Thursday, March 24, 2011

Knee Injury Series Part II – Types of Minor Knee Injuries

In part 2 of our Knee Injury Series, we want to address the most common types of minor knee injuries. The knee is a complex part of the body and bares a lot of weight, making it more prone to injury than most joints. It is estimated that every year approximately 5 and half million Americans visit the doctor for knee issues and injuries. Most injuries are the result of a sudden twist or turn, but there are also degenerative knee injuries that arise over time due to wear-and-tear.


We will begin with the lesser injuries. While these injurious tend to be less severe, they are still inconvenient and at time painful.


Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (aka PFPS or Runner’s Knee)

PFPS is a good example of a wear-and-tear, degenerative injury. Often found in runners – hence the nickname Runner’s Knee – PFPS usually arises when the cartilage around the knee is worn down after repeated movement, allowing the kneecap to track out of place and irritate the femoral groove. Individuals with high arches or flat feet may be particularly prone for this type of injury, and women are more likely than men to be diagnosed as well.


Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the inflammation, swelling and irritation of a tendon or tendons, with tendons in the hand and knee being particularly prone to this ailment. Tendonitis creates a deep aching in the knee area. Knee tendonitis is the most common knee injury, but often goes undiagnosed and untreated. While tendonitis can occur all around the knee, the most common area of pain is just below the knee cap.


Iliotibial band syndrome

While iliotibial band syndrome (aka ITBS) is actually a thigh injury, it does result in pain on the outer side of the knee and is easily the most common cause for laternal knee pain in athletes. This injury is commonly associated with running, weight-lifting and cycling and it involves the inflation or swelling of the iliotibal band as moves over the femur. There are a series of stretches that can help to prevent or reduce ITBS. MMAR recommends the stretching guide at Running Times.


While tendonitis, runner’s knee and ITBS are all very unpleasant, they are rarely debilitating. More severe knee injuries will leave you in significant pain and compramise your mobility for weeks to months. These injuries include tears in the major supporting ligaments. The 4 main ligaments that support the knee include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) Many ligament tears require surgery, physical rehabilitation and a proper hinged knee brace for a full recovery.


About MMAR Medical: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of high quality medical products including a wide selection of medical orthopedic braces and supports, including acl braces, patella stabilizers, hinged knee braces and unloader knee braces. To find quality medical shoulder, knee, back braces and more, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Knee Osteoarthritis


What is it?

More than 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis making it the most common form of osteoarthritis in the US. Knee osteoarthritis is generally caused by the deterioration of articular cartilage in the knee. This particular type of cartilage is especially important because it provides a protective, wear resistant surface to the end of moving bones and without this protective layer, bones will experience undue wear and tear. Some of the most common causes of this condition include:


  • A Traumatic knee injury

  • Repetitive strain on the knee

  • Genetics

  • Obesity


What are the Symptoms?

Knee osteoarthritis typically develops gradually over a time and may include any of the following symptoms:


  • Localized pain (during or after activity)

  • Stiffness

  • Limited range of motion

  • Swelling


How is it Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis, but there are a variety of treatments for managing its symptoms. Some of these treatments include medications that can help relieve pain such as acetaminophen. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful for reducing swelling and discomfort.


Knee Braces

Aside from medications, there are a variety of knee braces capable of relieving the symptoms commonly associated with knee osteoarthritis.


Knee Sleeves

Single-piece knee sleeves are characteristically made with neoprene and are the simplest type of knee brace available. This particular type of brace is slipped over the affected knee and provides warmth, compression and additional support. These braces are an excellent choice for mild to moderate osteoarthritis pain and may be purchased over the counter at most drug stores.


Unloader Braces

An unloader brace is a semi-rigid knee brace constructed from plastic. These braces feature metal struts located on either side of the leg which limits lateral knee movement and provides increased stability. Unloader braces are best suited for individuals suffering from severe osteoarthritis pain and discomfort.

These braces are also typically custom fit for the wearer and may be ordered from an orthotics store.


Whether purchasing a simple knee sleeve or an unloader brace, it’s important to always consult your health care provider prior to using any orthotic device.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of shoes for diabetics, cold therapy systems and orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of medical support braces. For quality back braces, including a wide number lumbar and cervical braces, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Common Ankle Injuries

With springtime rapidly approaching, the days are getting sunnier and warmer, enticing people to play outdoors. During outdoor exercise and activity, the ankle is one of the most vulnerable and easily injured components of the body. The most common ankle injury is the ankle sprain, also known as a rolled ankle, twisted ankle, or ankle ligament injury. An ankle sprain is very common and surprisingly easy to do... but thankfully, it is also very treatable. Here are some of the basic facts about sprained ankles.


A sprained ankle occurs when your ankle moves in a way that it is not supposed to move. This includes jumping and landing on your ankle incorrectly or stepping laterally incorrectly while playing sports. Many basketball players have had this common injury occur because of the lateral motion and jumping that is part of the game. Tennis is another sport that is no stranger to sprained ankles.


There are three types of sprained ankle injuries: inversion, eversion and high ankle sprains. Inversion is when you roll your ankle on the outside of the foot. This is the most common type of sprain with over 90% of sprains consisting of inversion sprains. Eversion is when the ankle rolls on the inside of the foot and high ankle injuries occur from a sudden outward twisting motion of the foot.


Ankle sprains are classified into three classes. Class 1 sprain occurs when the ligaments are only minimally damaged. Class 2 sprains occur when there is some tearing of the ligaments. Class 3 is the classification of the most severe tears and ankle injuries.


A sprained ankle creates swelling and inflammation in the ankle. It might be hard to put pressure on the ankle since the nerves in the ankle become more sensitive.


The best way to treat most sprained ankles is through RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Rest: try not to use the ankle whenever possible. This includes staying away from sports and exercise.

Ice: Icing the ankle can reduce swelling. You can use cold therapy wraps or professional cold therapy systems. Just make sure you do not ice it for too long - 20 minute increments should suffice.

Compression: Ankle braces are known to improve ankle injuries. Ankle braces range from simple ace bandages to laced ankle braces to even high-tech hinged ankle braces. Braces provide support for the ankle. Compression braces/bandages also help push swelling away from the ankle and toward the body.


Elevation: Elevating the ankle above the heart aids in reducing swelling.


Sprained ankles can be a pain and debilitate a key part of our body. The good thing is that most twisted ankles can be healed but only with proper treatment. Remember, rest, ice, use a ankle brace and your ankle will be healed promptly.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in diabetic footwear, cold therapy systems and various medical braces. Please visit www.mmarmedical.com for more information.