Achilles Tendon Rupture and Repair

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It links the calf muscles to the heel bone. This muscle/tendon unit produces the majority of force that pushes the foot down during walking or running. Regaining Achilles tendon function after an injury is critical for walking.

Those best suited for surgical repair of an acute or chronic Achilles tendon rupture include healthy, active people who want to return to activities such as jogging, running, biking, etc. Even those who are less active may be candidates for surgical repair. Non-operative treatment may also be an option. The decision to operate should be discussed with your achilles tendon imageorthopedic surgeon.

The surgical repair of an acute or chronic rupture of the Achilles tendon typically occurs in an outpatient setting. Patients are then put to sleep and placed in a position that allows the surgeon access to the ruptured tendon. Repair of an acute rupture often takes somewhere between 30 minutes and one hour. Repair of a chronic rupture can take longer depending on the steps needed to fix the tendon.

After surgery, the patient is placed in a splint or cast from the toes to just below the knee. Typically the patient will not be allowed to walk or put weight on the involved leg. Patients are encouraged to keep the operated leg elevated above heart level to decrease swelling and pain.

From two weeks to six weeks, patients may be allowed to begin weight bearing in a walking boot. Ankle motion is often allowed and encouraged. A cast is sometimes used instead of a boot.

At six weeks patients are usually allowed full weight bearing out of the cast or boot. Patients are usually able to return to full activity by six months. It may be over a year before a patient achieves full recovery.

If you are considering repair of a ruptured Achilles tendon, contact Dr. Wesley Johnson. He can advise you of your options and help you choose the best treatment for your unique case.

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Spine Information? We’ve Got your Back!

When discussing spinal disc conditions, there are essentially two types of problems that can occur. The first is when an injury occurs to the wall of the disc and it begins to bulge. The second is when the disc begins to dehydrate and starts to flatten and deteriorate.

Your spine is made up of 24 bones (called vertebrae) that are stacked on top of each other. Between each set of bones is a disc. The discs of your spine are very important because they essentially act as shock absorbers in order to protect the bones.

You will notice that the disc is made up of a strong outer covering called the Annulus Fibrosus and a softer, jelly–like center called the Nucleus Pulposus. The outer covering gives the disc strength, while the softer center is what allows it to act as a cushion, absorbing shock whenever forces are applied to your spine.

Spinal disc conditions tend to be really difficult to heal because the discs do not receive a very good blood supply. The body generally depends on good blood flow to transport nutrients and oxygen to damaged areas for faster healing.

Bulging Disc (which is also known as a Protruding Disc or a Slipped Disc), a Herniated Disc (which is also known as a Disc Prolapse), a Ruptured Disc and Degenerative Disc Disease are all spinal conditions that can be extremely painful, and in some casJune 18es, debilitating. Regardless of what the disc problem is called, it is most important for the patient to understand if the pain is being caused within the disc itself, or if it is pain along the nerve root. An accurate diagnosis of the cause of the patient’s pain is needed to determine the appropriate treatment options.

If you are experiencing back, leg, or even arm pain, it could be related to a disc problem. Make an appointment today with Dr. Wesley Johnson. He can diagnose your problem and work with you to devise the best treatment plan for your unique case.

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Recovering from Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Your recovery after knee arthroscopy will depend on what type of problem was treated, but generally recovery from simple arthroscopic surgery is usually much faster than recovery from traditional open knee surgery or total knee replacement. Still, it is important to follow your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions carefully after you return home.

  • Keep your leg elevated as much as possible for the first few days after surgery.
  • Apply ice as recommended by your doctor to relieve swelling and pain.
  • Keep your incisions clean and dry. Your surgeon will tell you when you can shower or bathe, and when you should change the dressing.
  • Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to put weight on your foot and leg.
  • Your doctor will discuss with you when you may drive. This decision is based on a number of factors, including:
    • The knee involved
    • Whether you drive an automatic or stick shift
    • The nature of the procedure
    • Your level of pain
    • Whether you are using narcotic pain medications
    • How well you can control your knee.

Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help relieve discomfort following your surgery. He or she may also recommend medication such as aspirin to arthroscopy imagelessen the risk of blood clots.

You should exercise your knee regularly for several weeks after surgery. This will restore motion and strengthen the muscles of your leg and knee.

Physical therapy is an important component of your recovery from knee arthroscopy. It helps to regain control of the leg muscles, wean you from crutches, regain full knee motion, and will hasten your return to normal activity. Once your knee is strong enough to bear some weight, the intensity of your physical therapy will increase. At this point, your physical therapy goals will be to regain full knee motion and to continue to strengthen the knee.

If you are considering knee surgery, contact Dr. Wesley Johnson. He can explain all of your surgical options and what is right for your unique case.

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How to Fix your Posture at Work

Do you slouch in your office chair at work? It’s something we all do. Do you stand up at 5 P.M. and feel like your back resembles a question mark?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are part of a growing group of people who experience postural problems from working in an office. Studies have shown that bad posture can increase feelings of depression, zap your energy, and cut off your circulation. Couple that with sitting for long periods of time, and you’ve got a health hazard on your hands. posture image (2)

Slouching all day in an office chair forces your chest muscles to tighten, which pulls your spine forward and rotates your shoulders inward, while at the same time weakening the muscles of your upper back that aid in posture. Not only do you start looking like a hunchback, but you also may experience pain in your neck, lower back, and even arms and legs.

Thankfully, there are plenty of little tricks you can use to improve your posture gradually.

  • MONITOR POSITION: You should be able to sit straight in front of your computer and not have to turn from side to side to access it. The top half of the monitor should be in line with your eye height.
  • DISTANCE FROM MONITOR: Keep your arms and elbows close to your body and parallel to the floor. You should not have to reach forward to use your keyboard. Try sitting about 18 inches from your computer screen.
  • NECK: If you find yourself cradling your phone between your shoulder and chin so you can type and talk at the same time, switch to a headset, or use a speaker phone. Also, be careful to not protrude your neck forward while looking at the computer screen. Try keeping your ear in line with your shoulder.
  • SHOULDERS: Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.
  • BACK: Sit with your back pushed to the back of the chair with some form of lower back support between you and the chair back.
  • ELBOWS and WRISTS: While typing, elbows should be at a 90-degree angle from your body, and your wrists and hands should be in a straight line. Make sure not to place stress on your wrists – keep them in a neutral position, not arched or bent. Have the keyboard and mouse near each other and at the same height as your elbows.
  • LEGS: When you’re sitting, your hips/thighs should be parallel to the ground or a little higher than your knees. Also, you don’t want the end of chair hitting the back of your knees—make sure to leave a little gap.
  • FEET: Feet should touch the ground and lay flat on the floor. Sitting cross-legged or on one leg can lead to slouching. If your feet cannot touch the floor, try using a footrest or box.

Remember to give yourself breaks after you have been sitting for an extended period of time. Get up and move around regularly throughout the day. For every hour you work at your desk, give yourself several 1-2 minute breaks. Take a quick walk around the office, grab some water, chat with a coworker, or at least stand up and stretch.

If you are experiencing back pain or other muscle or bone problems, contact Dr. Wesley Johnson for a consultation.

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