What is a scaphoid fracture?

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A scaphoid fracture is a break in one of the small bones in your hand and is generally caused by falling on your outstretched hand. Signs of a scaphoid fracture include pain below the base of the thumb.

The wrist is formed by the two bones in your forearm, the radius and the ulna, and eight carpal bones at the base of your hand. The scaphoid bone is on the thumb side of your wrist and is important for motion and stability in your wrist.

Scaphoid fractures can happen in people of all ages and can cause pain and swelling on the thumb side of your wrist. Sometimes a scaphoid fracture can be mistaken for a wrist sprain because the pain may not be overly severe. If the pain in your wrist does not go away within a day, that may be a sign of a fracture, so plan on scheduling an appointment with your doctor.

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, how it happened, and your overall health. X-rays, MRI’s or CT scans may be done to help further diagnose the extent of the fracture. Swelling, bruising, and loss of motion are all things your doctor will look for during your examination.

A number of factors will go into determining your treatment, such as the location of the break, if the bone fragments are displaced, and how long ago the injury occurred. Nonsurgical treatment generally includes some type of cast or splint.

Surgical treatment may be required if your scaphoid is broken at the wrist or proximal pole. The purpose of surgery is to realign your fracture and help provide stability.

Scaphoid fractures heal rather slowly and a cast may have to be worn for up to six months post-surgery and even for nonsurgical treatment.

During this time you should avoid:

  • Lifting anything more than a pound
  • Contact sports
  • Heavy machinery
  • Participating in activities that may risk you falling on your hand

After surgery your doctor will refer you to a trained hand therapist to help you regain as much of your range of motion and wrist strength as possible.

As with any procedure it’s important that you follow your doctor’s recommendations to ensure the best recovery and treatment.

To learn more or schedule an appointment with our hand and wrist specialists, please visit http://www.neorthohospital.com.

What is a scaphoid fracture?

21 Running Tips

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Looking for some tips to help with your run? Our Optimum Stride therapists are full of information on improving your run while avoiding injury. Below are the 21 tips they think are most helpful for runners:

  1. When shopping for running shoes, have an associate look at your feet and how you walk to help you determine what kind of shoe is right for you. They will determine if your arch is high, low, or regular and whether your feet pronate in, supinate out, or land neutrally when you walk. Our team has regular screenings at some area events, so check out our events calendar to find the next screening: https://www.neorthohospital.com/our-services/physical-therapy/optimum-stride.
  2. Many running clothes have built-in underwear, but if your apparel does not, invest in tight-fitting, non-cotton underwear to wick away any moisture and avoid chafing.
  3. Focusing on your form can help make for more efficient runs and avoid injuries. Keep your head up, shoulders low and loose with your arms swinging forwards and backwards. Run tall and keep your hips pointing straight ahead. When running with proper stride length, your feet should land directly underneath your body. Your feet should lightly touch the ground.
  4. If you run in the morning, try to grab a quick meal like half of a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of oatmeal before your run. This will convert to fuel in 45 minutes leading to an effective run. If you can’t tolerate food before a run, try to eat a carb-heavy bedtime snack the night before.
  5. While you’re in running training, be careful about adding too many additional activities such as spin classes or boot camps. To be a successful runner, you have to run.
  6. When seeking out food sources, focus on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Good sources of carbs include whole grain breads, brown rice, whole grain pastas, etc. Aim for the 3-5 servings of veggies a day along with 2-4 servings of fruit.
  7. When it comes to water, shoot to drink half of your body weight in ounces.
  8. Trouble finding time to fit running into your schedule? Schedule it in, literally, and treat it as if it’s an appointment. Once you have it scheduled in, you can relax.
  9. It’s normal to feel shin pain once you get into a running routine. Icing your shins several times a day can help to relieve the pain. Anti-inflammatories, stretching, and strengthening will help too.
  10. While running, be aware of signs that you may be experiencing an injury versus discomfort. When the pain seems to be coming from your overall muscle, for example, your quads, hamstrings, etc., this could be a sign of an injury. If the pain starts to impact your running form or persists despite decreased training, consider getting medical treatment.
  11. Stretching is always an important factor in avoiding injury. Take a few minutes after your run to stretch out your warm muscles. Hold each stretch between 20 to 60 seconds.
  12. When washing your running clothes, use a detergent that’s designed for athletic clothes to help maintain their breathability. Most sport detergents are now sold close to the regular detergent in stores.
  13. During exercise the American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 4 to 8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes of hard running.
  14. After a long run, it’s crucial to replenish your body with protein and carbs to help your muscles rebuild. Some ideas of what to eat and drink include a turkey sandwich, chocolate milk, yogurt and fruit, and so on.
  15. Pacing, or running at a uniform speed for the entire distance of your run, is crucial in expending your energy throughout the course of your run.
  16. When shopping for winter running attire, it isn’t necessary to spend a fortune on gear. Your base layer is the most important and should be made of a synthetic moisture wicking material. Your second layer is your insulation layer. Something like a fleece running top will help keep in the warm air. Your last layer should be a wind proof jacket or vest. It’s also important to wear fleece lined pants, a hat, and gloves.
  17. Eat well, but don’t overeat. Make sure to get plenty of sleep.
  18. Take a day off when you need to, but try to stick to your running schedule as much as possible.
  19. Jot down what you did or didn’t do after your run to help figure out what contributed to your performance.
  20. If you feel like you are suffering from heavy leg syndrome, make sure you are eating enough carbs, drinking enough water, and getting enough rest between training sessions.
  21. Stay positive and believe in yourself that you can reach your running goals.

To learn more about our Optimum Stride team, or to schedule a running evaluation, visit https://www.neorthohospital.com/our-services/physical-therapy/optimum-stride.

21 Running Tips

Ankle Sprains

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Ankle sprains are injuries that occur when your ligaments that support your ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. Ligaments are strong tissues that connect bones to other bones. Ankle sprains can be anywhere from mild to severe and can happen in people of all ages.

Most ankle sprains can be treated at home with rest and ice, but if you have trouble putting weight on it make sure to consult your doctor. If you do not properly treat your ankle sprain, you will increase your chances of injuring it again.

Most ankle sprains happen on the outside of the ankle in your lateral ligaments.

Symptoms of ankle sprains include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tender to the touch
  • Inability to put weight on it

What will the doctor examine?

Your doctor will diagnose you with an ankle sprain by examining your foot and ankle and checking your range of motion. X-rays, stress x-rays, MRI’s, or an ultrasound may have to be done. Your sprain can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Depending on your type of sprain crutches or physical therapy may be recommended for a period of time.

Surgery is rare for ankle sprains, but if nonsurgical treatment is ineffective after an amount of time, surgery may be an option determined by your doctor.

The best way to avoid ankle sprains is to warm up properly and wear the correct shoes for exercise and participating in athletic events. If your ankle begins to feel pain during these activities make sure to stop or slow down.

To schedule an appointment with one of our ankle specialists, visit http://www.neorthohospital.com/orthopaedic-services/foot-ankle.

 

Ankle Sprains