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Check out these  orthopedic tips from a top orthopedic surgeon:orthopedic surgeon

FOOT DROP CAN CAUSE PAIN AND EMBARRASSMENT

Foot drop is condition that prohibits people from properly lifting their foot off the ground. This causes them to trip and fall and leads to a great deal of embarrassment.

Dr. Kevin Varner, an orthopedic surgeon with The Methodist Hospital in Houston, says the condition occurs when there is a weakness in the muscles that raise the foot up at the ankle. This is caused by trauma such as a knee dislocation or penetrating injury, such as knife wound, that damages the peroneal nerve that runs along the outside of the lower leg and branches off into each ankle, foot and first two toes.

Surgery involves rerouting the tendons from undamaged local muscles to restore foot elevation. If a local muscle is not available, one is taken from the leg or back. The nerve in the transplanted muscle will regenerate in about six months, with a gradual improvement in strength over a two year period.

TOTAL WRIST REPLACEMENT CAN EASE PAIN OF ARTHRITIS

A total wrist replacement can bring relief to thousands of people with arthritis who cannot even brush their teeth without severe pain.

Dr. Evan D. Collins, an orthopedic surgeon with The Methodist Hospital in Houston, says this is perfect for people who have tried cortisone shots, splints and casts, but still have severe pain. The surgery involves replacing the worn out wrist joint by cutting away the arthritic portion of the bone and replacing it with a metal implant and polyurethane or gliding surface.

The artificial wrist is limited in the amount of weight it can bear, so it's not effective for people who have jobs where there is a significant amount of lifting. However, it does relieve pain and helps maintain motion in the wrist.

ROTATOR CUFF INJURIES NOT JUST FOR PITCHERS

Pitchers are not the only ones who miss significant time because of rotator cuff tears. Many golfers are plagued by the same problems and it can severely affect their distance and accuracy.

Dr. William J. Bryan, an orthopedic surgeon with The Methodist Hospital in Houston, says he's seen many golfers who have a complete tear of the rotator cuff, the tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder, and don't even know it. They don't actually tear it playing golf, but they aggravate it when they swing.

The best way to try and avoid rotator cuff problems is by stretching the shoulder everyday. To stretch, put your left wrist on top of your right wrist and stretch it across the body. This stretches the shoulder and gives you a better range of motion during your swing.

Cortisone shots will ease the pain for a few days, but if you have a complete tear, you will have to have it surgically repaired. Full recovery will take four to six months.

 
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