A multitude of bone and joint ailments can arise during one’s lifetime. Some of the most common, yet most painful, include Tennis Elbow, Rotator Cuff Tears, and Plantar Fasciitis. All affecting different areas of the body, each can become debilitating if untreated.
Lateral Epicondylitis, more commonly known as Tennis Elbow, is a painful condition caused initially by an inflammation of the tendons around the elbow. The condition can cause pain, burning, and weakness of forearm, wrist, or hand. Brought on by overuse or by blunt trauma, Tennis Elbow often results from sports and other activities that require repetitive, strenuous use of the forearm. The condition often begins as a mild pain, but left untreated, will slowly progress to more intense discomfort.
A variety of treatments are available to treat Tennis Elbow. For many people, rest, early use of anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid injections may heal the elbow; adding an elbow/arm brace or physical therapy can also be beneficial. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is an innovative treatment utilizing sound waves to promote the body’s natural healing process. However, a more effective (and more rational) treatment for chronic Tennis Elbow employees radiofrequency energy across the intact skin to accomplish the same natural healing process…and it curtails the ability of sensory nerves to conduct pain signals from the elbow to the brain. Surgery may be required for the most severe cases of Tennis Elbow.
Rotator Cuff Tear:
One of the most common problems of the shoulder, a Rotator Cuff Tear refers an injury to one or more of the four Rotator Cuff muscles. The situation can range from a slight tear to fully tearing the tendon from the bone. Characterized by a weakened shoulder and pain, a Rotator Cuff Tear can make daily activities difficult, such as brushing the hair or getting dressed. Acute tears can be the result of a fall or accident, while overuse tears often occur after repetitive activities, such as may be seen in sports or under certain working conditions.
Both noninvasive and surgical treatments are available to treat a Rotator Cuff Tear. Nonsurgical methods are encouraged initially; these will include medications, splinting such as ibuprofen, oral or injectable steroids, and physical therapy. In some instances, however, surgery may be necessary to remove loose fragments of damaged tendon and to reattach the ruptured tendon to the bone.
Plantar Fasciosis is an inflammation of the thick, fibrous bands of tissue (fascia) connecting the heel to the base of the toes. The condition is the leading cause of heel pain in adults; characterized by extreme discomfort when pressure is put on the foot. Typically, Plantar Fasciosis will begin with a mild pain at the heel bone. If it goes untreated, the pain becomes more severe—especially on first arising in the morning—and alterations in the walking pattern can cause problems with the foot, knee, hip, or back. Anyone can experience Plantar Fasciitis, but a higher incidence is seen in women, those who stand for long hours, exercise, runners or in those who are overweight.
There are a variety of treatments available to address the discomfort of Plantar Fasciitis. Stretching, strengthening of the foot/calf, and rest can improve the condition. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can decrease inflammation in early stages and improve comfort. Changing the shoes, adding arch supports, orthotics, and night splints can remove the chance of reoccurrence.
Unfortunately, not everyone will find success with these noninvasive treatments. Dr. Whipple was a research participant in the development of the use of non-invasive applications of intense radiofrequency energy (ReleFTM) across the intact skin of the heel to initiate a natural healing process in the plantar fascia, even in long-standing cases. In these severe cases of Plantar Fasciitis, surgical treatment may be necessary.
The Ideal Patient:
Anyone experiencing pain, stiffness, or a loss of mobility should schedule a medical evaluation with an experienced orthopaedic surgeon such as Dr. Whipple. This will provide a time to diagnosis the symptoms, and determine which treatments can be beneficial to the situation. As with all other medial therapies, the ideal candidate for treatment will be in overall good health and have realistic expectations for their potential results.
Cost of Treatment:
To make treatment accessible to all patients, Hillelson-Whipple Clinic Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedics accepts a variety of payments. At the consultation appointment, our surgeons will determine the exact cost of upcoming treatments. Then, with the help of our patient coordinator, a payment plan will be established. For patient convenience, we accept cash, all major credit cards, and healthcare financing through CareCredit.
For more information on any of the procedures offered at Hillelson-Whipple Clinic Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedics, contact our office at 804.290.0060. When a consultation appointment is scheduled with Dr. Whipple, a personalized treatment will be established. Let us know if you are coming from outside of the Richmond, Virginia area; we will be happy to provide travel, transportation, or lodging assistance.