Elbow Pain: When to See an Orthopaedic Surgeon

When it comes to chronic pain, it can be difficult to know when to seek treatment. Elbow pain is a common condition that people tend to brush off. When you get accustomed to coping with soreness and discomfort, you almost forget what it feels like to be pain-free.

Elbow pain can be caused by a number of different conditions and injuries. One-time injuries such as a dislocated elbow, fracture or a sprain are easier to diagnose. If you have sustained such an injury, you will likely seek treatment from an orthopaedic surgeon. But what about other conditions that do not have an easily identifiable source?

Chronic elbow issues are just as painful an debilitating as one-time injuries. Elbow pain related to diseases and wear and tear injuries often tend to get overlooked by the person experiencing the discomfort.

Diseases such as arthritis, lupus and gout can be a source of elbow pain. These diseases may lead to other symptoms as well.

Elbow pain can also result from wear and tear injuries. Tennis elbow, trapped nerves and bursitis are common over-use injuries that can create a significant amount of pain.

The fact that elbow pain can be related to a variety of issues makes it difficult to know when to seek treatment. An orthopaedic surgeon, especially one fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow issues, is best suited to assess and diagnose the cause of pain.

So how do you know when to seek treatment?

1. Does you elbow pain continuously interfere with daily activities due to an inability to bend your arm?

2. Have you tried treating your pain with rest and ice without any success?

3. Are you experiencing intense pain and swelling that has progressively worsened?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, seeking the advice of an orthopaedic surgeon could be beneficial.


Shoulder Dislocation Treatment, Recovery, Recurrence

If you have suffered from a shoulder dislocation, you know how incredibly painful it can be. A shoulder dislocation can be either partial, a subluxation, or total. Whether or not the humerus bone comes completely out of the joint, a trip to an orthopaedic surgeon could be your best bet for successful recovery.

If you think you have dislocated your shoulder, you may want to seek out an orthopaedic surgeon that is fellowship trained in shoulder or sports medicine. If you are unable to get in quickly, you should go to an emergency room. In addition to giving an accurate diagnosis, an orthopaedic surgeon can help treat your injury and prevent a recurrence of what can be a common repeat injury.

Once you get in to see your orthopaedic surgeon, you will likely have an x-ray taken  along with a medical exam to properly diagnose your shoulder dislocation. There are several ways to promote recovery for your shoulder after it has been reduced, or put back into place. Here are some of the treatment options your doctor might suggest:

  1. Wear a sling to immobilize the joint while it heals properly.
  2. Apply ice, never directly on the skin, to help with pain and swelling.
  3. Take over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, Tylenol, or acetaminophen. You might also benefit from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or Advil.
  4. Attend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint as well as restore range of motion.

Unfortunately, once you have suffered from a shoulder dislocation, you are more likely to experience a repeat injury down the road. The best way to prevent recurrence of a shoulder dislocation is to follow a couple of steps.

  1. Avoid activity in which your shoulder is prone to injury.
  2. Make sure to stretch adequately before engaging in physical activity.
  3. Work with a physical therapist or rehabilitation expert to strengthen the shoulder joint.
  4. Surgery may be an option if torn ligaments need repair for complete recovery.


Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment

Shoulder arthritis can be an extremely painful and limiting condition. Whether you have been diagnosed with a type of shoulder arthritis or suspect your might have this affliction, you are likely suffering from one or more key symptoms.

There are a few different types of shoulder arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It is also known as degenerative joint disease. This type of shoulder arthritis develops over time as smooth cartilage wears away, causing rubbing between the rough ends of the bones. The end result is a very painful, restricting condition.


The main symptoms of shoulder arthritis are pain and decreased range of motion. The shoulder is a complicated part of the body. Arthritis may not be limited to one part of the shoulder. Some people have pain and limited motion in the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. Other people experience pain in the joint where the collar bone and scapula meet.

In addition to pain and loss of motion, some people also experience a grinding sensation in the shoulder when doing certain activities. This can be painful as well as irritating. Further, some individuals report feeling weakness and/or stiffness in the shoulder.


If you have been experiencing any or all of the symptoms in your shoulder for an extended period of time, it is wise to seek the opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon. Specifically, it is advisable to see a surgeon that is fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow.

Once you have been given a diagnosis, your orthopaedic surgeon can review the options for treatment of your shoulder arthritis. Surgery might be an option but there are other non-operative treatments that could help. Here are some of the steps that could help relive symptoms of shoulder arthritis.

  • Rest and modifications of  specific daily activities
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Ultrasound
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

If you think you are suffering from shoulder arthritis, do not ignore the symptoms. Seek treatment and explore your treatment options.


Shoulder Pain: When to See an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Shoulder pain can be a debilitating issue that interferes with the simplest of daily activities. If you suffer from shoulder pain, you know how much it can impact your fitness routine, ability to work and even to get dressed in the mornings. Shoulder pain can be a chronic issue, lasting for several months or even years. It can also be an acute issue, brought on by a trauma or injury. Whatever the cause or duration of your shoulder pain, getting the appropriate treatment to address the source is key to getting back to your normal life.

There can be many types of shoulder pain associated with the joint comprised of your humerus, clavicle and scapula. The following are the primary sources of pain in the shoulder joint:

  • A fracture in one of the three bones; the humerus, clavicle or scapula; can result from a high impact sports injury. It can also result from taking a fall from a significant height or from a car accident.
  • Arthritis, including osteoarthritis, is very common in causing pain in the shoulder area. This condition devlops slowly and tends to get worse with time.
  • Inflamation of the tendon, tendinitis, or a tear in the tendon can result in significant shoulder pain. Tendinitis often results from overuse of the joint. This can be related to issues such as arthritis or from excessive, repetitive movements in certain jobs or sports.
  • Instability of the shoulder joint, including total dislocation or subluxation, can be extremely painful and chronic. If the head of the upper arm bone slips out completely or partially from the socket, a dislocation occurs. A partial dislocation is also called a subluxation. A major issue with this type of injury is the fact that once it happens, you are more prone to repeating the injury. This occurs as the tissues holding the joint in place become loose.
  • Tumors and infections can also contribute to shoulder pain so it is important to rule out all causes.

With so many different causes of shoulder pain, you can see why it is so important to first determine the source before understanding the appropriate course of treatment. If you have been suffering from shoulder pain for several days and rest has not addressed the issue, seeing an orthopaedic surgeon may be the best option. In the office, an orthopaedic surgeon, especially one trained in shoulder issues, can get a better understanding of your shoulder pain. From a complete medical examination and possibly an x-ray, MRI or ultrasound, the physician can evaluate the source of your pain.

An orthopaedic surgeon should be able to determine not only the source of your pain but also the appropriate course of treatment. This could mean surgery but could also be something less invasive like physical therapy. This will vary greatly from one person to the next taking into consideration factors like age, activity level and past medical history.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: Non-Surgical Treatment for Acute and Chronic Conditions

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are an innovative approach to treat a variety of orthopaedic conditions. If you are suffering from an orthopaedic injury or condition, read further to determine if this might be a treatment approach for you.

Platelet Rich Plasma is a fluid that is derived from a patients’ own blood. This fluid is filled with growth factors that can aid in soft tissue and bone healing. Due to the healing properties of this fluid, Platelet Rich Plasma can be extremely beneficial for orthopaedic patients.

Dr. Joshua Nadaud, of Agility Orthopaedics,  specializes in PRP injections for the lower extremity. This is an innovative and new approach that Dr. Nadaud has incorporated into his practice and can benefit patients of all ages. It is a non-surgical approach that can be used to treat a variety of conditions both chronic and acute.

Mike Johnson, an avid skier and race car driver, recently experienced the healing benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma. After suffering from an acute tennis injury, he sought the expertise of Dr. Nadaud for treatment.

Mike shares his story:

“I was a week away from going skiing with my family when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis.  Luckily, Dr. Nadaud got me right into his office and was able to help me with a boot and some Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) cells.  We were both a bit skeptical that I would make it on the slopes, but once I got my ski boot on, I knew I would be fine.  I’m sure my tear wasn’t as bad as it could have been but at the time, I thought there was no chance I would be able to ski with my family.  Since then, I have sent two friends to see Dr. Nadaud and I would highly recommend him to anyone.”

If you are suffering from an orthopaedic injury or chronic condition, you might want to consider Platelet Rich Plasma injections. In the St. Louis area, contact Dr. Joshua Nadaud at Agility Orthopaedics.

Plantar Fasciitis: Treatment and Prevention of a Common Foot Issue

Millions of people suffer from plantar fasciitis. This common foot issue is extremely painful and can be very frustrating to manage. Do you suffer from plantar fasciitis? Have you found a successful treatment and are trying to prevent your plantar fasciitis from coming back? Keep reading to learn about treatment and prevention of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis involves the inflamation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. This band supports the arch of your foot. The swelling and irritation is often most painful in the morning but can cause great discomfort throughout the day.

Treating plantar fasciitis involves several components.  As always, consult a physician such as a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon, to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Some symptoms could be attributed to other foot or heel issues.

If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, consider the following steps to alleviate the painful irritation.

  • Reduce inflamation with the use of ice and a nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drug (NSAID) such as Advil or Ibuprofren. When applying ice to the irritated area, remember to never apply it directly to the skin. Use a cloth or towel as a barrier to prevent harming the tissue.
  • Rest your feet. This might seem like an impossible treatment approach. Avoiding the use of your feet is not practical for most of us. However, avoiding running or walking on hard surfaces as much as possible is your best bet.
  • When you do have to walk, make sure you are wearing the appropriate footwear. Try to wear athletic shoes with good arch support throughout the day. Even when you are at home, it is important to wear shoes any time when you are walking to provide proper stability to your feet.
  • In addition to the right shoes, wearing orthotics is a great way to provide comfort and support for your heel.
  • An orthopaedic surgeon can recommend simple exercises and stretches to do daily in the comfort of your own home.
  • If noninvasive treatment does not improve your condition, injections of cortisone or platelet rich plasma, may help alleviate the pain.

If you are focused on trying to prevent a recurrence of plantar fasciitis, consider taking the following steps:

  • Put on supportive shoes first thing in the morning and continue wearing them any time you are walking.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Attaining the ideal weight for your age and height can be a daunting task. However, preventing plantar fasciitis is not the only benefit having a healthy body weight. Your overall health will improve if you are able to stay within your preferred weight range.
  • If you have to be on your feet for a significant amount of time during the day, consider orthotics for your shoes. Avoid wearing old, worn out shoes.

Baseball Injuries: When to Get Treatment

Baseball injuries are an unfortunate part of America’s favorite pass time. Whether you are a professional athlete, little league slugger or a high school hitter, baseball injuries can be season ending. But don’t assume that an injury will end your season prematurely.

While baseball injuries can sideline an athlete, there are many injuries that can heal in plenty of time to finish out a season. The key to knowing how to recover from an injury is understanding the severity and complexity of the issue.

Here are some of the most common types of baseball injuries:

  • Damage to the ulnar collateral ligament
  • Shoulder instability or shoulder subluxation caused by a partial dislocation
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Medial collateral ligament sprain
  • Lateral epicondylitis (also known as tennis elbow) caused by over use
  • Medial epicondylitis (also known as golfers elbow) caused by over use or an acute injury

Prevention of injury is obviously the best way to ensure a successful, injury free season. However, some injuries are not preventable. Taking steps such as properly warming up and using appropriate protection is your first line of defense against baseball injuries. Further, proper training on technique will give you the best chance of avoiding injuries that occur with bad form. Nutrition and hydration are also very important in avoiding an injury. Eating foods rich in calcium will help build bone strength. Fueling up before practice and games can help prevent fatigue and unnecessary injuries.

If you do find yourself with a baseball injury this season, it is vital that you quickly identify if you need professional treatment. Consider the following when debating whether or not to seek a consultation from a medical doctor such as an orthopaedic surgeon:

  • Do you have moderate pain or weakness that has lasted more than two weeks despite the use of rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.)?
  • Do you have severe pain and/or swelling that has lasted more than 72 hours?
  • Do you have a loss of feeling or altered sensation in an injured area such as foot, hand, arm or leg?
  • Are you unable to put weight on your leg/foot after sustaining an injury?
  • Are you unable to carry out daily activities following an injury?

If you or a loved one have suffered a baseball injury, know that it is better to be safe than sorry. Whether your issue requires rest and physical therapy or a major surgery, it is better to consider all of your options. What might seem like a minor over use injury could be something more serious. Always consult a physician when in doubt.

Orthopaedic Injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (R.I.C.E.)

Orthopaedic injuries can require surgery to bring desired results. However, there are several types of orthopaedic injuries that can be successfully treated without surgery. If you have sustained an injury through exercise, an accident or a work related incident, it is possible that four simple steps could decrease the severity of your injury, leading to a successful recovery.

Rest, ice, compression and elevation, also known as R.I.C.E., are basic yet extremely effective steps for alleviating pain and swelling from an orthopaedic injury. The key to this treatment approach is using the steps as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. Putting these steps to use might seem simple, but it is always important to seek the advice or a physician or orthopaedic surgeon before trying to treat injuries on your own.


Rest (R):

The first step to implementing R.I.C.E. is simply resting. While easy in theory, this can be very challenging for many people. Whether you are an athlete, an active parent or have a physical occupation, taking time to rest your injured body part can seem impossible. Keep in mind that the sooner you are able to heal completely, the sooner you can safely return to your normal daily routine.

Ice (I):

The second part of this process is pretty self explanatory. Icing your injured body part helps reduce inflamation and brings physical relief. One important thing to remember when applying ice to your body is to never apply it directly to the skin. Always use a cloth or towel as a barrier between your ice pack and your body to avoid damaging the skin. Apply ice for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Repeat this process about 3-4 times a day.

Compression (C):

Another important element is wrapping your injured body part with an elastic bandage. This can also help to reduce swelling as long as you are careful not to wrap it too tightly. If you are unsure how to wrap the injured area appropriately, always consult your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon to avoid worsening the injury.

Elevation (E):

Just as important as resting, elevating your injured body part can help lessen swelling. Use a pillow or something similar to keep the impacted area at or above the level of your heart.

Orthopaedic injuries are both painful and frustrating. Some of these injuries require surgery, physical therapy and a long recovery process. If you find yourself suffering from an orthopaedic injury, using R.I.C.E. can be a good first step to treating your condition. Always remember to follow-up with your physician or orthopaedic surgeon to discuss treatment options.