Student Athlete Safety Tips

It’s here…Autumn. The footloose days of summer are behind us and families of school aged children are getting back into their school year routine. It’s the back-to-school mad rush to be sure your little student has all of the right gear to start the school year off right.

If your child loves sports, make sure they have the right gear for this too, especially if they play competitive or team sports. Injury prevention is essential, let them go out on their playing field and give it their all with the proper precautions to protect them.

Schools generally require Sports Physicals. This is a great start, being sure Jen and Joe are in good physical shape before Game Day. As a parent, it is up to you to be sure the examiner has full information of your child’s medical history and issues so they are properly addressed. Getting them on the playing field is one goal, keeping them safe and well is the primary one.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nationwide 300,000 concussions occur during sports related activities, with more than 62,000 concussions annually in high school contact sports. Athletes, coaches, and the parents or guardians should be educated about the nature and treatment of sports related concussions and other head injuries. A student who may have sustained a concussion should be immediately removed from competition or practice.

The same can be said for sprains and fractures to avoid further injury or complications.

Thinking Points for Parents of Student Athletes

S Stretching and warming up muscles before practice and games avoids injuries such as muscle tears

P Protective Gear is so important, don’t use hand-me-downs if possible. Get your child the most effective choice there is.

O Offset the calories burned with a well-balanced, nutritional diet. Lead them to healthy choices that will give them enough energy. Avoid supplements and energy boosters as they aren’t always guaranteed to be safe.

R Rest and relaxation is a good choice for downtime. Our kids tend to overextend themselves. Exhaustion leads to illness and careless errors on and off the field.

T Team spirit and the right attitude is what Sportsmanship is about. You can be an aggressive player without aggressive behavior. Using the proper rules and techniques in the game avoids injuries and bad feelings.

S Seek help if an injury occurs. Your child may want to get right back into the game but you need to be sure the situation is properly assessed. Sprains, strains, possible fractures, head injuries, concussion, heat and hydration can all lead to big problems if ignored.

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Monmouth County for over 25 years. As an experienced diagnostician, Dr. Allegra can expertly determine sports-induced injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to return your student back to the playing field, restoring functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.

Common Sports Injuries

Overuse injuries in young athletes can be overuse of the bones, muscles, and tendons. This is roughly half of the sports injuries that middle school and high school student athletes suffer from. These can possibly be prevented by significant rest periods, and appropriate training to optimally prepare the athlete for the stresses that their sport will put on their body.

Traumatic injuries happen when there is a violent collision between the athlete with another athlete, equipment or even the ground. These injuries impact bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Movements such as collisions, cutting, landing, pivoting, and over-striding can lead to a traumatic injury.

Contact Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

879 Poole Avenue, Hazlet New Jersey, 07730 Phone: (732) 888-8388

mallegra879@yahoo.com

Elbow Injury Tennis Elbow

Question:  I don’t play tennis; how can I have tennis elbow?

Answer:  Easily, lateral epicondylitis, a.k.a. tennis elbow has little to do with tennis and lots to do with constantly using your arm in a repetitive motion.

Epicondyles are the bony bumps on the inside and outside of your elbow. Epicondylitis is the inflammation of these. 95% of people suffering from this do not play tennis, but this is a common sports related injury. This can be a result of any sport where your arm is in a similar position or even work related such as carpentry, plumbing or constant use of a computer keyboard. Even musicians are vulnerable!

After repeated use, the tendons at the elbow end of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle may develop small tears. This leads to inflammation and stress on the rest of your arm. It is a form of tendonitis.  This can be a result of any activity that requires repetitive arm, wrist, or elbow movement. The extensor tendons are used when extending your wrist and fingers. The flexor tendons are needed for closing wrist and fingers. Both flexor and extensors are used in thousands of tasks, and often handle very high levels of stress.

Inflammation is a normal part of the healing process and the body’s natural response to an immediate injury. Swelling, discomfort, the sensation of heat, redness, and loss of function are the key symptoms which should warn you something is not right in your world. Tenderness and stiffness are also red flags, and when the pain is severe enough, it may radiate down the arm, into the hand and fingers.

Approximately 3% of the population experiences this injury, typically occurring in men and women between the ages of 40 and 50. Your daily activity is a big determining factor in your likeliness to be affected.  Office workers, secretaries and Health Care Workers are especially prone.

Self-diagnosis is a dangerous thing as there may be more than one potential issue with the same symptoms.

As with any injury or ailment, the first step is to visit your physician. Dr. Marshall Allegra spends quality time speaking with each patient at his Hazlet office to understand their unique condition based on symptoms and life-style. He has over 25 years’ experience diagnosing pain and prescribing the most appropriate treatment, exploring all non-surgical possibilities first. Common remedies and treatments Dr. Allegra may suggest:

  • Cold therapy treatments should be in the earliest stages of an injury only as this will actually impede the recovery because cold restricts the vessels – reducing the blood flow to the area
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may relieve the pain
  • Limit activities for a few days or possibly weeks until the inflammation subsides. If possible, avoid the repetitive movement.
  • A brace may help stabilize the area and limit movement for you
  • Supervised strengthening and stretching exercises may help, but be sure to do the correct ones in the correct position or you may further injure yourself. A physical therapist can work out a routine for you to safely improve your symptoms.
  • Acupuncture
  • Steroid injections directly into the inflamed area target the inflammation.
  • Surgery when all else fails.

It is essential to allow all injuries to heal completely before returning to your daily activities.  You want to avoid the build-up of scar tissues or having on-going issues. Be sure to follow up with Dr. Allegra before returning to your routine.

Contact Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

879 Poole Avenue, Hazlet New Jersey, 07730
Phone: (732) 888-8388

mallegra879@yahoo.com

Arthritis

QUESTION:  I have many of the symptoms of arthritis, is it okay to exercise?

ANSWER:

You must first find out if your symptoms are actually those of arthritis before I can safely answer your question.  There are several other conditions that share symptoms with arthritis such as:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Lupus
  • Post-Viral Arthritis
  • Seronegative Spondyloarthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Pseudogout
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Vasculitis

It is essential to get a firm diagnosis of whether or not you have arthritis and what type of arthritis you have and then you can act on the answer received. Do you have other medical issues that may be a problem? Dr. Allegra spends time speaking with each patient at his office in Hazlet, New Jersey to understand their unique condition. With over 25 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Allegra is an expert at diagnosing pain and prescribing the most appropriate non-surgical interventions before surgery is recommended.

Many people fear that exercise will increase pain or inflame sore joints. In most cases, exercise can help you improve your overall health because it assists in weight control, strengthens your muscles around the joints, helps maintain bone health, improves balance, helps you sleep and have more stamina during the day. These are all big bonuses in the fight for fitness and wellness. In actuality, the lack of exercise can stiffen joints, make them more painful, and reduce range of motion.

BEFORE STARTING ANY EXERCIZE PROGRAM, LET YOUR INSTRUCTOR KNOW OF YOUR CONDITION AND LIMITATIONS SO THEY CAN TAILOR THE REGIME TO YOUR NEEDS.

Check with Dr. Allegra as there may be classes specifically for arthritis patients in close proximity.

The operative words to look for if you are looking for an exercise routine that will keep you safe and benefit you are:  GLOWS

  • GENTLE movements, nothing you do should cause you pain or stress joints.
  • LOW as in low impact exercises
  • OVERALL body exercises, not just your joints
  • WARM UP before you begin with hot packs, hot showers, stretching for about 20
  • SLOW and easy movements, increase gradually and take breaks.

Always ice for 20 minutes afterward to reduce the chance of swelling.

Typically, great exercises for arthritis sufferers include range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, aerobic exercise, and other actions that get you up and moving. Gentle forms of yoga and tai chi are also known as Body Awareness Exercises. Water Aerobics are therapeutic and pool water is generally kept warmer at facilities that hold these. These are wonderful for encouraging relaxation, improving balance, fall prevention, as well as improving posture and coordination.

Need more information?  Dr. Allegra is a great source!

 

http://www.allegraortho.com/

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

879 Poole Avenue, Hazlet New Jersey, 07730
Phone: (732) 888-8388

mallegra879@yahoo.com

Request An Appointment

Symptoms and Causes of Broken ankle/broken foot

You spend every day on your feet and put them through a lot. The foot is made up of 26 delicate bones, linking together with a network of tendons and muscles that connect to your ankle joints. With this many parts to the ankles and feet, there are many places where damage can occur.

Causes of a Broken ankle or foot

Broken bones are caused by an impact or sustained pressure that is more than the bone can take. Some common causes include:

  • dropping something heavy on the foot
  • hitting your toe against a piece of furniture or door frame
  • sports injuries
  • a severe twist or sprain
  • falling from a height, especially onto a hard surface

Symptoms of a broken foot or ankle

At first it can be hard to tell the difference between a bad sprain and a broken bone. You should always visit a doctor if you suspect a break. Some symptoms include:

  • sharp pain centered on the break or radiating through the foot
  • swelling
  • deep bruising
  • a grinding sound or sensation when you move the foot
  • physical deformation, especially for broken toes
  • inability to walk on the foot

For this last point, keep in mind that broken toes may be less painful and you may be able to walk on them.

How are broken ankles and feet treated?

Your doctor will probably order an x-ray to determine exactly what happened and where the break is. For a broken ankle, a splint may be used. If it’s a severe break, you may need reconstructive surgery. In the case of broken bones in the foot, you may be given a cast, walking boot, or wheelchair to help you keep pressure off the area as it heals. For broken toes, the doctor will most likely splint one to an adjacent toe.

What are Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms? 

A shoulder dislocation occurs when an injury causes the ligaments in the shoulder to separate and the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. Since the shoulder has such high mobility, shoulder dislocations can be a common occurrence. Emergency treatment is required for shoulder dislocations.

Pain Symptoms

Intense pain is likely to be the first symptom noticed during a shoulder dislocation. Patients can often feel the shoulder as it pops out of the socket. The majority of shoulder dislocations occur from falls with the arms outstretched or a direct impact to the shoulder. If the patient has pain in other areas caused by the injury, he or she may not initially realize shoulder dislocation has occurred. Along with pain, patients may feel weakness and numbness in the area surrounding the shoulder blade.

Change in Appearance

Aside from the pain, a shoulder dislocation causes bruising and swelling to appear at the site of the injury. When a shoulder is dislocated, an evident deformity can often be seen with the bone sticking out prominently from the skin. The deformity varies based on the direction that the dislocation has occurred. The three types of dislocation include:

  • Anterior
  • Posterior
  • Inferior

For an anterior dislocation, the upper arm bone pushes forward. The posterior dislocation means the bone goes toward the back. An inferior shoulder dislocation means the bone has moved downwards. Most shoulder dislocations are anterior while only a small percentage are posterior and inferior dislocations.

Never attempt to treat a dislocated shoulder at home. Self-treatment could inadvertently worsen the injury. Contact a physician to confirm shoulder dislocation and review treatment options available. Treatment options may include shoulder relocation, slings and orthopedic surgery.

Treatment of a Broken Finger 

A broken finger, though it might sound innocuous, can be a very painful, life-altering injury. By definition, a broken finger is a fracture or break of any one of the three bones that make up the finger.

Broken Fingers Are Common Injuries

A broken finger is a common injury, but one that merits a visit to the doctor. This is because when these breaks aren’t properly treated, they can heal out of alignment. This, in turn, can cause future pain and will look odd as well.

How Broken Fingers Occur

A finger injury can happen in a variety of ways. One of the most common is when the finger is crushed between two objects. A finger being struck by a ball or other fast moving item is another common cause.

Symptoms of a Broken Finger

The most common symptom of a broken finger is pain immediately after trauma. Sometimes, patients will notice a slight or significant deformation in their finger as well. A broken finger might still have some range of motion, which is a common misconception. Swelling and bruising often occur 5-10 minutes after the injury takes place. Numbness can also occur due to nerves being cut off as a result of swelling.

Treatment of a Broken Finger

The first step after a finger injury is determining the extent of said injury. To determine if the finger is displaced, fractured or broken, the finger must be X-rayed. Most broken fingers are simple fractures, that don’t include a displacement of bone. The treatment for this type of injury is a splint that will keep the finger immobilized while it heals, a process which typically takes between three and four weeks. Finger buddy taping might also be implemented.

When a broken fragment of bone is displaced, this is considered a more complicated fracture or break. This might also include a break in the bone in more than one location. In this instance, surgery is often the only treatment to ensure the finger heals properly. This type of surgery includes a surgeon pinning the two bone fragments together so they can heal properly.

Having a broken finger treated by a specialist is the best way to ensure it heals properly and doesn’t cause additional issues down the road. Make an appointment today to learn how we can help you.

Women in their 50's at risk for osteoperosis

EVEN WOMEN IN THEIR 50’S CAN BREAK BONES DUE TO OSTEOPOROSIS. COULD YOU BE AT RISK?

Fracture fact: 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will have a fracture caused by osteoporosis in her lifetime, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

It’s true that older people are more prone to fractures. But even women in their 50’s can break bones due to osteoporosis.

If you have osteoporosis, it’s important to care for your bones. But first, it’s important to understand what osteoporosis is, and take a simple test to find out if you are at risk.

Osteoporosis can affect women as young as age 50. It’s a progressive disease that lowers the density of bones over time, making them weaker and more likely to fracture. Even a fragility fracture, which is when a bone breaks from simply falling from a standing height or lower, can seriously impact your day-to-day life. Once you’ve had a fragility fracture, your risk of having another increases. That first fracture should be your cue to talk with a board-certified orthopedic physician about treatment options that might lower your risk of fracture.

Osteoporosis is most commonly called a “silent disease” because you can’t actually feel bone loss. You may not realize you have osteoporosis until a strain or fall causes a bone to break. Measuring your bone mineral density, or BMD, is the best way to know if you have osteoporosis and how much you are at risk of fracture.

Taking calcium and vitamin D and exercising can help keep bones strong, but may not be enough when it comes to treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Taking vitamins and exercising are important from a young age for building bone strength. Normally, your body breaks down old bone and replaces it with new, healthy bone. Estrogen helps regulate this process. However, with the onset of menopause comes the loss of estrogen, causing women to lose more bone that is being replaced.

If you have osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about prescription treatments that may help reduce your risk of fracture. If you’re unsure about your risk of osteoporosis, schedule an appointment with a board-certified orthopedic physician for a simple, non-invasive bone mineral density test.

Orthopedic Doctors In New Jersey

Orthopedic doctors in NJ

When you need an orthopedic surgeon, you want to find the best. After all, this professional can have a big impact on the quality of your life in the future. When seeking orthopedic doctors in NJ, there are several different traits to look for.

What to consider when looking for an orthopedic doctor

First, you want to ensure that an orthopedic doctor has attended an accredited college that is recognized by the American Academy or Orthopedic Surgeons. You can ask your orthopedic doctor where he graduated from and ask for proof of a degree. In addition to the proper education, it’s wise to inquire about an orthopedic surgeon’s experience. Some surgeons may only specialize in knee or foot repairs. Be sure to inquire about your physician’s specialty and experience. A good quality physician will have plenty of experience in your specific area of concern.

Education and experience of the formula for finding good orthopedic doctors in NJ. Bedside manner and a strong work ethic are important factors, too. An orthopedic surgeon with a good bedside manner is compassionate, patient, kind and understanding. Any good orthopedic surgeon needs a strong work ethic. They must be willing to put in the time and devotion for their patients. These traits are key to your treatment and recovery.

Finding Orthopedic Doctors in New Jersey

Lastly, it’s wise to choose an orthopedic surgeon with a specific treatment philosophy. Ask your surgeon to explain their own philosophy in relation to your treatment and recovery. You may not fully understand the scientific process, but you’ll have a good idea on how they will approach your treatment.

How to prepare for ankle surgery

There are several steps to take in order to prepare yourself for ankle surgery. And taking them will make surgery and post-op recovery much smoother. Be sure to talk with your physician about any medicines you’re taking, including over-the-counter meds. Some meds like aspirin should be discontinued, as it thins the blood and may cause more bleeding during surgery. Tell your physician about any allergies you may have, including latex. If you have an infection prior to surgery, such as a bladder infection or a sore throat, call your physician and advise them. It’s possible the surgery may need to be rescheduled until the infection is gone. If you smoke, stop. Your body needs oxygen during surgery, and tobacco products decrease the amount of oxygen to your tissues.

Things to keep in mind before the surgery

Be sure to eat healthy prior to surgery. If you’ve had any problems with constipation, let your physician know. Prior to surgery, tests will be ordered to ensure your readiness for surgery. Likely, you’ll have to have some blood tests and an ECG. These procedures may be done in your physician’s office or in the pre-admission unit at the hospital. Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night prior to your surgery, as this will increase the chances of vomiting and nausea both during and after the surgical procedure.

What to consider after ankle surgery

Likely, you’ll need some assistive devices after surgery. If you’ve obtained crutches or a walker before surgery, be sure to label them with your name and bring them with you to the hospital. Plus, you’ll need to make arrangements for someone to take you home from the hospital. You won’t be allowed to drive home on your own after the surgery.

If you’re wondering how to prepare for ankle surgery, it’s not rocket science. Take these simple steps, and you’ll be good to go.

Orthopedic Surgeons near me

Many people seeking the best orthopedic surgeons near me in Monmouth County find Dr. Marshall P. Allegra. Dr. Marshall P. Allegra is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in medical practice in Monmouth County for over two decades. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Finding an Orthopedic Surgeon near me

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra specializes in full and partial joint reconstruction, arthroscopic surgery, hand, foot and ankle surgery and offers non-surgical care for fractures. When you visit his practice, he’s the only doctor you’ll see. He is patient-focused and an excellent diagnostician. He will determine the root cause of your pain and determine the best treatment options. Dr. Allegra has helped more than 500 patients with knee and hip replacements from Monmouth County and other surrounding areas.

About Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

Turn to Dr. Marshall P. Allegra for all of your hand, wrist, foot and ankle surgeries. He is trained and experienced in the reconstruction of bones, muscles and tendons in the hands, feet and ankles. Using the latest in medical technology, he has successfully treated athletic injuries, tumors, carpal tunnel syndrome and more. His goal is to restore you to a pain-free active life. We use our hands and feet for everyday tasks and activities. It’s not uncommon to incur an injury due to accident or overuse. Contact Dr. Marshall P. Allegra for a one-on-one consultation. He’ll let you know what your treatments are, so you can get back to enjoying your life.