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    A Patient's Guide to Scoliosis

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Scoliosis is a common deformity of the spine that causes it to curve sideways rather than grow vertically straight. There are many treatment options for scoliosis, ranging from bracing and physical therapy to surgical correction of the spine in more extreme cases. Your orthopaedic doctor can help you understand more about your spine and which treatments will be best for your scoliosis.

    What Causes Scoliosis?

    80-85% of scoliosis cases have no known cause for abnormal spinal curvature. However, scoliosis is inheritable, and in the remaining 15-20% of cases, it is often a congenital condition. Excessive curvature of the spine may also arise as a complication of any disease or disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system, such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. 

    What Complications Arise from Scoliosis?

    Mild scoliosis does not affect your ability to live, work, or enjoy leisure activities. More severe spinal curves greater than 50-60 degrees can increase your risk for chronic lower back pain. Extreme curves that are not corrected may cause visible deformity of the back later in life. Discrepancies in the length of your legs can make some activities difficult; your orthopaedic doctor can prescribe a shoe lift to provide more stable stature. Scoliosis does not affect the ability to bear children and does not increase your risk for osteoporosis.

    What Treatments Are Available?

    Scoliosis will not resolve without treatment, and may become progressively worse if not addressed. Bracing prevents worsening of spinal curvature and corrects posture for more comfortable movement. Mild curves of less than 20 degrees often do not require treatment unless they worsen. Physical therapy cannot sure scoliosis, but may be helpful in maintaining flexibility and promoting good posture. Extreme curvature of the spine can be corrected surgically via a process known as spinal fusion, which also prevents further worsening of scoliosis.

    If you have questions or concerns about scoliosis, contact a spine specialist at Suburban Orthopaedics by calling (888) 876-0117. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of orthopaedic care in Bartlett. Please visit our website to read more about your spine and maintaining a healthy back.

    Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures

    Last updated 1 year ago

    In a healthy adult, bone mass is steadily maintained through a delicate balance of reabsorption and bone creation. When this balance is disrupted due to age, dietary reasons, or other factors, too much reabsorption can occur without rebuilding bone. Once the resulting bone loss reaches a certain low mass, the condition is known as osteoporosis.

    Osteoporotic bone is very susceptible to fractures, as it becomes very brittle and breakable without adequate calcium and other minerals. In very advanced cases of osteoporosis, even a seemingly harmless activity like sneezing can result in bone fracture. Women above the age of 50 and men older than 70 years of age are at an increased risk of suffering osteoporosis and its effects.

    Strength training, aerobic exercise, and a healthy, balanced diet can help maintain the recommended balance of vitamin D, calcium, and other nutrients that can help to reduce risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. For more helpful information about maintaining excellent bone and body health, contact the orthopaedic team at Suburban Orthopaedics by calling (888) 876-0117.

    Sports Medicine 101 [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Being active and playing sports brings many benefits, but one downside is that you have an increased risk of injury. When you’re injured while playing a sport, it’s a good idea to seek treatment from a sports medicine specialist. These orthopaedic doctors have dedicated training in the unique injuries athletes suffer, from concussions incurred on the football field to overuse injuries caused by pitching too many baseballs. At Suburban Orthopaedics in Bartlett, we have two sports medicine specialists who serve our area high schools and the community at large. Learn more about sports injuries and how to prevent them with this Infographic. Help us help everyone stay safe on the fields this fall by sharing this important information with family and friends.

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    What You Need to Know About Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Spondylolysis occurs when a defect in a lumbar vertebra leads to small stress fractures in the affected bone. These fractures may in turn destabilize the bone and cause it to shift from its normal place—this condition is known as spondylolisthesis. Fortunately, there are both surgical and nonsurgical treatments performed or prescribed by an experienced orthopaedic surgeon that can help resolve the symptoms of both conditions. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments associated with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis.

    Causes

    Spondylolysis is believed to have a genetic element, as children can be born with the vertebral abnormality associated with the condition. Sports that involve heavy lifting or require frequent bending of the back can also increase a person’s likelihood of suffering from spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms of both conditions can vary, or may not be present at all. When they occur, sufferers often experience pain across the lower back that may initially seem like a muscle spasm or strain. Severe spondylolisthesis, or slippage of the vertebra, may lead to compression of nearby spinal nerves and radiating pain.

    Treatments

    Generally, spondylolysis is first treated conservatively with non-surgical therapies. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, rest from vigorous activity, physical therapy, or bracing may be recommended, depending on the severity of the stress fractures. Keeping the core muscles strong and stretching often can help protect the lower lumbar vertebrae and prevent future back injury. In more serious cases, the vertebrae may shift out of position and back pain can persist. Surgery may be needed to fuse the affected vertebra with the sacrum and stabilize the joint.

    To find out more about the treatment options available for spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis, contact the orthopaedic experts at Suburban Orthopaedics. Our team is proud to offer comprehensive orthopaedic services and physical therapy for those suffering from musculoskeletal ailments. Call today at (888) 876-0117 for more information.

    Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Intervertebral discs are fibrous tissues that help support the spine and provide cushion and flexibility. Each disc has a donut-like anatomy, with a tough fibrous outer shell around a hydrated, jelly-like center.

    By watching this video, you can learn more about the anatomy of the intervertebral discs and the changes that occur as a result of degenerative disc disease. The host also discusses the most common symptoms associated with this progressive, chronic condition.

    If you are suffering from chronic back pain, consider contacting the orthopaedic care team at Suburban Orthopaedics. Our physicians are focused on working with each patient to discover the underlying cause of their injury and devise a unique treatment plan. Call (888) 876-0117 today to schedule your appointment at our Bartlett, IL practice.

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