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Learn more about our areas of expertise: Fractures, Sports Injuries, Joint Replacements, Work Injuries, Neck and Back Pain, Motor Vehicle Injuries.

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Welcome to the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center

Orthopedic Surgeons Serving Rochester NY & The Finger Lakes Region

For orthopedic surgery that can repair and restore function to limbs and joints, Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center is a talent in preventative and rehabilitative procedures. For sports injury, neck pain, joint pain and a range of other debilitating symptoms, Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center is your best chance in the Finger Lakes, NY region for top tier joint replacement and orthopedic surgery.

Our Physicians

Dr. Daniel Alexander

Dr. Daniel Alexander is the owner of Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center. Born and raised in Buffalo and a former lieutenant in the Buffalo Fire Department, Dr. Alexander received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo....

Dr. Christopher Brown

A specialist in sports medicine focusing on the shoulder and knee, Dr. Brown has had the opportunity to work at a variety of world class institutions while providing care for athletes both on and off the field. Dr. Brown also serves as...

Dr. David Cywinski

Dr. Cywinski, raised in Buffalo, NY, has an interesting background which includes 14 years as a Fayetteville, NY firefighter and as a paramedic instructor at SUNY Health Science Center. His BA degree in Biology was obtained at the State University...

Dr. Peter Stasko, DPM

Peter Stasko, DPM is board certified in foot, reconstructive rear foot, and ankle surgery through the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is also a fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Peter Stasko, DPM,...

Scott Mattoon, RPA-C

After graduating from Midlakes High School, Scott enlisted in the United States Army, where he functioned as a combat medic for over three years. After serving as a medical specialist in the 28th Combat Support Hospital, Scott was honorably discharged...

Dr. Paul Stasko, DPM

Paul Stasko is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine who completed undergraduate at SUNY Brockport where he played Varsity ice hockey and earned his degree in Biology.  He attended podiatry school at Des Moines University-College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery.  After...

Recognition

Joint Commission National Quality Approval Seal
Newark-Wayne Community Hospital named Orthopedic Joint Center of Excellence by Joint Commission! Congratulations to the surgeons, surgical team, and staff at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital for achieving The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for its total knee and hip replacement program. Newark-Wayne now joins Rochester General, Unity, and United Memorial Medical Center as Rochester Regional Health’s fourth accredited Orthopedic Joint Center of Excellence. The Joint Commission Gold Seal is a symbol of Newark-Wayne’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. Thanks to everyone involved for their dedication and hard work in achieving this incredible milestone!

Recent News

Dr. Alexander Helps National Ski Instructor after 35 Years of Pain

14 / 06 / 2018 / 0 comments

Larry is a 73 year old national ski instructor who had debilitating pain in his knees for 35 years until he met Dr. Daniel Alexander. He was unable to walk without pain, much less ski, but after Dr. Alexander performed two knee replacement surgeries Larry says: “My peers said that’s the best they’ve ever seen me ski…I ski all day, walk fine. I’ll be here as long as I possibly can ski, which will hopefully be until my 80s.” Watch the video here!

Thank you to Dr. Alexander and all the talented doctors from Rochester Regional Health who continue to improve the lives of those in our community!

Could new bone-forming growth factor reverse osteoporosis?

February 7, 2017 / 0 comments

Scientists at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX, have uncovered a new bone-forming growth factor that may reverse the bone loss associated with osteoporosis. They say that this discovery has implications for regenerative medicine.

[bone fracture of the spine]
Osteolectin has been shown to promote bone growth in postmenopausal mice.

Osteoporosis develops over several years and is a condition that weakens bones. This weakness makes bones more fragile and susceptible to breakages. More than 50 million people in the United States aged 50 and older are affected by osteoporosis or low bone mass.

Treatments for osteoporosis currently involve treating and preventing bone fractures, as well as using medication to strengthen bones. Bisphosphonates are drugs that slow down or prevent bone damage. Estrogen therapy is also used in some groups of people to help maintain bone density.

While the majority of existing treatments for osteoporosis reduce the rate of bone loss, they do not promote new bone growth. There is one agent, called Teriparatide (PTH), that is approved for the formation of new bone. However, the use of PTH is limited to only 2 years due to a risk of developing osteosarcoma (bone cancer).

The researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute (CRI) at UT Southwestern called the newly discovered bone-forming growth factor Osteolectin, or Clec11a, and they published their findings in eLife.

Dr. Sean Morrison – CRI director, Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics, and the Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research – led the study.

Particular bone marrow and bone cells have been found to produce Osteolectin. The team at CRI say they are the first to demonstrate that Osteolectin promotes new bone formation from skeletal stem cells in the bone marrow.

Osteolectin significantly increased bone volume, reversed bone loss

Morrison and colleagues discovered that when Osteolectin was deleted in mice, they experienced acceleration in bone loss during adulthood. The mice also exhibited symptoms of osteoporosis, such as diminished bone strength and the delayed healing of fractures.

The researchers aimed to find out whether it was possible for Osteolectin to reverse bone loss after osteoporosis had developed. Morrison and team used two groups of mice that had their ovaries removed to mimic the type of osteoporosis that develops in postmenopausal women. They provided the mice with a daily injection of either PTH or Osteolectin.

When compared with PTH – an agent already proven to promote bone formation – Osteolectin showed similar results. Compared with untreated mice, the bone volume in both PTH-treated and Osteolectin-treated mice had significantly increased.

Both treatments were shown to successfully reverse the bone loss that occurred as a result of ovary removal.

“These results demonstrate the important role Osteolectin plays in new bone formation and maintaining adult bone mass. This study opens up the possibility of using this growth factor to treat diseases like osteoporosis,” says Morrison.

“These early results are encouraging, suggesting Osteolectin might one day be a useful therapeutic option for osteoporosis and in regenerative medicine.”

Dr. Sean Morrison

Morrison is also the principle investigator for the Hamon Laboratory for Stem Cell and Cancer Biology. Alongside the Hamon Laboratory scientists, Morrison plans to conduct further experiments to test Osteolectin’s therapeutic potential.

The team’s objective is to identify the receptor for Osteolectin, which they say will help them to understand the signaling mechanism that the growth factor uses to promote the formation of bone.

 

3 Easy Yoga Moves For The New Year

January 11, 2017 / 0 comments

This year you’re going to manage your back and joint pain in a proactive manner!

How?

Yoga.

Yoga has outlasted Jazzercise, Bowflex, and Tae Bo because it’s actually that good. When B.K.S. Iyengar brought yoga to the States with his book Light on Yoga, his message was clear: yoga was for everyone. That includes people with joint pain, back problems, insomnia, respiratory problems, and more. In fact, here are a few very basic yoga poses you can take into the new year and beyond:

 

Tadasana (or Mountain Pose)

 Image Credit: Amanda Rose Wellness

 

This pose is so straight forward and common you wouldn’t even know you were doing yoga.

Mountain Pose, or Tadasana (ta-da-sah-nah) in sanskrit, is the starting position of all standing yoga poses. A good pose to start your morning, stand with bare feet together. A wall makes an excellent prop, as it will help align the rest of the pose more easily. If a wall is in use, make certain the heels are backed against the wall.

Stretch the arms along the sides of the body, fingers pointed to the floor. Stretch the neck upward, like a string is attached to the top of the head and it’s lifting you up. Using this visual helps keep the neck muscles soft and unengaged.

Keep your head erect and look straight forward, face relaxed. An easy way to tell if the face is relaxed is to scrunch it up tightly and then let it go. Distribute the weight evenly over the feet, turn in the front of the thighs, pull in the lower abdomen and lift the chest. Again, imagine a string is attached to the heart and it’s pulling upwards.

Once Mountain Pose is attained, breath evenly and with awareness. This is a great time to feel the chest expand and even pop some of those vertebrae in the back on a deep inhale. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to a full minute.

The benefits will be obvious: this pose, when given strict attention, helps correct incorrect posture, strengthens the knee joints, reduces sciatic pain, and overall helps lift and tone the pelvis and abdomen.

To get even more out of the pose, on an inhale, you may stretch the arms upwards with fingers pointing towards the sky, palms facing forward. This is Tadasana Urdhva Hastasana (Mountain Pose with Arms Stretched Up).

Another alteration is Tadasana Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Mountain Pose with Fingers Interlocked). From Tadasana, bring the hands together in front of the chest and interlock the fingers, then lift the arms towards the sky, palms facing the sky.

That one was easy and most likely something you’ve already been doing. Let’s do something a little more yogic.

 

Adhomukha Svanasana (or Downward Facing Dog)

 Image Credit: Pinterest

 

This pose rocks. It is such a basic pose, but the benefits are outstanding: it’s a beautiful back stretch, excellent post run stretch, and relieves stiffness all over. As mentioned, it’s a basic pose, but even advanced yogis continue to work and refine Adhomukha Svanasana (ah-doh-moo-kuh ss-va-nah-sah-nah) because it is a pose that can always get better. Let’s break it down.

 

For the beginner, it’s good to start on hands and knees on a yoga mat or harder floor–something that will allow your hands and bare feet to stick to it. Beginning from a table pose with knees directly under the hips and hands directly under the shoulders (it’s OK to look to make certain your stance isn’t too wide, which is very common the first several months of practicing, so best to prevent that), curl the toes under so they have a grip on the floor. Walk the hands out about 4 inches, spread the fingers wide, and on an exhale, push up.

 

Once in the pose, the hands will be pressed firmly into the floor and most likely you will be up on toes and buttocks up in the air. Begin to stretch out the calves by pressing one heel towards the floor, then the other. Be particularly gentle if this is the first stretch of the day, and a little more ambitious if this is the last stretch after a workout or run. The goal is to loosen up the hamstrings and warm them up. This can take a bit of “pedaling,” as it’s called. Once loosened, focus on pushing both heels towards the floor. The natural response will be to lift up on the toes, but then if we just did what felt natural, that wouldn’t be a very good stretch, would it? Remember to breathe.

 

This might be enough for some beginners. If so, skip to the last step. Ultimately, the pose always has the next work-to. With the weight distributed evenly in the hands and the heels pushing towards the ground, the next thing could be to push the chest towards the thighs. This helps loosen the back even more and straightens out the spine. While pushing the chest towards the thighs, this will help move the ears back behind the elbows, which this move also helps straighten and elongate the spine. Also, this will cause the rear to lift, which again will help elongate the spine. Remember to breathe. Once the pose is set, you will resemble a dog in a stretch.

 

Aim to mimic a dog in a stretch. This is an excellent way to remember good posture. For instance, remember to not keep your feet too close together or too far apart; a dog does not have its feet directly together for the stretch, but rather the feet are about hips width apart. This is good for us humans as well. There’s also a beautiful slope to the back which stretches it out. We want that too. The only difference I’ve noticed is while dogs tend to keep their heads up while in this stretch, humans want to keep their heads down with ears behind the elbows. If this is a bit difficult, a yoga block or other support for the head to rest on is a wonderful prop to help prevent headaches.

 

To come out of the pose, simply come back to the knees and bring the hands back under the shoulders, and sit up. And breathe.

Uttansana (or, Intense Forward Stretch)

 Image Credit: Yoga Journal

 

Back to a standing pose, Intense Forward Stretch, or Uttanasana (oo-tan-ah-sah-nah), will do wonders for everyone. The only exception is if you have spinal disk disorders, then stop when prompted, and make certain your spine is concave throughout this pose. Otherwise, this pose is for all practitioners!

 

Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and move into Tadasana Urdhva Hastasana (Mountain Pose with Arms Stretched Up). Take one or two focused breaths here. Feel free to shift the feet to hips width apart, just a couple inches should do it.

 

Exhale and bend forward at the hip with a straight back. Keep the legs stretched and maintain the body weight distributed evenly throughout the feet. Bending at the hips always, work to place the palms of your hands on the floor directly in front of your feet. Remember to keep the knees engaged and back straight. If you have a spinal disk disorder, you have done beautifully! Skip to the last step!

 

For everyone else, once the hands have been placed on the ground, the next work-to is move the hands back and place them next to the heels. Exhale and push the torso closer to the thighs until the face rests on the knees. The chin should not touch the chest, that is too much bend on the spine. Hold this pose for 30 seconds while practicing controlled breathing.

 

On an inhale, carefully lift again at the hips and bring yourself up, hands reaching towards the sky, and on an exhale, bring the arms back down.

 

It’s incredible to know this is yoga, right? These poses are excellent for relieving back pain and a myriad of other symptoms. Of course, it’s important to know you’re practicing yoga safely and the way it’s supposed to be performed so as to deliver the best results. Consider signing up for a yoga class at your gym or even dropping into a yoga studio where a professional yoga teacher can make any necessary adjustments for the best results. And of course, as with pursuing any different course of physical activity, particularly when you’ve had bone or joint problems, consult your doctor at the Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center to make certain your yoga practice is working as it should for your overall bone and joint health.

 

 

Resource:s:

B.K.S Iyengar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health. DK Publishing. 2014.

“Standing Forward Bend.” Yoga Journal. Date Accessed 29 Dec 2016. http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/standing-forward-bend/

Iyengar, B. K. S. Light on Yoga. London, Unwin, 1982.

 

 

 

Buying The Right Shoes For Joint Health

October 24, 2016 / 0 comments

Sometimes people like to be thrifty, and who can blame them? It feels good to save money on groceries here, find a really good back to school sale there, however, there is one place where we really don’t want to skimp. A good rule of thumb is: if you have to spend extra money, it should go to anything that comes between you and the ground. This means dropping some decent dough on mattresses, tires, and especially shoes.

When it comes to choosing your next pair of shoes, there are quite a few things to consider.

Think how much of a beating our feet take on a daily basis! In addition to the weight our feet are bearing to begin with, consider the force we put on them whenever we’re walking. An average person takes about 4,000 to 6,000 steps a day, and even a sedentary person can still take about 1,000-3,000 steps per day. All of that pressure created by taking steps bears down on our foot bones, which sends shocks back up our bodies that can be felt in our knees, hips, and back. The best way to prevent this foot, knee, hip and back pain is to spend a little extra money on something good to put between you and the ground. That’s why we stress investing in good shoes.

Each person has a different foot pattern and arch. Some people are flat footed, others have high arches, and some have medium arches. Some people place their weight on one side of the foot or the other, or perhaps they land on the ball of their foot rather than the heel. Maybe they land completely flat! Everyone has their own unique way of walking, and shoe companies are happy to celebrate that difference! That’s why all major sports brands make and carry different types of sport-specific shoes for different types of people.

Understand why you’re buying your shoes. Is this for a specific sport? Do you need casual wear?

The easiest way to find out which shoe is right for you is to visit a specialty shoe store. Shoe stores that deal specifically in athletic shoes are a good start, such as Feet Fleet or a local athletic store (aofas.org). Typically, the staff will be trained to identify different strides, read wear patterns on your current shoes (so bring a well-used pair on your visit), and understand what kind of support you need depending on your step. If you’re looking for a certain sport shoe, then absolutely purchase a shoe that is specifically designed for that sport and stick to it. For example, if you were to tell an employee that you’re experiencing hip pain while running, they would be able to find a few running shoe types for you to test. The shoe will be specifically supported so that when your foot hits the ground, the shoe will better absorb the shock from hitting your hips, relieving that pain. Also, give the employees a chance to measure your foot. While adult feet do tend to stop growing, they do continue to spread. Some people can experience up to a two size increase because of the way their feet have matured!

Again, let a staff member at a shoe store know about any pain you’re experiencing so they can bring you appropriate footwear to adjust for that peculiarity you’re experiencing. Are you purchasing shoes for work or dress? Seek out a specialty shoe store that also trains their staff to identify foot support needs in their customers. They’ll often have quality brands that are specifically manufactured for orthopedic support while also looking stylish. Yes, we can now have both–the future is amazing! Consider these brands when looking for dress and casual shoes:

And there are plenty more once you begin looking!

When purchasing high heels, it’s especially important to buy quality shoes. Because high heels are created the way they are, the stress created between the foot and the leg bones can more readily lead to stress fractures. High heels also lead to higher rates of toenail deformities, sprains and strains, bunions and hammertoes, and causes heel pain in general. Preferably, avoid high heels where possible.

As always, if you’re experiencing pain in the foot, knee, hips, or back, schedule an appointment with the Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center so we can understand what course of action is right for you. Proper foot care is an important step, but it’s always best to check with a doctor before starting out on your own workout regimen or abrupt change in footwear.

References:

“Footwear.” FootcareMD. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/how-to/footwear/Pages/default.aspx

Podiatrist Shoe Recommendations. Suffern Podiatry. https://suffernpodiatry.com/shoe-brand-recomendations/

“10,000 Steps a Day.” The Walking Site. http://www.thewalkingsite.com/10000steps.html

Elliot, Candice. “Quality vs. Cost.” Listen Money Matters. https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/quality-vs-cost/

Benefits of Calcium Supplements

September 7, 2016 / 0 comments

For decades, we have been bombarded with information that calcium is good for your bones, that we all need milk for its calcium and vitamin D, and once we get older we need to take calcium supplements—eat all the calcium! But why?

All cells in the human body need calcium, not just bones and teeth. A healthy heart, strong muscles, and quick reflexes all require calcium (Martin “Calcium Blood Test”).

As patients become more involved and conscious of their diet and health care, they find themselves asking “Why should I take calcium supplements? Can’t I get enough calcium from a good diet? What do calcium supplements do for me?”

We at the Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Centers are glad patients are asking.

The human body does indeed need calcium. Over 99% of the calcium in our bodies is used to build our bones and teeth. However, the amount of calcium that is in our bodies depends greatly on how much calcium we absorb through our diet (Wardlaw and Hampl 404). How well our body absorbs calcium also depends on the Vitamin D that’s present. This is often why you see milk fortified with Vitamin D—it helps in calcium absorption.

The human body typically absorbs about a quarter of the calcium we ingest. That being said, young people (and particularly women who are pregnant and infants) absorb calcium much more efficiently than older adults, such as those who are in their late sixties and onwards. Postmenopausal women have been reported to have the least calcium absorption (405).

Because the human body tends to decrease its calcium absorption, doctors and dietitians recommend calcium supplements to encourage the appropriate absorption rate. So, for instance, while an average adult (a person over the age of 18) is expected to have a daily value of 1000 mg of calcium in their diet, people over the age of 70 are encouraged to have a daily value of 1200 mg (Brown 476). Hence, calcium supplements really give our bodies an extra opportunity to take in as much calcium as possible. Like with milk, you’ll often find calcium supplements that include Vitamin D as part of their compound makeup to help encourage maximum calcium absorption, which again, is about 25% of what you’re actually ingesting.

Alright, so we need to increase calcium intake in our diets as we age. But, why? Well, that 99% of calcium contributed to your bones and teeth isn’t a permanent thing, but it’s always in motion. That other small percentage of calcium that isn’t in our bones and teeth is being used in our bloodstream. Remember how earlier we said that all cells in the body need calcium? That’s very true, and our body is willing to sacrifice it from our bones so that our heart, muscles, and nerves receive that much needed calcium. Certain cells in our bodies, osteoclasts, exist to break down the calcium in our bones if we aren’t getting enough calcium through our diet (Wardlaw and Hampl 406). Other cells, osteoblasts, then work to rebuild the missing bone. Hence, our bones are constantly breaking down and regenerating, which is why whenever we break bones, we can heal again. However, this only happens if we have sufficient amounts of calcium for our bodies to work with.

So now it all comes together: if a person breaks a bone, a boost in calcium helps slow the eroding actions of the osteoclasts and instead helps the osteoblasts repair the damage, all while the other cells in our body are still getting their required serving of calcium as well. The same goes for older adults: by increasing the amounts of calcium in our diets, such as through supplements, we help the osteoblasts build and keep the osteoclasts from eating away at the calcium deposits in our bones.

Here’s the big question that has to be on everyone’s mind: what about Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis literally translates into “porous bone,” and that pretty much gives an accurate visual. Osteoporosis happens to both men and women, however it’s more prevalent in women due to the fact that men typically have larger bodies and denser bone mass (Brown 497). Since women usually have smaller bodies and lighter bone mass, osteoporosis tends to hit women sooner. Osteoporosis can be delayed by consuming the recommended amount of calcium (1000-1200 mg) during youth as well as leading an active lifestyle. Those osteoblasts mentioned earlier can actually work harder whenever bones experience weight-bearing or resistance exercises. The additional stress and pressure put on bones puts the osteoblasts to work to reinforce bone density, and thereby creating stronger bones that take a longer time to break down when our bodies stop absorbing calcium as efficiently from our diets. Athletes don’t often tend to experience osteoporosis in their old age because of the healthy bone strengthening they did during their prime calcium absorbing days.

If you’re a person between the ages of 18-30, now is the prime time of your life to really work on strengthening your bones and working to prevent brittle bones in your future. If you’re concerned about genetic factors or think you might be at risk for osteoporosis, contact the doctors at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Centers to schedule a consultation about which supplements they recommend and how you can start taking care of your bones now.

Brown, Judith E. Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. 3rd Ed. Thomson Wadsworth, 2008.

Wardlaw, Gordon M. and Jeffrey S. Hampl. Perspectives in Nutrition. 7th Ed. McGraw Hill Higher Education, Boston, 2007.

Martin, Laura J., and David Zieve. “Calcium Blood Test.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.

Treatment And Healing of Stress Fractures

September 7, 2016 / 0 comments

Since we specialize in sports medicine at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center, it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about stress fractures.

It’s not uncommon to see athletes—be they new to a sport or not—come in with stress fractures. Stress fractures are tiny microfractures in a bone that are created when force is applied to the bone that tendons and muscle can’t cushion or the bone can’t support. While not as severe as a break, stress fractures can be painful and damaging.

There are a few possible explanations for causes of stress fractures:

In a typical workout scenario, an athlete will work up to a new goal over time by extending a training session or workout a few minutes each practice, or by gradually adding in mileage for each new run, so that the body’s muscles can keep up with the new gradual strain. Muscles build and ligaments stretch, both of which support the body’s bones, particularly the weight-bearing bones like the femur, tibia, and foot bones, which are at a higher risk for stress fractures. When an athlete skips the incremental steps to build muscle strength and over-exerts the body, like practicing three hours instead of the usual 30 minutes or running 13 miles after consistently running 3 or 4, the muscles can’t properly support the bones. This can increase the risk of stress fractures.

Sometimes stress fractures happen because of reasons out of a person’s control. For instance, a sports court might have a previously cushioned flooring replaced by a harder material, which can shock a body which had been accustomed to a cushioned floor. While the athlete is physically capable of a high level of impact and activity, the body has been conditioned to the previous set of standards, so placing that extra power and force against more resistance jars the bones, causing the fractures. Another fairly common scenario is a new pair of shoes which might improperly support an athlete’s foot, and the new stress could hurt their feet or legs.

Drastic equipment switches and training environment changes—such as new shoes or a new venue—should be broken in over short amounts of time to allow the body to familiarize itself with the new environment. The body should adjust fairly quickly, but each situation is unique. The bone and joint experts at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center can quickly and professionally advise each person on an appropriate approach to his or her needs for optimal athletic performance.

Stress fractures aren’t only limited to the leg bones or feet: while fractures are often seen in leg bones, especially the tibia, kneecap, or foot bones, it’s not uncommon to see stress fractures in other areas of the body. Sometimes fractures can occur in the spine due to gymnastics, in arms from tennis or baseball, or even the ribs because of boxing or from a car accident. Stress fractures can happen to anyone, and they generally occur at the location of the most strain on your body.

Symptoms of a stress fracture can be tricky to identify right away. Sometimes symptoms won’t be noticeable for a few days or possibly weeks, since there aren’t often visible indicators. Typically, the most obvious indicator is pain that occurs during—and shortly following—a workout. If the fracture is small, or what is called a “low-risk stress fracture,” the pain will go away with some rest until the next workout, when the bone (and therefore the crack) is being stressed again. It’s important to make an appointment with the Finger Lake Bone and Joint Clinic at this time so that an assessment can be performed to determine how severe the fracture is and what treatment plan is necessary. A “high-risk stress fracture” can hurt for extended periods of time, possibly accompanied by swelling, and in some cases bruising. Injuries like this should be seen by a doctor immediately. High-risk stress fractures can lead to more serious medical problems quickly, so time is of the essence.

Both types of stress fractures should be checked out by a doctor, as stress fractures can lead to bigger problems down the road. Stress fractures can also indicate a need to change a routine, diet, or workout regimen. If stress fractures go untreated they can grow into larger and more painful problems, such as bone healing in an incorrect position. Sometimes, if not treated properly, the fractures may never have the chance to heal at all.

In order to determine if a patient has a stress fracture and what kind, the doctors at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center will usually order an MRI to see exactly what damage has been done to the bone, and what kind of treatment plan will best set the patient up for a quick and successful recovery.

Recovery plans will certainly differ depending on the severity of the stress fracture. Some stress fractures can heal with rest or medical footwear, other stress fractures might need screws, and sometimes surgery is needed to graft new bone to help heal the fractured bone.

If you’re experiencing pain, bruising, or swelling that’s difficult to pinpoint in an area that takes an everyday beating, call Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center to make an appointment to get on the road to recovery now!

“Stress Fractures.” OrthoInfo. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Oct. 2007. Web. July 2016.

“Stress Fracture.” FootCareMD. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, n.d. Web. July 2016.

“Stress Fractures.” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about Children’s Health. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. July 2016.

Proper Sleeping Positions for Night Pains

July 1, 2016 / 0 comments

Several of our clients suffer from uncomfortable aches and pains, either long term or short term.

Oftentimes, those pains are never so obvious as at night time, when you’re trying to fall asleep and simply cannot get comfortable.

Note: if you’ve been experiencing back and neck pain for over 4 weeks, it’s recommended you make an appointment with a doctor, as there may be a serious issue at hand. Less than 4 weeks of back pain is typical of small pulls or strains that will normally heal themselves through rest and some assistance, so please continue reading to learn what those aides are.

If you already have one of the back and neck pain experts at the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center helping you with your persistent back, neck, and shoulder pain, then please keep reading as well.

Here are a few ways our patients can position themselves for a good night sleep regardless of the pain they have:

Neck Pain

Not terribly uncommon, neck pain can be addressed during your regularly or unregularly scheduled sleep in such ways as: Avoid using too high or too stiff a pillow. Harvard Health Publications claims if your pillow is either or both of these things, this can keep neck muscles tensed and flexed during the night, which leads to a morning of stiffness or soreness.

Instead, try a memory foam support pillow. These pillows are typically shaped to form to the contours of your neck and shoulders that will give you individualized support. Memory foam manufacturers also make different styles of pillows that claim to better support back or side sleepers, depending on the sleeper’s preferred position.

For Side Sleepers who experience neck pain, use a pillow that has higher neck support than head support to maintain a level spine (so a pillow made especially with built-in support for side sleepers, or slide a neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter pillow).

When traveling as a passenger or even while watching TV in a recliner or on the couch, a horseshoe shaped pillow can support your neck while you relax. The cushion will keep your head balanced so in case you doze off your neck muscles won’t strain as your head droops to one side.

However, if you do get a horseshoe pillow, make certain it’s not too cushioned in the back: that could push your head forward and defeat the purpose.

Lower Back Pain

A very common problem, lower back pain can be alleviated by altering your sleeping position:

Back Sleepers: If you naturally sleep on your back and are suffering from lower back pain, take an extra pillow and tuck it under your knees. The lift action to your legs helps maintain the natural curvature to your spine, taking stress away from your lower back.

Side Sleepers: Instead of sleeping board straight, bend your knees up towards your chest a bit and place a pillow between them. Again, this aide helps maintain the natural position of your spine, so your muscles can relax and heal during the night.

Stomach Sleepers: This sleeping position is hard on a back. The Mayo Clinic recommends stomach sleepers to try and change their sleeping position to either back or side, but if that proves difficult, placing a pillow under the pelvis and lower abdomen can help reduce the strain

inflicted on the spine. In addition, a stomach sleeper could also try sleeping without a pillow under the head if they’ve experienced extra strain on their back.

Shoulder Pain

Ah, the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is the most common cause of night pain in the shoulder.

Typically, the rotator tends to wear out and degenerate, and your body is rarely more aware of it than at night. There are a few things you can do to try and alleviate the discomfort:

  • Sleeping in a recliner (don’t forget that horseshoe shaped neck pillow)
  • Switching to a shoulder support pillow
  • Over the counter Anti inflammatory medications or juices such as Tart Cherry Juice
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections

These are some ways you can treat your night time shoulder pain, but depending on the stage of rotator cuff tendonitis, surgery may be your best option. If that is the case, you’ve come to the right place.

If you feel like you need professional advice and a plan of attack for your night time pains, set up an appointment with the bone and joint experts at the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center.

Together we can help you manage your pain and get back to having a good nights’ sleep.

 

References:

“Say “good Night” to Neck Pain.” Harvard Health. N.p., 27 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 June 2016.

Luks, Howard J., MD. “Rotator Cuff Tears and Shoulder Pain at Night.” Howard J Luks MD.

N.p., 06 July 2015. Web. 13 June 2016.

“Back Pain.” Slide Show: Sleeping Positions That Reduce Back Pain. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June

2016.

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