Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery – Upper Body

Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery – Upper Body

Orthopedics is a medical field that treats a plethora of injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic medicine and surgery is helping people worldwide ease suffering from debilitating pain conditions as a result of accidents, repetitive workplace movements, and sports injuries.

Bones, tendons, joints, muscles, and ligaments all go through a continual amount of strain throughout our lives. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimates that in the United States alone, one in two adults have a musculoskeletal condition, adding up to roughly 213 billion USD annually for treatment and lost income.

My Kypros Home has already covered one of the most common conditions, known as osteoarthritis, and today we will be looking at the orthopedic conditions and treatments for the upper body – shoulders, elbows, and spinal discs.

1. Shoulders

Depending on the shoulder condition, some people experience stiffness, pain, loss of strength, and limited range of motion.

Possible Causes of Shoulder Pain

It is common for many people to experience shoulder pain due to workplace activities, sports injuries, or just a general increase in incidence with age. As such, shoulder conditions have many reasons as to how they happen and come with a range of acute to chronic pain.

Shoulders include muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. There are a number of places within the shoulder area that may see damage or pain from injury or overuse. Some common shoulder conditions include dislocation, instability, separation, labral tear, rotator cuff tear, bursitis, and arthritis.

Shoulder Conditions Diagnosis

If you are feeling stiffness, a limited range of shoulder motion, or shoulder pain, you should visit a board-certified orthopedic surgeon right away. An orthopedic doctor will review the symptoms and complete a thorough examination of the shoulder.

A patient’s range of motion and arm strength might be tested as well as an assessment of X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. From there, the orthopedic doctor can determine the cause, extent of the problem, and suitable options for treatment.

Orthopedic Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Based on the location and cause of the shoulder condition, there are many options for seeking orthopedic medicine, many of which are nonsurgical. For instance, sports medicine treatments for injuries include rest, stretching, using ice and heat applications, seeking physical therapy, and taking anti-inflammatory medication.

It is important to seek the advice of a board-certified orthopedic surgeon right away for shoulder pain as some conditions are quite severe. These may require treatment methods that involve surgery. Luckily, shoulder surgery techniques have advanced in the last few years and most surgical procedures can be completed using arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that uses an arthroscope placed into a joint through a small incision.

Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery - Upper Body

Advances in orthopedic medicine and surgery result in many successful treatments to repair shoulder conditions and once again restore function to the shoulder joint.

2. Elbows

Professionals and athletes of any age are commonly affected by elbow pain. High-stress on repetitive motions involving the elbow wear down the ligaments and the joint, with the most common condition being tendinitis.

Possible Causes of Elbow Pain

Sports accidents and injuries over time and with continual strain on the elbows can cause torn ligaments, tennis or golfer’s elbow, bursitis, fractures, dislocation, arthritis, sprains, cubital tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome, and bone spurs.

Herniated discs, upper body fractures, or dislocated shoulders can also lead to elbow conditions as the body moves differently in an effort to compensate for the pain. Several degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis lead to elbow conditions resulting in joint pain, swelling, and overall elbow stiffness.

Tennis Elbow 

Tennis Elbow, along with Golfer’s Elbow, is a sports injury known to many athletes and is not limited to these particular sports. It is a condition in which tendons connected to the forearm from the outer or inner edges of the elbow joint become inflamed.

Playing sports is not the only reason for pain. A simple handshake can aggravate the elbow causing pain. In fact, any lifting activities or movements that flex the wrist also irritate the elbow joint. Repetitive workplace movements lead to elbow strain as well.

For instance, the chopping of food by restaurant workers and chefs or the turning of wrenches by construction workers and home improvement professionals have the potential to inflame the elbow tendons over time and result in more painful movements when left untreated.

Bursitis

Our elbows are cushioned with a fluid-filled sac known as the bursa. This cushion can become damaged over time or through trauma, injuries, joint infections, arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid conditions. Bursitis is the damage of the bursa as a result and swelling is often the first indicator that something is wrong.

The swelling of the area puts additional stress on elbow joints. Many individuals who have bursitis experience joint pressure, difficulty bending the elbow, and pain. Often orthopedic care and treatment for bursitis involve antibiotics, draining the excess fluid, and changing elbow activities to let the joint and bursa heal. Severe cases can lead to surgical procedures.

Nerve Pressure

Excess pressure along the nerves in the arm and elbow can cause pain and nerve conditions such as cubital tunnel syndrome and radial tunnel syndrome. Orthopedic care for nerve conditions ranges from pain management, movement adjustments, physical therapy, and orthopedic surgical procedures.

3. Spinal Discs

Discs are fluid-filled cushions or connective tissue between each bone vertebrae in the spine. They allow for comfortable movement and spinal functions through shock absorption.

The most common reasons for back pain resulting from disc herniation, bulging discs, and pinched nerves. Back pain in itself is excruciating, but given its connectivity to the rest of the body can drive pain into other areas like the shoulders, arms, and hands.

Herniated Discs and Disc Extrusion

A disc is shaped similarly to a jelly doughnut, with a tough rubbery exterior and a soft inner nucleus. A herniated disc, also known as a collapsed disc or disc extrusion, is when the exterior breaks and the soft inner part can slip or herniate through the rupture. This can occur at any part along the spine.

Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery

Many people suffering from a herniated disc experience pain, weakness, and numbness in the back and into the limbs. Any movement or pressure from positioning on the spine causes severe pain and a limited range of mobility.

Orthopedic medicine and surgery can alleviate the problem. Most treatment plans include medicine, physical therapy, work with a chiropractor, and rest. In a few cases, surgical procedures are necessary. In rare surgical cases of treatment, the ruptured part of the disc may be removed or the entire disc depending on severity. For advanced cases in which the entire disc needs to be removed, the bones of the vertebrae will be fused together with wire to restore spinal stability, however causing some loss in mobility.

Central Annular Tear 

Many adults assume that back pain is just a part of aging or pulling a muscle from abnormal activity, and while this might be true for most, there are times when back pain is more serious. Annular tears occur in the tough, rubbery exterior of the spinal discs. Here there is a series of connective fibers called annulus fibrosus.

Tears most commonly start from the inside nucleus part outward and minor or new tears might be asymptomatic. As the tear gets worse, the fluid inside the disc can begin to escape, causing agonizing pain when the fluid reaches the spinal nerves.

Age, excessive body weight, improper motions, and lifting techniques, as well as accidents, can cause tears to occur. Left untreated, more painful conditions may result, such as disc herniation.

When back pain is experienced, it is crucial to consult with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon right away before the problem worsens. Annular tears take 18 months to two years to heal with careful consideration of orthopedic medicine and surgery options. In that time, medication, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, and possibly even surgical procedures are necessary to provide comprehensive orthopedic care.

Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery Options in Cyprus

Cyprus is home to state-of-the-art medical care and insurance options. The new national healthcare plan, called GeSY, makes it easy and affordable for patients to find orthopedic care and board-certified orthopedic surgeons for residents and citizens.

Medical tourism continues to expand globally and Cyprus offers tourists more than 80 private and 6 public healthcare institutions. The government has also invested 700 million Euros into the promotion of Cyprus as a premier healthcare destination.

Services at the internationally renowned medical institutes include specialized robotic surgeries, minimally invasive surgeries, cutting edge technology, and a range of orthopedic treatments utilizing internal medicine, physical therapy, and trauma counseling.

My Kypros Home can help you choose the best orthopedic clinics and treatments as well as help you deal with immigration and housing needs during your stay in Cyprus.

The Takeaway

Upper body pain doesn’t have to control your life. Advances in orthopedic medicine and surgery offer state-of-the-art treatment plans for restoring the function of your upper body.

Orthopedic care can get you moving again and My Kypros Home can help you get connected to orthopedic treatment options painlessly.

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