Hip Replacement Surgery 

Like any surgery, hip replacement surgery will carry some risk. The key is to choose an experienced orthopedic surgeon who will minimize your risk of complications. During the pre-op consultation, the surgeon will apprise you of the potential risks and help you make an informed choice.  

Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides hip replacement surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.  

Potential Risks and Complications  

Blood Clotting 

Following the hip replacement surgery, clot formation may occur in the leg veins. In rare cases, this can be life-threatening if a piece of clot breaks off and travels to the lung or brain. Blood thinning medications prescribed by your surgeon will reduce this risk. 

Infection  

Infections could develop at the incision site or the deeper tissue close to your hip implant. Infections are mostly treated with antibiotics, but if a severe infection occurs near your prosthesis, it could necessitate a revision surgery.  

Fracture  

A healthy part of your hip joint could fracture during the hip replacement surgery. Fractures can sometimes be minor, which will heal on their own over time. However, for a bigger fracture, your surgeon may need to correct it with pins, wires, metal plate, or bone grafting.  

Dislocation  

The ball of your new hip joint may get dislodged in certain positions, particularly, in the first few months following your hip replacement surgery. In case of hip dislocation, your surgeon will fit you with a brace so that the hop stays in its appropriate position. If the hip continues to dislocate, you may need a surgery to stabilize it.  

Difference in Leg Length  

Despite the steps taken by your surgeon, on rare occasions, your new hip could make one leg shorter or longer than the other. This is sometimes caused by a muscular contracture surrounding the hip joint. Progressive stretching and strengthening of those muscles could help improve the condition. 

Loosening 

This complication rarely occurs with new and advanced hip implants, but in rare cases, the new joint may not be strongly fixed to the hip bone, or may loosen over time. This will create pain in the hip, and a revision surgery may be required to fix the problem.  

Structural Damage around the Joint   

Any of the soft tissue, such as tendons, ligaments or muscles around the hip may get damaged during the surgery. In exceptional situations, damage may also occur to the surrounding nerves, veins, or arteries. This can cause weakness or numbness in the affected leg.  

Second Hip Replacement 

Your hip implant may eventually wear out. Therefore, if you have undergone hip replacement surgery while you are relatively young, chances are that you may eventually require a second hip replacement. But new and advanced implant materials are increasing the longevity of the results, and this risk may be minimal.  

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for hip replacement surgery.  

For More Information

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a major procedure, which should only be performed a qualified and experienced surgeon. At the time of initial consultation, the surgeon will explain all aspects of the hip replacement surgery, and inform you about the estimated costs.  

Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides hip replacement surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.  

Insurance Coverage 

Hip replacement surgery is usually covered under most health plans, including Medicaid and Medicare. If this surgery is covered under your insurance plan, your surgeon and their staff will help establish that the procedure is a medical necessity for you. It is best to speak to your insurer and ask about your coverage.  

You should check whether your policy covers only specific types of hip implants. Find out from your insurer if you require pre-authorization or any other documentation.  

Expenses Covered under Insurance 

Health insurance policies typically cover the following costs for hip replacement surgery:  

  • Appointment with the orthopedic surgeon  
  • Additional pre-surgery appointments  
  • Lab tests and other diagnostic evaluations  
  • Surgery costs, including the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia costs, operating room expenses, and hip implant costs  
  • Post-surgical hospitalization  
  • Post-op recovery preparation at home, including safety bars and any other necessary medical equipment  
  • Physical therapy and rehab appointments  

It is important to understand any limits on your insurance coverage, so that you have a clear idea of how much of the cost will be covered.  

Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

Your out-of-pocket costs related to your hip replacement surgery will depend on the terms of your insurance policy. Even if hip replacement is covered under your policy, you may have to pay a certain part of the cost on your own.  

Speak to your insurer about your costs, including deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance that are related to your surgery. Supplement insurance might be able to save you a significant amount. You could also be eligible to apply health savings account (HAS), flexible spending account (FSA) and health reimbursement account (HRA) funds to any out-of-pocket costs.  

Costs without Insurance Coverage 

If your health plan does not cover hip replacement surgery or you do not have insurance coverage, you should discuss the costs during the initial consultation with your orthopedic surgeon. Hip replacement costs can vary from one practice to another and even from one patient to another depending on several factors.  

The skill and experience of the operating surgeon, the kind of facilities and services they are able to provide, and the quality of the hospital or surgery center where the procedure is performed will make a difference to the overall costs. Make sure that while choosing an orthopedic surgeon, you do not automatically go with the one that offers the lowest cost.  

Carefully consider the surgeon’s expertise, experience and whether they are board certified in orthopedic surgery. These aspects will make a critical difference to your final resultsBoard certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for hip replacement surgery. 

For More Information

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

Reasons For Hip Replacement Surgery | Las VegasHip replacement is commonly associated with elderly people, but in reality this life-altering procedure may be for anyone with a worn or damaged hip joint. 

Hip replacement surgery might be the only option for patients who suffer from persistent hip pain and where more conservative treatment approaches have failed to work. One of the most common reasons for hip replacement is arthritis damage.

Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides hip replacement surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV. 

 

Need for Hip Replacement

Some conditions can cause hip joint damage over time, which may necessitate hip replacement surgery. These include: 

Osteoarthritis 

This type of arthritis is associated with wear and tear. Osteoarthritis may damage the slick cartilage that covers the ends of hip bone that allow the hip joint to move. 

Rheumatoid arthritis 

An overactive immune system may cause rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation occurring due to this condition can cause cartilage erosion, and sometimes erode even the underlying bone. A deformed or damaged hip joint because of this condition may necessitate hip replacement.

Osteonecrosis 

Insufficient blood supply to the ball portion of your hip joint may cause the bone to collapse and deform, and hip replacement may be the only treatment option.

 

Signs You Require Hip Replacement 

Here are a few signs that could be indicative of hip arthritis or other problems where hip replacement may be necessary. 

 

Pain in the Hip or Groin 

If you experience soreness during or after physical activity or exercise, or pain that interferes with your normal routine, it could be a sign of hip arthritis. This pain is typically localized between the knee and the hip. Some patients may tend to rely on a walking stick or compensate with a limp.

Hip pain may also occur at night and make it difficult for you to fall asleep or have a disturbed sleep because of the pain. This could also be a hip or joint-related problem. Many people take painkillers regularly to carry on their daily routine without pain. If you have these signs, speak to an orthopedic surgeon to discuss possible hip replacement. 

 

Stiffness in the Hip or Pain while Walking

A common sign of hip stiffness is if you find it difficult to put on your shoes or socks, particularly if one foot is causing more stiffness than the other. If the problem persists, talk to a hip specialist. 

If the pain in the hip or groin is preventing you from walking even short or normal distances, it could be a sign of hip problem. How much you walk daily will depend on your lifestyle, but if it is causing discomfort and interfering with your daily life, you should consult with an orthopedic surgeon. 

 

One Leg Test

If you are unable to stand on your troubled leg for more than a minute, even with some support from a wall or door, then you could have a problem with your hip. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for hip replacement surgery. 

For More Information

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

What is Patellar Tendonitis?Patellar tendonitis is a commonly occurring inflammation or injury of the tendon that attaches the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). The pain caused by this condition may be mild or severe.

Patellar tendonitis can occur in anyone. However, it is such a common injury of athletes, particularly those who play basketball and volleyball, that it is known as jumper’s knee. An estimated 14.4 percent of recreational volleyball players have jumper’s knee.

In top professional athletes, the prevalence of patellar tendonitis is even higher. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of top volleyball players have jumper’s knee.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide procedures for the knee and shoulder to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding communities.

 

What exactly causes Patellar tendonitis?

Patellar tendonitis develops due to repetitive stress on the knee, usually from overuse in exercise or sports. The recurring pressure on the knee causes small tears in the tendon that, over time, swell, and weaken the tendon. 

The factors that contribute to this condition are as follows:

  • Uneven leg muscle strength
  • Tight leg muscles
  • Hard playing surfaces
  • Misaligned feet, ankles, and legs
  • Obesity
  • Shoes without sufficient padding
  • Chronic diseases that weaken the tendon

Athletes are at a higher risk as jumping, running, and squatting put more pressure on the patellar tendon. For instance, running can create a force of up to five times a person’s body weight on their knees.

Extended durations of intense sports training are associated with jumper’s knee.

 

What are the Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis?

The initial symptoms of patellar tendonitis are pain and tenderness at the base of the kneecap. The patient may also experience some inflammation and a burning sensation in their kneecap. Getting up from a squat or kneeling down can be particularly painful. 

Initially, the pain may be sporadic, developing only after exercise activity or sports. The pain can worsen as the tendon becomes more damaged. It can interfere with any athletic activity and daily tasks such as sitting in a vehicle or climbing stairs.

The patient should consult a doctor if any pain and inflammation persist for more than one or two days. 

 

What’s a typical Treatment Plan?

The treatment approach depends on the severity of the injury.

Conservative approaches to reduce pain, rest the leg, and stretch and strengthen the leg muscles are usually the first line of treatment. The doctor will typically advise the patient a duration of controlled rest, where they avoid activity that puts stress on the knee.

Medication

The doctor may prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) medications for short-term pain and swelling reduction, including:

  • naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • ibuprofen (Advil)
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)

In case the pain is severe, the doctor may give the patient a corticosteroid injection in the region around the patellar tendon, which is most effective in the reduction of severe pain. 

 

Therapy

The objective of physical therapy is to reduce the pain and swelling and to stretch and strengthen the thigh and leg muscles. 

In case the pain is severe even when the patient is resting their legs, the doctor may advise the patient to wear a brace and use crutches for a while to avoid additional damage to the tendon. The patient can start physical therapy activities when they are relatively pain-free. 

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas and Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for knee and shoulder procedures.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

What is a Knee Sprain?A knee sprain means that a person has injured one of the ligaments around the knee joint. There are four main ligaments that offer stability to the knee. 

In addition, there are various smaller ligaments that can lead to pain after an injury. People often feel confused between sprains and strains. A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament whereas a strain is an injury to a muscle.

Regards the knee, the ligaments enable the knee joint to bend back and forth but control excessive motions. The collateral ligaments of the knee prevent excessive side-to-side movement. Similarly, the cruciate ligaments are vital for rotational and forward/backward stability.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide procedures for the knee and shoulder to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding locations.

 

Symptoms

The most commonly occurring symptoms of a knee sprain are pain and inflammation. In general, people who injure their knee damaging the ligaments will experience immediate symptoms. At times, these symptoms worsen over the initial 48 hours, and gradually subside, depending on the severity of the injury. 

The common symptoms of a knee sprain are as follows:

  • Inflammation of the knee
  • Knee pain
  • Instability/giving-out/buckling
  • Stiffness of the joint

 

Causes

A variety of injuries can cause knee sprains. Sometimes the injuries occur due to athletic activities. Knee sprains in athletics can occur because of both contact injuries and non-contact events. Knee sprains usually occur after falls and other trauma at the workplace or at home. These sprains also commonly occur after car accidents.

 

Treatment

Knee ligament injuries are often graded to define the severity of the injury. A grade of injury offers an indication of the extent of damage to the ligament. Generally, most doctors grade on a scale of one to three. 

 

Grades

Ligament tears are graded as follows:

  • Grade I: A minor injury that will likely heal with rest and activity modifications over one to two weeks.
  • Grade II: A moderate injury involving partial tearing of the ligament that will require more restrictions on activities and may take four to six weeks for recovery.
  • Grade III: A complete or almost-complete tear of the ligament. This may require more extended rehabilitation or surgical intervention, depending of the damaged ligament.

It is vital to bear in mind that these general grades are somewhat arbitrary. In reality, a ligament can sustain damage in various ways across a spectrum, from no injury to a complete tear. 

For this reason, these classifications are used most notably to offer athletes an indication of the severity of the injury and a timeline for an expected return to their athletic pursuits. 

As mentioned, the main issue with calling an injury a knee sprain is that these words do little to convey helpful information. Understanding the specific ligament injured will assist the doctor and their team to identify the best treatment to make sure that the patient returns to their routine activities as soon as possible. 

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas and Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for knee and shoulder procedures.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

PCL (Patella Cruciate Ligament) Injuries or Tear Causes and Treatment | Las VegasPosterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury occurs far less frequently than does injury to the more vulnerable component of the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). 

The posterior cruciate ligament and ACL attach the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). In case either ligament sustains a tear, it may lead to pain, inflammation, and a feeling of instability.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide procedures for the knee and shoulder to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding communities. 

 

Symptoms

Pain

Mild to moderate pain in the knee can lead to a slight limp or challenges in walking.

Swelling

Inflammation in the knee occurs rapidly, within a few hours of the injury.

Instability

The knee might feel loose, as it is going to give way.

In case there are no associated injuries to other areas of the knee, the signs and symptoms of a posterior cruciate ligament injury can be so imperceptible that the patient may not notice that anything is amiss. 

The pain might worsen over time and the knee might feel more unstable. In case other portions of the knee have also sustained injury, the patient’s signs and symptoms will potentially be more severe.

 

Causes

The posterior cruciate ligament may tear if the shinbone is hit hard right below the knee or if a person falls on a bent knee. These injuries commonly occur during:

Motor vehicle accidents

A “dashboard injury” develops when the driver’s or passenger’s bent knee hits against the dashboard, which pushes in the shinbone right below the knee and leads to a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament. 

Contact sports

Athletes who are engaged in sports, such as soccer and football, can sustain a tear in their posterior cruciate ligament when they fall on a bent knee with their foot pointed down. In such cases, the shinbone will hit the ground first and move backward. Being tacked when the knee is bent can also lead to this injury.

 

Risk factors

The most common risk factors for a PCL injury are being in an automobile crash and engaging in sports such as soccer and football. 

 

Complications

Many patients sustain injuries in other structures within the knee, including other ligaments or cartilage, at the time when they injure their posterior cruciate ligament. The patient may have long-term knee pain and instability depending on how many of these structures are damaged. They may also be at an increased risk of eventually developing arthritis in the affected knee.

 

Treatment

The treatment will depend on the extent of the injury and whether the patient has had it for a while or it just occurred. Surgery is not necessary in most cases. 

 

Medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

 

Therapy

A physical therapist can help the patient learn exercises that will make their knee stronger as well as enhance its function and stability. They may also require crutches or a knee brace during their rehab. 

 

Surgery

In case the patient has a severe injury, particularly if it occurs in combination with other torn ligaments, damaged cartilage, or a fractured bone, they may need a surgical procedure to reconstruct the ligament. Surgery may also be an option if they have persistent episodes of knee instability despite suitable rehabilitation measures. 

The surgery can typically be undertaken arthroscopically by inserting a fiber-optic camera and long, narrow surgical equipment through several tiny incisions around the knee. 

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas and Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for knee and shoulder procedures.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

Meniscus Tear Causes And Treatment | Las Vegas | Lake Havasu A torn meniscus refers to a tear in the cartilage that is located on top of the tibia to allow the femur to glide smoothly when there is movement in the knee joint

Tears are typically described by where they are situated anatomically in the C-shape as well as by their appearance (for instance, longitudinal, parrot beak, “bucket handle” tear, and transverse). 

A physical exam may predict whether it is the lateral or medial meniscus that has sustained damaged. At the same time, a diagnostic procedure, such as an MRI or arthroscopic surgery, can locate the particular part of the cartilage anatomy that is damaged as well as show how it appears. 

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide procedures for the knee and shoulder to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding locations.

 

What Causes a Meniscus to Tear?

A sudden stop or forceful twist can cause the femur’s end to grind into the top of the tibia. This can pinch and potentially tear the cartilage of the meniscus. 

This type of knee injury can also develop with kneeling or deep squatting, particularly when lifting a heavy weight. Meniscus tear injuries usually occur during athletic activities, particularly in contact sports such as hockey and football. 

Movements that warrant pivoting and sudden stops, in sports such as basketball, tennis, and golf, can also damage the meniscus. The sports injury does not have to occur during a game. It may also occur in practice, where the same movements cause meniscus damage.

Aging increases the risk of developing a torn meniscus as the cartilage starts to slowly wear out, losing its blood flow and resilience. Correlating with this, increasing body weight also puts more pressure on the meniscus.

 

Treatment

Meniscus tear treatment will depend on its location, severity, and underlying disease within the knee joint. The unique circumstances of the patient may also impact the treatment options. 

It is usually possible to treat meniscus tears conservatively in a non-surgical manner using anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy rehabilitation to strengthen muscles surrounding the knees and prevent joint instability.

Very often, that is all that a patient requires. Patients who participate in sport or whose work is physically challenging may need immediate surgery to continue their activity. A majority of patients fall between the two extremes, and the decision to use conservative treatments or proceed with a surgery will depend on their specific condition. 

 

Torn Meniscus due to Injury

The initial steps in treatment following acute injury typically include ice, rest, compression, and elevation (RICE). This may help ease the swelling that develop with a torn meniscus. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), may help relieve pain and swelling.

In case conservative therapy is ineffective, surgery may be a consideration. Knee arthroscopy enables the orthopedic surgeon to examine the cartilage tear and potentially repair it. In a surgical procedure, the goal is to preserve as much cartilage as possible.

Surgical procedures include:

  • Meniscal repair: Sewing the torn edges together
  • Partial meniscectomy: Trimming away the damaged area, and smoothing the injured region
  • Total meniscectomy: Eliminating the entire meniscus, if that is considered appropriate

Another surgical option to promote new cartilage growth is microfracture surgery. In the procedure, the surgeon will drill small holes into the surface of the bone. This encourages articular but not meniscus cartilage development. The articular cartilage that grows due to this surgery is not as robust or as thick as the original meniscus cartilage.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas and Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for knee and shoulder procedures.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

At this time of year, we look forward to time with family and friends and we also count our many blessings as we reflect on how fortunate we are. In fact, wisdom teaches that learning to be grateful is the shortest and surest path toward being happy.

We also consider so many on our planet who are far less fortunate and gifted than us, for whom even challenges we consider minimal are so major. Many of those live within miles of us and at this time of year, the desire to share and to add a little more light in the world resonates a bit stronger. Together, we can make a little difference in our world, one by one.

We would like to invite all of you to visit The Giving Machine @ The Promenade near Francesca’s at Downtown Summerlin. A link below will teach you all about it, so please don’t miss looking at this very brief video.

https://www.comeuntochrist.org/light-the-world/giving-machines

Cartilage or Tendon Damage in Your Knee | Las Vegas | Lake HavasuThe medial collateral ligament (MCL) is situated on the inner aspect, or part, of the knee, but outside the joint itself. Ligaments connect bones as well as offer stability and strength to a joint.

The MCL attaches the top of the tibia (shinbone) to the bottom of the femur (thighbone). An injury to the MCL is commonly referred to as an MCL sprain. Ligament injuries may either stretch the ligament or tear it. 

MCL injury of the knee typically occurs due to a direct blow to the knee. This type of injury occurs commonly in contact sports. It is typically the result of a blow or hit to the outer aspect of the knee, which causes the MCL to stretch or tear.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide procedures for the knee and shoulder to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding communities. 

 

Types of MCL Injuries

MCL injuries can be categorized as grades 1, 2, or 3:

  • Grade 1: A grade 1 MCL injury is the least severe, and it signifies that the ligament has been stretched but not torn.
  • Grade 2: A grade 2 MCL injury implies that the ligament has been partially torn, which typically leads to some instability in the knee joint.
  • Grade 3: A grade 3 MCL injury refers to the severe type of ligament injury, and it means that the ligament is completely torn. A grade 3 MCL sprain commonly causes joint instability.

 

How’s an MCL Injury Treated?

Treatment options differ depending on the severity of the MCL injury. A majority of MCL injuries will heal by themselves following a few weeks of rest. 

 

Immediate Treatment

Immediate treatment is required to ease pain and help stabilize the knee. The treatment options include the following:

  • Applying ice to reduce inflammation
  • Raising the knee above the heart to help with inflammation
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain and inflammation
  • Compressing the knee using a brace or an elastic bandage
  • Resting
  • Using crutches to keep weight off the injured knee

 

Rehab

When recovering from the injury, the goal is to regain strength in the knee and prevent further injury. The treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and enhance the range of motion of the knee
  • Wearing a protective knee brace during physical activity
  • Restricting activities that can lead to further injury, such as contact sports

 

Surgery

In rare circumstances, an MCL injury will necessitate surgery. A patient will need surgery when the ligament is damaged in such a manner that it cannot repair itself. It is also undertaken when the MCL injury occurs along with other ligament injuries.

Prior to the surgery, the surgeon may use arthroscopy to properly examine the extent of the injury and to look for associated injuries inside the knee. In arthroscopy, a small and narrow camera is inserted through a small incision, or cut.

Following the arthroscopic exam, the surgeon will make a tiny incision along the inner aspect of the knee. In case the ligament is torn where it connects either to the shinbone or the thighbone, the surgeon can use one of the following to reattach it:

  • Large stitches
  • Bone staples
  • A metal screw
  • A device known as a suture anchor

The surgeon will stitch the ligament together if the tear is in the middle of the ligament. Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas and Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for knee and shoulder procedures.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

Cartilage or Tendon Damage in Your Shoulder | Las Vegas | Lake HavasuIn general, shoulder problems occur due to issues with the tendons, muscles, and ligaments, rather than the bones. Tendinitis and/or tears of the tendon(s), such as the biceps tendon and the rotator cuff, are some common conditions of the shoulder.

Many individuals with shoulder pain have issues with several structures in their shoulder. For instance, people with tendinitis or bursitis may also have labrum (cartilage) and rotator cuff tears.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide procedures for the knee and shoulder to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding locations.

 

Rotator Cuff Injury or Tear

The rotator cuff refers to the primary structure that moves and stabilizes the shoulder. It comprises four muscles and four associated tendons that connect the muscles to the bones. They create a cuff over the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder.  

Rotator cuff issues can be mild or severe. The cuff may become swollen, frayed, or detach entirely from the bone. A majority of rotator cuff injuries involve the supraspinatus tendon. This tendon is found at the top of the shoulder. 

This tendon may get pinched between the ball of the upper arm and the portion of the shoulder blade known as the acromion when a person raises their arm up or out to the side. This pinching of the rotator cuff is called impingement.

Impingement usually leads to swelling of the rotator cuff tendons. Therefore, the resulting injury is commonly known as tendinitis. It also leads to irritation of the bursa (a sac of tissue between the bone and the tendon), so it is often called bursitis. In fact, impingement, rotator cuff tendinitis, and bursitis are all different names of the same problem. 

 

Shoulder Cartilage Tear (Glenoid Labrum Tear)

The ball at the top of the upper arm bone lies in a socket in the shoulder blade known as the glenoid, which is lined with a ring of cartilage and fibrous tissue (labrum). The labrum surrounds the ball of the upper arm and enables it to remain within the glenoid. 

The labrum can sustain a tear in multiple ways. A tiny tear may impact only the rim of the labrum. But a more severe tear at the top of the labrum may also impact the biceps tendon and even lead to complete detachment.

Labrum tears can develop due to a shoulder dislocation or from regular wear and tear on the joint.

 

Biceps Tendinitis

Various tendons connect the muscles to the bones to offer stability and support to the main shoulder joint. The biceps tendon links the biceps muscle to the shoulder blade. This tendon becomes swollen, and the condition is known as biceps tendinitis.

 

Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy enables the surgeon to use very tiny incisions to view the inside of the shoulder and repair any damage. The surgery typically takes between one to two hours to complete, and the patient will be able to return home on the day of the procedure itself.

The surgeon will use general anesthesia, and the patient will remain asleep during the procedure. They may feel drowsy for several hours following the surgery. Therefore, the patient will need to arrange for someone to drive them back home after the procedure. 

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas and Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for knee and shoulder procedures.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.