albuquerque, orthopedics, sports injuries

Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries

Article Found on KidsHealth.org

Playing sports is a lot of fun. Getting hurt is not. Take these five steps to prevent injuries so you can stay in the game:

  1. Wear protective gear, such as helmets, protective pads, and other gear.
  2. Warm up and cool down.
  3. Know the rules of the game.
  4. Watch out for others.
  5. Don’t play when you’re injured.

Let’s find out more about each of these. Read more

How to Take Care of Your Joints

Article reviewed by David Zelman, MD | Found on WebMD

Just as the tread on your tires wears away over time, the cartilage that cushions your joints can break down, too. It’s a condition called osteoarthritis. And without enough padding, your bones will hurt when they rub against each other.

Frayed cartilage can’t heal or grow back. “There’s no way to reverse the arthritis once it has started,” says Michaela M. Schneiderbauer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. But you can ease the pain and protect the cartilage you still have. Use these tips to slow the damage. Read more

orthopaedic, doctor, albuquerque

Aging Changes in the Bones – Muscles – Joints

Article Found on Medline Plus

Changes in posture and gait (walking pattern) are common with aging. Changes in the skin and hair are also common.

The skeleton provides support and structure to the body. Joints are the areas where bones come together. They allow the skeleton to be flexible for movement. In a joint, bones do not directly contact each other. Instead, they are cushioned by cartilage in the joint, synovial membranes around the joint, and fluid.

Muscles provide the force and strength to move the body. Coordination is directed by the brain, but is affected by changes in the muscles and joints. Changes in the muscles, joints, and bones affect the posture and walk, and lead to weakness and slowed movement. Read more

orthopaedic doctors, Albuquerque

Common Hip Injuries in Kids

Article by Kevin Shea | Found on StopSportsInjuries.org

Pediatric athletes are subject to several different acute hip injuries. These injuries include problems around the growth plate and around the femur and pelvis. In some cases, acute symptoms can develop in association with previous hip conditions. Two common hip injuries are discussed below. Read more

orthopaedic, doctor, new, mexico

Back Pain in Children and Teens

Article By Laurie Udesky | Found on HealthDay

Anyone who has spent time with children knows that some of them can bend themselves into positions that defy logic. A teenager may think nothing of dropping into full splits in front of the television. A child with extra flexibility may love impressing her friends by bending her thumb all the way back to her wrist.

Dexterity is a good thing. But it can go too far, even in kids. Children and teenagers can end up with chronic back pain for any number of reasons, including injuries from sports or stressing overly flexible joints. In rare cases, they may be born with spinal problems. Whatever the cause, it’s important to recognize the signs of a problem. Read more

3 Common Shoulder Sports Injuries

Article by Amy Haddad | Found on Sports-Health.com

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, which also makes it prone to injury. If you’re an athlete, taxing your shoulder over time with repetitive, overhead movements or participating in contact sports may put your shoulder at risk for injury.

These are three common shoulder injuries caused by sports participation: Read more

How to Pick Walking Shoes When You Have Knee Pain

Article By Jodie Helmer | Found on WebMD

You’d never go for a walk wearing high heels or flip flops, right? You might be surprised to learn that wearing the wrong walking shoes could be just as bad for your knees.“Your shoes affect the amount of impact your knee takes with every step,” says Matt Minard, DPT, a physical therapist and orthopaedic specialist with Carolinas Healthcare System. “The right shoes are the first line of defense in dealing with knee pain.”All walking shoes aren’t the same. They can vary in how much cushioning and support they offer. The design also affects how the shoe feels and whether it creates pressure points on the foot, which can affect your walk and, in turn, worsen knee pain.

What Works?

While some shoes claim their extra cushioning and special insoles can ease knee pain, research shows these “enhanced” shoes might not be effective.

A 2016 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine studied 164 adults with knee osteoarthritis and found that there was no difference in knee pain between those who walked in enhanced shoes and those who wore regular walking shoes.

“There is no one brand that is best,” Minard says. “It’s all about how your foot fits in a particular shoe and how it affects your stride.”

A walking shoe might not always be the best option, says Bryan Heiderscheit, PhD, professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Walking shoes can be more rigid and stiff, and that can interfere with your normal stride pattern and change the load on your knee, making pain worse,” Heiderscheit says. “A running shoe might offer more cushion and flexibility. If you have knee pain, you need to think beyond a stereotypical stiff leather walking shoe.”

How to Choose

Minard suggests shopping for walking shoes at a specialty retail shop where the staff will look at the structure of your foot, watch you walk, and make recommendations based on your specific needs. The right shoe for someone with flat feet is different from the right shoe for someone with high arches, for example.

In general, look for shoes that are flexible. Heiderscheit recommends that you pick up a shoe and flex the toe toward the laces. A good walking shoe should flex easily. A shoe that’s hard to bend will restrict your foot, change your stride, and worsen knee pain.

Also check the soles for changes in height from the toe to heel. The shift should be subtle.

“A shoe that is higher heel affects the bend of the knee and puts extra pressure on the joint,” Minard says.

A walking shoe designed with a thicker sole and rigid structure, known as a stability shoe, increases the load on the knee compared with walking barefoot or wearing flexible sneakers with thinner soles.

Sole width and flexibility aside, the most important thing to focus on when choosing a walking shoe is comfort.

“Buy the shoe that fits best and feels best,” says Rajwinder Deu, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Johns Hopkins University. “All of us have certain styles and brands that fit us better.”

You may have to try on several pairs of walking shoes to find the one that fits best.

When to Shop

To get the right fit, try on shoes in the evening. Your feet swell throughout the day and will be their largest late in the day. Wear the same socks you wear during a walk. Lace up each pair and walk around the store. Pay attention to how the shoe feels.

“The right shoe will be comfortable right away,” Minard says. “You shouldn’t have to break in a walking shoe.”

Found one that works? “Stick with it,” Deu says.

When to Replace Them

Unlike running shoes, which you should replace every 300 to 500 miles, walking shoes absorb less force and can last much longer. As a general rule, walking shoes can last up to 9 months, Heiderscheit says.

To know when it’s time to replace your walking shoes, Heiderscheit suggests that you look at the soles: When the tread pattern is worn down, the heel is worn more on one side than the other. This can cause your foot to shift, which puts extra pressure on your knees. And when there are dimples in the side or bottom of the sole because the cushioning has broken down, it’s time for new shoes.

“Shoes play an important role in the mechanics of your stride,” Heiderscheit says. “The wrong shoe can change how you walk and put more pressure on the knee, making the pain worse. It’s worth it to invest in finding the right pair of walking shoes.”


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Inactive Teens Develop Lazy Bones

Article Featured on Science Daily

Inactive teens have weaker bones than those who are physically active, according to a new study.

Researchers with UBC and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, measured the physical activity and bone strength of 309 teenagers over a specific four-year period that is crucial for lifelong, healthy skeletal development.

“We found that teens who are less active had weaker bones, and bone strength is critical for preventing fractures,” said Leigh Gabel, lead author and PhD candidate in orthopedics at UBC.

Gabel and her co-investigators used high resolution 3D X-ray images to compare differences between youth who met the daily recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day and those who got less than 30 minutes a day.

The four-year window — between the ages of 10 to 14 for girls and 12 to 16 for boys — is a vital time when as much as 36 per cent of the human skeleton is formed and bone is particularly responsive to physical activity.

“Kids who are sitting around are not loading their bones in ways that promote bone strength,” said Gabel, which is why weight-bearing activities such as running and jumping and sports like soccer, ultimate Frisbee and basketball are important.

Bone strength is a combination of bone size, density and microarchitecture. While boys had larger and stronger bones throughout the study, both boys and girls responded in the same way to physical activity.

“We need school-and community-based approaches that make it easier for children and families to be more active,” said co-author Heather McKay, a professor in orthopedics and family practice at UBC and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. The good news is that activity does not have to be structured or organized to be effective: short bursts such as dancing at home, playing tag at the park, chasing your dog or hopping and skipping count, too.

Parents and caregivers can support healthy choices by being role models and limiting screen time. McKay highlights simple yet effective tactics used in the Action Schools! BC intervention where children and their teachers took activity breaks throughout the day during lessons.

“The bottom line is that children and youth need to step away from their screens and move to build the foundation for lifelong bone health,” said McKay.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Shoulder Pain May Be Linked To Increased Heart Disease Risk

Article Found on Knowridge Science Report

A new study led by investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine finds that individuals with symptoms that put them at increased risk for heart disease could be more likely to have shoulder problems, including joint pain and rotator cuff injury.

“If someone has rotator cuff problems, it could be a sign that there is something else going on. They may need to manage risk factors for heart disease,” says the study’s lead author Kurt Hegmann.

The research is published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Repeated physical stress is most frequently blamed for aggravating shoulder joints and the muscles and tendons that surround them.

Think about a pitcher who throws a baseball 100 times a day. While physical exertion can certainly be an irritant, accumulating evidence points other factors that could also be at play.

Previous research found that people who had an increased risk for heart disease also had a tendency toward carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, and tennis elbow, all musculoskeletal disorders.

The current study by Hegmann and colleagues adds shoulder problems to the list and takes the connection one step further.

The more heart disease risk factors that each of the study participants had racked up — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes — the more likely they were to have had shoulder trouble.

36 participants with the most severe collection of risk factors were 4.6 times more likely than those with none of the risk factors to have had shoulder joint pain.

They were also nearly six times more likely to have had a second shoulder condition, rotator cuff tendinopathy. Participants with mid-level heart risk were less likely to have had either shoulder condition, at 1.5 to 3-fold.

Shared trends bolster that there could be a relationship between heart risk and shoulder problems, but researchers will need to follow up with a prospective study to prove cause and effect.

It may seem like physical strain would be at least just as likely to cause shoulder pain but data from the 1,226 skilled laborers who took part in the study suggest otherwise. Ergonomists carefully monitored airbag manufacturers, meat, processors, cabinet makers and skilled laborers.

Every forceful twist, push, and pull was factored into a strain index assigned to each worker. But a more straining job did not translate to an uptick in shoulder difficulties. Nor did more time spent doing other physical activities.

“What we think we are seeing is that high force can accelerate rotator cuff issues but is not the primary driver,” says Hegmann. “Cardiovascular disease risk factors could be more important than job factors for incurring these types of problems.”

He says it’s possible that controlling blood pressure and other heart risk factors could alleviate shoulder discomfort, too.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

After a Sprain, Don’t Just Walk It Off

Article by Jane E. Brody | Found on The New York Times

Whenever I see a woman walking (or trying to) in stilettos — skinny heels over 3 inches high — my first thought is, “There’s a sprained ankle waiting to happen.”

An estimated 28,000 ankle injuries occur daily in the United States, most of them through sporting activities, including jogging on uneven surfaces. But while no one suggests remaining sedentary to protect your ankles, experts wisely warn against purposely putting them at risk by wearing hazardous shoes or getting back in the game before an injured ankle has healed.

If you’ve ever thought, “Oh, it’s just a sprain,” read on. The latest information about ankle sprains, released in a position statement last month by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, clearly shows that ankle injuries should never be taken lightly and are too often mistreated or not treated at all.

The result is an ankle prone to prolonged discomfort, reinjury, chronic disability and early arthritis.

Ankle injuries are the most common mishap among sports participants, accounting for nearly half of all athletic injuries. According to the report by the trainers’ association, the highest incidence occurs in field hockey, followed by volleyball, football, basketball, cheerleading, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, track and field, gymnastics and softball.

I was surprised that tennis did not make the list, since any sport that involves quick changes in direction leaves ankles especially vulnerable to unnatural twists. Other reasons for ankle injury among athletes include landing awkwardly from jumps, stepping on another athlete’s foot, trauma to the ankle when the heel lands during running, and stressing the foot when it is in a fixed position.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in the new report is the fact that the most widely accepted treatment for an ankle sprain — rest, ice, compression and elevation, popularly called RICE — has yet to be shown to be effective in controlled clinical trials.

“There’s not a whole lot of good evidence out there to support it,” Thomas W. Kaminski, lead author of the new report, said with a hint of irony in his voice. However, neither he nor his co-authors suggest that this time-honored remedy be abandoned.

What should be abandoned is the temptation to try to walk off the searing pain of a twisted ankle. In fact, in years past, that’s often what athletes were advised to do. But trying to walk on an injured ankle is precisely the wrong approach, the athletic trainers now say.

Also wrong, I was surprised to learn, is to immediately reach for a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain and prevent swelling. Rather, it’s best to start with acetaminophen to control the pain, said Dr. Kaminski, athletic trainer at the University of Delaware.

He explained, “It’s best to wait 48 hours before taking an NSAID because you want the normal inflammatory process to kick in and begin the healing process. Then you take the NSAID to keep the swelling from getting worse.” Don’t take an NSAID on an empty stomach and don’t exceed the dosing directions.

For both people who are physically active and those who are sedentary, the only consistent risk factor for an ankle injury is having suffered a prior sprain. This fact alone underscores the importance of giving ankle injuries the respect and treatment they deserve.

Most important, Dr. Kaminski said, is to have the injury properly diagnosed to determine its extent and, in turn, dictate the proper therapy. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must race off to the emergency room and get an X-ray for every twisted ankle. But coaches, trainers (both athletic and personal), and doctors should know how to do a proper exam, checking for deformity, swelling, discoloration, point tenderness, and the ankle’s range of motion — the foot’s ability to move in all its normal positions.

Although X-rays are typically ordered for 80 percent to 95 percent of patients who go to the emergency room with a foot or ankle injury, an X-ray is not warranted unless there is an obvious deformity, bone tenderness, or an inability to bear weight or walk four steps immediately after the injury, the NATA report says. X-rays do not show damage to soft tissues like ligaments and tendons, the ones most often injured in an ankle sprain.

Nor is an M.R.I. especially helpful; both imaging tests mainly add many dollars to the cost of diagnosing and treating an ankle injury.

What should you do? Immediately after injuring an ankle, begin RICE, described in the report as “universally accepted as best practice by athletic trainers and other health care professionals.” That means get off the injured foot; prop it up, if possible, higher than the heart; wrap it in a compression bandage; and apply cold. There are various ways to ice an injured ankle: ice packs, immersion in ice water, application of frozen cups of ice or frozen bags of peas, chemical cold packs, and cold sprays.

Apply cold for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, then remove it for 10 minutes and reapply. When using an ice pack or chemical cold pack, cover the skin first with a wet cloth to avoid tissue damage. Icing can also be used to reduce discomfort before doing exercises prescribed to strengthen an injured ankle.

No longer are prolonged periods of rest recommended. The emphasis now is on “functional rehabilitation — getting patients moving as soon as possible, doing walking exercises, and enhancing joint mobility,” Dr. Kaminski said.

Most important of all, and often the most neglected, is balance training, which starts with standing on one foot (the injured one) on a firm, even surface, then on a foam surface or trampoline, first with eyes open, then eyes closed.

“The idea is to force the ankle to move under more unstable conditions, as you’d find on a sidewalk, lawn or the beach,” Dr. Kaminski said.

Also helpful is strengthening the structures that support ankle stability and flexibility. Older folks take note: ankle problems are a common risk factor for falls among the elderly, and the stronger the muscles in the lower leg, the more support they provide for the ankles.

An inexpensive way to boost ankle strength is to wrap a resistance band or towel under the ball of the foot and, holding the ends of the band or towel tightly, move the foot in every direction: up, down, to the right and to the left 10 times. Plan to do this exercise three times a day. And, of course, unless you’re a runway model, stay out of those high heels!


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.