The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments critical to the stability of the knee joint. A ligament is made of tough fibrous material and functions to control excessive motion by limiting joint mobility. Of the four major ligaments of the knee, the ACL is the most frequently injured. The ACL is the primary restraint to forward motion of the shin bone (tibia). The femur (thigh bone) sits on top of the tibia (shin bone), and the knee joint allows movement at the junction of these bones. The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding too far forward. The ACL also contributes stability to other movements at the joint including the angulation and rotation.
A Baker’s Cyst, or popliteal cyst, is a collection of fluid in the back of the knee joint. A Baker’s cyst is usually a symptom of another problem, or it may be an incidental finding with no significant meaning.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve is pinched in the wrist. This nerve, called the median nerve, is the connection from the brain and spinal cord, down to the finger tips. In patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve is pinched as it passes through the wrist. Because of the compression, the nerve does not function properly.
The Colles’ fracture is a specific type of broken wrist. When a patient sustains a Colles’ fracture, there is displacement of the bone such that the wrist joint rests behind its normal anatomic position. A Colles’ fracture is most commonly found after falling on to an outstretched hand.
A computed tomography scan is a study that uses a series of X-Rays to create image “slices” of the body. This type of study is commonly called a CAT scan, but the terminology CT Scan is preferred. The “A” in CAT refers to “axial,” or computed axial tomography. Axial is an orientation of images, but with other orientations available, the study is referred to as a CT scan.
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is similar to its counterpart, tennis elbow. The primary differences between these conditions are the location of the pain and the activity that leads to injury. However, both conditions are caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, leading to inflammation and pain around the elbow joint.
Iliotibial band syndrome is due to inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. The iliotibial band begins at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint. The band functions in coordination with several of the thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint.
The best-known meniscus is within the knee joint. There is also a meniscus in the shoulder, wrist, and hip, but most people are concerned about the knee meniscus. The knee joint is made up of three bones, the femur, tibia, and patella. The surfaces of these bones at the knee joint are covered with cartilage. This surface allows the bones to slide against each other without causing damage to the bone. The meniscus sits between the cartilage surfaces to distribute weight and to improve the stability of the joint.
The MRI, an abbreviation for magnetic resonance imaging, uses magnetic signals, rather than X-rays to create image “slices” of the human body. Like all imaging techniques, the MRI creates images based on differences between types of tissues. The MRI shows us the different tissues and thus creates an image inside the body.
An MRI is often used to study nerves, muscles, ligaments, bones, and other tissues in the body; the detail of the study can be quite incredible. An MRI is often used to evaluate the possibility of injuries to ligaments and tendons. Problems in the spine, such as a disc herniation are seen well on an MRI image. Masses and tumors within soft tissues can also be evaluated with MRI.
The Greek word ‘ortho’ means straight, and ‘pedics’ comes from the Greek ‘pais’ meaning children. For many centuries, orthopedists have been involved in the treatment of crippled children.
The patellar tendon connects the kneecap (the patella) to the shin bone. This is part of the ‘extensor mechanism’ of the knee, and together with the quadriceps muscle and the quadriceps tendon, these structures allow your knee to straighten out, and provide strength for this motion. The patellar tendon, like other tendons, is made of tough string-like bands. These bands are surrounded by a vascular tissue lining that provides nutrition to the tendon.
Plantar fasciitis is a common, painful foot condition. Patients, and sometimes doctors often confuse the terms plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Plantar fasciitis refers to the syndrome of inflammation of the band of tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot; a heel spur is a hook of bone that can form on the heel bone (calcaneus). About 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis have been noted to have a heel spur that can be seen on X-Ray.
The quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon (or patellar ligament) are parts of the extensor mechanism of the knee. It is the extensor mechanism that allows us to straighten our knee or perform a kicking motion. When the quadriceps muscle (thigh muscle) contracts, force is transmitted through the quadriceps tendon, across the patella (kneecap), through the patellar tendon, and the knee is straightened.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament. A ligament is a thick, tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones together. Commonly injured ligaments are in the ankle, knee, and wrist. The ligaments can be injured by being stretched too far from their normal position. The purpose of having ligaments is to hold your skeleton together in a normal alignment — ligaments prevent abnormal movements. However, when too much force is applied to a ligament, such as in a fall, the ligaments can be stretched or torn; this injury is called a sprain.
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Muscles move your skeleton in an amazing variety of ways. When a muscle contracts; it pulls on a tendon, which is in turn connected to your bone. Muscles are made to stretch, but if stretched too far, or if stretched while contracting, an injury called a strain my result. A strain can either be a stretching or tear of the muscle or tendon.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is the most common injury in patients seeking medical attention for elbow pain. Exactly what causes tennis elbow is unknown, but it is thought to be due to small tears of the tendons that attach forearm muscles to the arm bone at the elbow joint. The muscle group involved; the wrist extensors, function to cock the wrist back. Specifically, the extensor carpi radialis brevis has been implicated in causing the symptoms of tennis elbow.
Trigger finger is a common problem that causes pain and snapping of the tendons in the fingers. The problem that occurs in a patient who has trigger finger is due to the tendons of the fingers, and the sheath in which these tendons live.