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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Calling All Weekend Warriors: Prevent Injury with Expert Advice
May 3, 2019 By Kyle Hammond, MD

weekend warriors baseballAcross Georgia (and most of the country), weekend warriors are suiting up on the basketball court, soccer pitch, baseball diamond or football field. These men and women are enjoying recreational sports – and the warmer temps – with friends and family. Weekend warriors take their sports very seriously, but also don’t always apply the same intensity and discipline to year-long physical activity. Because of that, they’re more likely to experience an injury, most often because of overdoing it on the field or lack of proper training. The most common injuries we see among recreational athletes include:

  • Broken bones
  • Knee pain and problems
  • Ligament injuries
  • Sprains and strains
Enjoy the game — and all the health benefits team sports has to offer — with a few simple tips to stay injury free.

1. Get Ready for the Season

While it can be tempting to jump [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Beginning an Exercise Routine
Apr 26, 2019 By admin

Exercise RoutineFor people of all ages, regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It can slow the aging process, lengthen your life and improve brain health. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, you may not where to start. But take heart — it’s easier than you think.

Talk to Your Doctor and Trainer

If you’ve never followed an exercise routine or have let it slide for a while, check with your doctor first. A physical exam can determine your overall health for your age. Your doctor can also recommend suitable exercises if you’ve had injuries such as broken bones, muscle or ligament injuries, or have had surgery like hip or knee replacement. After talking with your doctor, you might also consider working with a professional trainer who can show you proper exercise technique and form to help you prevent injury.

Know Your Fitness Level

You may think you know [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
You Don’t Have to be Young or a Pro to Play Sports
Oct 30, 2018 By Dr. Boden

Emory Helps People of All Ages Stay Active – On the Field and in Life

At least three times a week, Robert Gaare laces up his soccer cleats, places a pair of protective shin guards inside his socks and hits the field for a scrimmage. “Playing soccer is sheer joy. Nothing but fun,” says Robert. At the youthful age of 71, Robert plays midfielder for FC Georgia United - a soccer club for older adults. “In today’s world, being in your 70’s is not old,” says Robert. “I like to stay active.” Robert has played soccer since he was a boy. When his adult team traveled to Hawaii for a tournament years ago, Robert’s wife, Cathy Kaemmerlen, and his children tagged along for a family vacation. “We enjoy a lot of camaraderie and friendship,” says Robert. “And it motivates me to stay fit. I even go to the gym and lift weights to supplement my [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Hip Pain: Easing Discomfort with Proven Solutions
Sep 17, 2018 By Bryan Whitfield, MD

Hip pain can severely affect your independence, your lifestyle, your job, and more. With pain reaching unbearable levels, a bum hip can level the toughest among us.

It Might Not Be Your Hip

“One of the major things we immediately try to differentiate between is if it’s actually a hip condition—or is the pain coming from the back?” says Dr. Bryan Whitfield, an orthopedic surgeon at Emory Healthcare. True hip pain culprits include impingement, labral tear, bursitis, pain coming from the gluteal tendon, and osteoarthritis.

Causes & Symptoms of a Hip Condition

Sometimes the shape of the bones leads to impingement—the socket and ball essentially running into each other and tearing cartilage around the rim. A fall can sprain the hip and tear tendons. “Most people think their hip is on the back and on the side, what we would call the flank,” states Dr. Whitfield. [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Emory Physicians Help Save Woman’s Leg from Amputation
Aug 24, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

When you go to the hair salon, you expect to walk out feeling refreshed. But instead of sporting a new haircut, Adela Gongora Arciniegas was carried out on a stretcher and rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. Adela, who is almost 70 years old, slipped in the salon and took a devastating fall. “I had an open fracture of my right leg – involving the tibia and fibula,” explained Adela. “I was shocked. It was very painful.” The skin on Adela’s leg had broken open near the site of her fractured bone. She also sprained her left foot, fractured her left hand, tore the meniscus in her left knee, and injured her left elbow and lower back. “She had so many injuries you wouldn’t believe it. It was like a storyline from a bad show,” remembers Adela’s daughter Claudia.

Unexpected Journey Leads to Scary Prognosis

Adela’s fall forced her on a [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
How to Avoid Backpack Injuries
Aug 8, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

Backpack AwarenessNobody ever said that being a parent is an easy job. You have to keep an eye on everything. Are they eating enough vegetables? Getting enough exercise? Spending too much time on their computer? With all the things you need to monitor in a day to keep your kids healthy and safe, it would be easy to overlook this one: Are their backpacks too heavy? But the truth is, it’s something we should be thinking about each morning as we send them off to school, since backpack injuries are common in school-aged children. In fact, one in four students admit to having back pain for 15 days or more during the school year.

Dangers of an Overloaded Backpack

Heavy backpacks and book bags can lead to back, neck or shoulder pain and injury as well as long-term muscle, skeletal and nerve damage, including: • Muscle spasms • Scoliosis • Spine injury • Strain leading to headaches [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Sciatica: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
Jul 16, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

The number is staggering — more than 65 million Americans suffer from back pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it’s a leading cause of missed work and the most common cause of job-related disability in the United States. Let’s face it — nobody’s at the top of their game when they’re in pain. And when it’s back pain, it can be outright debilitating. Of course, many back conditions could be causing your pain. But if you’re experiencing lower back pain that travels down your leg, you likely have a common condition called sciatica.

What Is Sciatica?

Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back, through your hip and buttocks, and down your leg. If the pressure is placed on your sciatic nerve, it becomes irritated and can cause pain, weakness or numbness in your leg. Sciatica is often caused by:
  • A bone spur on your

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Do You Have Spinal Stenosis?
Jul 12, 2018 By Howard Levy, MD

Spinal StenosisIf you’re over 50, you’ve probably experienced the subtle — and not so subtle — changes that aging can cause in your body. No matter how well you take care of yourself, “natural wear-and-tear” can sometimes lead to problems, like spinal stenosis.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Part of the normal aging process includes the narrowing of the space around your spinal cord, which can put pressure on the spinal nerve and cause pain. It can also happen to younger people who get injured or who were born with a narrow spinal canal or curved spine.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can vary significantly. Some people feel nothing at all, while others experience intense discomfort. Usually, symptoms gradually worsen over time.

Mild to Moderate Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

If there’s pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots, you may have a [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Have a Herniated Disc?
Jul 11, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

Find out which painful conditions respond to a cortisone shot, what the risks are and what to expect from Emory Healthcare.Back pain. It’s the worst. All of us have experienced pain and stiffness at one point or another, but how do you know if it’s something more serious? If your pain is not going away and it’s accompanied by tingling or weakness in your arms or legs, it could be a herniated disc.

What is a Herniated Disc?

Your spine is made up of 33 interlocking bones, called vertebra. Between each vertebra is a spinal disc that works as a cushion to keep the bones from rubbing together. The discs absorb shock and give you the ability to move and stretch.

Sometimes, because of an injury or just normal “wear-and-tear,” the outer layer of a disc becomes damaged or weak. When this happens, the gel-like center of the disc can leak out, creating a herniated disc (also called a ruptured disc or slipped disc). When a disc ruptures like this, it can affect nearby nerves — causing pain,


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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Ankle Pain: Is It a Sprain or a Fracture?
Jun 29, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

It’s happened to all of us. You’re walking along and then one tiny misstep leads to ankle pain. Whether you were hurt while exercising, playing a sport, or just being “less than graceful,” you’re in pain and wondering just how bad your injury is. Could it be sprained or fractured?

How to Tell a Sprain from a Fracture

A sprain means you’ve stretched or torn a tendon or ligament, while a fracture means you’ve broken a bone. Both can be very painful. So how do you know which type of injury you have? Asking yourself these questions can help:
  • Do you have pain around the soft tissue areas, but not over the bone? If so, it’s likely a sprain.
  • Do you have pain over the ankle bone? Are you unable to walk on it? If that’s the case, you probably have a fracture.

When to See a Doctor for an Ankle Injury

Sometimes, you’re just not sure how serious an ankle [...]

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