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Smart Living-West: Simple Steps to Avoid Long-Term Joint Pain

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Smart Living-West: Simple Steps to Avoid Long-Term Joint Pain

The need for orthopedic treatment affects people of all ages. While there’s a tendency to believe that arthritis, tendonitis and other afflictions of the joints are related to aging, the truth is that sports, traumatic injuries and everyday tasks can hurt us, too. The trick is to remain proactive.

Dr. Michael G. Kogan is a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon with Fox Valley Orthopedics in Algonquin. As the team physician for Jacobs High School since 1995, Kogan has seen evidence of injury in young people and suspects it’s tied to intense physical training.

“An 8- to 10-year-old who is focused on becoming a baseball pitcher may train year-round exclusively on pitching,” Kogan says. “This can lead to ligament injuries in their elbows or growth plate fractures in their shoulders.”

Prevention requires a balanced cross-training routine supplemented with periods of rest, Kogan adds. Otherwise, problems can appear early and carry throughout a person’s life.

“Children heal quickly, so it’s important to diagnose the condition early and treat it aggressively,” he says.

Of course, cross training, adequate physical conditioning and early, conscientious treatment of injuries can help active bodies of any age. Kogan routinely works with patients in their 50s, 60s and 70s who are experiencing arthritis and other problems brought on by earlier injuries. He encourages all patients to properly prepare for any sort of exercise.

However, injuries can sometimes happen despite the best preventions. When that’s the case, treatment begins with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, including cortisone injections when needed. If these do not alleviate the pain or relieve the stiffness, swelling or lack of flexibility, the next step may be surgery.

“Joint pain can be treated with arthrosopic surgery,” Kogan says. “This minimally invasive surgery is used to treat minor issues such as meniscus tears with tissue repair or removal.” ❚

Fox Valley Orthopedics has locations in Algonquin, Barrington, Elgin and Geneva. Call (630) 584-1400 to schedule an appointment.