• Common Questions About Bone Infections

    Bone infections , also known as osteomyelitis, are serious medical problems that require the skillful treatment planning of an orthopedist. Frequently, surgery is needed to treat the infection. A bone infection may be acute, which means it develops suddenly. Chronic osteomyelitis may linger for years, flaring up intermittently before subsiding again with treatment.

    What causes bone infections?

    Usually, staphylococcus bacteria cause osteomyelitis. These bacteria can enter the body through deep puncture wounds or surgical sites. It’s also possible for these bacteria to travel from another infected area to bone tissue. For example, a urinary tract infection may allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, travel to the bone tissue, and cause a bone infection.

    Can children develop bone infections?

    Children and adults can both suffer from this disease. Usually, children who develop bone infections do so in the long bones found in the limbs. Adults are more likely to develop infections of the bones of the hips, feet, and spine.

    How will I know if I have a bone infection?

    Only your doctor can diagnose a bone infection. You might go to the orthopedist if you experience bone pain, and swelling , warmth, or redness on the skin over the site of infection. A bone infection can cause a fever with chills. To diagnose a bone infection, an orthopedist may order any of the following tests:

    • Blood tests
    • X-rays
    • Computed tomography (CT) scan
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
    • Bone biopsy

    The bone biopsy is the most effective way to diagnose a bone infection, as it allows the orthopedist to determine which type of germ has caused the problem.

    Are bone infections treatable?

    Bone infections are most often treated with surgery. Surgical approaches include:

    • Draining pus from the infected area
    • Performing surgical debridement to remove diseased bone
    • Removing infected foreign objects (i.e. surgical screws or plates)
    • Placing a bone or tissue graft
    • Amputating the limb

    Amputation is a last resort option that may be performed when it’s necessary to save the patient’s life. After osteomyelitis surgery, patients will typically have intravenous antibiotics for four to six weeks.

    At Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine , we understand that a serious medical diagnosis can be distressing. When patients with bone infections in Queens visit our orthopedic specialist, they benefit from the 20-plus years of experience he brings to the treatment room. For the specialized care you need, call our orthopedist at (718) 897-2228.

  • Before, During, and After a Carpal Tunnel Release

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a chronic, progressive medical condition. The pain, numbness, and weakened grip strength can become debilitating. Carpal tunnel syndrome is best treated as early as possible, when nonsurgical treatments are more likely to be effective. See an orthopedist as soon as you experience the possible symptoms. If nonsurgical treatments aren’t working for you, it may be time to consider having carpal tunnel release surgery.

    Preparing for Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

    Before making the decision to have the surgery, your orthopedist will thoroughly assess your symptoms, functional limitations, and overall health. He or she will ask you about the nonsurgical treatments you’ve already tried. Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about carpal tunnel release surgeries, including how they work and what the potential risks are. Your orthopedist will give you instructions regarding your medication dosages, and food and water intake prior to the surgery.

    During a Carpal Tunnel Release

    Minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery can be performed under local anesthesia, although you may also receive a sedative to help you stay calm. The orthopedic surgeon makes two small incisions on the wrist and the palm. Tiny surgical instruments are used to cut the carpal ligament. Then, the surgeon places sutures to close the incisions. Releasing the ligament in this manner frees up more space within the carpal tunnel. This reduces pressure on the nerves , which relieves carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

    Recovering from Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery has a shorter recovery time compared to open surgery. However, you’ll still need to have your wrist in a splint for a week or two. Keep the splint on until your orthopedist clears you to remove it. After this point, you’ll work with a physical therapist to restore strength and motion. It may take a few weeks to a few months for a full recovery.

    Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome living in Queens are encouraged to explore all of their treatment options before making a decision. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with the orthopedist at Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine. You can reach our office at (718) 897-2228.

  • Examining Pediatric Elbow Fractures

    Elbow fractures are particularly common for kids with developing bones. If your child suffers this kind of injury, it is important to see an orthopedist for treatment as soon as possible to ensure that the bones heal completely. Here is what you need to know if your child has been diagnosed with an elbow fracture.

    Why are elbow fractures so common in kids?

    Elbow fractures account for about 10% of childhood fractures . Kids’ bones are not as strong as those of adults, so they are more prone to all kinds of fractures. Elbow fractures are common because kids tend to play enthusiastically and engage in activities that put them at greater risk of a fracture, such as climbing monkey bars, doing gymnastics, riding skateboards or bikes, and playing spots. Any fall directly on the elbow or an outstretched arm or any direct impact to the elbow can lead to a fracture. Kids can reduce the risk of these kinds of fractures and other sports injuries by wearing the appropriate protective padding for the activity they are doing.

    What are the symptoms?

    In some cases, it is clear that a fracture has occurred because you can see the misshapen bone. In other case, you may not know that your child has a fracture until you see swelling and bruising and until he or she complains of limited range of motion. Numbness in the hand is a sign of an elbow fracture that has also affected one of the nerves that runs through the arm. If your child experiences these symptoms, you should make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.

    How are elbow fractures treated?

    In most cases, elbow fractures in kids can heal without surgery with the help of a cast or splint. After three to six weeks of immobilization, the orthopedist will check to see if the bones have healed and then may recommend physical therapy to re-strengthen the arm. For severe fractures, surgery may be necessary.

    Don’t let an elbow fracture keep your active child stuck inside. At Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, we provide noninvasive and surgical solutions for orthopedic injuries in Queens. Schedule a consultation by calling (718) 897-2228.

  • What Is a Knee Arthroscopy?

    If you have suffered a knee injury or are experiencing chronic knee pain, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a knee arthroscopy. This procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery, so you may recover faster.

    Watch this video to find out more knee arthroscopy procedures. During an arthroscopy, your orthopedic surgeon will remove debris and damaged tissue from the knee joint to reduce pain and help you heal.

    At Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine , our orthopedists in Queens offer a range of treatments for orthopedic conditions, from knee injuries to arthritis. If you are experiencing joint pain and want to learn more about the treatments that could provide you with relief, please call (718) 897-2228.