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.

 

A Look At Common Winter Orthopedic Injuries

During the winter months, adults and children alike look forward to seasonal fun such as skiing and snowboarding, ice skating, and even just walking, hiking and running in a winter wonderland.

Yet with these fun outdoor pastimes come seasonal orthopedic risks. As every orthopedic surgeon knows, orthopedic injuries spike after a heavy snowfall. Winter injuries can range from mild and easily treatable to severe and long-term – the types of injuries that generally require immediate attention from an orthopedic surgeon.

So, before you head out to any winter games, chores, or other activities in the cold weather, it’s important to be aware of injuries that are common during this time of year, and how to avoid them.

Snow Sport Injuries

A study conducted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission ranked injuries from winter sports by volume. Snowboarding accounted for the most injuries, followed by downhill skiing, sledding and tobogganing, and ice skating.

How to Prevent Snow-Sport Injuries

For starters, never engage in winter sports without the company of a friend or companion. Always carry a cellphone to call for help in the case of an emergency. You should also be physically warmed up and dressed in the necessary protective gear for your winter sport.

Before you begin, inspect your equipment to ensure reliable performance throughout the course of your activity. Stay hydrated and refrain from overexertion; a lot of the injuries that orthopedic doctors treat are caused from excessive strain in the final run of a game or activity.

Other Wintertime Injury Risks

When sidewalks, driveways, stairwells, and patios are paved with ice and snow, people are more vulnerable to slip-and-fall injuries. Wounds to the head are common during winter falls, as are wrist and hip fractures. Therefore, it’s wise to avoid the outdoors on icy days unless you must go out for something. When you do go outdoors, wear footwear with rubber traction and take slower, shorter steps wherever you walk.

Shoveling snow is one of the most loathsome winter jobs. It can take a long time and often requires a lot of physical exertion. It’s not unusual to experience muscle strain when shoveling snow or scraping ice off the car.

Most of us must carry on with work and normal activities, even after a snowstorm. Wet pavement, sleet and slush, and coverings of snow and ice can make roadways dangerous. Take proper safety precautions to avoid winter-related vehicle collisions.

What to Do If You Suffer a Winter Orthopedic Injury

It’s important to first access the severity of the injury. Sometimes muscle injuries can be treated with ibuprofen and by applying ice. Always follow-up with an orthopedic physician is pain and swelling don’t subside.

More severe injuries will need to be assessed and treated immediately by an orthopedic surgeon and may require a trip to the nearest emergency department for diagnostic tests, including X-rays or an MRI.

Educate yourself and your family about potential winter incidents and accidents and you’ll be more prepared to prevent them.

Follow these winter injury prevention tips and enjoy a safe and happy winter season.

What are the most common orthopedic surgeries?

Orthopedic surgery is a surgical procedure performed on the musculoskeletal system for the correction of injury or other conditions. The musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, joints, and soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Any part of the musculoskeletal system can become impaired through injury/accident or caused by other degenerative conditions.

 

Orthopedic surgery can performed through traditional open surgery, or arthroscopically. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure on a joint that is minimally invasive as treatment is provided using an arthroscope inserted into the joint through a small incision.

Most orthopedic surgeries are performed on the ankle, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, shoulder or spine. The most common procedures include:

  1. Soft tissue repair, for torn ligaments and tendons.
  2. Joint replacement, in which a damaged joint is replaced with a prosthesis.
  3. Revision joint surgery, in which a preexistent implant is changed with a new one.
  4. Bone fracture repair
  5. Debridement, during which damaged soft tissues or bones are removed.
  6. Fusion of bones, in which bones are fused with grafts.
  7. Spine fusion, during which the spinal bones (vertebrae) are joined together.
  8. Osteotomy, aimed at correcting bone deformities.

 

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with over 23 years experience treating patients in Monmouth County. Depending on the type of condition or injury, Dr. Allegra may recommend fixing a fracture with rods, plates, and screws that will hold the fracture together during healing. Contact the offices today for answers to any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment.

Arthroscopic Surgery in Hazlet NJ

Joint problems are common simply due to the amount of pressure we put on our bodies. Our joints are constantly flexing and bending as we go about our daily life which can cause major wear and tear to our bodies over time. Arthroscopic surgery uses a camera to look at the damage to your joints to determine what (if anything) needs to be done. An arthroscope can technically be used anywhere in the body but is generally needed for the knees, ankles, wrists, hips, and shoulders.

The Basics of Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is used to either diagnose or help treat general inflammation or trauma. It’s generally an outpatient procedure, but you will be given some type of anesthetic. Depending on the severity of the injury and the location of the damaged joint, it may be either general or local anesthesia. The doctor will make a tiny cut in your skin before inserting an instrument into your body (about the size of a standard pencil.) The doctor will fill the joint with fluid to make it easier to fit the tiny camera inside.

Next Steps

The arthroscope is used to let the doctor look inside the joint to see if you need arthroscopic surgery. Should you need the surgery, your doctor will need to manipulate your bones to fix the joints. This can be done without making large incisions, but rather using precise instruments to shave or cut the bone. You may not even need stitches! If for any reason you do need traditional surgery, this can be done in the same procedure as the arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Allegra at Allegra Orthopedics serves the people of Hazlet, NJ and understands the ins and outs of joints. He’s here to help you increase your flexibility and range of motion while simultaneously decreasing any discomfort!

What Is a Hairline Fracture?

We often hear the term hairline fracture, but do you know what the term means?

Orthopedic physicians describe hairline or stress fractures as tiny cracks that develop on bones in the foot or lower leg. A common injury in runners, gymnasts, and dancers, anyone can develop a hairline fracture through repetitive jumping or running. Individuals with osteoporosis also are at risk for hairline fractures.

The bones of the foot and leg absorb a lot of stress during running and jumping. Common sites for hairline fracture include the metatarsal bones – the five long and narrow bones connecting the mid-foot to the toes – as well as the heel, ankle bones, and the navicular, the bone on the top of the mid-foot.

What are the symptoms of a hairline fracture?

The most common symptom is pain that gradually worsens over time, especially if you don’t stop weight-bearing activity. Other symptoms include swelling, tenderness, and bruising.

What causes a hairline fracture?

An overuse or repetitive activity, or an increase in either the duration or frequency of activity, can result in a hairline fracture. Even regular runners who suddenly increase either their distance, such as someone training for a marathon, or the number of times per week they run, can cause a hairline fracture.

Another cause of a hairline fracture is changing the type of exercise normally performed.

Bones adapt to increased forces through various activities, where new bones form to replace old bone. This process is called remodeling. When the breakdown of bone happens more rapidly than new bone can form, the likelihood of developing a hairline fracture increases.

Who’s most at risk for developing a hairline fracture?

There are several risk factors that increase the chances of developing a hairline fracture:

  • Certain sports: Participants in high-impact sports such as track and field, basketball, tennis, dance, ballet, long-distance runners, and gymnastics, increase their chances of getting a hairline fracture.
  • Gender: Post-menopausal women have an increased risk of hairline fractures. Female athletes may be at a greater risk because of a condition called the “female athlete triad.” This is where extreme dieting and exercise may result in eating disorders, menstrual dysfunction, and premature osteoporosis.
  • Foot problems: Poor footwear can cause injuries, so can high arches, rigid arches, or flat feet.
  • Weakened bones: People with osteoporosis, or anyone taking medications that affect bone density and strength, can develop hairline fractures even when performing normal activities.
  • Previous hairline fractures: Having one hairline fracture increases your chances of having another.
  • Lack of nutrients:Lack of vitamin D or calcium can make bones more susceptible to fracture. People with eating disorders are at risk for this reason. There can be a greater risk of hairline fractures during the winter months when diminished sunlight decreases the body’s absorption of vitamin D, compounded by an increased risk of slips and trips on icy surfaces.
  • Improper technique: Blisters, bunions, and tendonitis can affect how you run, altering which bones are impacted by certain activities.
  • Changes in surface: Changes in playing surfaces can cause undue stress to the bones of the feet and legs. For example, tennis player who move from a grass court to a hard court may develop injuries.

How is a hairline fracture diagnosed?

If you believe you have a hairline fracture, it’s important to seek treatment from an orthopedic physician as soon as possible.

Your doctor will perform a physical exam and review your medical history and general health, including diet, medications, and other risk factors. Diagnostic tools may include an MRI, X-ray, or bone scan.

How are hairline fractures treated?

If you suspect you have a hairline fracture, follow the RICE method: rest, ice, compression and elevation. An over-the-counter, non-steroidal drug can help with pain and swelling.

It’s important to seek further treatment if the pain becomes severe or doesn’t get better with rest. The treatment your orthopedic physician recommends will depend on both the severity and location of your injury.

Can other conditions develop if hairline fractures aren’t treated?

Ignoring the pain caused by a hairline fracture can result in the bone breaking completely. Complete breaks will take longer to heal and involve more complicated treatments. It’s important to seek advice from an orthopedic physician and treat a hairline fracture as soon as possible.

Medical treatments

Your doctor may recommend that you use crutches to keep weight off an injured foot or leg. You can also wear protective footwear or a cast.

Because it usually takes up to six to eight weeks to completely heal from a hairline fracture, it’s important to modify your activities during that time. Cycling and swimming are great alternatives to more high-impact exercises.

In some cases, a hairline fracture may require surgery. The addition of pins or screws can help hold bones together during the healing process.

What’s the outlook for someone with a hairline fracture?

It’s important to avoid high-impact activities during the healing process. Returning to high-impact activities — especially the activity that caused the injury in the first place — will delay healing and increase the risk of a complete fracture in the bone.

Even after the hairline fracture is healed, it’s important to gradually return to exercise.

In rare instances, hairline fractures don’t heal properly. This result is chronic, long-term pain. Talk with a board-certified orthopedic physician soon after the injury occurs to prevent pain and worsening damage to the bone.

High Speed, High Impact: A Risky Combo for Young Football Players

Injuries are an inevitable risk in athletics and football is no exception. Young football players have almost twice as many injuries as athletes in other sports, with more than 500,000 high school and college football injuries treated each year. One of the reasons for this elevated risk is that football is a high-speed, high-impact sport.

Tackling, blocking and other physical interactions between players can result in a number of common orthopedic injuries.

Another reason orthopedic injuries are so frequent in football is because the nature of the game requires players to pivot and change direction, increasing the likelihood of injuries to the joints and other tissues. Sudden bursts of speed can cause muscle damage if the player is not warmed up and in condition. Overuse injuries are also common, especially for quarterbacks.

These factors combine to make football a relatively high-risk sport. The most common musculoskeletal injuries in football include:

ACL injuries – The anterior cruciate ligament in the knee can become damaged or torn when a player is impacted from the front or rear. A torn ACL can often occur as a result of non-contact injuries.

MCL injuries – Injuries to the medial cruciate ligament in the knee is also very common because it occurs when the knee is impacted from the side.

Torn meniscus – When a player rotates their body while a foot stays planted, the knee can twist, causing the meniscus to tear.

Ankle sprains and strains – Ankles are susceptible to soft tissue damage when pivoting, changing direction, or when too much pressure is put on the ankle joint.

Muscle contusions – A strong impact to a large muscle, usually in the thigh, can cause a contusion. This is basically a large, deep bruise that can impair muscle function.

Torn hamstring – Bursts of speed can cause the hamstrings to tear if the player is not conditioned or properly warmed up.

Shoulder tendinitis – Frequent throwing can cause overuse injuries like shoulder tendinitis from repetitive motions.

Shoulder separation or dislocation – A direct blow below the shoulder can cause a separation of the acromioclavicular joint while a dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus detaches from the scapula.

Getting Back into The Game

Treatment for these football injuries can range from basic RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to surgery, with several options in between.

Athletic trainers are a key component to keeping players healthy. Parents should help to maintain optimal performance condition by ensuring their young athlete is well rested, receives the proper nourishment, and maintains good condition all year long.

Still, injuries do happen. Be sure to see a board-certified orthopedic physician at the first signs of an overuse injury -soreness, swelling, tingling or discomfort – or when an accident occurs on the field. A thorough diagnosis and fast treatment will accelerate recovery and return to play for your young athlete.