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.

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.

Could You Have Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis.  It is a chronic condition in which the material that cushions the joints, called cartilage, breaks down. This causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement.

About 27 million people in the United States have osteoarthritis. Common risk factors include increasing age, obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles, and genetics.

Osteoarthritis symptoms usually develop gradually. At first, there may be soreness or stiffness that seems more like a nuisance than a medical concern.

Common symptoms include:

  • Sore or stiff joints – particularly the hips, knees, and lower back – after inactivity or overuse.
  • Stiffness after resting that goes away after movement.
  • Pain that is worse after activity or toward the end of the day.

Osteoarthritis may also affect the neck, small finger joints, and the base of the thumb, ankle, or big toe. The pain may be moderate, and come and go, without affecting the ability to perform daily tasks.  Some people with osteoarthritis never progress past this early stage. Others will feel their osteoarthritis get worse. The pain and stiffness of more severe osteoarthritis may make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, sleep, or perform other daily tasks.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are medications to help relieve pain, when needed. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy or occupational therapy to help improve strength and function. When pain is severe and frequent, or mobility and daily activities become difficult, surgery may be considered.

People with osteoarthritis who have severe joint damage, extreme pain that isn’t helped by other treatments, or very limited motion as a result of the condition, may require osteoarthritis surgery.

Surgery for osteoarthritis can provide several benefits, including the following:

Improved movement: If the constant erosion of cartilage makes it difficult for you to move, making it difficult to you to get around and stay independent, replacing the damaged joint with a synthetic one can allow you to continue activities that you enjoy.

Pain relief: If osteoarthritis causes severe, constant pain that isn’t relieved by treatments such as medications, exercise or physical therapy, surgically replacing the painful joint or removing loose growths that are causing pain, can relieve pain.

Improved joint alignment: In some cases, osteoarthritis can cause the joint to become maligned so that it no longer functions as it should and looks unusual. In the knees, surgery can correct or improve this misalignment. But appearance should not be the main reason for having surgery for osteoarthritis; improved appearance should be considered a bonus after osteoarthritis surgery improves movement and relieves pain.

Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are the keys to living well with osteoarthritis. Too little movement can lead to stiffness and weak joints. Losing one pound can take four pounds of pressure off your knee joints.  Overall fitness improves health in many ways. Strong muscles protect joints. An osteoarthritis management plan also involves eating a nutritious diet, managing stress and depression, and getting a good balance of rest and activity each day.

If you think you may have osteoarthritis, and if osteoarthritis runs in your family, set up an appointment with an orthopedic specialist today to help manage your condition and maximize your quality of life.


If your New Year’s resolution is to commit to a triathlon in 2017, you’re probably in the early weeks of training for a spring or summer event. Training for a triathlon is tough but that’s part of the challenge – and the fun.

Before you get too far into your training, consider this; Four out of five amateur triathletes are injured while training, and three of those four are injured badly enough to be sidelined from their daily activities as well as their tri training.

The complexity of the sport and the broad range of knowledge needed to train and compete safely are contributing factors. The triathlete must learn about appropriate equipment, proper body mechanics, nutrition and hydration, injury prevention and overall training programs that prepare the body for the stresses of a triathlon.


Cross training for three events – running, biking and swimming – also increases the risk of certain overuse injuries, and an untreated injury in one part of the body can lead to problems elsewhere. For example, a knee injury from running can cause extra stress on the back, leading to lower back pain when cycling; and the cumulative effect of swimming and cycling can fatigue calf muscles, making legs more susceptible to injury during a run. Improper training can be a vicious cycle, resulting in injury and, ultimately, derailing your resolution to compete in a triathlon.

The good news is, most non-traumatic injuries are related to training errors that can be corrected – and an orthopedic physician with specialized knowledge in sports medicine and injury prevention can help.

Train Smart

The best way to avoid traumatic injury is to undertake a training program that balances strength, flexibility and endurance through weight lifting, stretching and cross training. But training techniques are not one size fits all. Each individual has a unique combination of anatomy, strength, endurance and flexibility, so what works well for one athlete isn’t always the best route for another.

Understanding the relationships between musculoskeletal groups related to swimming, cycling and running is key to triathlon training. An orthopedic surgeon can evaluate your physical conditioning, analyze your training techniques and correct errors that can lead to potential injuries, as well as provide important input into a training program optimized for your needs.

Heal Smart

The best training program can’t prevent all injuries. When injuries do occur, there are three things you need to know:

  • How to evaluate the severity of the injury
  • How to treat an overuse injury
  • When to seek professional help

Congratulations for taking on a triathlon challenge. Whether you’re a first-time athlete or a seasoned tri gal or tri guy, training for and participating in the sport of triathlon involves a huge, months-long commitment. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t go as planned and injury can overturn even the most dedicated competitor with the most detailed training plan.

When the unforeseen occurs, it is always best to seek medical evaluation from an experienced orthopedic physician. Often, if these issues are addressed early on, they can be treated without significant time loss from training and without surgery. An experienced orthopedic physician understands the sports medicine needs of patients and can be an important part of your team, helping you return to sport as soon as possible.

Preparing For A Triathlon

Make a plan:

  • Select a competition that’s right for you
  • Start your training gradually, begin with short distances and work up to longer distance, faster times and greater intensity
  • Consider recruiting a training buddy to help keep you on track with your goals
  • Check out websites such as USA Triathlon to locate training groups or routes in your area

Eat Properly

  • Consume foods rich in nutritional content and high in complex carbs
  • Increase your intake closer to race time, and supplement with energy gels and sports drinks as needed

Choose Proper Equipment

  • Research water temps to see if you need a wetsuit
  • Make sure your bike chains and pedals are working properly, and don’t forget your helmet
  • Wear comfortable training shoes and avoid sporting a new pair that may lead to blisters
  • If you experience severe or persistent pain while training, seek advice from an orthopedic physician before a more serious injury can occur

Bone and Joint Problems Associated with Diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month, a time set aside to raise awareness about diabetes and its associated risk factors.

Did you know that if you are an individual living with diabetes, you are at higher risk for some bone and joint disorders?

Certain factors such as nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), arterial disease and obesity may contribute to these conditions, but often the cause isn’t clear.

If you feel that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your endocrinologist or consult a board certified orthopedic physician who will take your medical history of diabetes into account when diagnosing your condition.

Charcot Joint
Charcot (shahr-HOK) joint, also called neuropathic arthropathy, occurs when a joint deteriorates because of nerve damage – a common complication of diabetes. Charcot joint primarily affects the feet.
Symptoms include numbness and tingling or loss of sensation in the affected joints. They may become unstable, swollen or deformed. If detected early, progression of the disease can be slowed. Limited weight bearing activities and use of orthotic supports to the affected joint and surrounding structures can help.

Diabetic Hand Syndrome

Diabetic hand syndrome, also called cheiroarthropathy, is a disorder in which the skin on the hands becomes waxy and thickened. Eventually finger movement is limited. What causes diabetic hand syndrome isn’t known but it is most common in people who have had diabetes for a long time.
Over time, individuals with diabetic hand syndrome become unable to fully extend their fingers or press their palms together flat. Better management of blood glucose levels and physical therapy can slow the progress of this condition.

Osteoporosis is a disorder that causes bones to become weak and prone to fracture. People who have type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis rarely causes symptoms in the early stages. Eventually, when the disease is more advanced, individuals can experience loss of height, stopped posture or bone fractures. A healthy lifestyle, including weight bearing exercise such as walking, and eating a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D – including supplements if needed – are the best ways to address this condition.

Osteoarthritis is a joint disorder characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. It may affect any joint in the body. People who have type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of osteoarthritis, likely due to obesity – a risk factor for type 2 diabetes – rather than to the diabetes itself.
Osteoarthritis may cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness as well as loss of joint flexibility or movement. Treatment involves exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, caring for and resting the affected joint, pain medication and, in some cases, surgery. Complimentary treatment such as acupuncture and massage can be helpful.

Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), also called Forestier disease, is a hardening of tendons and ligaments that commonly affects the spine. DISH may be associated with type 2 diabetes, perhaps due to insulin or insulin-like growth factors that promote new bone growth.
Affected individuals may experience pain, stiffness or decreased range of motion in any affected part of the body. Treatment involves managing symptoms, usually with pain medication, and in rare cases may require surgery to remove bone that has grown due to the condition.

Dupuytren Contracture
Dupuytren contracture is a deformity in which one or more fingers are bent toward the palm. It’s caused by thickening and scarring of connective tissue in the palm of the hand and in the fingers. This condition is common in people who have had diabetes for a long time.
People affected by dupuytren contracture may notice thickening of the skin on the palm of their hand. Eventually, they may not be able to fully straighten one or more fingers. Steroid injections may help reduce inflammation. Surgery, injections and a minimally invasive procedure called aponeurotomy to break apart the thick tissue are other options if the condition prevents the ability to grasp objects.

Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by shoulder pain and limited range of motion. It typically affects only one shoulder. Although the cause is unknown, diabetes is a common risk factor.
Frozen shoulder causes pain or tenderness with shoulder movement, stiffness of the joint and decreased range of motion. If started early, aggressive physical therapy can help preserve movement and range of motion in the joint.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a constriction of the hand’s central nerve by a ligament that runs across the palm. Diabetes may account for between 5 and 16 percent of all cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. The link between diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome may be that the ligament becomes thickened in response to collagen glycation so that it presses on the nerve. Another possibility is that diabetic neuropathy – nerve disease – damages the nerves in the hand, making them more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Strengthening and stretching exercises under the direction of a physical therapist may be helpful. Steroids and a wrist splint can be an interim measure, and surgery may be needed eventually.


Teen sports are great: They promote teamwork, jump-start a lifelong exercise habit, and provide an antidote to obesity. But teen athletes can also get hurt, which means they—and their parents and coaches—should be vigilant about prevention.

Sports injuries fall into two categories. Acute injuries, like a sprained ankle or torn ACL, occur suddenly, after a missed step or a midfield collision. Overuse injuries are caused over time by repetitive motion. Overuse injuries used to be fairly rare among teens and kids but increasingly, orthopedic specialists see teens with overuse injuries that used to plague mostly collegiate or pro athletes.

These injuries include damaged ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow (common in baseball pitchers, it can be fixed with so-called Tommy John reconstruction surgery), or osteochondritis dissecans, an overuse problem most commonly found in the knee that can result in loose bone or cartilage fragments in the joint.

One culprit: America’s youth sports culture. Immersion in high school teams, private club teams, traveling teams and sports summer camps mean more injuries. Many kids now specialize early and pursue a single sport through adolescence, rather than switching sports with the season. When young athletes do that, they lose the benefit of cross-training. Focusing on all-around athleticism keeps the body balanced and less vulnerable to injury.


There are ways to protect against both overuse and acute injuries. Proper conditioning is crucial. Young athletes new to sports should start by getting in good overall shape—including working on aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility.

Start by being active for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week, for at least six to eight weeks, before they get into sports. If not, it’s an absolute setup for injury. On the other hand, serious teen athletes may need to build more recovery time into their schedule, training hard on some days, but going easier and working on recovery and technique on alternate days.

Technique is important. Many young pitchers, for example, improperly rely on their arms for power rather than their trunk and legs. Done correctly, both strength training and working on the core muscles of the back and abdomen may prevent injury and boost performance. Sports-specific warm-up programs can also help.

When an injury does occur, its severity can be lessened by rest, prompt treatment and physical therapy. The incorrect reaction is to discourage teens from participating in sports. The risk of injury is far outweighed by the benefits of physical activity.

Rotator Cuff Injuries & Care

Rotator cuff tendonitis occurs when the tendons and muscles that help move the shoulder joint are inflamed or irritated. This condition commonly occurs in people who play sports that frequently require extending the arm over the head, such as tennis, swimming and pitching. Most people with rotator cuff tendinitis can regain full function of the shoulder without any pain after treatment.

Rotator cuff tendonitis affects the tendons and muscles that help move the shoulder joint. If you have tendinitis, it means that your tendons are inflamed or irritated. Rotator cuff tendinitis is also called impingement syndrome.

This condition usually occurs over time. It can be the result of keeping the shoulder in one position for a while, sleeping on the shoulder every night, or participating in activities that require extending the arm over the head. Sometimes, rotator cuff tendinitis can occur without any known cause.

Rotator Cuff Symptoms Worsen Over Time

The symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis tend to get worse over time. Initial symptoms may be relieved with rest, but the symptoms can later become constant. Symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis include:

  • Pain triggered by raising or lowering the arm
  • A clicking sound when raising the arm
  • Stiffness
  • Pain and swelling in the front of the shoulder and side of the arm
  • Pain that causes you to wake from sleep
  • Pain when reaching behind the back
  • A loss of mobility and strength in the affected arm

How Is Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Diagnosed?

Your orthopedic physician will begin by examining your shoulder to see where you’re feeling pain and tenderness. Your doctor will also test your range of motion and the strength of your shoulder joint. They may also examine your neck to check for conditions such as a pinched nerve or arthritis that can cause symptoms similar to rotator cuff tendinitis.

Your orthopedic physician may order imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis and rule out any other causes of your symptoms. An X-ray may be ordered to see if you have a bone spur. Your doctor may order an ultrasound or MRI to check for inflammation in the rotator cuff and to check for any tearing.

How Is Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Treated?

Initial treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis involves managing pain and swelling to promote healing. This can be done by:

  • Avoiding activities that cause pain
  • Applying cold packs to your shoulder three to four times per day
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Additional treatment may include physical therapy and steroids

If nonsurgical treatment isn’t successful, your orthopedic physician may recommend surgery. Most people experience full recovery after having rotator cuff surgery. The most noninvasive form of shoulder surgery is accomplished via arthroscopy. This involves two or three small cuts around the shoulder, through which your surgeon will insert various instruments. One of these instruments will have a camera, so your surgeon can view the damaged tissue through the small incisions.

Home Care for Your Shoulder

There are several things you can do to help reduce pain from rotator cuff tendinitis. These techniques can also help prevent rotator cuff tendinitis or another flare-up of pain.

Shoulder self-care includes:

  • Using good posture while sitting
  • Avoiding lifting your arms repetitively over your head
  • Taking breaks from repetitive activities
  • Avoiding sleeping on the same side every night
  • Avoiding carrying a bag on only one shoulder
  • Carrying things close to your body

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10 Ways to Build Healthy Bones and Keep Them Strong

Weak bones may seem like a problem of aging, but there’s plenty we can do early in life – in our 20s and even teens – to make sure bones stay healthy later in life.

Bones are the support system of the body, so it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. Bones are continuously being broken down and rebuilt in tiny amounts. Before about age 30, when bones typically reach peak bone mass, the body is creating new bone faster, but after age 30, bone building shifts and more bone is lost than gained.

Some people have a lot of savings in their “bone bank” because of factors including genetics, diet, and how much bone they built up as teenagers. The natural depletion of bone doesn’t affect these individuals too drastically. But in those with a smaller bone bank, when the body can’t create new bone as fast as the old bone is lost, osteoporosis can set in, causing bones to become weak and brittle and to fracture more easily. The disease is most common in postmenopausal women over the age of 65, and in men over the age of 70.

Although menopause and older age may seem like it is a long way off, once these milestones set in, it’s extremely hard to reverse. Since there’s no way of being 100 percent positive you’ll develop osteoporosis, the best way to counteract it is to take steps earlier in life to beef up bone mass (and prevent its loss) as much as possible.

Unfortunately, some are more likely than others to develop osteoporosis and weak bones in general, especially white and Asian postmenopausal women. But there are some things that can be changed to bump up bone mass. Here are 10 tips to make deposits in your bone bank for a healthier future.

1. Know your family history. Family history is a key indicator of bone health. Those with a parent or sibling who has or had osteoporosis are more likely to develop it.

2. Boost calcium consumption. When most people think bones, they think calcium. This mineral is essential for the proper development of teeth and bones. Calcium also contributes to proper muscle function, nerve signaling, hormone secretion, and blood pressure.

Help your body absorb calcium by pairing calcium-rich foods with those high in vitamin D. Foods that are good sources of calcium include yogurt, cheese, milk, spinach, and collard greens.

3. Don’t forget the vitamin D. Where there’s calcium, there must be vitamin D. The two work together to help the body absorb bone-boosting calcium. Boost vitamin D consumption by munching on shrimp, fortified foods like cereal and orange juice, sardines, eggs (in the yolks) and tuna, or opt for a vitamin D supplement.

4. Boost bone density with vitamin K. Vitamin K is mostly known for helping with blood clotting, but it also helps the body make proteins for healthy bones. Foods like kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, and spinach are high in vitamin K.

5. Pump up the potassium. Potassium isn’t necessarily known for aiding bone health: it’s a mineral that helps nerves and muscles communicate and also helps cells remove waste. But it turns out potassium may neutralize acids that remove calcium from the body.

Studies in both pre- and postmenopausal women have shown that a diet high in potassium can improve bone health. Load up on potassium by eating foods sweet potatoes, white potatoes (with the skin on), yogurt, and bananas.

6. Make exercise a priority. Regular exercise is key to keep a number of health issues at bay, and bone health is no exception. Living a sedentary lifestyle is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis.   What type of exercise is most effective? Weight-bearing exercises like running, walking, jumping rope, skiing, and stair climbing keep bones strongest. Bonus for the older readers: improved strength and balance helps prevent falls (and the associated fractures) in those who already have osteoporosis.

7. Consume less caffeine. Caffeine does have some health benefits, but unfortunately not for our bones. Too much of it can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

8. Cool it on the booze. But like caffeine, there’s no need to quit entirely. While heavy alcohol consumption can cause bone loss (because it interferes with vitamin D doing its job), moderate consumption (that’s one drink per day for women, two per day for men) is fine — and recent studies actually show it may help slow bone loss.

9. Quit smoking. Here’s yet another reason to lose the cigarettes: multiple studies have shown that smoking can prevent the body from efficiently absorbing calcium, decreasing bone mass.

10. Don’t be an astronaut. Not to squash any childhood dreams, but because of hours and hours of weightlessness and low-calcium diets, astronauts often suffer from space-induced osteoporosis. Space-anything sounds kind of awesome, but space bones definitely aren’t: astronauts can lose up to 1 to 2 percent of their bone mass per month on a mission! For those who simply must visit the moon, there is a possible solution: two studies have found that vitamin K can help build back astronauts’ lost bone — more than calcium and vitamin D.