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April 2021 Issue - Paisley Prescriptions
Sports Injuries, Joint Replacements & Knee Problems
Living with pain is no fun. In fact, pain can take all the fun away, especially if you enjoy being active. It’s somewhat of a Catch-22, though. It seems the more active set are the ones who get sports injuries. Makes sense, afterall, doesn’t it take sports to get a sports injury? Not necessarily. Sometimes, just a simple walk to the mailbox, moving a planter in the garden, or a quick clean up of the garage can end in injury. The good news is pain does not have to be forever with many injuries, over use, or degeneration. There are new, modern and effective ways to stop the snap, crackle, pop in the knees, reduce the burn of bursitis and rejuvenate the rip of the rotator cuff. We asked our local orthopeadic experts to tell us all about sports injuries, joint replacements and knee problems. Here is what they had to say:
by Christopher Yonz, M.D.
So many of my friends have had rotator cuff surgery. Is there anything I can do to prevent it?
Most rotator cuff tears are degenerative “wear and tear” injuries. The risk of developing rotator cuff tears increases with age. While tears cannot always be prevented, rotator cuff surgery can often be prevented. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding nicotine use decrease the risk of needing surgery. Persons in heavy, physical occupations are more likely to need rotator cuff surgery. If you are in such an occupation, look for ways to modify your work activities to place less stress on your shoulder. In particular, avoid heavy, overhead lifting, and prolonged or repetitive overhead activity. Finally, if you develop a rotator cuff tear, physical therapy has a 75 percent success rate in preventing the need for rotator cuff surgery.
How can joint replacement change my life?
And what would you say to people who put it off?
The majority of people with arthritis can effectively treat their symptoms with non-surgical methods: Anti-inflammatories, injections, maintaining a healthy weight and performing low-impact exercises. However, a small percentage of people with arthritis will progress to the “end-stage,” meaning that the arthritis no longer responds to non-surgical treatment.
Joint replacement surgery has been performed for decades and has a well-established track-record. Patient satisfaction is over 80 percent for knee replacement and over 90 percent for hip and shoulder replacement. Joint replacement surgery provides excellent improvements in pain and functional activities.
Once non-surgical treatments are no longer working, people who put off a joint replacement are missing an opportunity to reduce their pain and improve their function and quality of life. Additionally, as we age, we are more likely to develop medical problems. Delaying until an advanced age could result in the surgery being riskier due to the presence of new or worsened medical problems.
Christopher Yonz, M.D. graduated with a medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and completed his orthopaedic surgery residency and sports medicine fellowship at University of Kentucky in Lexington. During his sports medicine fellowship, he had the unique opportunity to provide medical care to multiple, high level Division I athletes, who now play professionally, and an Olympian. He has a deep understanding of both surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Practicing patient-centered medicine, he takes the time to listen and understand his patient’s problems to ensure the best treatment plan. He can be seen at Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery, strategic partners with Southeast Georgia Health System.
by Frank D. Clements, PA-C
What are the top 5 most common sports injuries and how do I
Strains, sprains, knee injuries, fractures and back injuries are the most common sports injuries. The best way to reduce the risk of sports injuries is good warm-ups, good flexibility, not playing if injured, wearing the right equipment and maintaining a balanced diet.
How can I tell if my child has had a concussion, and what are the next steps?
Early signs of a concussion include dizziness, confusion, feeling as if in a fog, and/or “seeing stars.” Later signs include headache, ringing in the ears, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, blurry vision and/or inability to concentrate. There’s really no prevention of concussions, but you can reduce the risk. Ways to reduce risk are to wear properly fitting, sports-appropriate headgear when playing contact sports, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, snowboarding and/or skiing. If your child has an injury, and you suspect a concussion, you should seek medical advice immediately.
My knees are bad, what are some non-surgical options to relieve or cure pain?
Non-surgical treatment options for “bad knees” include over the counter and/or topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, bracing, physical therapy, cortisone injections and, in some cases, visco supplementation with hyaluronic acid injections.
Physician Assistant Frank D. Clements, PA-C, CAQ-OS, was awarded a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Orthopaedics from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and is the recipient of Medical College of Georgia’s Most Outstanding Physician Assistant Award in 1999. He can be seen at Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery, strategic partners with Southeast Georgia Health System.