ACL Injury

The bone structure of the knee joint is formed by the femur, the tibia, and the patella. The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia.

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Rotator Cuff Tears

There are a few options for repairing rotator cuff tears. Advancements in surgical techniques for rotator cuff repair include less invasive procedures. Talk to an orthopaedic surgeon to decide what option is best for you.

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Understanding Meniscus Tears

Menisci tear in different ways. Tears are noted by how they look, as well as where the tear occurs in the meniscus. Common tears include longitudinal, parrot-beak, flap, bucket handle, and mixed/complex.

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Orthopaedic Surgery FAQ

Dr. William Meszaros of Arizona Performance Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics values patient education, and feels that patients may achieve more positive and predictable outcomes through a greater understanding about their particular diagnosis and treatment options. Continue reading to learn more about orthopaedic surgery, sports medicine, arthritis, and more.

  1. What is an Orthopaedic Surgeon?
  2. What is arthritis, and how does it affect the musculoskeletal system?
  3. How are Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics related?
  4. What are the most common reasons patients visit an orthopaedic surgeon?
  5. What are Dr. Meszaros’ orthopaedic specialties?

1. What is an Orthopaedic Surgeon?

Orthopaedic surgeons deal with problems affecting the musculoskeletal system. This includes muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone conditions. Orthopaedic surgeons most commonly deal with weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, and knees, along with joints utilized in athletic activity, like the shoulders and elbows. Orthopaedic surgeons also care for patients with hand, wrist, foot, and ankle conditions that make movements painful and difficult.

Learn about Dr. Meszaros’ orthopaedic specialties »

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2. What is arthritis, and how does it affect the musculoskeletal system?

Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that wears away at the joint's protective cartilage. Though not everyone develops arthritis, many commonplace activities can put patients at risk of developing the condition. Injured athletes who forego treatment are at a heightened risk, as well as any patient who has previously experienced trauma to a joint. As the protective cartilage is worn away through wear-and-tear, friction begins acting on the articulating bones, causing them to wear away against one another. Over time, pain may progress and become more severe, limiting the patient's routine activities. Arthritis has a strong impact on health-related quality of life, and may keep patients from enjoying the activities they love.

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3. How are Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics related?

Sports medicine is an orthopaedic subspecialty focusing on the treatment of athletes' musculoskeletal conditions. The most common injuries treated in sports medicine include meniscus and ACL tears of the knee, rotator cuff tears of the shoulder, and tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis. These injuries commonly occur during athletic activity due to excessive stress placed on the affected joint's supporting structures.

As with most musculoskeletal disorders, sports injuries are often best treated conservatively, including physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises, pain medications (over-the-counter NSAIDs, like Tylenol or Celebrex, as well as prescription pain medications), steroid injections into the joint, and activity modification. These treatments minimize pain and other symptoms by reducing inflammation, strengthening the supporting muscles and ligaments, and avoiding movements that make pain worse.

Some patients may not see favorable results with conservative treatments, and may require surgery to alleviate pain and restore joint functioning. In these cases, arthroscopic surgery is typically recommended for its minimally invasive benefits, including:

  • Less post-operative downtime
  • Less blood loss during surgery
  • Less noticeable, more aesthetic scarring
  • Quicker return to previous levels of activity

Because of the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, patients are often able to return home the day of surgery, and many return to the playing field within a number of weeks.

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4. What are the most common reasons patients visit an orthopaedic surgeon?

Sports injuries (including ACL, meniscus, and rotator cuff tears and tennis elbow mentioned previously) are some of the most common conditions orthopaedic doctors treat. Additionally, arthritis affects approximately 50 million Americans, or one in every five adults. Arthritis can arise from previous orthopaedic problems, and causes significant pain and immobility when left untreated. Patients with joint pain are urged to speak schedule an appointment with Dr. Meszaros, as more benign injuries can later develop into painful arthritic degeneration.

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5. What are Dr. Meszaros' orthopaedic specialties?

Dr. Meszaros is a Board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty training in Sports Medicine. Throughout his training and career, Dr. Meszaros has been involved in the care of many high-profile sports teams, including the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, the San Diego Padres, and many high school football teams. Dr. Meszaros specializes in shoulder and knee injuries, though he also treats most sports-related injuries of the hand, wrist, elbow, hip, and ankle. To speak with Dr. Meszaros about joint pain treatment, schedule an appointment at his offices in Gilbert, AZ for an orthopaedic consultation.

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