Protect Yourself from Head to Toe
Professional athletes are not the only people suffering with orthopedic and sports injuries. Everyday types of injuries, caused by everything from carrying groceries to unloading the dishwasher, happen all the time and can also lead to long-term problems if not treated properly.
Back problems, joint pain and disorders and osteoarthritis are among the top reasons for seeing an orthopedic specialist.
“Musculoskeletal issues result in millions of orthopedic visits worldwide every year,” said Karthik Jonna, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee and hip surgery at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital.
Jonna adds it’s important to listen to your body when it’s telling you to slow down.
“Sometimes we try to push through the pain, but you can end up doing more damage if you’re not careful. When you have joint and muscle pain, you can’t always walk off the pain or solve it by taking anti-inflammatory medicines,” Jonna said.
With age, our ability to heal is not as fast as it once was and elasticity in the tendons diminishes—like a rubber band that loses its elasticity over time. Jonna suggests modifying your activities or trying a new activity that puts less stress on the body, such as biking or swimming.
When to Seek Medical Care
Injuries are bound to happen whether you’re competing in sports or just taking a walk around the block. Minor injuries can often be treated at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation. But there are times when it’s important to see a doctor so you can avoid further damage and ensure that you can heal properly.
It’s wise to get medical help if you experience symptoms such as instability, limited range of motion, numbness or tingling, persistent joint pain, significant swelling, tenderness or weakness, or lack of strength while moving a limb or muscle after an injury.
In addition, any impact to the head should be taken seriously, whether it’s from a sports collision or a minor fall at home.
“Always seek medical help for signs of concussion, such as any loss of consciousness, confusion or dizziness following a bump on the head,” Jonna said.
Joint Replacement Surgery
For those suffering daily, debilitating pain caused by arthritis, joint replacement surgery, primarily of the knees or hips, may bring relief and improve quality of life. Advances in technology have made these procedures very common and the recovery time has been reduced as well. Artificial joint durability—joints can be made of plastic, metal and/or ceramic—is also vastly improved, so most patients who receive one will never need another.
Affecting 1 in 5 Americans, arthritis is typically the culprit in causing joints to become so stiff, tender and painful that joint replacement surgery is considered. The resulting pain can be so pervasive that nonsurgical measures meant to manage it, such as pain medications and creams, exercise, physical therapy, steroid or other injections, and bracing the joint, provide only brief relief.
“By the time people get to the point where they are considering joint replacement, they’re enduring pain on a daily basis and it’s dominating a significant part of their life,” Jonna explained. “It’s the kind of pain that leads them to become less active. Joint replacement surgery will lead to the elimination of the pain and suffering.”
For more information and to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital, visit houstonmethodist.org/baytown, or call 281.427.7400.
About Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital
Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital has provided Baytown and East Houston with quality medical care since opening its doors in 1948. The hospital has grown throughout the years with the community, providing comprehensive care at all stages of life. As a health care leader, the hospital is proud to have a fully integrated residency program focused on educating and inspiring future practitioners. Today, Houston Methodist Baytown provides some of the most advanced and innovative procedures while never losing focus on compassionate and patient-centered care. Houstonmethodist.org/baytown.