Orthopedics

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Tommy John Surgery: A Game Changer

In the world of major league baseball, Tommy John surgery is literally a game-changer. The surgery has saved the careers of hundreds of major league baseball players, leading one Sports Illustrated writer to dub it “the most important sports medicine procedure in baseball history.” Nicknamed for Tommy John, the first player to undergo the procedure, ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction was first performed in 1974 by Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Frank Jobe. He transplanted an unneeded tendon from John’s right wrist into his left elbow, where it functioned as a new ligament. John went on to win another 164 games. Since then, more than 500 major league baseball players have undergone “Tommy John surgery,” and the National Baseball Hall of Fame honored Dr. Jobe before he passed away in 2014. Dr. Karim A. Meijer, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon on the medical staff of Texas Health Center for Diagnostics &…

Finding Relief and Release from Trigger Finger

Signing a check, picking up objects, driving a car: we rely on our fingers to work normally for all kinds of everyday tasks. Those simple tasks can become painful and even impossible when patients develop trigger finger. Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger affects the tendons in the fingers, “locking” the affected finger into a bent position. “When the patient tries to straighten the finger, it locks or catches before popping back into a straight position, and it can be painful,” said Dr. Chris Miskovsky, MD, orthopedic hand surgeon on the medical staff at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery. “But the good news is, with treatment or surgery, almost all patients obtain lasting relief.” What goes wrong Flexor tendons control the movements of the fingers and thumb. As the fingers flex and extend, each tendon slides through a snug tunnel called the tendon sheath, which keeps each…

Snap, Crackle, Pop, Ouch! Are Your Joints Trying to Tell You Something?

Popping backs, knees that crack when you stand up, wrists that snap when you rotate them the wrong way — we’ve all had experience with joints that make noise. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn’t, but there’s always a reason for the sound. Digging into why that happens is enlightening — especially for those of us who believe the old wives’ tale that cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. How It Works There is, in fact, no increased risk of arthritis in people who crack their knuckles intentionally — something we are almost all guilty of at one point or another. Fluid exists in the joints to reduce friction, and thus reduce wear and tear. When you pull on a joint, you can create a gas bubble within that fluid. That’s when we hear the popping sounds that these knuckles and many other joints make. “Some joints are smaller than…

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