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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.

Osteoporosis, Bone Health

Do you know how to protect your spine from osteoporosis?

Questions you should be asking (and the answers from an expert!)

When do adult bones start to weaken and become susceptible to osteoporosis? Who is most likely to get it? What are the symptoms? What can be done to prevent it?

No matter your age, knowing the answers to these questions is a great start to helping you prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. We talked with Advanced Orthopedic surgeon and bone health specialist Dr. Cary Motz. to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about preventing osteoporosis. His team, including Angie Waller, PA and Brooke Shankar, PA, run the Bone Health Clinic at Advanced Orthopedics.

What is osteoporosis?

The team means “porous bones,” and the disease causes a reduction in the density of bone tissue – essentially bone loss – which often results in fractures. Small spine fractures, called compression fractures, can lead to curvature of the spine and pain, and larger fractures like a hip break can be devastating.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

You may have heard it called the ‘silent disease’ because often there are few or no symptoms early on. Even small spine fractures – called compression fractures – often occur without pain. But over time, loss of bone density and compression fractures can have a significant impact on your spine, resulting in reduced range of motion, severe pain, loss of height, and a curved spine. All of these symptoms can wreak havoc on an active lifestyle.

What causes osteoporosis?

One of the most common causes of osteoporosis is reduction of hormones – specifically estrogen in women and androgen in men. This happens as we age and as menopause sets in for women. But other factors like lack of exercise, smoking, a lack of calcium in the diet and even heredity, can be contributing factors.

Who is at risk?

Osteoporosis is very common, affecting more than 10 million Americans, and it disproportionally impacts women, in particular those over 60. It is estimated that one in every two women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, as will one in four men over the age of 50. So guys – it’s not something you should not ignore.

When should I take preventative measures?

It’s never too soon to be active in your health management and practice good bone health. Our bones are at their strongest right around age 30 – after we are done growing but before we start to experience any loss of bone density. From that point on, some bone loss is inevitable, but you may be able to impact how much. Part of being active in your health is practicing prevention whenever possible. Here are five simple things you can do at any age:

  1. Build bone mass while you are young! If you are younger than 30 – or have kids – it’s building time! The international osteoporosis foundation estimates a 10% increase of peak bone mass in children reduces the risk of an osteoporotic fracture during adult life by 50%!
  2. Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. This is easy to do by eating fortified dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. If you are dairy free, consider a supplement with calcium and vitamin D, which aids absorption.
  3. Be Active! Studies show that those who regularly participate in weight-bearing activities build stronger bones and are less prone to osteoporosis.
  4. Avoid smoking and heavy drinking: Besides being terrible for you in general, both smoking and heavy drinking limit your body’s ability to maintain bone mass, which happens continuously in healthy adults. Slowing or stopping this process leads to osteoporosis.

If you have risk factors or have had a fracture, it’s definitely time to get in for a diagnosis. Osteoporosis can be diagnosed with 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

Osteoporosis can be devastating to an active adult, and it’s incredibly prevalent among older adults and especially women. It’s also preventable and a little information can go a long way to keeping you fracture free and active in every decade of life.

Start taking control of your bone health by ensuring you are getting enough calcium, maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle, and getting a bone health evaluation if you are over age 50. Our spine and bone health specialists are here to help you #BeActive! 

Bone Clinic

Specialized Bone Health Clinic Has Seen a 50% Increase in Osteoporosis Evaluations in the Past Year

DENVER – Oct 23, 2019 – Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists marked its first anniversary of service to the Colorado community for its specialized Bone Health Clinic this month. Osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually – that’s one every three seconds. The specialized clinic provides osteoporosis management programs, tailored to each individual patient, and is home to three certified specialists who are committed to help the region change these trends:

“As one of the top orthopedic practices in the Rockies, we are committed to bone health and the management of osteoporosis,” said Dr. Motz. “Osteoporosis – and the fractures that come from it – are preventable and treatable. Colorado’s active population need not be impacted at the alarming national osteoporosis rate, but, because there typically are no symptoms in the early stages, it’s important to be evaluated.”

As people age, they lose bone density and bones become weaker. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that half of women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. And data shows that after experiencing a fracture due to osteoporosis, people are 86% more likely to have another fracture in the next year.

As Coloradans continue to be more active in their senior years, they need modern resources to support their healthy, active lifestyles. The bone health specialists at Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists provide bone health evaluations and a variety of treatment options that help patients live full and active lives without the interruption of fractures or osteoporosis.

About Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Specialists

The premier orthopedic practice for Coloradans who love to be active, Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Specialists is home to top doctors in their fields of expertise. The team educates, prepares and supports patients from diagnosis through recovery and offers a full continuum of care – from physical therapy to non-surgical options to advanced surgery – for orthopedic injuries and conditions ranging from knees, hips, shoulders, backs, hands and feet. Learn more at advancedortho.org/ or facebook.com/AdvancedOrthoColorado.