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Over the past few decades, minimally invasive surgery has become increasingly common across all medical specialties. The orthopedics field is no exception, with many innovations improving patient outcomes.

New research and technologies have led to improved methods of joint replacement, arthroscopic repairs of sports injuries, and microscopic treatment of complex musculoskeletal conditions.

What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery minimizes both the size of surgical incisions as well as the trauma to surrounding soft tissues while accomplishing the same surgical goal as conventional orthopedic surgery. In orthopedics, this can mean the difference between exposing the entire joint through a large, open incision or using small, targeted incisions to address only the problem area. With minimally invasive surgery, patients experience less risk during surgery, less post-operative pain and shorter recovery times.

So-called Tommy John surgery, a surgical repair for injured elbows, has saved the careers of many a major-league pitcher. While this may seem like an extreme treatment for a high school athlete, a recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine has found teenage pitchers now undergo more of the procedures than any other group. These results highlight the risk of overuse injuries in this age group, according to orthopedic specialists.

The study found that athletes ages 15 to 19 account for 56.8 percent of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction procedures, commonly known as Tommy John surgery after the pitcher who won more than half the victories in his 26 years in the major leagues after becoming the first person to undergo the procedure.

Damage to the UCL, a band of tissue in the elbow that binds the upper and lower arm bones together, is typically an overuse injury caused by throwing at extreme intensity and frequency.

Sports have become so competitive that young athletes are often playing for nine or more months every year on school teams, travel teams and in multiple leagues, tournaments, showcases, camps, indoor ball and other programs. Playing when fatigued, and when a player’s physical condition and technique may not be the best increase the risk of developing an overuse injury.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:40

Bone and Joint Problems Associated with Diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month, a time set aside to raise awareness about diabetes and its associated risk factors.

Did you know that if you are an individual living with diabetes, you are at higher risk for some bone and joint disorders?

Certain factors such as nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), arterial disease and obesity may contribute to these conditions, but often the cause isn’t clear.

If you feel that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your endocrinologist or consult a board certified orthopedic physician who will take your medical history of diabetes into account when diagnosing your condition.


Charcot Joint
Charcot (shahr-HOK) joint, also called neuropathic arthropathy, occurs when a joint deteriorates because of nerve damage – a common complication of diabetes. Charcot joint primarily affects the feet.
Symptoms include numbness and tingling or loss of sensation in the affected joints. They may become unstable, swollen or deformed. If detected early, progression of the disease can be slowed. Limited weight bearing activities and use of orthotic supports to the affected joint and surrounding structures can help.

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