Your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments all work together to propel you through your daily life and activities. Collectively, they are known as the musculoskeletal system. This complex system is prone to acute and chronic injuries, malformations, and degenerative processes.
Fortunately, the orthopedic specialists at EMU Health have the knowledge, diagnostic technology, and advanced operative and non-surgical treatments you need to treat your orthopedic problems and even get rid of your symptoms. Here’s more on common bone and joint problems and the symptoms associated with each condition.
Common Orthopedic Problems
Fractures, Strains, and Sprains
Fractures, strains, and sprains are often confused because they can happen in the same parts of the body. However, there are distinct differences between these injuries.
A fracture refers to a broken bone. For instance, it is quite common to fracture bones in the foot, which causes pain and loss of range of motion.
A strain refers to an overstretched muscle or tendon. Muscles provide the power to move bones, and tendons connect muscles to bones. Both are meant to stretch but can be damaged if overstretched. A common type of strain is a low back muscle strain.
A sprain refers to an overstretched or torn ligament. A ligament is a type of tough tissue that connects bones together to form a joint. Ligaments are not meant to stretch and can be damaged if overstretched.
All three of these injuries can cause considerable pain and loss of flexibility or movement. These injuries may occur from a fall, a motor vehicle accident, a job mishap, a sports collision, or even repetitive use.
A degenerative condition resulting from age, injury, heredity, or autoimmune disease, arthritis is a general term for any condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints. Over time, people with arthritis lose the ability to bear weight and move with a full range of motion and strength.
There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis. This condition causes the breakdown of the protective tissue between the joints, known as cartilage. This can lead to pain, a grating sensation in the joints, weakness, and substantial joint deformity.
Osteoporosis is a condition that decreases bone mass and density. It is often a result of aging, as the process of bone regeneration slows down as you get older. Essentially, bones are brittle, painful, weak, and subject to arthritis and fracture. People with osteoporosis are at increased risk for falls.
Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis because they do not produce as much estrogen as normal after menopause, and this hormone is important for bone regeneration. This means older women are at an especially high risk for fractures, falls, and loss of ambulation.
Tendinitis refers to inflammation of the tendons or the cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. This condition can be caused by a sudden injury, a strain, too much exercise, or as a result of repetitive motions that put stress on the tendons. Sites of tendinitis include the wrist, elbow, heel (Achilles tendon), and knee.
Common Orthopedic Symptoms
Orthopedic symptoms vary widely depending on the source of the disease or injury, as well as the age, gender, and overall health of the patient. Most people seek evaluation and treatment from orthopedic specialists on the advice of their primary care physicians. It’s best to seek treatment sooner rather than later to avoid irreversible damage, deterioration, and loss of movement.
Common orthopedic symptoms include the following:
- Pain (cramping, shooting, stabbing, and more)
- Redness and feelings of heat or warmth
- Fatigue and malaise
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms
- Snapping or grinding noise when moving a joint
Contrary to what many people believe about orthopedic evaluation and treatment, surgery is not always the first or even best option. Our specialists respect the value of non-operative solutions, including:
- Guided-injection therapies
- Physical therapy
- Heat and cold therapy
The overall goals of any orthopedic treatment plan are relief of debilitating symptoms, improvement of movement and flexibility, and maintenance of ambulation and independence. Plus, our orthopedic team helps patients prevent injuries through education tailored to their sport, lifestyle, age, and overall health needs.
EMU Health and Rothman Orthopaedic Institute
EMU Health is proud to offer a wide range of advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques to the residents of Queens. On our staff, we have the wonderful Ivan Madrid, MD, who specializes in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. In addition, thanks to our partnership with Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, you can make appointments with the following physicians from Rothman Orthopaedics:
- Lawrence Chang, DO – nonsurgical sports medicine
- Erick Kazarian, MD– spine surgery
- Julie Lin, DPM –foot and ankle, surgical and non-surgical
We welcome new patients to come in for a personalized evaluation of new or continuing orthopedic issues. Call us to learn more at (718) 850-4368, or use our appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!