Health Tips

Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group
Orthopedic Doctors
Physical, Hand & Aquatic Therapy

Two locations:

23456 Hawthorne Blvd.,
Suite 300
Torrance, CA 90505-4716

El Segundo

Phone: 310-316-6190
Fax: 310-540-7362

By Date: Current | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

By Topic: General Orthopedics | Neck, Back & Spine | Shoulder, Elbow & Upper Extremity | Hand, Wrist & Forearm | Hip & Pelvis | Knee & Upper Leg | Foot, Ankle & Lower Leg

March 27, 2017
"I'm a runner. The outside of my knee hurts, just above the joint. Should I see a doctor?"

Whether the pain is in both legs or one leg, seeing an orthopedic doctor is a good idea. Often we suggest seeing a doctor for chronic or gradual pain when YOU'RE ready, but this type of pain may be caused by an IT Band problem. It needs medical intervention sooner, not later. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band Syndrome) happens sometimes to runners, bikers, and others in endurance sports. It's also called "Jumper's Knee" after athletes who over-stress their knees with repetitive, explosive movements.

The IT Band runs from the outer hip area, down the outside of the leg, and attaches to the top of the shin bone. It stabilizes the knee by changing positions as the knee bends and straightens. Since the knee is a bony area, there's a fluid-filled sac called a bursa between the IT Band and the knee joint. The repeated change in positions can cause both IT Band AND bursa inflammation when you log a lot of miles, up your mileage suddenly, or intensely jump a lot.

Ignoring the pain caused by IT Band Syndrome can lead to scarring in the protective bursa. Scar tissue isn't as agile as healthy tissue, so decreased knee range of motion and more pain as activity decreases can result. Both of these outcomes are negatively life altering, especially for athletes.

An orthopedic doctor specializing in the leg and knee area and/or sports medicine is the best medical professional to properly diagnose and treat IT Band Syndrome. He or she will take your heath history, examine you, and may get an MRI to confirm your diagnosis. IT Band Syndrome caught before scar tissue develops can be treated without surgery. Often, rest or a change in athletic activities will help. Ice, physical therapy, and injections may be options as well. Surgery is for those who have developed IT Band Syndrome as a chronic condition and who are not helped by other, more conservative measures.

January 15, 2017
"My finger got bent backwards and it still hurts A LOT!"

Ball players—volleyball, basketball, football, etc.—see injury from a finger bent backwards more often than others. When the ball forces the fingers to bend the wrong way (toward the wrist), it can cause a volar plate injury. The volar plate is a ligament that attaches the PIP joint (where the finger meets the hand) to the flexor tendons, which are attached to the bones. Acute pain right after the incident, swelling, and bruising at that particular joint are the most common symptoms.

Don't try to diagnose this injury on your own. Finger and hand pain that doesn't get better quickly on its own and/or with ice and rest usually requires medical attention. Treatments are different depending on whether there was just tissue damage (ligaments and tendons) versus a fracture (broken bone). An x-ray will aid your orthopedic doctor in properly diagnosing your injury.

Ligament or tendon damage only is considered a sprain or just soft tissue damage. Treatment often includes splinting or buddy taping to the finger next to it, special finger exercises (hand therapy may be prescribed), ice, and some time avoiding the activity that caused the injury.

Sometimes a small piece of bone will break off the main bone when the injury occurs. This is called an avulsion fracture, and it needs a specialized orthopedic hand surgeon to reattach it with wires or pins. Ignoring a broken finger or splinting it before it's correctly positioned can lead to lifelong pain and mobility problems.