Improve Bone Health to Prevent Orthopedic Injury

You don’t have to wait to reach a certain age to ensure optimal bone health. Most often, people tend to start worrying about bone health when issues, such as osteoporosis, have already set in. However, promoting bone health at an early age can drastically reduce the risk of orthopedic injuries.

Here are a few extremely effective tips to keep your bones healthy and strong.

Eat Calcium Rich Foods

Eat foods that promote bone health or foods rich in calcium. To increase the strength of your bones, include plenty of milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, kale and beans in calcium to your diet. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. You can get your dose of Vitamin D through foods, Sun exposure or supplements.

Stay Active

It is vital to have an active lifestyle to promote bone health. Engage in weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging and aerobics. Exercises, such as yoga and Pilates, are also important to make your core strong and reduce the likelihood of spine injuries.

Quit Smoking and Alcohol

Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Tobacco can weaken the bones and too much alcohol can prevent calcium absorption in the body.

Regular Health Checks

Talk to your doctor to determine the best ways of promoting bone health. Based on a variety of factors, such as your medical histyour doctor may suggest a combination of diet, exercise and other methods to ensure you have optimal bone health.

To learn more about shoulder and knee sports medicine treatments, call the top orthopedic surgeon in Gilbert, AZ, call OSPI Arizona at 480-899-4333. OSPI’s Board Certified orthopedic surgeons offer complete care and treatment for individuals in all stages of life, participating in all levels of activity.

The Sports Hernia

The sports hernia has been getting the buzz lately as many high-profile athletes have been diagnosed with it. But what is it?

A sports hernia is more accurately called athletic pubalgia. There is no real hernia but it is characterized by pain in the pubis seen in athletes. It is an increasingly common injury but the cause is not known. It may occur because of an imbalance of the strength of the muscles that attach to the pubis. In athletes involved in a rigorous workout happening all year round, it is possible that the lower extremity muscles may become preferentially strengthened compared to the abdomen, leading to an imbalance that can result in tearing of muscle fibers in the groin or abdomen.

The pain from a sports hernia typically begins slowly and increases gradually with continued activity. It is usually a one-sided groin or abdominal pain and is associated with sports that require frequent bending, twisting, and turning at speed. It can worsen with sudden twisting or turning.

Other nonsurgical treatments include treatments include dry-needling, therapeutic massage, and ultrasound therapy
The diagnosis is clinical, based on the findings mentioned above, but they can be seen with other conditions. X-rays and other imaging techniques are used to support the diagnosis.

Conservative treatment begins with rest, which ranges from a few weeks to a few months. Anti-inflammatory medication such as NSAIDs can help with pain relief at this time. In some cases, oral steroids may be prescribed. Physical therapy is recommended following the initial rest period, which is focused on strengthening the abdominal muscles as well as stretching the lower abdominal muscles and leg muscles. Other nonsurgical treatments include treatments include dry-needling, therapeutic massage, and ultrasound therapy. Steroid injections, nerve blocks administered to the ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerves, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection are other such options and have varying success rates.


If rest and conservative treatment fail, surgery is the definitive treatment. There are various surgical approaches targeted at reinforcing the abdominal muscles, and restoring balance of muscles across the pelvis as needed. Surgery typically requires 6- to 8-week period of intensive physical rehabilitation to rebuild muscle strength and endurance after surgery. Some surgical approaches may involve the placement of a synthetic mesh in the groin area to help stabilize the injury. While up to 80% of these procedures are reported to be successful, with the athlete returning to sport, some treatment-resistant cases of sports hernia require multiple surgeries.

Sports hernia is a new name for a known condition of athletic pubalgia, and it can be quite disabling, making it impossible for the athlete to play the sport. It is also quite likely to be misdiagnosed, so getting the right diagnosis is critical, which can sometimes mean getting second/third consults. Once diagnosed, the athletes have to work closely with their physicians to find a way to manage their injury, ensuring a successful and timely return to the sport.

Paget’s Disease of the Bone

Paget disease of the bone is a chronic condition that causes the bones to become dense, enlarged and deformed, leading to fragile bones that fracture. It is the most common bone disorder after osteoporosis in adults after the age of 50. The risk of Paget’s disease of bone increases with age and with family history.

Bone remodeling is defined as a process in which new bone tissue replaces old bone tissue. This process is affected by Paget’s disease, resulting in dense but brittle bones.  It most commonly affects the pelvis, skull, spine, and legs. Complications of Paget’s disease of bone can include broken bones, hearing loss and pinched nerves in your spine.

There are two types of Paget’s disease of bone: monostotic (when only one bone is affected), or polyostotic (when multiple bones are involved).
Paget’s is also associated with neurologic complications, such as deafness, facial nerve palsies, radiculopathies, and spinal cord compression
The exact cause of Paget disease of the bone is not known, but genetics are thought to play a role.

There is some evidence that viral infection may also have a role in its development. Proteins derived from the respiratory syncytial virus and measles virus are present in pagetic osteoclasts. Paget’s disease tends to aggregate in families. First-degree relatives of patients with Paget ’s have a 7- to 10-fold increased risk of developing the condition.

While about 70% of patients with PDB are asymptomatic, in the remaining cases, it presents with joint inflammation, bone deformity, pain, and predisposition to fractures.


Paget’s disease can cause skeletal deformities, such as bowing of long bones, enlarged skull, pelvic alterations, and osteoarthritis. It can lead to traumatic and pathologic fractures. Very rarely, it can lead to osteosarcomas, which have a poor prognosis (5-year survival rate of approximately 10%). Paget’s is also associated with neurologic complications, such as deafness, facial nerve palsies, radiculopathies, and spinal cord compression. If it affects the skull, that can lead to hydrocephalus, nerve entrapment, and cerebellar dysfunction, causing the symptoms of nausea, ataxia, incontinence, gait disturbance, or dementia. It is also associated with high cardiac output, hypercalcemia, and hyperparathyroidism, but these are all rare.


Tests that can be done to confirm/support the diagnosis include:

  • Serum alkaline phosphatase: these levels are raised in any condition of bone growth or an increased activity of bone cells.
  • Bone scan: This is a nuclear imaging test that shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone, which helps determine areas of abnormally high bone turnover. It detects up to 50% more lesions than seen on x-ray films.
  • X-ray films: It is the main mode of its diagnosis. It shows osteolytic, osteoblastic, or mixed lesions. Other characteristic features include transverse lucent areas, enlargement of bones, expanding lytic changes, thickened cortices, or osteoporosis with lytic involvement in the skull.
  • Bone biopsy: These may be done to confirm the diagnosis through tissue assessment, but they are mostly done if the malignant transformation of the bone is suspected, which is characterized by cortical destruction and the presence of a soft tissue mass outside of the bone.

Treatment is targeted at suppressing osteoclastic activity.  The most commonly used agents are the bisphosphonates (such as Etidronate) that inhibit bone resorption. Intravenous options are also available, such as pamidronate. Salmon and human calcitonin are also FDA-approved and are given subcutaneously.

Occupational Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are a group of disorders that most commonly develop in workers whose work involves excessive and repetitive motions of the neck and upper extremity. There are quite a few occupations that comprise such activities. It is also quite common in people involved in sports activities.


It all starts with taking a careful history, performing a proper physical examination and specific diagnostic maneuvers to detect these musculoskeletal injuries.


RSI may be present in a range of ways – cervical syndrome, tension neck syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, and frozen shoulder syndrome. Injuries involving the elbow, wrist and hand joints include epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve entrapment.

RSI may also occur as a result of sports and recreational activities

RSI is especially common in all kinds of workplaces. The disorders of the forearm flexor tendons are most common among workers at assembly lines and trainees, whereas the cervical rotation and side-flexion are most affected in office workers. RSI may also occur as a result of sports and recreational activities. These injuries result from repetitive and forceful motions, awkward postures, and other sports/work-related conditions and ergonomic hazards.


Occupationally induced RSIs are costly, creating a strong incentive for physicians to become familiar with the symptoms, signs, and risk factors so that they can be diagnosed early and properly treated.


Hand/forearm-related RSI are common in office settings – such as carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, Guyon canal syndrome, lateral epicondylitis, and tendonitis of the wrist or hand. The diagnosis is clinical but MRI and ultrasonography can be used for the diagnosis, but the role of such imaging in the diagnosis of upper limb disorders remains unclear. Once diagnosed, exercise can be beneficial for non-specific upper limb disorders. Other options, such as the immobilizing hand braces and open carpal tunnel surgery release are beneficial for carpal tunnel syndrome. Nonsurgical management, such as topical and oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroid injections are helpful for lateral epicondylitis. Exercise is probably beneficial for neck pain, as are corticosteroid injections and exercise for shoulder pain.


In general, mainstay of treatment is mainly conservative and consists of rest, application of ice or heat and anti-inflammatory drugs. It typically takes a few or months to completely resolve.


It is very important to make necessary modifications in the workplace in order to prevent many of these injuries. Assessing the exposure of workers to known risk factors is essential The ergonomics of the workplace should properly be studied and accounted for in order to prevent workplace-related RSI. Training staff and performing necessary workplace changes would allow the staff to more effectively use their workplace through increased office ergonomics knowledge and skills. Once such training and interventions are in place, it leads to an increase in workers’ office ergonomics knowledge and awareness, and that results in a significant decrease in work-related musculoskeletal disorders.


RSI that is sports-related, can also be prevented by getting professional training to ensure the technique is right and the chance of injury is minimized.

Can PRP injections reduce my knee pain?

PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma injections are a hot topic among patients who are looking for ways to delay a knee replacement. If you are wondering how PRP can reduce your pain and help you return to an active lifestyle, read on.

Platelet Rich Plasma

Your blood contains a fluid component, or plasma and red cells, white cells and platelets. PRP refers to the plasma derived from your blood along with platelets. This plasma is prepared such that it carries more platelets in volume than your whole blood. The concentration of platelets in PRP can be 2-10 times that in the patient’s blood and more growth factors.

During an injury, platelets help the blood to clot and bring hundreds of proteins including anti-inflammatory and growth factors. All these factors initiate a healing response at the site of injury.

PRP Injections

When used as a knee injection, PRP can stimulate natural healing in the injured or inflamed knee environment.

A PRP injections is prepared by drawing blood from the patient and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other blood cells. The concentrated platelets and the plasma are prepared for injection.

Benefits of PRP Knee Injections

PRP injections have proven highly beneficial in treating knee injuries.

  • Reduction in knee pain without surgery
  • improved joint function

Side effects of PRP injections are very limited since the injection components come from the patient’s own blood.

Candidates for PRP injections

You could be a candidate for PRP knee injection if you have –

  • knee pain, due to osteoarthritis, that affects your daily activity
  • some joint space remains
  • pain is mainly due to the inflamed soft tissues rather than bone pain
  • conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, bracing and anti-inflammatory medications, have failed

To learn more about best knee replacement and treatments, consult the top orthopedic doctors in Gilbert, AZ, call OSPI Arizona at 480-899-4333. OSPI’s Board Certified orthopedic surgeons offer complete care and treatment for individuals in all stages of life, participating in all levels of activity.

Anxiety and Bone Health

Anxiety has already been known to be harmful to our body in many ways, such increased cardiovascular risks. It’s now becoming apparent that anxiety and persistent stress are linked to an increased risk of bone fractures in postmenopausal women as per a recently published study in the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Postmenopausal women are already prone to developing osteoporosis, for which they are prescribed vitamin D. Their risk of developing fractures is a major concern and this risk grows as they age. Stress and anxiety now add to this concern by adding another common predisposing factor.

Studies have shown that women with anxiety disorders were almost twice as likely to develop osteoporosis than were those without anxiety. High anxiety levels have been shown to be associated with low bone mineral density, which is a key indicator of fracture risk. The most common sites of osteoporotic fractures in these women are the lumbar spine and femoral neck.
In addition to these risk factors, cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle and prolonged use of steroids are major risk factors of osteoporosis-related increased fracture risk.

Anxiety may cause more oxidative stress, which may be related to osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
There are several ways anxiety may affect bone health. It is postulated that there may be some degree of systemic inflammation in people with high anxiety levels, which leads to bone loss. Anxiety and stress cause high cortisol levels in the blood, which has a known effect on bone demineralization and brittleness. Anxiety may cause more oxidative stress, which may be related to osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. To make matters worse, you may be more prone to falls if you have an anxiety disorder. Furthermore, some antidepressants may also cause a decrease in bone mineral density as well.


Based on this, it is becoming increasingly evident that mental issues, specifically anxiety and stress should be addressed in all patients – this is even more important in women postmenopausal age as stress and anxiety in this population can lead to significantly high fracture risk. Approximately 7% of the world suffers from an anxiety disorder, and it is as common in women. There is a link between anxiety and low vitamin D levels, which might explain the connection between anxiety disorder and bone fractures.


Women’s peak bone mass is said to be at age 35. Ever woman seeing a doctor should be screened for anxiety disorders and high-stress levels during their clinic visits. They should be taking 1200 mg of calcium a day in order to minimize the risk of developing osteoporosis. It is also important to have sufficient magnesium and vitamin D — from either sun exposure or supplements. Furthermore, having a healthy lifestyle with activities such as walking, lifting weights, ensure good bone health.

In addition, these women should also avoid smoking, excessive drinking, taking excessive thyroid replacement medications, and/or medications such as steroids or proton pump inhibitors. If anxiety issues are indeed found on screening, they should be addressed and professionally handled – with various techniques including mindfulness, cognitive therapy, self-calming strategies, yoga, etc.


Urgent Orthopedic Injuries

While some orthopedic injuries can heal on their own, others require urgent treatment. Such injuries and problems include:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Fractures
  • Ligament tears
  • Painful, swollen joints
  • Pediatric injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Sprains, strains, and discolorations

Orthopedic Injuries that should be urgently treated by an orthopedic doctor or surgeon –

Any injury or condition that can prove serious or life-threatening should be treated at a hospital ER, such as –

  • arm or leg is severely fractured and/or out of alignment
  • bone is fractured and exposed through the skin
  • significant blood loss has occurred
  • other injuries from falls or accidents are present
  • severely injured children

Children who require urgent orthopedic care include:

  • children with a fractured bone, are experiencing pain and/or are irritable, despite treatment and medication. Any pain, swelling, redness, tenderness at a site or injury that has been treated may also require urgent medical attention.
  • children who have no obvious symptoms of an injury but is crying, restless, feverish, and unable to walk. This could indicate a serious hip joint infection.
  • children with large, deep cuts or wounds
  • children with positional deformities of the limbs

To learn more about orthopedic injuries and treatments, call the top orthopedic surgeon in Gilbert, AZ, call OSPI Arizona at 480-899-4333. OSPI’s Board Certified orthopedic surgeons offer complete care and treatment for individuals in all stages of life, participating in all levels of activity. This includes orthopedic, physical therapy, chiropractic, medical weight loss, hormone replacement, performance training, pain management, podiatry, regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy and family practice.

Do Vestibular Disorders Go Away With Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

The vestibular sensory organs in our inner ear, the cochlea, and the semicircular canals are responsible for our balance and proprioception/position. When these organs are damaged with disease or injury, it can lead to dizziness, vertigo, balance problems, and other symptoms. These can be transient as people are able to recover after a few weeks of normal activity due to vestibular compensation. Conversely, the symptoms can be lasting, affecting a person’s ability to maintain posture and balance.


A person with a vestibular disorder may have difficulty in maintaining balance and may adopt an exaggerated hip sway, swivel the entire body while keeping the head still when turning to look at something, or always look down to avoid a confusing swirl of activity. Ironically, these mannerisms can worsen the vestibular symptoms and often cause headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue.
Meniere’s disease is the most common vestibular disorder this procedure is considered for

Endolymphatic sac decompression is a procedure that involves draining of the excessive endolymph from its sac in order to decompress it. It is sometimes indicated for Ménière’s disease or secondary endolymphatic hydrops to relieve endolymphatic pressure in the cochlea and vestibular system. Meniere’s disease is the most common vestibular disorder this procedure is considered for. It is characterized by vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, imbalance and a feeling of pressure deep inside the ear. While there are several treatment options for it, including betahistine, cyclizine, steroid injections, and gentamicin injections, but endolymphatic sac decompression is considered for refractory cases.


There are multiple ways to perform this procedure. One method involves removing the mastoid bone surrounding the endolymphatic sac and allowing the sac to decompress. Alternatively, a shunt may be placed into the endolymphatic sac so that the excess fluid can drain out into the mastoid cavity.

Endolymphatic sac decompression is performed as an outpatient procedure. During the procedure, an incision is made behind the ear and the mastoid bone is exposed. The bone is fragmented to reveal the endolymphatic sac and a hole is cut into the outer layer of the sac using a laser. A shunt is then inserted into the sac and the incision is closed. The procedure takes approximately 90 minutes and is performed under general anesthesia. If there are no adverse events, the patient is discharged an hour later. Most patients return to work the day after surgery. The patient’s hearing gradually improves in the ensuing few weeks and then returns to normal.

Endolymphatic sac decompression has proven to be an effective treatment for patients with Meniere’s disease with vertigo and light-to-moderate hearing loss. In a recent study published in JAMA, endolymphatic sac surgery provided an improvement in major spells of vertigo in 77% of patients at 24 months after surgery. Furthermore, revision surgery provided an improvement in 65% of cases, especially those with recurrent symptoms more than 24 months after their original procedure.

Symptoms of an ACL Injury

The ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament connects the bottom of the thigh bone or femur to the top of the shin bone or tibia. It is one of the four knee ligaments that keep the knee stable and prevent rotational stress. ACL is the weakest of these four ligaments and can get torn when subject to excessive stress.

ACL injuries are common among athletes and active individuals, especially during sports that involve sudden halts and changes in direction, such as basketball and soccer.

Symptoms of an ACL injury

  • “Popping” or a “clicking” sensation in the knee
  • Severe pain
  • Inability to continue activity
  • Swelling within a few hours
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Feeling of instability

Treatment for ACL Injury

To avoid more damage, such as meniscus tears and degenerative joint disease, reconstructive ACL surgery is done. Such surgery also provides stability and function in the knee. Your surgeon may use the repair tissue from your own hamstring (autograft) or from a cadaver (allograft).

Prevention of ACL Injuries

You can reduce the chances of an ACL injury with adequate warm up before activity, training drills to improve power and agility and by improving balance.

Sports medicine doctors now offer regenerative medicine options such as PRP therapy and stem cell treatments to treat conditions involving the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee.

To learn more about regenerative medicine treatments, such as PRP therapy, call the best orthopedic and knee replacement doctors in Gilbert, AZ, call OSPI Arizona at 480-899-4333. OSPI’s Board Certified orthopedic surgeons have extensive experience and expertise in sports medicine, general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

Grade I Hamstring Strain

Hamstrings are the three muscles at the back of the thigh. They traverse between the hip and the knee and are named semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris. They are involved in bending the knee., tipping the pelvis back when you lean backwards, and twisting the knee when the knee is bent.


A hamstring injury ranges from a strain to a muscle tear.
There are three grades of hamstring injury:

  • Grade I: a mild muscle strain
  • Grade II: a partial muscle tear.
  • Grade III: a complete muscle tear or tear of an attachment.


Grade I injury may take a few days to heal but a grade III injury can take months. We’ll focus on grade I hamstring injury in this article.

The best way to avoid hamstring injury is to spend time working on your hamstring strength

Grade I Hamstring injuries are very common in sports, especially those that involve sprinting, suddenly stopping and changing direction, and jumping. These include football, rugby, baseball and track running. They typically happen at the end of the swing phase of running, just before the outstretched leg touches the ground, as it is at this point that the hamstring muscles have to suddenly contract to bend the knee.


There are multiple predisposing factors for hamstring injury, such as:


  • Weak hamstrings – if they are not toned up and strong enough to handle the stress, they are more likely to get injured.
  • Lack of warm-up before exertion – Hamstring muscles are less likely to be injured when they are warmed up through brief stretching/contracting exercises. Keeping the legs warm with suitable clothing while warming up also helps a lot.
  • Tiredness – if the muscle is fatigued, it is more likely to get injured. Having good fitness overall helps.
  • Previous hamstring injury – You are much more likely to have a hamstring injury if you have had a previous one.
  • Older age – you are more likely to have a hamstring injury as you get older.


Interestingly, being overweight is not thought to be a risk factor for a hamstring injury.

The best way to avoid hamstring injury is to spend time working on your hamstring strength. A highly trained sportsperson will tend to do this as part of their training but anybody looking to do any activities that involve these muscles is probe to grade I hamstring injury and needs to warm up as well.

There are various approaches to hamstring rehabilitation, with varying times of immobilization to the type of exercise. The goal of any hamstring rehabilitation (especially so in cases of sportspersons) is to return to the previous level of performance while attempting to minimize the rate of injury recurrence. It has been shown that Grade I (and even II) hamstring strains can be aggressively treated with brief immobilization followed by early initiation of running and isokinetic exercises. This is likely to lead to early recovery of function and a relatively low reinjury rate.