Keith Jacobson, DPM, FACFAS

Keith Jacobson, DPM, FACFAS

Dr. Keith Jacobson has studied podiatric medicine all over the country, including Chicago, Florida and Texas. After 10 years of…

Scott Resig, MD

Scott Resig, MD

Scott G. Resig, board certified through the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Resig specializes in complex conditions…

Orthopedic surgeon - pickleball injury

Beyond Surgery: How to Partner with an Orthopedic Surgeon to Be Active in Your Health

Eager to get out and Be Active this summer? Between spring showers and the lingering impacts of a full year of quarantine life, many people are more excited than ever to get back to sports, fitness and other activities that move them. But if a bone or joint issue has been holding you back, now may be the perfect time to partner with an orthopedic surgeon to get ready for an active summer.

Partnering with an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean signing up for surgery. Sports medicine specialists and orthopedic surgeons provide expertise and treatment options that help everyone – from weekend warriors to competitive athletes – get back in the game while minimizing the risk of injury.

The most advanced orthopedic surgeons offer a holistic approach to your health including services such as physical therapy, sports medicine and sports injury prevention, non-surgical treatments and advanced and complex surgeries.

By taking a multidisciplinary approach to each patient’s treatment, providing one-on-one personalized care, and using hands-on, evidenced-based techniques, orthopedic surgeons help patients to enhance activity, wellness and performance throughout life.

Here are just a few of the ways you can partner with your orthopedic surgeon.

Physical Therapy   

Once an injury has been assessed, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and their team take a hands-on approach to treatment. They provide detailed examinations and education regarding the source and cause of pain, how to relieve it and prevent a recurrence.

Each individualized treatment plan includes progressions and reevaluations that work with your needs, strengths and goals. By using evidence-based medicine that includes manual and manipulative therapy, exercises designed for specific injuries or damage, and the latest technology such as Trigger Point Dry Needling, physical therapy can help to reduce pain, rebuild strength, reduce inflammation, and improve range of motion, and is a great non-surgical method to achieve lasting effective pain relief.

Sports Medicine and Sports Injury Prevention

Regardless of age, if you’re injured, you should stop playing sports until you can be treated. Continued play or exercise can increase the damage and, in some cases, can cause serious additional injury.

By simply giving our bodies the rest they need, many people can recover from injuries with basic treatment such as the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling and speed healing. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers, knowns as NSAIDs (think Advil or Aleve) can also provide pain relief and reduce swelling as you heal. But be careful not to use any kind of pain reliever to mask the pain of an injury as a way to keep playing.

Sports medicine specialists have specific expertise in sports-related injuries and a variety of procedures and therapies to both help prevent injury and aid in recovery and rehabilitation.

This includes techniques such as strength training of the injured or surrounding tendons and muscles to project a vulnerable joint, working on proper stretching, warm-up and cool-down methods, managing and maintaining a healthy and appropriate diet for the athlete’s age, condition and individual needs, and more. While surgery is sometimes required, other non-surgical options are typically explored first.

Bone Health

Often called the “silent disease,” osteoporosis typically shows no symptoms in its early stages. But your risk of breaking a bone increases as the disease progresses, as does the risk of losing height or having back pain due to compression or fractures in the spine.

While 1 in 2 women, and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, you don’t need to take these stats sitting down. Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable! If you have had a broken bone as an adult or have other risk factors for osteoporosis, it’s important to partner with an orthopedic surgeon who is also a bone health specialist. They work with each patient to assess the risk of osteoporosis and can conduct a bone scan called a DXA. DXA scans are recommended every two years for the following populations:

  • Women over the age of 65, or younger with risk factors
  • Men over the age of 70, or younger with risk factors
  • Anyone over the age of 50 with a broken bone
  • Anyone with 1½ inches of height loss
  • Anyone with back pain due to a possible break in your spine

If you have low bone density, measures can be taken to help prevent falls and broken bones, and medications may be helpful to prevent future fractures to allow you to continue your active lifestyle.

What if I Really do Need Surgery

If a surgical solution is the best option for your needs, it’s important to partner closely with your orthopedic surgeon to ensure you have the best experience from introduction to recovery. A diligent and caring surgeon will work with you to carefully evaluate all options for your circumstances and ensure that you have a shared and realistic understanding of your post-surgery goals.

Your surgeon, along with their expert team, will help you navigate every step of the process to maximize your recovery potential and ensure you are an active participant every step along the way.

About Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Specialists

Ready to partner with an orthopedic surgeon to be active again? With 15 Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons, two Board Certified Podiatric Surgeons, and one Board Certified Interventional Physiatrist, there’s sure to be a specialist that’s just the right fit.

Advanced Orthopedic is comprised of surgeons who specialize in sports injuries, upper extremity, spine disorders, total joint replacements, carticel implantation, podiatry abnormalities, musculoskeletal disorders, and surgical and non-operative treatment of the neck and spine.

We have three locations to serve your needs. Our Denver/Lowry Office is located in central Denver, our Parker/Lincoln office is located in south Metro Denver, and our Aurora/Southlands Office is in southeast Aurora in the Southlands Shopping District. We offer state-of-the-art digital imaging at all of our facilities. For more information, call (303) 344-9090 or request an appointment.

Michael Shen, MD

Michael Shen, MD

Originally from Colorado, Dr. Shen has always considered southern Denver his home. Growing up and going to Homestead Elementary, ..

Christopher D'Ambrosia, MD

Christopher D’Ambrosia, MD

As a Interventional Physiatrist, Dr. Christopher D‘Ambrosia treats a wide range of problems including sore shoulders, spinal cord injuries,…

Sports Injury Prevention for Spring Sports

Sports Injury Prevention: Spring Sports Conditioning and Rebuilding Good Habits are Key

PLUS: Tips for Young Athletes

For many people, the past year has been hard on our bodies. We fell out of our routines and took on new ones, some to the detriment of our physical fitness. Even our kids are feeling the difference from shortened or canceled sports seasons, missing P.E. and recess at school, or even the walk to school itself.

If you (or your kids) are closer to setting a PR (personal record) for consecutive Zooms than for a 5K, the recent melting snow and warm days have probably inspired you to get up and get out! But before you jump into a pickup game of hoops or join that pickleball league, consider your level of conditioning, so that you can stay healthy and active all summer long.

Prevent sports injuries with spring conditioning

There are three types of conditioning you can focus on to get started: cardio, flexibility, and strength. Together, these three areas will put your body in a better position to exercise or compete this summer. As with any exercise program, it’s essential that you listen to your own body and be realistic about your current level of fitness. Everyone is different, and what you’ve been doing or not doing all winter should factor into what you do next.

Cardio Conditioning

Cardiovascular conditioning is focused on raising your heart rate and breathing rate to increase your blood flow and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood for 10 minutes or more.

You can do some kind of cardio almost anywhere. If you haven’t been active much lately, you may start with brisk walking before you try to jog or walk up a flight of stairs before you try two. You can also jump rope, do jumping jacks, or even run in place. Other common cardio activities include cycling, swimming, running, and skiing.

If you have been active this winter, and are getting ready to switch sports for spring, consider the differences and work on conditioning that prepares you for your next season. For example, if you’re going from skiing to tennis, consider working in 30-45 minutes of continuous cardio to get ready for your first match. Skiing offers plenty of cardio, but regular breaks between runs or on lifts builds a different kind of endurance.


Flexibility reduces the risk of muscle tears and other injuries, and it can also help with balance and coordination. For athletes, leg flexibility, especially hamstring flexibility has been known to be particularly helpful. Regardless of what kind of stretch you are doing, it’s important to stretch both before and after you exercise. And remember – don’t bounce. Slow, smooth, methodical motion will minimize the risk of injury.

Strength Conditioning

Building muscle not only gives you strength, but it can also improve balance and support your joints and tendons. Bodyweight exercises are one simple (and free!) way to ease in. This means using the weight of your own body to create resistance. Push-ups, sit-ups, planks, lunges, and squats are all examples of exercises you can do with just your body weight. As you get stronger, you can add free weights or use weight machines, but you don’t have to go to a gym to do strength conditioning. Use common household items, such as milk jugs, cans, or even books to add more resistance to your routine.

For the young athletes in your life who are getting ready for a spring sports season, consider these tips:

Get a physical. Most school sports teams require it, but even if you’re playing club sports, don’t skip your annual physical! Many people are behind due to covid-19, if that includes you, get a physical on the books so your child’s pediatrician can evaluate their overall growth and health.

Ease in or find balance: If your athlete’s off-season was winter, try to ease in, or get ahead of multiple practices per week by easing in with some movement before practice begins. This can be as basic as jumping jacks, yoga, or jogging. For athletes who didn’t have an off-season, beware of overuse if you are focused on one sport year-round. If you’re moving from one sport to another this spring, that’s a great opportunity to stay fit and reduce the chance of overuse injury.

Swap sweet drinks for water. As the weather gets warmer, hydration becomes even more important, and water is always the best way to go. Sweet drinks add unneeded extra calories and can even make your athlete feel thirstier!

Watch the weather. In Colorado, where weather can turn rapidly, we know this is especially important. This means having layers to add or remove as temperatures change, so you can keep muscles warm or avoid overheating. Also, watch for dangerous conditions including snow and ice which can make playing surfaces uneven or slick.

As the weather continues to get nicer, we hope you are able to get out and about more often! No matter what activity you choose, remember to ease into it! Be kind to your body so you can #BeActive all summer long!

Davis Hurley, MD

Davis K. Hurley, MD

Dr. Davis Hurley was born and raised in the Southwest before calling Colorado his home…

torn ACL

Does a torn ACL always require surgery?

Torn ACLs are a common result of active lifestyles. Nationally, hundreds of thousands of ACL tears occur each year. The vast majority of ACL injuries – experienced more frequently by athletes and females – are often the result of sudden movements such as a pivot on the soccer field or a sharp turn on the ski slope.

ACL tears typically present with pain, swelling, discomfort and loss of knee stability. But the severity and symptoms can vary from patient to patient. So how should an ACL tear be treated? Is surgery always required? The answer starts with a proper medical assessment of the knee injury and each patient’s circumstances.

The knee is a complex joint, so a thorough medical evaluation is needed to determine the full extent of the knee injury, confirm if it is, in fact, an ACL tear, and provide a prognosis to inform possible treatment options. X-rays are used to reveal fractures, and MRIs can assess the extent of damage to knee ligaments and cartilage. Even if you don’t think you tore your ACL, it’s important to be diagnosed to mitigate the risk of subsequent secondary injury that could lead to additional instability.

Many, but not all, ACL tears require surgery. The severity of the tear, the loss of mobility and each patient’s activity level are key considerations for treatment options. Given the role that the ACL plays in the knee’s normal rotation and movement, full ACL tears are complex injuries that typically include additional cartilage or ligament damage. Full ACL tears generally require surgery to restore stability and function.

ACL Surgery

ACL reconstruction surgery is recommended in patients whose knees give way on repeated occasions, and it’s a good option for active people who aren’t able to recapture enough stability after therapy and want to continue to participate in activities that involving cutting, pivoting, and turning motions like skiing, basketball or tennis.

However, for patients with limited damage and stability loss, nonsurgical options can also lead to positive outcomes. Nonsurgical treatments are usually most favorable for patients that have maintained stability, have isolated damage, or patients with open growth plates, or light activity levels. Non-surgical or delayed treatment may be an option for adolescent ACL injuries that present a risk of growth plate injury.

Nonsurgical physical therapy recovery regimens can include activity limitations, progressively challenging rehabilitation exercises that increase stability, and the use of protective devices such as knee braces to support subsequent low impact activities. Your doctor can review the benefits and risk of all potential treatments.

A comprehensive plan of prescribed exercises is designed to reduce tissue inflammation, aid in the healing process and improve knee function. A medical professional will closely monitor changes in knee strength, range of motion, balance and stability. These multi-month rehabilitation regimens chart the successful progress of restored knee function and provide key measurements to assess what, if any, additional treatment is needed to achieve a positive outcome.

The goal of a non-surgical rehabilitation program is to foster improved knee functionality and stability that protects the region and reduces the likelihood of recurrence. All treatment plans consider the potential for recurrence, the long-term health of your knee, and potential for joint damage or disease.

The team of knee specialists at Advanced Orthopedic can help assess your condition and provide you with the information you need to choose the best treatment option for your ACL tear.

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Dr. Andrew Motz is a Colorado native and one of the most respected orthopedic surgeons in the region…