By Jennifer Peterson, MD
While knee surgeries are common here at Tulsa Bone & Joint, we take a conservative approach to treatment. That means helping you stay out of the operating room if and when possible. If you’re suffering from knee pain, here are 6 things you can do to treat the pain that do not require surgery:
- Try over the counter anti inflammatories like Aleve or Ibuprofen.
- Ask your doctor about trying prescription anti inflammatories like Naproxen, Meloxicam, or Celebrex.
- Try physical therapy. Physical therapy can help you strengthen the muscles around the knee, and help you regain range of motion that you have lost.
- Steroid or viscosupplementation injections are a great way to treat the pain of knee arthritis, and these can be done in the office.
- You may be a candidate for a knee brace that can help take the pressure off the side of your knee where you have arthritis.
- Last but not least, the hardest of all…weight loss. 2-7x your body weight goes through your knees with every step. That means 10 lbs of weight loss is at LEAST 20 lbs less weight that your knees feel with every step.
If you need guidance regarding your knee pain, I am accepting new patients and would be happy to help you find relief. Call 918-392-1400 to schedule an appointment.
By Caleb Nunley, MD
We are fortunate in the Tulsa area to have The Gathering Place and multiple other fun parks. Unfortunately, though, in orthopedics, we see multiple playground injuries. I thought it might be helpful to share some tips on playground safety in hopes of avoiding and preventing some of the most common injuries.
Below are some tips and general guidelines:
1) The child should always wear shoes to avoid splinters and cuts.
2) Sunscreen and plenty of water are important on hot summer days.
3) Make sure the playground has a soft surface underneath the equipment. This needs to extend several feet away from the equipment. This could be rubber, mulch, sand or other materials. The most common emergency room visit from a playground injury is from a fall. Also, check to ensure that the playground is well maintained. Equipment that is poorly maintained may have sharp edges, be unstable or rusty. If the playground equipment is wet, it increases the risk of slipping and falling, and if the equipment is hot, it is a risk for burns.
4) Make sure that the child is playing on developmentally appropriate equipment and utilizes the equipment appropriately.
- Monkey Bars: the child should be using for climbing and not acrobatic stunts.
- Swings: should not be used for jumping off of. Also, make sure children are aware when walking in front of swings.
- Slides: the child should never climb up the front of the slide. (As a parent of a two year old myself, I know this one is especially tough). The child should sit down on their bottom facing forward as they go down and should move away from the bottom of the slide as soon as they reach the ground. An important note is that toddlers should not go down the slide on a parent’s lap. This has been shown repeatedly to be a risk for leg fractures. Fractures/breaks can happen in multiple ways, including when the toddler’s leg is caught underneath the parent, when the child’s leg is caught on the side of the slide, and when the force of the parent accompanying them down breaks the leg.
5) Supervision is likely the most important factor in preventing injuries. This includes providing children guidance on the proper use of equipment, as well as monitoring and adhering to playground safety rules.
We hope you don’t need us, but if there is an orthopedic injury, please give us a call at 918-392-1400! Most importantly, have fun! Stay safe and happy playing!
By Kyle Knapp, Rehabilitation Director, Tulsa Bone & Joint
In these unprecedented times of constant change and uncertainty, most professions have been forced to alter how they operate on a daily basis. Physical rehabilitation has been no different. As movement specialists, physical therapists are trained in evaluation and treatment of positional and movement dysfunction. We are accustomed to physical examination, manual techniques, and other treatments that are best done face to face and are an integral part of the therapy experience. As with any profession, we also thrive in learning new techniques, treatments, and philosophies because of our commitment to ongoing learning and perfecting of our skills. In 2020, the challenge has been handed to each of us to evolve in our profession at a speed never seen before.
Due to the changes brought on by COVID-19, the general workforce has come to expect changes not only in business but in individual behavior to aid in decreasing the spread of the virus. Some of these changes include social distancing, wearing masks, constantly cleaning and monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Similar to other specialties of healthcare professionals, we have adopted changes first and foremost for the safety of our patients as well as our staff. Without a doubt, our greatest asset at Tulsa Bone and Joint physical therapy is our group of compassionate, highly skilled therapists and assistants who come from a variety of backgrounds and with varied interests. While working in a collaborative environment with a strong teamwork mindset, each day offers learning from each and every team member.
Thankfully, over the last couple of months, the pendulum has begun to swing back to the direction of what normal once was. Telemedicine is on the decline, and in person, face-to-face treatment sessions are on the rise. We know that we are not yet in the clear when it comes to COVID-19, and the safety precautions associated with the virus continue to exist and be exercised. Rest assured that we are doing what we can to keep our clinic as safe as possible. Anyone walking through the door can be confident in knowing that our staff of therapists and assistants is committed to safely helping you on your path of rehabilitation. We are abundantly willing to change as needs arise in our current state of seemingly constant uncertainty.
At Tulsa Bone and Joint Associates, we have a great team of physical therapists, assistants as well as support staff, and we look forward to being able to assist you in meeting your goals. We are able to maintain close communication with our physicians, and we use a collaborative approach with the patient and family members, therapist and physicians to establish your physical therapy diagnosis, goals and treatment plan. If you feel you would benefit from physical therapy, don’t wait to see a doctor to make an appointment. Oklahoma is a limited direct access state, meaning you can see a physical therapist without a physician referral. Most insurances allow 30 days of treatment before requiring a referral to continue treatment.
As one of our physical therapists puts it:
“So much in this world has changed in the last six months, but the enjoyment of working at Tulsa Bone and Joint Associates hasn’t. Each day, even with a mask on my face, I can still help serve the patients I love to serve. Physical therapy is a profession that truly combines my love for people with my love for science. Watching the progression of my patients from beginning to end has always been an honor to witness and be a part of. COVID-19 hasn’t changed what I do or the reasons I show up to take care of the patients I am entrusted with. It has only helped our team grown stronger and more resilient.”
Tulsa Bone & Joint has named Kyle Knapp as Rehabilitation Director. Kyle will be overseeing physical therapy and occupational therapy at all of our locations: Tulsa, Bartlesville, Owasso and Sand Springs.
Kyle has been with Tulsa Bone & Joint as a physical therapist since 2004. Kyle attended PT school at the University of Oklahoma. He serves as our Clinical Education Coordinator for TBJA and was previously named Clinical Instructor of the Year by the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Association. He is passionate about teaching others in a clinical setting and also attending and teaching continuing education courses.
Kyle is a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and Sportsmetrics trained for ACL injury prevention and return to sports. Kyle is also trained in dry needling, IASTM, spinal mobilization and manipulation, Rock Tape, Sahrmann, Mulligan, McKenzie, neural mobilization, sports specific training, and diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions of the spine and extremities.
In addition to all that, Kyle speaks Spanish! Kyle is married with three kids and an avid trail runner. He enjoys coaching and watching soccer and traveling.
Among many other duties, Kyle is helping Physical Therapy with the transition to their new space at the main campus in Tulsa. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy will open in its new space in the 4800 building (previously Union Pines) on Monday, Oct. 12.
Many people wonder if they need a knee replacement, and secondly, are they ready for it? Yes, these are two separate questions. As a surgeon I will never tell one of my patients that they MUST have a knee replacement because that is a personal decision. However, I can ask a series of questions and make recommendations. So, if you think you might be ready for a knee replacement, ask yourself these questions.
• Do you have aching, throbbing knee pain that has bothered you on a daily basis for at least 2-3 months or longer?
• Does this pain keep you from doing activities you love or just basic activities of daily living, like walking around your house without pain?
• Have you already tried to manage your pain with anti-inflammatory medications (for example, Ibuprofen or Aleve), steroid injections into the knee itself or physical therapy without lasting relief?
If you find yourself answering yes to two or more of the above questions, then you may very well need a knee replacement. Then comes the second part of the question (“Are you ready for it?”), since a knee replacement is an elective surgery. This means that if your surgeon recommends a knee replacement for you, it should be done at a time that is convenient for you.
A total knee replacement is a large surgery with an extended recovery time. You will need to pick a time when you have the ability to dedicate at least 6 weeks to intensive recovery and rehabilitation right after surgery. It’s also important to pick a time when you can have a family member or friend available to help you at home after discharge for approximately 2 weeks. During that time, you will need someone to help with meals, to help you get to and from the bathroom, and to help as a cheerleader when you are doing your rehab exercises at home.
You will often start off with physical therapy 2 or 3 times a week so you can learn the exercises. These exercises will help you work on bending and straightening your knee after surgery. You will need to do those exercises on your own as well.
The first 6 weeks after surgery are the most difficult. By the end of this time, you are often ready to return to work, depending on just how physical your job is. It can take 6 months to 1 year to fully recover. This may seem like a long time, but in reality, it is a short time investment into a surgery that can give you excellent relief from your symptoms for 20+ years into the future.