Orthopedics

Patient Education for Orthopedic Health

For more than 90 years, Baptist Health has been delivering quality healthcare to the citizens of Arkansas. As part of our mission, we are committed to promoting health education like the resources found below. For even more comprehensive health education visit our health encyclopedia.

Exercise Videos for Joint Replacement

Total Hip Replacement Exercise Video

Exercise Video for Total Knee Replacement

Quizzes and Other Patient Information

Quiz: What Causes Back Pain?

You probably take your back for granted until it starts to hurt. Think about it, your back is a part of your body that's in nearly constant use. Whether you're sitting, standing or moving, your back and its muscles are providing support all day, every day. Test your knowledge of the back by taking this quiz.
Take the back pain quiz

Back Exercise for Flexibility

The back press exercise strengthens your abdominal muscles and improves spinal flexibility. Follow these steps to perform a back press:
  • Begin on all fours with your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Keep your back straight and your neck in its natural position
    Cartoon of woman in all-fours position
  • Press your back upward by tightening the muscles of your abdomen and buttocks. The top of your back will be rounded and your stomach area will be tight (imagine a Halloween cat with its back "up).
    Cartoon of woman doing back stretch
  • Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat the exercise five times.

Taking Care of Arthritis Flares

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks connective tissues and damages joints. Throughout the course of RA, episodes of worsening pain, stiffness and swelling - called flares of the disease - may occur. If they're not treated, they can eventually lead to a lack of mobility and debilitating pain.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your physician may offer these suggestions:
  • Balance periods of activity with periods of rest. Getting more rest during a flare can relieve symptoms, but you still should put your joints through their full range of motion to keep them from freezing up or becoming stiff. The Arthritis Foundation offers a Program for Better Living Series that starts you on an exercise program and help you manage your condition.
  • Spend time doing relaxation exercises. Find those that work best for you and practice the techniques so you're ready to use them when needed.
  • When you're still, but not experiencing a flare, wrap a towel around a hot water bottle or a hot pack and place it on the painful area.
  • Apply a cold pack to the painful area during the flare. Cold numbs tissues and reduces inflammation and swelling.
  • Ask if you can take an over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen, to relieve pain.

Preventing an ACL Injury

The knee is a joint where three main bones join: the femur (thigh bone); the tibia (shin bone); and the patella (knee cap). Several ligaments attach to the femur and tibia and give the joint strength and stability. One of these, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), is in the center of the knee and limits rotation and the forward movement of the tibia.
The ACL is most often stretched or torn by a sudden twisting motion — for example, your feet are planted one way and your knees are turned another. Many ACL injuries can be prevented if the muscles that surround the knees are strong and flexible.
The following training tips can reduce the risk of an ACL injury:
  • Train and condition year round.
  • Practice proper landing technique after jumps. This involves bending your knees to absorb the force and keeping them in line with your feet.
  • When you pivot, crouch and bend at the knees and hips. This reduces stress on the ACL.
  • Strengthen your hamstring and quadriceps muscles. The hamstring muscle is at the back of the thigh; the quadriceps muscle is at the front. The muscles work together to bend or straighten the leg. Strengthening both muscles can better protect the leg against knee injuries.

What is a Pinched Nerve?

You may not realize that some common conditions are the result of a pinched nerve. A system of nerves spreads throughout the body, so a pinched nerve can occur anywhere along the course of the nervous system. For instance, nerves run from the shoulders to the hands, down the legs, from the pelvis to the knee and from the buttocks down each leg. Symptoms of a pinched nerve may not occur at the actual location where the nerve is compressed, but rather in an area some distance away. A burning feeling in your arm may actually be caused by a pinched nerve in the neck. Tingling toes may signify a pinched nerve somewhere in the back.
You may not be able to gauge the severity of the problem by the severity of your symptoms. Sometimes a symptom may go away so it seems like the problem is gone. It may, however, mean that the nerve has actually become compressed completely so the nerve can't function at all. Lack of nerve function may lead to loss of muscle function.
If a pinched nerve is left untreated permanent damage to the area beyond the pinched nerve may result. If you have symptoms of pain, burning, tingling or numbness, or if you are experiencing muscle weakness, consult your physician.
Self-care measures you can take include:
  • Applying ice to the affected area.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Check with your physician to make sure it's safe for you to use these over-the-counter medications.
  • Using a splint to immobilize the wrist if you have carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms; wrist splints can be purchased at a pharmacy or other retail stores.

What is Scoliosis?

Sometimes the spine bends from side to side in an unnatural "C" or "S" shape called scoliosis.
Just two percent to three percent of us have scoliosis, says the National Scoliosis Foundation. Still, scoliosis worries parents because it can severely affect some children. Experts aren't sure what causes most types of scoliosis, but if anyone in your family has it, your child has a 20 percent chance of developing it.
Scoliosis usually appears during preadolescence or adolescence and is more common in girls than boys. Experts say it may have something to do with the major growth spurt that occurs during this period.
A three year span in puberty worries doctors most, since the curve can worsen up to 25 degrees a year. As growth ends scoliosis stops worsening.