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The Different Types of Orthopedic Fractures
The Different Types of Orthopedic Fractures

Any bone in the human body can break partially or shatter completely if it experiences a physical trauma or force that is greater than its “breaking point,” or what it can absorb. The bones in our bodies are continually experiencing cell renewal – and as we get older, cells can break down more quickly than they can be renewed, which causes osteoporosis.

Fractures typically result from a fall, from rough physical activity, or from an accident. Other causes are genetics, aging bones, poor diet, or overuse caused by repetitive-motion stress.

Main Categories of Bone Fractures

Complete fracture occurs when a bone breaks in one or more places. 

Displaced fracture occurs when the bone breaks and separates, so there is a gap at the break between the two ends. This usually requires surgery to repair.

Stress fracture also called a hairline fracture, is a very fine crack in the bone. This type of broken bone can be difficult to see on an X-ray scan.

Partial fracture is when the bone cracks, but the break does not go all the way through the bone. 

Open fracture occurs when the broken bone punctures through the skin. This is also called a compound fracture, because not only is the bone broken but the patient is also exposed to infection because of the broken skin. 

All of these types of broken bones listed above require immediate medical attention.

Specific Types of Bone Fractures

The severity and type of a fracture depends on how the bone was broken in the first place. Fractures are identified by different names, and we highlight some of the most common types below:

Transverse fracture occurs when the bone breaks in a straight line, right across the bone.

Oblique fracture occurs when the bone breaks diagonally and angles across in a curved or sloping pattern. 

Buckled or impacted fracture occurs when the broken ends of bone are forced, or telescoped, into each other. These are often seen in children’s arm fractures. 

Pathologic fracture is a result of the bone being weakened due to osteoporosis or other diseases. 

Compression fracture occurs when the bone is crushed, causing the broken bone to widen or flatten in shape. 

Greenstick fracture is an incomplete fracture where the bone cracks and bends on one side, but the break doesn’t go all the way through. This type of injury is seen most often in children, because their bones are softer and are still growing.

Spiral fracture is when the break occurs in a spiral pattern around the bone. This type of broken bone is commonly seen in an injury caused by a twisting fall or force.

Unstable fracture is when fragments of the broken bone are misaligned and displaced. 

Comminuted fracture occurs when the bone breaks or shatters into three or more pieces.

Orthopedic Surgeons in Delray Beach

The skilled, caring medical team at South Palm Orthopedics provides quality, comprehensive orthopedic care. To learn more about fractures and their consequences if left untreated, call our orthopedic specialists today at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you regain the active lifestyle you’ve always enjoyed.

 

 

 


How Being Overweight Affects Your Joints
How Being Overweight Affects Your Joints

Is your body mass index (BMI) 30 or over? If it is, this is considered overweight, or obese, on the standard medical range. Obesity has become a global epidemic, with more than 35 percent of adults and children in the United States struggling with this chronic disease. And it’s not just about the image of being overweight, because added weight means a higher chance of pain and inflammation around the joints.

Losing weight can be difficult and frustrating, requiring extreme changes and a high level of discipline. But not doing so comes with a host of health complications, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol levels, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Being obese is psychological as well as physical. Being overweight often causes someone to have anxiety and low self-esteem. These feelings can quickly turn into depression, leading to more unhealthy habits such as excessive eating, drinking, or smoking cigarettes. Being overweight and obese requires a lifestyle transformation, as promoting a healthy lifestyle will increase your quality of life.

Feeling the Weight of the World on You

Did you know that if you are carrying extra weight, it can lead to chronic pain, especially in your joints, and may even damage them permanently?  If you are overweight or obese, you may have noticed that certain areas of your body – such as your knees, hip, feet, or ankles – tend to be sorer and may even crack or pop more frequently. 

These are all clear indications of bone and joint damage, most likely due to degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis. Being overweight or obese increases one’s risk of developing chronic joint pain and joint diseases. This is twofold, because not only does the added weight put more pressure on your joints, there are also unhealthy foods that can promote a higher level of inflammation in the body. If you already have arthritis, added weight will only make your pain and reduced mobility even worse.

Carrying extra weight puts stress on one’s growth plates, joints, and bones. This leads to a greater level of degeneration and wear and tear. Obesity can also lead to hormonal imbalances, which may affect musculoskeletal growth and bone density. In other words, excessive stress on the joints causes chronic pain, mobility issues, and may lead to the need for physical therapy to help restore functionality, mobility, and relieve pain. If these methods of treatments do not help, joint replacement surgery may be needed to replace and repair the damaged joint.

Joint Damage and Weight

Joint damage sustained from degeneration and decay is not reversible. However, there are options out there to help improve joint pain and function. Starting a low-impact exercise plan to help lose weight will help keep pressure and swelling off of your joints, letting them support your body and movement the way they are designed. Any amount of weight lost can help to take some stress off of your joints, which will ultimately help you move and feel better overall.

Understanding how important a healthy diet and fitness routine can be for maintaining a lifetime of good musculoskeletal health can go a long way to avoiding pain and injury. 

To learn more about the common conditions that could affect your joints, and how to improve your joint health overall, call the orthopedic specialists at South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 to request an appointment, or request an appointment online.


What Are My Options For Treating Chronic Pain
What Are My Options For Treating Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, defined as pain that lasts more than three months, is on the rise in the United States. Over 10 percent of American adults said they had experienced pain over the previous three months, according to the federal 2012 National Health Interview Survey. 

People who suffer from chronic and severe pain report a lower quality of life, and more disability that people who had less chronic pain. So it’s very important to understand your options for treatment and relief. 

The most common conditions that cause chronic pain are osteoarthritis and low-back pain. Other common conditions include fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome. Chronic pain may also be caused by an injury, inflammation, or a nervous system problem (neuropathic pain). Sometimes, no specific cause can be found.

Chronic pain is costly, both in terms of treatment and time lost at work: nearly $635 billion dollars in 2012. 

Treatment for Chronic Pain

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen can provide effective relief for mild to moderate pain. If you suffer pain caused by osteoarthritis, this conservative approach to pain management may work well for you. Combining over-the-counter pain relief with low-impact exercise is even more effective in controlling chronic pain.

Physical therapy can be a very helpful way of treating lower-back pain. Often, weakness or other musculoskeletal issues may leave you more vulnerable to back injury and the resulting pain. Strengthening your core muscle with supervised and targeted exercise will help in the long term by taking some of the strain off of your back muscles.

Stronger pain relief medication is a controversial subject lately, with opioid misuse and addiction in the news almost every day. Talk with your doctor if your over-the-counter medications are not helping.

Cortisone injections for lower back pain can help reduce inflammation and the injections deliver the medicine directly to where it’s needed. Always work with an experienced professional whenever getting invasive treatments, especially any treatment involving the area around your spine. Ask your doctor where the medicines were made, how they were made, and how safe the procedure is.

More advanced pain-management treatments include implanted medication-delivery pumps and spinal cord stimulation. These may be needed to help with conditions such complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). 

Partial or total joint replacement surgery may be necessary to relieve your pain if you have advanced osteoarthritis or other joint disease and other methods failed to bring relief. 

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating some types of chronic pain, including lower-back pain. Yoga also has helped some people who suffer from chronic pain. Biofeedback, meditation therapy, and psychotherapy also can help certain patients manage chronic pain. 

Antidepressants have helped patients who suffer from fibromyalgia, and it’s important to note that people with fibromyalgia are not depressed per se. Rather, it’s thought that the medications work to soothe nerve inflammation and pain.

Chronic pain is a big problem for lots of people. It’s essential that you get expert advice and treatment for pain before it does permanent damage to your physical and mental health.

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain, or if you have questions about how chronic disease can impact your health, call the orthopedic specialists at South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online.

How Total Joint Replacement Can Prevent Chronic Disease
How Total Joint Replacement Can Prevent Chronic Disease

Total joint replacement can restore pain-free movement when less invasive measures have not helped. One of the most common causes of joint pain is osteoarthritis, a degenerative and progressive disease that eventually wears down the protective cushion in your knees, hips, and other joints.

As humans, we are meant to keep moving: Being able to walk and exercise is essential to stay healthy and to help prevent chronic disease. Although there are effective noninvasive treatments for mild to moderate joint disease, severe cases may require surgery. But total joint replacement can do more than just relieve pain; it can help prevent chronic diseases, too. 

Common Chronic Diseases

As we age, we are more likely to develop chronic, so-called lifestyle diseases. These are conditions that usually can be prevented by reducing or avoiding behavior-related risk factors. Some of the most common chronic diseases we face today are:

·      Hypertension

·      Cardiovascular Disease

·      Type 2 Diabetes

·      Metabolic Syndrome

So how can a total joint replacement help? The key factor is physical activity.

How Physical Activity Helps Keep You Healthy

Among other benefits, keeping active helps you manage weight. 

Keeping to a healthy weight for your size lessens your risk for Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome (a condition in which excess abdominal fat increases the risk of hypertension, high blood sugar, and heart disease).

Keeping physically active also helps keep you engaged and lessens your risk for depression and other mental health issues.

When you feel well, and you are able to keep connected to friends and your community, you are more likely to take your medications as prescribed, maintain a healthy diet, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use.

It’s a deceptively simple equation: pain-free movement helps you live a healthy life and enjoy a good quality of life. All these things reduce your likelihood of developing chronic disease.

Joint pain caused by osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States today. Left untreated, carrying on your daily routine, exercising, and even walking may become impossible. Increasing isolation is also a problem for some people who have severe joint pain, and isolation can increase your risk for depression and anxiety, too.

What Can I Expect From a Complete Joint Replacement?

During a total joint replacement, the surgeon removes the entire joint and inserts a metal, plastic, or hybrid joint in its place. Minimally invasive surgery has made this surgery a good choice for more patients. It uses specialized instruments and a small camera as a guide; a smaller incision size shortens recovery time after surgery.

New advances include robotic surgery, which extends the eyes and the hands of the surgeon. Three-dimensional imaging can create customized joints, improving outcomes and quality of life. In the hands of an experienced orthopedic surgeon and medical team, you can expect to walk with less, or no pain, and to regain your ability to participate in physical activity.

If you are considering joint replacement surgery, or if you have questions about chronic disease and how joint pain can impact you, call the orthopedic specialists at South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online.

Regenerative Medicine for Joint Pain
Regenerative Medicine for Joint Pain

The phrase “regenerative medicine” was coined by U.S. biologist William Haseltine during the twilight years of the 20th century. However, the concept of regenerative medicine has been used since the dawn of man. 

For millennia, healers and medical practitioners realized the body’s capacity to heal itself.  Practices that we often take for granted, such as cleansing wounds or relying on homeopathic mixtures to heal sickness, were considered cutting-edge medical practices at one time.

Today, sufferers of chronic joint ailments such as arthritis are seeking out what we would refer to as regenerative medicine in lieu of opioids, steroids, surgery, or simply learning to live with pain.

To be sure regenerative medicine, has come a long way since ancient times. So what exactly is modern regenerative medicine and how is it being used to overcome chronic joint pain?

Body, Heal Thyself!

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal itself.  The most common treatments are rest, time and care.  This is especially true if joint pain is a result of overuse, stress or aggressive activities.  And while the RICE method – that’s rest, ice, compression and elevation – can expedite healing of joint strain and sprain, it isn’t that simple with regard to arthritis, gout, and other chronic conditions that affect joint health.  That’s where a more modern approach comes into play.

Modern Regenerative Medicine

Modern regenerative medicine – of which stem cell therapy is one form – promotes the regeneration of new, healthy tissue by injecting stem cells extracted from the patient’s own body directly into the site of the injury to stimulate the body’s own repair mechanisms.  The new cells take on the characteristics of the healthy cells in that specific area, then start to replicate over time, promoting healing without the need for surgery, downtime or risky pain medication or resulting in scars or scar tissue.  Regenerative medicine not only helps in orthopedic matters, it offers hope to the U.S.’s more than 1 million sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis alone, and can be used for a variety of other medical conditions, from back, neck and sciatica pain; to tendonitis and hair loss.  Certain types of regenerative medicine are even used to treat illnesses like Crone’s and heart disease.

Cutting Edge, without the Cutting

For those who suffer from joint pain, they can expect a non-invasive treatment that requires no cutting, anesthetic, or anti-inflammatory medication.  That’s because regenerative treatment not only reduces the pain and inflammation associated with joint pain and other conditions, they also work to repair and regenerate the damaged region.

Regenerative medicine and related stem cell therapies are a major breakthrough in natural healing.  For the more than 25 million Americans who experience some form of chronic joint pain (arthritis being the most common type), regenerative medicine offers an attractive alternative to traditional medicine, proving that modern technology reinforced with ancient traditions just might be the treatment of the future!

To learn more about regenerative medicine and how our orthopedic surgeons can help improve your quality of life by relieving your joint pain, call South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online.

 

 


Warning Signs of Shoulder Conditions
Warning Signs of Shoulder Conditions

Healthcare experts estimate that approximately 65% of people experience shoulder pain at some point in their lives. This isn’t hard to believe, considering we use our arms and shoulders to carry out common everyday tasks and movements – from lifting up our children to pulling down the garage door.

Our shoulders are complex joints that are built to withstand pressure and allow a full range of motion.  The muscles and ligaments that make up the shoulder keep it stable and secure in what is called the shoulder socket.

Due to the shoulder being a very flexible joint, it is prone to injury and degeneration. Think about this:  what if one day you were throwing a ball or woke up and your shoulder was frozen in place? For sure you would be in pain.  But there are a number of different kinds of pain sensation, and each can help identify what sort of shoulder injury you might have.  Here are some warning signs of shoulder conditions based on the pain sensation:  

Aching Pains

Nagging or aching sensations are common with shoulder injuries, making it difficult for the doctor to pinpoint an accurate diagnosis.  If you are suffering from pain, whether it is dull or deep, you may have the following conditions:

·       Rotator cuff tears can be caused by wear and tear of the rotator cuff tendons and the cartilage over time from consistent, repetitive use or from a traumatic event, such as a fall.

·       Frozen shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) is characterized by stiffness and pain within the shoulder joint that causes the arm to “freeze up,” making it hard to move your arm.

·       Osteoarthritis:  The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis in the shoulder occurs when the cartilage of the shoulder joint starts to wear away between the bones, causing bone-on-bone rubbing and friction, resulting in inflammation and pain.

Radiating Pains

The location of pain “radiating” from the shoulder to other areas or joints in the body can be difficult for doctors to diagnosis or pinpoint, as the pain moves to other areas of the body. Radiating pain usually is located in the arm or neck areas.  You may have the following conditions if you are feeling this type of pain:

·       Arthritis.  When arthritis affects the top of your shoulder in what is called the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint), you may experience radiating pain moving into the neck area.

·       Tendonitis.  Tendons are responsible for connecting the muscles and bone in the shoulder joint. Tendonitis causes pain mostly in the rotator cuff area and radiates to the outside of the arm near the topmost part of the shoulder. This condition is due mostly to overuse.

Burning Pain

Sometimes the burning or tingling sensation felt in the shoulder joint and surrounding areas are caused by nerve pain. Nerves are responsible for transmitting pain, sensation and muscle movement to your extremities such as the shoulder. When the nerves in the shoulder are pinched or irritated, the pain signals may become blocked or intensified, often causing a burning sensation. You may have the following conditions if you are feeling this type of pain:

·       “Referred pain.” Even though you may not feel pain or burning in the neck itself, the burning sensation you may be feeling could be in a different location than the shoulder. This is called “referred pain.”

·       Pinched Nerve. Did you ever experience a burning or tingling sensation down your arm?  When a disc moves out of place, it can compress a nerve, hence the name pinched nerve and the tingling or burning sensation.

·       Subacromial bursitis is characterized by inflammation or irritation of the bursa, a small sac filled with fluid that serves as a shock absorber and protective barrier between the bones and soft tissue, such as the skin, muscles, and ligaments. In the shoulder, the subacromial bursa fills the space between the acromion (projection of the shoulder blade-scapula) and the rotator cuff, separating the two. Due to trauma or overuse, the bursa can become inflamed and swollen with excessive fluid, causing severe pain, stiffness and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, seek medical attention immediately for the best chance of diagnosis and early treatment to avoid further complications from occurring.

To learn more about the common conditions that could affect the shoulder and the signs that you should look out for, call the orthopedic specialists at South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online.


What Causes Frozen Shoulder?
What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

The word frozen literally means “frozen stiff.” Things that are cold or frozen consist of snow, ice, air, slushies, and icebergs. When something is frozen, it is solid and motionless. Well, who knew that this could happen to a body part, let alone the shoulder. We have all heard of a body part becoming stiff and painful, but never frozen. 

The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint of the body, so it is not surprising that shoulder pain is a common problem and results from a wide variety of causes. It may due to sports-related injuries, movement, overuse, or from other activities during regular daily life. Shoulder pain can also often be a symptom of another problem.

The shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle). The head of humerus fits into the socket in your shoulder blade. The two parts are connected by a strong tissue, called the shoulder capsule, which surrounds the shoulder’s joint. 

Sometimes shoulders just seize up, painfully and mysteriously. If you have been recently diagnosed with a condition called frozen shoulder, you have my greatest sympathies. It is disabling, agonizing, distressing both mentally and physically, immobilizing, exhausting, and frightening all at the same time.

Often times, we never think something bad could happen to our bodies, and then when you’re in the middle of it, you wonder if you’ll ever get your life back. Truth is, it is still a mystery of why the shoulder joint in particular would be the victim and tip of this metaphysical iceberg. Although, the shoulder seems to be the only joint that commonly “freezes” like this.

Frozen shoulder also known as adhesive capsulitis, causes pain and stiffness in the capsule of the shoulder joint, and overtime the condition makes it increasingly difficult to move your shoulder. This condition is the opposite of an overuse injury, due to the spontaneous bout of immobility of the shoulder joint.

We have fluid in our joints called synovial fluid, which allows the joints in our body to move smoothly without friction. When someone has frozen shoulder, their shoulder capsule thickens and becomes stiff and tight, causing it to freeze up. The pain comes from the joint rubbing bone to bone, due to there being little synovial fluid in the joint. Frozen shoulder occurs in three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing. 

Frozen shoulder is more like a disease than most common musculoskeletal problems, it is a biological puzzle, but, yet very common. Therefore, it is often hard for orthopedic surgeons to define or diagnose accurately, or treat effectively, as there are many common conditions that can affect the shoulder. In other words, this condition is thought to be caused by scar tissue forming in the shoulder, but doctors cannot pinpoint the exact cause, as it is not always fully understood, and symptoms cannot always be identified. 

This mystery is because all shoulder pain is not created equal. Everyone is different, and therefore, will experience different degrees of pain and symptoms. The shoulder will eventually “thaw” out, but many people experience this condition for a long time, and this time can be measured in years.

To learn more about frozen shoulder and its cause, call South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online.

 

 

 

 


Exercises that Strengthen Your Hand and Prevent Injuries
Exercises that Strengthen Your Hand and Prevent Injuries

We are constantly using our hands. They perform countless tasks, small and large, from driving, writing, playing a musical instrument, eating, opening a jar, to turning a key, pouring coffee, or buttoning a shirt. Our hands also help us communicate with others. Although our hands are very important and integral to daily activities, they are also very easily hurt or injured. Whether through work, play, or simply a freak accident like slamming your hand in the car door, we are all just a clap and a snap away from a hand injury. So, what can you do to strengthen your hands and prevent possible injuries? 

When you are plagued with hand pain, even the most basic tasks and activities can be difficult to accomplish. Hand pain, or any type of pain for that matter, is disruptive and debilitating. The hands are very susceptible to injury, and conditions such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can cause symptoms of pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility and mobility in the joints. Joint problems happen to be the most common cause of hand pain and disability. 

Some exercises can help increase your hand joint's range of motion, while also strengthening the muscles around the joint. Whether recovering from an injury, or trying to prevent one, hand exercises can improve strength and dexterity to help sustain hand health.

If you have a serious hand or wrist injury, consult your doctor first before participating in any exercise routines. All exercises should be done in a slow and methodical manner, to avoid pain and injury. Do these stretches gently, until you feel the stretch, but stop if you start to feel any pain. Hold the positions for a count of 15 to 30 seconds to get the most benefit. These hand exercises aim to allow your wrist and fingers to move through their normal range of motion, while stretching, strengthening, and conditioning the hands. 

1.     Fist Flex: Open your hand all the way with your fingers spread apart and upright. Slowly bring your hand into a fist with your thumbs being on the outside. Don’t squeeze or clench your fist tightly. Open and close your hand like this 10-15 times. This exercise will help make sure that your hand and fingers have proper range of motion.

2.     Wrist Rotations: Rest your forearms on a chair or table where your fingers are hanging freely. Bend your wrists backwards and lift your hands up towards you, and then lower them.

3.     Grip Strengthener: Hold a soft ball, like a stress ball in the palm of your hand and squeeze as hard as you can and release after a few seconds. This exercise will help with grip strength and range of motion.

4.     Finger Lift: Gently lift your fingers one at a time to help increase motion and flexibility in your fingers.

5.     Warm Your Hands: If your hands and fingers feel painful and stiff, warm them up before you exercise. This can make mobility and stretching easier and less painful. Use a heating pad or soak them in warm water for about five to ten minutes.

To learn more about the hand and exercises that will help relieve pain, or improve strength, function, and mobility, call South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online.

 

 

 

 


mi-eye 2™ - Breakthrough Technology Replaces MRI for Diagnosing Orthopedic Injuries in Palm Beach County

Delray Beach, Florida orthopedic surgeon Dr.  William P. Toole of South Palm Orthopedics uses new diagnostic tool to swiftly identify orthopedic injuries that would otherwise require an MRI

Delray Beach, FL (PRWEB) February 13, 2018 – Ordinarily, patients suffering from joint pain need an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to locate the source of their injury. However, many who have an MRI experience anxiety attacks, claustrophobia and negative reactions during the study. And patients with metal implants – such as pacemakers and defibrillators – can’t use an MRI for diagnostic purposes.

Now a new revolutionary tool called the mi-eye 2™ is replacing an MRI for diagnosing orthopedic injuries at South Palm Orthopedics. Dr. William P. Toole, a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon at South Palm Orthopedics who specializes in sports medicine and complex injuries of the shoulder, hip and knee, uses the mi-eye to examine and easily visualize patient injuries and provide in-office analysis for faster diagnosis of many conditions. And his patients couldn’t be happier.

Dr. Toole’s extensive training includes the latest arthroscopic techniques for the surgical management of complex shoulder, hip, and knee issues. He has a special interest in complex knee ligament procedures, rotator cuff repairs, and performing the latest cartilage techniques to preserve as much of the patient’s joint as possible.

The mi-eye is the latest addition to South Palm Orthopedics, which specializes in the most cutting-edge and minimally invasive techniques and technology for shoulder, hip and knee replacements, including patient specific implants and robotic assisted joint replacements.

Manufactured by Trice Medical Inc., the mi-eye is a hand-held arthroscope that can provide visualization of a damaged joint or other interior parts of the body. The device consists of a needle with an integrated camera and light source that, when inserted, effectively probes the affected area to assess the injury and provide a more accurate diagnosis.

With the mi-eye tool, diagnostic results are immediate -- no more going to another facility to have an MRI and then waiting days for a result. Instead, the mi-eye procedure is performed in the comfort of South Palm Orthopedics’ conveniently located Delray Beach office. Better still, there is no need for any sedation or anesthesia and there is no down time.

Dr. David Buchalter, the founding partner at South Palm Orthopedics is especially excited about adding the mi-eye to the arsenal of advanced diagnostic and treatment tools at the practice. “We are thrilled to now offer patients this easy alternative to MRI to assess their orthopedic conditions. This new addition to our practice will allow us to diagnose and treat patients faster and with less stress, and get them on their road to recovery sooner”, said Dr. Buchalter.

The mi-eye provides a great alternative for patients who are claustrophobic, or dread being enclosed in an MRI machine. Plus, by choosing the mi-eye, patients can resume their active lifestyle at least two weeks sooner than when choosing to undergo an MRI.

Mi-eye is FDA approved for use in diagnostic and operative illumination, and it is covered by most major insurance carriers, including Medicare.

To learn more about the mi-eye procedure and how this breakthrough technology is revolutionizing the treatment of joint injury, contact South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or visit our website at www.southpalmorthopedics.com.

About South Palm Orthopedics

South Palm Orthopedics has been providing quality, comprehensive orthopedic care to Palm Beach County for over 24 years and is conveniently located in Delray Beach, Florida. Staffed by five fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeons, Dr. David Buchalter, Dr. Steve Meadows, Dr. Russell Weisz, Dr. Brian E. Colman, Dr, and Dr. William P. Toole, South Palm Orthopedics offers specialized treatment in all areas of orthopedics including arthroscopy, minimally invasive joint reconstruction using computer navigation, sports medicine, hand and wrist surgery, shoulder replacements and reverse shoulder replacement as well as trauma and fracture repair.

About Trice Medical

Trice Medical, Inc. develops orthopedic diagnostics devices with integrated camera-enabled technologies/needle-based diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for patients, physicians, and payors. Its products enable micro invasive surgeon visualization procedures that offer painless, cosmetically undetectable, and surgical grade care in the office environment. The company provides its products for use in office-based diagnostic procedures and therapeutic delivery areas. For more information, visit www.tricemedical.com; follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook or call 610-989-8080.

For Press Inquiries, please contact Patsy Smith at (561) 496-6622.

Is Your Hand Pain Caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Is Your Hand Pain Caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Is Your Hand Pain Caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage composed of ligament and bones at the base of the hand. It contains the median nerve and tendons that provide flexibility to the fingers. The median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle, and part of the ring fingers, and controls some muscles at the base of the thumb.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an entrapment neuropathy in which one of the peripheral nerves is impacted. Inflamed, swollen, or irritated tendons narrow the tunnel and compress the nerve at the wrist. This results in numbness, weakness, or pain in the hand, wrist, forearm, or arm.   

These sensations are also symptoms of other neuropathic disorders and hence diagnosis can become confusing.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome entraps the median nerve and is the result of a combination of factors that cause the tunnel to contract. It is not a problem with the nerve itself. 

Trauma or injury to the wrist can cause swelling, sprain, or fractures. A glandular issue such as overactive pituitary gland or underactive thyroid gland could be a cause. Obesity  and rheumatoid arthritis or disc herniation can also contribute to CTS. 

Other causes include problems in the wrist joint, edema during pregnancy or menopause, or cysts or tumors in the canal.  

Occupational stress and repetitive handling of vibrating hand tools can also contribute to the compression of the tunnel. 

Symptoms of CTS 

The onset of CTS symptoms is usually gradual and can include burning, tingling (pins and needles), itching, and numbness in the palm and fingers, which can move up to the elbow. Often patients complain of swollen, non-functioning fingers, even though swelling is not apparent.

These symptoms often start in one or both hands and are worse at night. On waking, stiffness in the hands and arms can decrease range of motion and create an urge to shake the hand or wrist vigorously.

These symptoms gradually manifest themselves during the day, too. Patients may experience decreased hand grip strength, leading to difficulty in fisting, grasping objects, or performing manual tasks. In some cases, sufferers cannot tell the difference between hot and cold objects by touch.

False Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome is sometimes used as a generic label for any condition that causes pain, numbness, swelling, and burning in the hands and wrists. In fact, if pain is the primary symptom, CTS is probably not the cause. 

Compression of the median nerve at the wrist causes CTS. However, there are other areas of compression that can cause similar symptoms in the hands and wrists and confusion in diagnosis. Elsewhere, these sensations are indicators of other issues.

  •       Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a compression of the artery or nerve bundle under the pectoralis minor muscle near the shoulder. This compression causes symptoms in the whole hand.
  •       Cubital tunnel syndrome, or ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow, produces numbness and tingling in the little and ring fingers. 
  •       Scalene syndrome, cervical disc herniations, and cervical radiculopathy can also cause abnormal or painful sensations, which usually begin in the neck and travel down the affected arm and hand. Symptoms may worsen with movement.

All have distinct causes and treatments, even though the symptoms mirror each other. 

Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Accurate diagnosis of the condition is critical, as other nerve entrapment syndromes also produce symptoms noted in CTS. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve.

  •                Medical history and physical examination will determine if the symptoms are related to daily activities or an underlying disorder, and will rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.  
  •                Laboratory tests and X-rays will reveal fractures, arthritis, and diseases that damage nerves.
  •                Tests like the Tinel and Phalen’s Maneuver reproduce the symptoms of CTS to help evaluate the condition.
  •                Electrodiagnostic tests like nerve conduction study and electromyography help confirm the diagnosis of CTS. 
  •                Ultrasound imaging may show abnormalities in the median nerve, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may reveal abnormal anatomy of the wrist.

 

Treatments for CTS

If CTS is diagnosed, treatment should be started immediately to prevent further progress of the condition.

  •       Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be addressed.
  •       Non-surgical treatments such as wearing splints or braces may be prescribed. 
  •       Stopping or reducing relevant daytime activities, or breaking them up with periods of rest, may help.
  •       Over-the-counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) can provide short-term pain relief.
  •       Prescription medicines such as corticosteroids or lidocaine can relieve pressure on the median nerve for mild or intermittent symptoms.  
  •       Alternative therapies like yoga and soft tissue massage have been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength. Some report relief from acupuncture and chiropractic. 

If these measures fail, then carpal tunnel release surgery is an option.

Open release surgery, the traditional procedure, consists of making an incision up to 2 inches in the wrist and then cutting the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel.

In endoscopic surgery the surgeon makes one or two incisions (about ½ inch each) in the wrist and palm; inserts a camera attached to a tube; observes the nerve, ligament, and tendons on a monitor; and cuts the carpal ligament with a small knife that is inserted through the tube.   

Following surgery, the ligaments usually grow back together and allow more space than before. 

If you feel you may have CTS, call South Palm Orthopedics at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online.