Friday, December 27, 2013

ACL Recovery Stories Provide Hope to Athletes

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a non-elastic fibrous band located within a person’s knee that connects the thighbone to the leg bone. The ligament provides stability to the entire knee and restricts the knee joint from bending backwards.

Due to the ACL’s non-elastic nature, it is susceptible to tearing. A torn ACL is actually a common injury. According to surveys, 250,000 Americans suffer from torn ACLs every year, while according to medical experts, most of these torn ACL cases were sustained through sports or sports-related activities.

It was not too long ago that ACL tears were considered the ultimate career-killing injury in sports. Today, however, ACL tears are no longer considered the career-killing injury they used to be thanks to advances in sports medicine. In fact, athletes who have torn their ACL like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles have been able to return to the field and continue playing at a high level.

Although professional athletes have proven that ACL injuries can be overcome, younger athletes should realize that ACL injury recovery is not easy. Different people recover at different speeds, as evidenced by Rajon Rondo and Danilo Gallinari’s recovery. With dedication to physical therapy and the help of an experienced orthopedic surgeon, young athletes can now recover from ACL tears and continue to chase their dreams of one day becoming professional athletes.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Controlling Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease of the immune system that inflames the joints of the body. If you have been diagnosed with RA recently, it’s important to gain the upper hand over the disease as soon as you can. If left untreated, RA can affect your ability to work, impact your quality of life, and increase your risk for heart disease

RA is a chronic disease, meaning it can’t be cured. It is the most common autoimmune disease affecting the joints— anyone can get it, but it’s more prominent in middle-age patients. In the U.S. the risk of developing RA is 3.6 percent in women and 1.7 percent in men.

Although there is no cure for RA, its impact can be significantly reduced through early diagnosis and effective treatments. Many drug therapies are now available to treat the disease, so the challenge is finding the one that’s right for you. To begin a drug therapy treatment, you should first talk to a rheumatologist who can design a treatment plan based on his physical evaluation and your body’s response to medication.

Surgery is another way to relieve RA symptoms. Surgery for RA is mainly performed to improve function of severely deformed joints that don’t respond to drug or physical therapy. Surgeries for people who have severe RA include arthroscopy, synovectomy, arthroplasty, cervical spine fusion, and resection of metatarsal heads.