial knee replacement surgery is a great option, apparently, if only one side of the knee has been damaged. In a partial knee replacement, the one side has the damaged or diseased portion of the knee removed, with the implants being added to just the one side. What I’m reading is this is less likely to damage the ACL, and leaves the good part of the knee still intact.

Unfortunately I wasn’t paying close enough attention to my dad to find out if he really needs to have total knee replacements, or could do with partials knee replacement, either on one or both knees. I sure hope the knee replacement surgeon discussed this with him in better detail, and it’ll be easy to find out when I speak with him next.

Has anyone experienced a partial knee replacement surgery, or known someone who has? I’d like to hear your insight on the differences between the two and your experiences. Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.