Preparing Your Home for Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery can really be life-changing. Eventually, majority of patients are able to resume daily activities with considerable less pain and discomfort. Before and immediately after surgery, it’s important to follow your physician’s instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary setbacks. One key direction from our surgeons is to create a home environment focused around healing and recovery before your scheduled procedure to help set you up for success. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends you consider the following to prepare your home for your return.

Arrange for help at home from a family member, friend or caregiver for days or weeks after surgery.

Clear or arrange furniture so you can easily make your way with a cane, walker or crutches.

Plan for avoiding stairs. Consider moving your sleeping quarters downstairs, if you are able.

Remove any tripping hazards. Throw rugs or area rugs, electrical cords and clutter, for example, can be dangerous during recovery.

Make sure you have a good chair with a high seat and a footstool for elevation.

Have a shower chair and gripping bar set up in the bathroom.

Set up a “recovery center” – an area where everything you need most often are at your fingertips, like a table by your chair with your medications, tissues, water pitcher, phone, etc.

These simple planning steps not only provide a safe environment for your recovery, but they also grant you a huge amount of peace-of-mind, which you’ll appreciate once you are discharged.

If you have any questions about these tips, or knee replacement surgery in general, give us a call, the specialist at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine would be happy to provide answers.

At-Home Relief for Tight Hamstrings

Did you know lower back pain, hip and knee issues, poor posture and other problems can be associated with tight hamstrings? The hamstrings are a group of three muscles located in the back of the thigh. When these muscles are tight, or inflexible, they can cause discomfort beyond pain in the immediate area.  If it’s difficult to touch your toes without bending your knees, either from standing or when seated on the floor, you may be suffering from tight hamstrings. So what can you do to feel some relief?

Prevention

A common cause of tight hamstrings is being in a seated position for prolonged amounts of time. Too much sitting means your hamstrings are constantly flexed, so it’s important to give those muscles a chance to elongate. Take breaks to stand up, walk around or do some stretching.

Equally important is the time you give to stretching before and after you exercise. Proper warm up and cool down of your hamstrings can prevent injury.

Stretches

Consistent stretching is a great way to relieve tight hamstrings. Here are some stretches to try at home.

  • Simple Hamstring Stretch

Seated on the floor with both legs straight out, reach forward while bending at the hip towards your toes, being careful not to overly round your back. Hold for up to 30 seconds.

  • Hamstring Stretch with Strap

While lying flat on the floor, place a strap or towel around the bottom of your foot, hold on to each end in your hands. Slowly extend your leg so the bottom of your foot is raised towards the ceiling while keeping your knee straight. Your other leg should be extended on the ground. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.

  • Standing Hamstring Stretch

While standing, cross one foot over the other. Bend at the waist and slowly lower your upper body toward your knees, careful not to bend your knees. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

It’s always key to listen to your body. If you are experiencing prolonged pain, it may be a sign of a more serious issue. Contact us to meet with one of our orthopedic specialists for a consultation.

The “Wreck-less Checklist” for Distracted Driving

Here are the facts:

  • An estimated 400,000 people were injured in accidents due to distracted driving in 2018. (NHTSA)
  • Distracted driving leads to 1.6 million crashes per year. (National Safety Council)

As an orthopedic practice, we treat a number of serious injuries related to car accidents, ones that affect a patient’s life forever. It is particularly painful to know that some of these injuries could have been prevented if a driver involved wasn’t unnecessarily distracted. That’s why the Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons teamed up to lead the Decide to Drive initiative. Their mission is to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving and provide tools to keep the focus on the road.

One such tool is the “Wreck-less Checklist”. Committing to these 9 actions to before driving can literally save lives. And they want to remind you: the four most advanced safety features are two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel.

Source: DecidetoDrive.org

The physicians at NEOSM urge you to take this checklist into practice and be safe on the road.

Parents’ Guide to Trampoline Safety

The backyard trampoline. For kids, it comes with endless fun and a good source of physical activity. But with increased popularity, orthopedics around the country are seeing more and more cases of sprains, breaks, and even serious neck and back injuries related to trampoline use. Just because a trampoline has safety netting, you shouldn’t let your guard down on safety – most injuries occur on the mat itself. We share some tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedics Surgeons on how to keep the joy of bouncing continue on for everyone.

TIPS FOR TRAMPOLINE SAFETY

Set up & Maintenance

  • Place the trampoline at ground level to reduce the height of any possible fall.
  • Make sure there is adequate protective padding around the springs, frame and surrounding areas and inspect before each use.
  • If the trampoline is worn or torn, do not use.

Rules & Safeguards

  • Always have an adult supervise when children are using the trampoline.
  • Allow only one child on at a time.
  • No children under 6 years old should use the trampoline.
  • High-risk maneuvers like flips should only be done with supervision and instruction. A spotter should be present.
  • Move the ladder out of reach when the trampoline is not in use so small children cannot easily climb in unsupervised.

To learn more, read the full article on Orthoinfo.org, or feel free to contact one of the orthopedic specialists at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

The Scoop on Basketball Injuries (And How to Avoid Them)

When most people think about sports-related injuries, the first sports that typically come to mind are collision sports such as football, or ice hockey.  However, many sports are considered contact sports, and carry with them a significant risk of injury. These include sports like soccer, baseball, and – you guessed it—basketball.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 501,000 basketball-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2009. In addition, a study published in 2010 that was conducted over the course of 17 years and 1,094 players, professional athletes in the NBA experience a high rate of game-related injuries. Patellofemoral inflammation—inflammation that is the result of worn-down, softened or roughened cartilage under the kneecap—was the most significant injury in terms of days lost in competition.

These startling statistics don’t just apply to professionals, either. In high school basketball (according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association):

  • 11 percent of injuries involved the hip and thigh
  • 22 percent of all male basketball players sustained at least one time-loss injury each year.
  • 42 percent of the injuries were to the ankle/foot
  • 9 percent of injuries involved the knee
  • Sprains were the most common type of injury (43 percent)

What are some other common basketball injuries?

Due to the fast-paced nature of the sport, the majority of the injuries incurred while playing basketball involve the foot, ankle or knee. There’s also a risk of jammed fingers and stress fractures occurring in the lower leg and foot.

What are some ways to prevent injuries?

Thankfully, there are many preventive strategies athletes of all ages can utilize to make sure they’re ready leading up to and during basketball season:

  • Stay fit. Players should maintain a regular exercise routine—both on and off season—that incorporates flexibility training, strength training and aerobic exercise.
  • Keep hydrated. If the body is dehydrated, it will have difficulty keeping cool when it’s highly active. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), players should:
    • Drink 16 ounces of fluid two to three hours before exertion and about eight additional ounces 15 minutes before exertion
    • Take breaks when possible while playing (around every 15 to 20 minutes) to take in approximately four ounces of fluid
    • Drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluid for every pound lost after exertion
  • Warm the body up. It’s always a good idea to take time to stretch and warm the body up before any extended physical activity to avoid injury. Players can warm up with activities such as jumping jacks or running/walking in place for two to five minutes. After that, slow stretching is recommended, holding each position for at least 30 seconds before moving on.
  • Don’t forget technique. Players should remember to only use proper techniques for passing and scoring. Not doing so may result in self-injury or injury involving another player.
  • Wear and maintain appropriate equipment. Players should choose sneakers that fit snuggly, offer support for the foot and have non-slip soles. Mouth guards should also be worn to protect the teeth and head from injury as well as safety glasses or glass guards to protect those with glasses.
  • Avoid overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are becoming more common, especially in younger athletes. Players should not be allowed to play one sport all year long and should be limited to how many teams they can play on within a season.

Come to the Sports Medicine Specialists

If sports-related injuries do occur, our physicians at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (NEOSM) have years of experience in effectively treating all orthopedic conditions. Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures that patients receive the customized treatment they need to get back in the game.


For more information on sports medicine or to schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists, contact us today.

New Games: 7 Tips for Transitioning From Winter Sports to Spring Sports

Spring sports and winter sports are similar: They require strength, speed, skill, agility and sweat. But while they both depend on these attributes, they have their own preparations and demands.

From playing surfaces to equipment to the stresses incurred by varying body parts, these changing needs require a winter-to-spring transition for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This is particularly critical for younger athletes whose bones and joints are still developing, and who may be inexperienced at switching between sports seasons.

Safely transitioning sports is often a matter of experience. Many athletes—from recreational to professional—have learned through trial and error how to adapt to their activity, both for athletic improvement and injury prevention.

Below are some of the techniques they have used and you can use to make the smoothest transition possible between spring sports and winter sports:

1. Get a pre-season physical

Many sports require a pre-season physical for youth athletes as a rule of participation, but everyone should consider having a check-up. This will help to identify any potential health or injury risk, and in so doing, ensure you are ready to play.

2. Have a lesson or two

If you’re new to the spring sport or just rusty, consider investing in a lesson or two from a professional, such as a coach or a trainer. This will start you off on the right foot as proper technique aids both good performance and injury prevention.

3. Build up to the activity

Ideally, you want to do some pre-season conditioning and preparation relative to your spring sport. However, that conditioning can also be acquired by slowly acclimating to your new activity. If you’re not in shape in general, the best approach is to partake in some form of fitness prior to the season.

4. Invest in the proper equipment

Different sports mean different gear. Make sure you get the best gear for your spring activity. That includes sports equipment and attire. Constantly improving technology has resulted in clothing made of the most advanced sports performance fabrics.

5. Break in your equipment

Whether it is new shoes or getting accustomed to a racquet or glove, avoid discomfort such as blisters or foot and ankle problems by ensuring your gear is fully ready to use.

6. Remember general sports principles

Switching from one sport to another is no reason to change good habits. You can also use the new season to acquire them:

  • Always warm up and cool down
  • Drink plenty of fluids (but don’t overhydrate)
  • Don’t overdo your activity
  • Rest/recover between sessions

6. Protect your skin outside

Spring means enjoying the outdoors. An under-considered aspect of outdoor sports is the need for skin protection. Whether you’re young or older, whether it’s sunny or cloudy (the sun’s rays come through the clouds), apply sunscreen early and often, particularly if you perspire. Make sure children do so, as well. Now is a good time to educate them on skin safety.

Come to the Sports Medicine Specialists

If sports-related injuries do occur, our physicians at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine have years of experience in effectively treating all orthopedic conditions. Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures that patients receive the customized treatment they need to get back in the game.

For more information on sports medicine or to schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists, contact us today.