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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Takeaways from Dr. Mason’s Chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races
Jul 3, 2015 By Emory Sports Medicine

Running Live ChatThank you for attending the live chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races on Tuesday, June 9 with Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD. We had a great discussion, so thank you to all who participated and asked questions. From tips for preventing shin splints to advice on how to train for a 5K, we were thrilled with the number of people who were able to register and participate in the chat. (You can check out the transcript here). The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer during the chat so we will answer them below for your reference. Question: I have inflammation behind my knee. What can I do? Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: Inflammation behind the knee can be due to a number of knee conditions. Baker’s cyst are common and can be caused by injury to the knee, arthritis, damage to the cartilage of the knee, and other [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Is it a Sprain? Or is it a Strain?
Jun 30, 2015 By Oluseun Olufade, M.D.

sprain vs strainA common question we field from patients with injuries is, “Is it a sprain? Or is it a strain?” While they both result in similar pain and symptoms, sprains and strains are actually different injuries that involve completely different parts of the body. A sprain is an injury that affects the ligaments, which are a type of connective tissue that connects bones to other bones. When a sprain occurs, the ligaments are either stretched or torn and depending on the severity of the stretching and tearing, can be very painful. Sprains most commonly affect the ankles, in particular the lateral (outside) portion of the ankle, which can occur from a variety of activities. Strains, on the other hand, affect the tendons, the fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones, or the muscles themselves. Strains involve the stretching and/or tearing of these tendons or [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Emory Spine Patient Story: “I wanted to walk down my long driveway – I can now.”
Jun 17, 2015 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

By Sara Dollar, Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center patient Scoliosis PatientAt the age of 12, I started seeing a chiropractor. In my early teenage years, I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis. Doctors told me that by the time I reached the age of 45, I might not be able to breathe if the scoliosis got bad enough. My spine was shaped like a perfect “S.” I had my first surgery in 1977, followed by several more surgeries. Surgery after surgery left me in excruciating pain. I lived my life, but because my spine was stuck in a bad position, I walked crooked, I couldn’t stand up straight, I couldn’t walk my dogs, and I couldn’t walk five feet without my back spasming. I had become like a hermit crab. In September 2014, I was referred to John M. Rhee, MD, a spinal surgeon at the Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center, because I had a very delicate problem that my former surgeons could not handle. [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
How Aging Affects Your Cervical Spine – Part I: Pinched Nerve
Jun 9, 2015 By John Rhee, MD

Pinched NerveThe cervical spine refers to that portion of the spinal column that is within our neck. This section of the spine has two essential roles: providing flexibility so that we can move our head up and down and side to side, and protecting the spinal cord nerves that pass through it. Cervical radiculopathy, or pinched nerve, tends to occur when the nerve roots are irritated or compressed by one of many conditions.


Cervical radiculopathy can occur in a wide variety of patients, with those younger than 50 tending to suffer as a result of disc herniations. Other than trauma or injury, degenerative conditions as a result of aging are the main cause of neck pain. As disks age, they lose height and the vertebrae move closer together, causing the body to respond by forming more bone—called spurs—around the disk to strengthen it. However, the spurs can also contribute to stiffening [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
When Should You Consider Spine Surgery?
Jun 4, 2015 By Dr. Boden

Spine SurgeryHave you been told you need spine surgery? If so, it’s reasonable to feel anxious or overwhelmed, which is why it’s especially important to gather appropriate information you’ll need to be an active part of the decision-making process. Below are a few things to consider before spine surgery:

  1. Over 90% of back and neck problems can be resolved without surgery. Nonsurgical treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, ice, heat, spinal injections and physical therapy.
  2. Rates of recommending surgery for the same problem vary widely in different parts of the country (and world), suggesting that the criteria for surgery are not always clear.
  3. Surgery does not benefit every type of spinal condition. While some conditions have a high success rate after surgery, others have less predictable success rates following surgery.
  4. 98% of all spine surgery is technically elective

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Understanding Osteoarthritis
May 26, 2015 By Dr. Amadeus Mason

OsteoarthritisWhile “arthritis” is a commonly known disease, it is generally misunderstood. In fact, arthritis is not a single disease, rather a way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Osteoarthritis (OA), which is also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is one of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting nearly 27 million Americans according to the Arthritis Foundation. Unlike other forms of inflammatory arthritis, OA is most common in older adults. It occurs when cartilage, the smooth, rubbery material that cushions each bone becomes thinned, damaged or worn away. The “wearing down” of cartilage leads to pain, swelling and joint stiffness, and as the disease continues to worsen over time, bone rubbing against bone can lead to joint damage and more intense pain. Osteoarthritis can affect any [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Spinal Tumor Symptoms & Treatment
May 20, 2015 By John Rhee, MD

Spinal TumorsTumors, whether cancerous (malignant tumors) or noncancerous (benign tumors), can develop and affect bones anywhere in the body, but when a tumor develops in or near your spinal cord or within the bones of your spine, it can be an especially serious condition. Your spine is an extremely important part of your body as it holds up your head, shoulders and upper body. It also houses and protects your spinal cord and the nerve roots that control your arms, legs, and torso. The spine is made up of 31 small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another and make up the three sections of your spine (cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine) forming the natural curves of your back. Your spinal cord runs through the middle part of the vertebra, which is called the spinal canal, and extends from the skull to the lower back. Spinal nerves branch out from the spinal [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races - Join Us for a Live Online Chat!
May 12, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

Running Training Live ChatWhether you are a seasoned marathon runner or recreational jogger, it is important to train properly and know how to prevent injury. If you are interested in learning more about preventing and treating sports and running injuries, join Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD, for an online web chat on Tuesday, June 9 at noon. Dr. Mason will be available to answer your questions such as:

  • Injury prevention
  • Stretching
  • Race-day tips
  • Symptoms of certain athletic injuries
  • Risk factors for athletic/running injuries
  • Treatment for specific sports injuries
  • When to visit your sports medicine physician
To register for the live chat, visit! If you already have questions for Dr. Mason, go ahead and submit in advance so our team can answer during the chat! Sign Up for the Chat From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapies and [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Injury Insight: Manny Pacquiao’s Shoulder Injury
May 7, 2015 By Dr. Jeffrey Webb

This past weekend’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao may have been the most-watched pay-per-view event of all time, but all eyes are now focused on Pacquiao’s reported shoulder injury. Battling through the twelve-round fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao suffered further injury to his already ailing shoulder. Reports released this week confirm the athlete will need shoulder surgery to repair a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff. Emory Sports Medicine's Dr. Jeff Webb stopped by CNN to shed some light about Pacquiao's injury, possible treatment options and recovery time:

What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and their tendons that wrap around the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder, attaching the upper arm to the shoulder socket. These tendons allow you to move and rotate your arm in wide range of motion. [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Concussions and Female Athletes
May 6, 2015 By Brandon Mines, MD

Concussions in Female AthletesAs the number of sports-related concussions continues to rise across the United States, equally disturbing is recent awareness around increased prevalence of concussions in female athletes versus male athletes. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year in the United States, accounting for 5–9% of all sports-related injuries. While the increase in occurrence can be contributed to greater awareness of the symptoms and consequences associated with the injury, it is believed that around 50% of concussions go unreported. Recent data suggests an increase in the number of concussions sustained by female athletes versus male athletes – with some studies reporting the incidence of concussion in women to be double. Female athletes also experienced (or reported) a higher [...]

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