Tips To Prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries

by Administrator 19. June 2015 05:05

Rotator Cuff is an assembly of four muscles that support the arm. It attaches the arm bone to the shoulder blade and help in the smooth movement of the arm. Application of force due to any reason like sudden jerks, falls, hits etc. can cause an injury or even a tear in the Rotator Cuff. This can lead to severe pain in the shoulder and difficulty in moving the joint. There are a certain measures that one may take in order to prevent Rotator Cuff injuries. These are as follows:

  • Daily exercises: Exercises that can strengthen the muscles in the shoulder and help in increasing flexibility can help in the prevention of problems related to Rotator Cuff. These injuries can occur due to the application of a sudden force on the muscles of joint but exercising helps in building strength and increasing the ability of the muscles to absorb shocks and traumas.
  • Proper posture: Improper posture while standing, sleeping or sitting can overstrain the muscles and tendons of the shoulder joint. It can also make a person vulnerable to falls, hits or slips leading to sprains or overuse of the muscles. Maintaining proper posture can help in relaxing the Rotator Cuff and preventing any injury to it.
  • Avoiding stressful activities: Activities that may stress the joint, like lifting heavy things, trying to catch falling objects, lifting objects above the head etc. can cause stress and injury to the muscles due to sudden jerks or over use. This can lead to an injury or a tear to the Rotator Cuff.
  • Sports activities: Sports activities like basketball, volley ball and tennis need recurrent overhead movements of the arm. These can overstrain the muscles of the shoulder and sometimes lead to Rotator Cuff Injuries. Also, sports activities like football and rugby which include forceful movements, can lead to slips and falls on the shoulder. These falls may create a deep trauma to the muscles of the shoulder which may lead to problems like Rotator Cuff Tears.
  • Physical therapy: Certain physical therapy exercises can help in building muscle strength in the shoulder and keeping it fit. Attending physical therapy sessions regularly can help in building the strength of the muscles and the Rotator Cuff which can make it immune to many kinds of injuries.

These measures can be helpful in the prevention of a rotator cuff injury. In case of such injuries you must consult an experienced orthopedic doctor. He may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and heat/ice treatments to minimize pain and swelling. However, in severe cases surgery can also be recommended.

For more tips, visit Dr. Kulwicki at OrthoTexas, Flower Mound. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, call at (972) 899 – 4679.

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Risk Factors For Rotator Cuff Injuries

by Administrator 21. May 2015 08:02

The Rotator Cuff is an assembly of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of the upper arm bone in place. Any kind of sudden jerk or overuse of these muscles can cause the Rotator Cuff to tear which can lead to a dull ache and also reduce range of motion of the affected joint. It can also cause weakness and stiffness in the arm and shoulder. Loss in the movement of the arm may also be experienced in case of this injury, accompanied by pain extending from the shoulder to the elbow. Clicking sound, while trying to raise the arm is another symptom of a Rotator Cuff injury.

The risk factors for Rotator Cuff injury include.

  • Age: The risk of the injury increases with aging because of degeneration of the muscles. This is also due to the wear and tear process of the muscles that goes on with aging. People above the age group of 40 are more susceptible to these injuries.
  • Body mass index: People with higher body mass are more likely to have this injury. This is because more body mass puts more pressure on the muscles to move. People particularly from the age 50 to 70 years are vulnerable to this injury.
  • Certain sports: Athletes that take part in sports activities that need repetitive overhead movements of the shoulder and arms are more susceptible to this injury. Getting involved in activities like swimming, tennis, baseball which require rapid overhead movements of the shoulder can increase your risk to suffer from Rotator Cuff injuries.
  • Construction jobs: Repetitive arm movements can overstrain the muscles and can lead to the development of Rotator Cuff injury over time. Jobs like Carpenter, painter, or other construction jobs that include repetitive overhead movement of the shoulder can cause this injury.
  • Traumatic injuries: Severe injuries which are caused due to sudden jerks, abrupt falling, forceful pressures or overstraining of the shoulder muscles can lead to this injury.
  • Recurrent lifting: Recurrent heavy lifting can overstrain the muscles, create tension between the tendons and expose people to Rotator Cuff injury.
  • Family history: Genetic factors have a significant role, not only in the development but also in the progressive thickness of Rotator Cuff tears. If a person has a family history of Rotator Cuff problems, She is more at risk to have this injury.

Many people can recover from Rotator Cuff injuries with the help of physical therapy exercises that help in improving the strength and flexibility of muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.

Dr. Kulwicki provides diagnosis and treatment for Rotator Cuff injuries and other conditions of the shoulder. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (972) 899 – 4679 or visit 4951 Long Praire Road Suite 100, Flower Mound, Texas 75028.

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Neck Injury: Orthopedic Flower Mound, TX

by Administrator 14. April 2015 14:51

The neck, being a delicate part of the spine, is susceptible to various types of injuries. A number of nerves, tendons, muscles and ligaments run through the region facing regular wear and tear. Neck injuries are common problem especially among athletes, sports persons or anyone people who work long hours in front of a computer screen. Any sudden blow to the neck can cause injury. Simple sprains or strains that occur due to wrong posture or sleeping positions are easily curable. However, severe injuries that occur due to degenerative intervertebral discs, car accidents or sport injuries need immediate medical attention.

Here are some of the common neck injuries and the possible treatment options.

  • Sprains and strains: Sprains and strains are the most common neck problem faced by people. Neck has seven spinal columns called the cervical vertebra, which are connected with the ligaments. Tearing and stretching of these ligaments due to a strong and sudden movement of head leads to sprain and the pulling of the muscles causes neck strains. These conditions often heal on their own or require minimal treatment, which may include rest, ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications. Physiotherapy helps return the flexibility and the patient may also find relief by using a soft neck brace.
  • Whiplash: This condition is explained as hyperextension of the neck in the forward and backward direction due to high impact, contact sports, falls or physical assault. This occurs during a motor accident or a strong collision that jerks the neck suddenly. It badly affects the tendons and the ligaments of the neck, which stretch beyond the limit. The patient suffers from severe neck pain, headache, dizziness and fatigue. Whiplash is usually treated with rest, medication and ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • Cervical root compression: Cervical root compression or pinched nerve results due to degeneration of one or more cervical intervertebral discs, which may occur due to aging, being overweight or a disease. The spaces between the vertebrae decrease with the degeneration and it leads to compression of the nerves. The patient feels numbing, tingling and a burning sensation in the neck. 
  • Fracture: Neck fracture is a serious injury that requires immediate medical care. Fracture can damage the spinal cord and cause paralysis or even death. Certain trauma, fall on the head or car accidents can put immense pressure on the neck and fracture the vertebra. The orthopedic surgeons recommend surgery to restore the muscles and tendons in the neck.  

All these injuries are preventable if you practice some measures such as wearing seat belts while traveling, warming up before exercising, avoiding overuse, strengthening and stretching the neck muscles.

For neck injury treatment in flower Mound, TX, visit Dr. Kulwicki at 4951 Long Praire Road Suite 100, Flower Mound, Texas 75028. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 899 - 4679.

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Shoulder Injury Prevention: Orthopedic Flower Mound

by Administrator 23. March 2015 06:47

Shoulder is one of the most mobile joint of the body and is made of ligaments, cartilages and muscles. However everyday activities, indulging in sports and accidents can stress and injure the shoulder. Here are certain tips to prevent shoulder injury.

  • Do proper warm up: Before playing or doing any exercise you must warm up and prepare your shoulder for the activity. Usually warm up sessions include stretching exercises, which prepare the muscles for movement and cardiovascular exercises, which increase blood circulation. An effective warm up helps in preventing injuries.
  • Stay fit and healthy: To avoid shoulder injuries, make sure you are in good physical shape. By strengthening your arm, wrist, neck, back and shoulder muscles, you can reduce stress in your shoulder and protect it. You should make sure that you do stretching and range of motion exercises to strengthen the shoulders and arms.
  • Maintain right posture: You should always stand straight so that you are relaxed and without a slouch.
  • Wear protective gear: By wearing protective gears while playing sports or participating in recreational activities, you can prevent serious shoulder injuries.
  • Avoid alcohol: It is important to avoid alcohol or any drugs before driving or playing any game, as one loses balance while intoxicated and may fall to hurt the shoulder. Consumption of alcohol also deteriorates the bone density and weakens the body.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects: Make sure you do not lift any heavy object if you have pain in shoulder, as it could worsen the injury. In case you have to lift something heavy, ensure that you use right body movement while lifting; otherwise, you will strain your shoulder.
  • Avoid overuse: Repeated movements can injure the tendons and bursa; therefore, it is essential that you avoid overusing the arm. You should avoid all strenuous activities and make sure you alternate your hands while doing cooking, playing musical instruments or doing any other activity. You should also avoid keeping your arms raised or out to the side for long periods. Take regular breaks and use ice, elevation and compression therapy, if required.
  • Take guidance from sports training specialist: If you are a recreational or professional athlete, you should consult a sports training specialist. He will help you by offering training and conditioning schedules that will keep your shoulder in the best form.

For more prevention tips, contact Dr. Kulwicki at OrthoTexas, Flower Mound. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctor, call at (972) 899.4679 or visit 4951 Long Praire Road Suite 100, Flower Mound, Texas 75028.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Olecranon Bursitis

by Administrator 12. February 2015 09:10

Olecranon Bursitis is an inflammation in elbow, which is caused as a result of enlargement of a small sac of fluid located on the tip of the elbow. The fluid is present in the bursa, which is located where the muscles or tendons slide over the bone. This fluid helps reduce friction between the sliding parts.

Causes:

The olecranon bursa can be become irritated and inflamed due to a number of reasons:

  • Direct blow or fall over the elbow that may cause bleeding in the bursa sac. This can result in inflammation of the sac
  • Excessive pressure on the bursa
  • Infection of the tissue near the bursa
  • Any blood- borne infection
  • Medical conditions such as arthritis or gout

In many cases the condition occurs without any apparent reason, which in medical terms is known as idiopathic. It can also be due to a mild injury that the patient may have forgotten about.

Symptoms:

The initial symptoms of the condition is swelling in the area near the elbow or loosening of the skin on the back of the elbow. The bursa begins to stretch out as long as swelling continues causing pain, which worsens when direct pressure is put on the elbow. This swelling may also grow large enough to restrict the motion of the elbow. Redness, warmth, fever and chills can also be felt due to infection in the area.  If the condition is not treated for a longer period, it may also result in draining of the abscess or seeping out of the pus.

Treatment:

It is important to get Olecranon Bursitis treated from an orthopedic doctor who may diagnose the condition based on physical examination. X-Ray may also be required to ensure that no fracture has occurred.
The treatment options for the condition include:

Non- Surgical Treatment:

  • Treatment requires taking ample of rest and restricting the motion of the arm. An elbow pad might also be used for giving maximum rest to the elbow.
  • The orthopedic surgeon may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to control the swelling.

Surgical Treatment:

If the infection takes a long time to heal then surgery is the last resort. Two types of surgery can be sought, namely bursa drainage and bursa removal. The surgeon will determine the treatment process depending on the extent of the condition. Rest and rehabilitation are necessary after the surgery, which may take weeks to heal completely.

For more information about the elbow injuries and the treatment options available in Flower Mound, TX , feel free to contact Dr. Kevin J. Kulwicki at (972) 899 – 4679.

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Golfer’s Elbow: Orthopedic Treatment In Flower Mound, TX

by Administrator 21. January 2015 08:34

Golfer’s Elbow is an orthopedic condition causing pain in the inner part of the elbow, often radiating down to the forearm and wrist. It is usually a result of straining of the forearm muscles that help you to grip, bend the wrist and twist the forearm. Although the condition can commonly be seen in golfers, it can also affect people who repeatedly have to clench their fingers and rotate their wrists, such as in painting, raking etc.

Causes

  • Overuse of arm muscles: This occurs when you repetitively rotate your arm or play sports that require a greater use of arm muscles and wrist.
  • Playing golf: Golf requires you to swing your arms, which can sometimes hurt the tendons connecting to the forearm.
  • Lifting heavy weights: When you lift heavy weights, it exerts great pressure on your forearm. Due to this sudden force, the tendons in the arm get damaged and cause pain and soreness.
  • Repeated activities: Too much usage of screwdrivers or hammers, painting, chopping wood, can also cause this condition.
  • Other factors such as muscle imbalance, hand or elbow injury and lack of physical exercise can also cause the condition.

Symptoms

  • Weakness in wrist, elbow or forearm
  • Swelling in the arm or wrist
  • Stiffness and inability to swing the arm back and forth smoothly
  • Difficulty and pain in bending or flexing the wrist
  • Difficulty grasping things
  • Severe pain in the arm that increases over time
  • Numbness in hands or fingers
  • Problem while shaking hands

Diagnosis

To diagnose Golfer’s Elbow, the orthopedic surgeon may suggest certain imaging tests such as MRI, Ultrasound, and X-ray. He may also apply pressure on the affected area and ask the patient to move the arm, fingers and wrist in certain ways.

Treatment

The orthopedic surgeon may prescribe the following treatment options for Golfer’s Elbow:

  • Non-surgical method: Depending upon the severity of this condition, the orthopedic doctor may prescribe you anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the pain. Taking adequate rest and avoiding strain on your arm can help you recover faster. You may also be advised to apply ice over the affected area. This may also help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the elbow and arm.
  • Surgical method: This usually comes as the last resort in the treatment approach. During surgery, the orthopedic surgeon may remove the bone spur to restore the normal functioning of the arm.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Golfer’s Elbow in Flower Mound, TX, consult Dr. Kulwicki. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, you can call at (972) 899 - 4679.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Frozen Shoulder

by Administrator 21. November 2014 06:18

Frozen shoulder, also known as ‘Adhesive Capsulitis’, is a common orthopedic condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It may be a result of overuse, sprain, injury or other medical conditions such as diabetes. The shoulder joint is made up of many bones, tendons and ligaments that are enclosed in a shell of connective tissues. Thickening and tightening of this shell results in restricting the shoulder’s normal range of motion, thus, causing it to freeze. The pain gradually increases with time and an orthopedic surgeon should be consulted for proper treatment.

Causes

The condition usually develops when an individual ceases using the joint normally due to injury, pain or a chronic medical condition. Other causes may include:

  • Cervical Disc Disease
  • Shoulder surgery
  • Shoulder injury
  • Open heart surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Thyroid gland problems
  • Lung disease

Symptoms

Symptoms of frozen shoulder usually appear gradually in three different stages which are:

  • Painful stage: During this, the individual may experience pain while moving the shoulder. The range of motion of the joint also gets limited. Shoulder pain may worsen during night time, causing difficulty in sleeping properly.
  • Adhesive/ frozen stage: Pain begins to moderate at this stage. The shoulder may become stiffer and the range of motion decreases considerably.
  • Thawing stage: In this stage, the shoulder begins to restore its normal range of motion.

Treatment

  • Medications: The orthopedic doctor may prescribe certain over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and discomfort associated with the condition.
  • Heat or Ice Compression: This can also help to ease the stiffness in muscles and reduce pain.
  • Exercise: Gentle and frequent exercises, as prescribed by the doctor, can also help to reinstate joint mobility.
  • Steroid injections: It may also help in reducing pain and increasing the shoulder’s range of motion.
  • Shoulder manipulation: In this, the shoulder is gently moved when the patient is under the effect of a mild anesthetic. The procedure helps to loosen the tightened tissues. 
  • Joint distension: This involves introducing sterilized water into the shoulder in order to stretch the tissue and increase the mobility of the joint.
  • Surgery: If the conservative treatment options do not provide relief from the pain, the patient may be suggested to undergo surgery. During the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon removes the adhesions and scar tissue from inside the shoulder joint.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of frozen shoulder in Flower Mound, TX, visit Dr. Kulwicki. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, call at (972) 899 - 4679.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Burners And Stingers

by Administrator 22. September 2014 08:38

A Burner, also known as Stinger, is an injury of the upper arm in which the pain spreads from the shoulder to the hands. These are common injuries that occur in contact or collision sports. The injury occurs at brachial plexus, which is a collection of nerves providing sensation and motor function to upper extremity. The injury is named so because of the feeling of electric shock or lightning bolt going down the arm accompanied by a warm sensation. This injury can be temporary and symptoms may go away after a while however if the injury is serious it can result in complete nerve injury as well as loss of function.

Causes:

  • Injuries to brachial plexus can occur due to forcefully pushing the head sideways and down. This can result in pinching of the nerves surrounding the neck.
  • Burners can occur when athletes make a hard hit using a shoulder. The traumatic force while tackling or blocking forces the shoulder down resulting in the neck stretching away from the shoulder. This usually occurs in contact sports like football and wrestling, and it is estimated that around 70% of football players experience this injury in their careers.
  • Spinal Stenosis, in which the players have a small spinal canal, are also at a great risk of suffering from burner of stinger.

Symptoms:

  • Burners and stingers produce sensations in only one arm. The pain can last varying from seconds, minutes, days or even longer.
  • A burning or electric sensation is felt in the arm
  • Arm may get numb, followed by weakness after the injury
  • A warm sensation is felt

Diagnosis:

The orthopedic surgeon examines the shoulder and arm to check for symptoms of an injury. The patient is advised to undergo complete medical evaluation along with X-rays and MRI scans if the pain affects daily activities. If the athlete has symptoms like weakness that lasts for several days, pain in neck, recurrent burners and stingers they would need extensive medical examination.

Treatment:

Treatment usually begins by keeping the athlete away from sports until the symptoms subside. Returning to sports immediately risk hurting the neck because of weakness and pain caused due to burners and stingers. If pain persists then following the RICE approach can help in order to reduce inflammation and pain around the injured nerves. The athlete should take proper rest, apply ice after regular intervals, compress the affected area with bandages and should eliminate activities that aggravate the pain.  The orthopedic surgeon may also recommend a special neck roll or elevated shoulder pads to the athlete to wear during sports activities.

If you are suffering from burners and stingers, visit Dr. Kulwicki for comprehensive care. The orthopedic surgeon uses advanced treatment methods to heal the problem and relieve the patient of the distress. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (972) 899 – 4679.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 21. August 2014 11:05

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, also known as Ulnar Nerve Compression, refers to a condition when the Ulnar nerve (which travels from your neck down into your hand), gets compressed on the inside edge of the elbow. The Ulnar nerve originates from the side of the neck and passes through the Cubital Tunnel, just behind the inside edge of the elbow, and goes into the hand. The Tunnel has many muscles, ligaments and bones. The Ulnar nerve works with the muscle that pulls the thumb into the palm of the hand.

Causes

  • Frequent bending of the elbow
  • Bending elbow for sustained periods
  • Repeatedly leaning on the elbow
  • Strenuous physical activities or sports
  • Abnormal bone growth in the elbow
  • Blow or injury to Cubital Tunnel
  • Fluid buildup in the elbow

Some risk factors include previous fracture, arthritis, bone spur or cysts near the elbow joint.

Symptoms

  • Numbness on the inside of the hand
  • Pain
  • Inability to move fingers in and out
  • Tingling in the ring finger or little finger
  • Difficulty with finger co-ordination and gripping
  • Weakening of muscles in the hand
  • Decreased grip
  • Muscle wasting

Diagnosis

For diagnosing the problem the orthopedic surgeon conducts physical examination and checks the medical history of the patient. If doctor suspects that something abnormal is pressing on the nerve, then he/she may ask for an X-ray. Nerve tests such as EMGS can also help in determining the extent and location of nerve compression.

Treatment

Usually the doctors recommend non surgical treatments including medicines, injections and exercises. The orthopedic surgeon can prescribe some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce the swelling around the nerve. Patients can also be asked to use a padded brace or splint at night to keep the elbow in a straight position. Some exercises are recommended that help in keeping the wrist and elbow flexible and avoid stiffness. In severe cases however, orthopedic doctors suggest surgery to take pressure off the nerve. If non-surgical methods are not effective, then surgery is done to relieve pressure on the Ulnar nerve at the elbow and the new growth of tissues heals the ligament and offers sufficient space for the Ulnar nerve to glide.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Tennis Elbow

by Administrator 21. July 2014 12:35

Tennis elbow is a common problem that often brings people and especially players to orthopedic centers. Tennis elbow is known as lateral epicondylitis, in medical terms, and it is a painful condition which leads to inflammation of the tendons and muscles in the elbow. Often players who play tennis and racquet sports suffer from this condition but there are many other activities and sports that put one at risk.

Causes

The major cause of tennis elbow is the overuse of the muscles, and tendons of forearm and elbow. The repeated activities cause strain on the elbow tendons and this produces pain. Although, sports persons are more susceptible to Tennis Elbow but anyone who does manual work is at risk. The exact cause of the problem is debatable; however, doctors often suggest that pressure and overuse causes tear of muscles and the repeated activity inhibits the healing, weakens the injured areas and causes pain. Some other causes include micro tears of muscles and tendons, and arthritis of the underlying joint. Often the decreased blood flow causes weakness and damage to the tendons.

Symptoms

The symptoms develop gradually in Tennis elbow. The main symptoms include

  • Pain that spreads down the forearm
  • Tenderness of the elbow
  • Tightening of forearm muscles
  • Stiffness and difficulty in straightening elbow
  • More pain on bending wrist backwards, holding something, straightening elbow and turning palm upward

Diagnosis

An orthopedic doctor thoroughly examines the elbow and the forearm. He/she may enquire about the past medical history of the patient and check the current symptoms. He may also try to know about the social history of the patient, and the occupational and recreational activities. Besides a physical examination, some tests are also carried out to confirm Tennis Elbow such as an X-ray or in extreme cases a MRI test.

Treatment

Depending upon the condition, both non-surgical and surgical methods of treatment can be effective. The patient is advised to give proper rest to the arm. Doctors often administer non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines for treating pain and inflammation. The physical therapy is often quite effective and with the help of certain exercises, the muscles are strengthened. The therapist may also offer ice massage, ultrasound and other muscle-stimulating techniques to heal the muscles. To rest the muscles and tendons, the patient may be advised to use braces. If non-surgical methods do not work, then surgical methods are used which involves removing damaged muscles and reattaching healthy muscles back to bone.

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