Orthopaedic Associates Articles

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Orthopaedic Associates Bike Fit Evaluation Program

July 8, 2022

It’s the best time of year for bikers. However, in order to get the maximum benefits from your warm-weather rides, you need to ensure a proper fit with your bike. Not only will a proper bike fit provide better comfort and offer you more endurance, it will also mitigate repetitive stress injuries as well as the risk of neck, wrist, back and knee pain. 

That’s why all of us at Orthopaedic Associates are excited to offer a new, exciting program designed to help bikers reap the benefits of a proper bike fit.

Bike Fit Evaluation Program

Orthopaedic Associates' new program provides the expertise of a physical therapist and trained professional bike fitter to keep you and your bike in motion all summer.  

Ann Farley—PT, DPT, CSCS, and Serotta Certified Level II Professional bike fitter—will complete a thorough examination of your flexibility, strength, and alignment both on and off of your bike. That includes an evidenced-based examination of cleat positioning and shoe size, joint angles, and mechanical positioning of the saddle, handlebars, and rider. 

This examination and evaluation will provide each biker with a custom bike fit designed to help them meet their cycling goals.

Who Should Get a Bike Fit?

This program offers benefits to bikers of all ages and fitness levels, and works with all models of bicycles.

Whether you are a recreational rider, triathlete, or serious competitive rider, your bike must fit you to achieve optimal comfort, performance, and to promote long term practice of the sport you love. So the short answer is: everyone should get a bike fit.

How Does It Work?

We offer three separate tiers in our Bike Fit Evaluation Program. All evaluations are completed out of our Hermantown location. Bikers should bring their bike, bike shorts, socks and their cycling shoes with them.

 

Tier 1 — Biker Evaluation

  • Off-bike physical therapy evaluation
  • Initial cleat evaluation to determine appropriate cleat size, and asses calcaneal positioning
  • On-bike evaluation of cycling mechanics utilizing slow-motion video capture
  • Home program recommendations based on evaluation, including recommendations to improve cycling biomechanics
  • Recommendation to a Tier 2 evaluation if appropriate or necessary.  

Tier 1 is billed through insurance, depending on your carrier and plan.

Tier 2 — Mechanical Bike Fit Evaluation and Adjustment 

  • Saddle fore and aft adjustments
  • Saddle height adjustments
  • Saddle width assessment
  • Frame stack and reach measurements
  • Saddle x-y measurements  
  • Pelvic positioning 
  • Pedal stroke path assessment
  • Stem length, angle, height and handlebar width and angle modification and assessment
  • Cycling shoe shimming and wedging for improved positioning, power, and peddle path 
  • Orthotic Recommendations
  • Before and after video analysis of riding position 
  • Parts referral if appropriate or necessary

Tier 2 is cash pay -- 1.5 hours for $150

Tier 3 — Optional Follow-up

  • Final fit adjustments following two weeks of riding.

Tier 3 is cash pay -- 45 minutes for $75

**Please ensure that your bike is clean, and in mechanically working order prior to your fit.

Call 218-336-7676 to schedule your bike fit evaluation today! 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here to Provide a Better Move for Motion

June 14, 2022

Here to Provide a Better Move for Motion

Here at Orthopaedic Associates, we understand that the health and safety of those you love and care about most is always at the heart of your decision making. Our team also wholly values a family focused mindset, and not only want patients to take our word for it, but we also want every patient to see and feel us put this value into action - building confidence that you are in the best hands. Because your family needs the best in order to continue doing what they love.

Due to this, we are taking steps every day to ensure we are a better move for motion - for you, for your spouse, for your children, for your parents, and for everyone else you love. Here are just a few ways we are proud to continually exceed your expectations, helping you to live in motion: 
 

Prompt Scheduling 
When someone you care about is in pain, even a timely response back from your care team can feel like an eternity. Communication is one of our top priorities, making sure you hear back from a member of our team with a scheduled appointment within 24 hours. This allows the journey to recovery to start faster. We will also be providing 24/7 self scheduling soon! Stay tuned for more updates on that.


 

Surgeon Care from the very Start 
We believe that better care starts with the best. That is why patients at Orthopaedic Associates receive expert care as soon as they walk through our doors, being able to see a surgeon from their very first visit. From there we decide the best course of action - in order to get you and your family back to doing what you love. 


 

No Referral Necessary
The road to recovery should be easy to begin, which is why no referral is needed for an appointment with one of our surgeons. Simply fill out our contact form located at https://www.oaduluth.com/contact.php, or call the office at (218) 722-5513 to set up an appointment! 




Experienced Expert Surgeons and Team
Setting the standard in orthopaedic care, our team is the best in the region and are dedicated to working with each individual patient - getting them back to a full range of living. Everyone in our offices work together. Surgeons, physician assistants, our therapy teams, athletic trainers, and staff strive to create the best possible experience and outcomes for each and every patient. 

 

On-Site Physical and Occupational Therapy
Our compassionate physical and occupational therapists work alongside our surgeons to provide a team approach to patient care - allowing us to provide customized treatments plans and get you back to normal tasks and hobbies faster. Our therapists have extensive education in the areas of orthopedics, manual therapy, sports rehab, and injury prevention - all cultivating the best possible recovery. 
 

Locations Across the Region 
We are proud to offer a wide range of orthopaedic care, physical and occupational therapy, and on-site MRI and X-ray imaging services at our main office in Duluth. However, we also offer various locations throughout the area for the convenience of our patients.

We have a clinic in Hibbing, MN and a therapy clinic in Hermantown, as well as the ability to offer surgical procedures at facilities in Duluth, Grand Rapids, Moose Lake, Hibbing, Grand Rapids, International Falls, and Grantsburg, WI. 

With many visits not requiring surgery, our physicians are also able to regularly see patients at outreach clinics throughout the region including Virginia, Mt. Iron, Two Harbors, Sandstone, and Ely. Offering hometown care is important to us, because we know it is important to those we help every day. 

By providing these opportunities for your healthcare, Orthopaedic Associate allows you to take the lead on making decisions for those you love and care about most - so that you can continue to make memories, stay active, and continue your passions. If you are ready to make a better move for motion, schedule an appointment! 

 

 

Preparing for a Successful Race Season

May 9, 2022

The snow is gone and we can finally see dry(ish) ground on our roads, sidewalks, and trails. This means one thing for many Duluth athletes - it’s race season! 

While many may have already been braving the cold and slush for the love of their sport, most Midwesterners are getting ready to finally bust out the new shoes and hit the pavement to start training for upcoming 5ks, marathons, bike races, and other competitions scheduled for the season.

Feeling prepared is the number one concern for most athletes, so we have gathered a few tips to follow to help you put your best foot forward in any upcoming race you’ve signed up for. 

Set up a Routine 

To enter a race confidently, a consistent training plan is key. This doesn’t mean pushing yourself to the max every day. Instead, create a plan that fits your goals and will benefit your body and mind to perform to the best of your ability come race day. 

There are a plethora of resources and training schedules online designed for everyone from beginners to intermediate athletes. Amongst these, you can find a plan that matches the time frame you have until your race, allowing you to steadily and healthily build up your speed and progression to meet your goals. If you work better with a trainer, many local gyms also offer training sessions, schedules, and strategies to help you succeed. Work better in a group (we highly recommend this option!)? Find a local running, biking, or workout group to join - keeping you accountable and motivated along your training journey. 

Switch it up for Well-Rounded Training 

Most (if not all) good training routines incorporate a multitude of different types of exercises for the entire body. We all know that come race day you will want to be at the top of your aerobic capacity (how well your lungs and heart can get oxygen to your muscles). Building up this endurance and exercise tolerance takes time and patience as you gradually and continually increase your speed and duration of activity.

However, aerobic and cardiovascular capacity is not the only thing to think about when training. Strength training is highly beneficial in order to see progress and to avoid pain. It keeps your body aligned and functioning the way it is supposed to. When it comes to strength training, you may think you can skip your lower body since you are using your legs in other workouts, however this is not the case. Lower body is just as important to focus on as upper body or core strength to limit unalignment and injury. 

While you are incorporating additional body movements into your routine, let’s add dynamic stretches into the mix. Flexibility and mobility exercises are a perfect way to maintain, and even strengthen, the health of your muscles, joints, and tendons. These are great to do at the beginning or end of your workout to warm up or cool down your body. We recommend lunges with rotations as well as other lower body focused stretches to prepare your legs for a long jog or brisk sprint. 

Warm Up and Cool Down

This is a good place to speak about the importance of warming up and cooling down while training. 

Warming up before a workout helps to gradually increase the body’s temperature and blood flow to your muscles, preparing them for exercise and reducing the risk of unnecessary stress or injury. Start by practicing some dynamic movements to elongate muscles and increase joint range of motion, as well as beginning any activity slowly and gradually building up your pace or intensity. In addition to improving performance, warming up also benefits mental preparation by allowing your brain to become more focused on your body and the activity it is about to perform. This focus can improve coordination and technique. 

Cooling down allows your body to transition from exercising to a state of rest by gradually reducing your body temperature, heart rate, and breathing. It also helps prevent muscle soreness. Think of this as your warm up, but backwards. Begin to ease down, tapering off to a slow jog or walking pace. Also incorporate static stretches, holding each stretch in a challenging, but not painful position for 15-60 seconds. 

Invest in Proper Footwear 

Training puts many many miles on your feet, so you want to make sure they are taken care of with the right fitting footwear. Find a quality pair of shoes that fit properly, are supportive, absorb force, and have good ankle support. It is also important to make sure they feel comfortable for your foot type and will not cause blisters. Tip: there are a few athletic shoe retailers in the Duluth area that are happy to help make sure you are purchasing the correct shoe for the build of your foot. We suggest checking out Austin Jarrow, Duluth Running Company, or Tortoise and Hare Footware. Not only will a good pair of shoes help your feet, but they will also benefit your hips and back in avoiding pain and injury. 

Ensure you are running correctly

You learned to walk as a young child, so you should be able to know how to run, right? Not always. We often form bad habits or are not optimizing good form. Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth offers complete comprehensive running evaluations, which include a formal physical therapy evaluation and a running form assessment. Assessments are designed to analyze a runner's performance in order to help provide and create personalized running plans - helping you more efficiently and effectively reach your goals. 

Maintain a Healthy Diet

In order to keep up with a training routine, it is important to refuel your body appropriately. Eat about 40-60g of carbohydrates per hour during training and replenishing with at least 25g of protein and carbs after. It can also be beneficial to cut back on alcohol consumption and processed sugars, keeping in mind to increase whole fresh foods. Staying hydrated is also important before, after, and during training sessions.


Know When to Seek Help

If you are experiencing lasting pain while training, reach out to your healthcare provider or a specialized member of our team and schedule an appointment to ensure you are not straining any muscles, joints, or other parts of your body to injury or serious damage. We can also help figure out a treatment or supplemented workout plan to get you back on track with your goals, or if needed, new goals. Contact our team at (218) 722-5513 or fill out the contact form at https://oaduluth.com/contact.php with any questions, concerns, or to set up an appointment. 

By following these tips and recommendations, you will be geared up and ready for a confident, injury-free, and successful race season! We are cheering for you every step of the way

Supporting our Neighbors through the Chester Bowl Improvement Club

February 8, 2022

Here at Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth we are committed to helping the members within our communities live in motion, not only after an injury but within their daily, healthy lives as well. 

We are proud to offer various classes that teach how to be active in ways that will not hurt your body, take part in community events to get to know our neighbors, and by being able to provide support to causes we stand behind. 

One of these causes we are passionate about and want to share with you is Growing up Chester. 

Growing up Chester is a nonprofit organization that works to promote sustainable, quality programs for all users of Duluth’s Chester Bowl Park, in a healthy, positive and safe environment. Chester Bowl keeps our communities active by providing winter ski and snowboard programs, as well as summer day camps at affordable rates. Believing that anyone interested in skiing or snowboarding should be able to regardless of income, Chester Bowl awards scholarships, free lessons, and inexpensive concessions year after year.

This year, we were thrilled to contribute a $30,000 donation during Chester Bowl’s 2022 inaugural race held on Sunday, February 6. During this event, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth, 93 skiers and snowboarders aged 3 to 16 took to the slopes. This year was especially inspirational for young athletes with the start of the Winter Olympics - many envisioning themselves getting to the medal podium in future years. 

We were so pleased to be able to help and to have presented this gift during such a meaningful event, with the hope of continuation of development and expansion of programs and infrastructure - impacting families within our community for years to come. 

Currently, the Chester Bowl Improvement Club is working towards expanding and updating the chalet, making it more ADA accessible and user friendly, as well as upgrading the HVAC facilities in order to make it a better year-round facility.

Many of our own doctors and staff have grown up or raised families in the Duluth area, and more specifically have spent time at Chester Bowl. We understand the huge role the park plays on the lives of those who live here. It is a great space for the community to move outdoors - making memories, learning new things, and staying active and healthy in ways they enjoy.

 

 

Avoid Winter-Related Injuries this Season

January 18, 2022

Living here in the Northland, we can typically expect to enjoy winter conditions six to seven months out of our year. While we pride ourselves on being hardy and able to navigate our day to day life through the cold, snow, and ice - it is also important to make sure we are aware of potential injuries and take caution where we can. 

Watching out for ice and slippery walkways during the colder months may seem like common knowledge, however they lead to some of the most common winter injuries, bumps, and bruises, and even fractures.

Ice can be difficult to see at times, and can often be mistaken for pooled water or wet pavement. Take extra care and always watch your footing when pathways are not cleared or dry. Make sure the sidewalks, walkways, and driveway to your home are shoveled and clear of ice after each snow. You can also use de-icer or sand for the stubborn ice spots. This may be a tedious task, but ensures comfort and safety for you, your family, and visitors in the long run. 

Make sure to take your time and don’t strain yourself while shoveling or removing snow for risk of causing injury, while working to prevent injury. The repeated twisting and lifting of heavy snow can take a toll on the body, causing pulled or tightened muscles, fractures, and more. Use the correct shovel and lifting techniques to keep your body in line and avoid pain. If you are starting to feel sore or tired, take a break to stretch your muscles. The same tips go for removing snow and ice from your vehicle. Warm up your vehicle ahead of time, watch your footing, don’t overreach, and not rushing will make removal easier and reduce injury. 

When ice or snow does cause a fall, assess the situation and pain to determine the severity. Some falls can be minor, simply resulting in a bruise and slight soreness after the incident. Other injuries can be more intense, including broken or fractured wrists or hips from catching oneself, ankle twists and sprains, muscle strains, and back, spinal cord, or brain injuries. 

While anyone can suffer an injury caused by snow or ice, seniors and people who have previously had an injury are more at risk. 

Prevention and preparedness are the best methods to avoid slips and falls on winter days. There are quite a few actions you can take to limit the potential for accidents. 

  • Wear proper footwear for the conditions. You can also invest in Yaktrax or other traction cleat products used to grip and ease walking on ice. 
  • Use a walking pole or stick to help with balance.
  • Avoid long steps, keeping your stride short and slow. 

We emphasize the importance of removing snow build-up on walkways, however all that snow can be moved to one of our favorite winter activities - the sledding hill! Winter has some of the best seasonal activities and seeing how fast you can get down a hill on a sled is one of the best ways to bring out the child in all of us! 

That being said, safety measures should be taken during this wintertime adventure to ensure the hill stays fun! Did you know that 25,000 children are treated for sledding injuries in the United States each year? Head, neck, and abdominal injuries are the most common. 

There are many easy precautions to take when sledding. 

  • Wear a helmet. Ski helmets are ideal, but hockey or bike helmets also help.
  • Make sure your sled is high quality and in good condition. 
  • Use sleds correctly, never go head-first and follow weight/passenger guidelines. 
  • Make sure the hill is safe - away from roads, frozen bodies of water, and clear of obstacles. 
  • Have sledders walk up a side of the hill instead of the middle and always be aware of their surroundings. 

​​​​​​​Following these tips will reduce solo crashes as well as running into other people or objects. Also, always remember to wear proper outerwear to stay warm and free of frostbite while outside. 

For tips on avoiding winter sports-related injuries, check out our blog post from last winter here

Although some winter injuries may seem small or unnoticed at first, monitor how you are feeling after a fall or unpleasant incident in case issues arise later on. Injuries can range from mild to severe, for the more severe or pain that is not subsiding, reach out to our team for an appointment. Stay warm and safe this winter season! 

 

How Cold Weather Affects Joint Pain

December 14, 2021

Do you seem to know when colder weather is coming because you can “feel it in your bones”? Many patients experience flare-ups of joint pain at the start of the winter season. While there is no one explanation for this link between the change of temperature and joint pain, we do know of a few possible reasons why you may be feeling these effects. 

Barometric Pressure and Weather

Barometric pressure is the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere. This measurement changes constantly and is dependent on where the reading is taking place. Weather also changes with barometric pressure, meaning that the pressure reading will often fall before cold weather sets in. Aspects of the weather, including precipitation, humidity, and temperature are all at play here, making it difficult for scientists to be sure what exactly causes the additional pain. 

One theory is that when the cartilage that cushions the bones inside the joint is worn away, like for those with arthritis, nerves within the exposed bones feel the changes in barometric pressure. 

Another theory is that changes in barometric pressure can make tendons, muscles, and scar tissue expand and contract - creating pain in the joints. 

Dropping temperatures can also make the fluid inside of your joints thicker, making them feel stiffer. Joints may also stiffen up due to a lack of movement, which often happens when people stay indoors and are inactive due to colder weather. 

How to Ease Joint Pain

There are multiple methods that you can use to ease weather related joint pain. 

As the weather becomes colder, keep yourself warm by using electric blankets, wearing warm clothing and layering, keeping your house well heated, and making sure you are warming up your car before use. 

You can also help prevent your joints from swelling by wearing well-fitted gloves that keep fluid out and by wearing knee braces. To help relax muscles, apply heating pads to painful areas when necessary.

Trying to stay active will also help to reduce joint pain. Keep joints limber and strong by practicing a few stretches and gentle exercises like swimming or yoga every day. 

A doctor may also recommend taking pain medication. Consult with your doctor before taking any medications to ensure correct type and dosage. 

When to See a Doctor

Consult your physician if you experience unusual or new symptoms. These may include swelling, redness, or difficulty putting pressure on or using a joint. 

If you are unable to ease joint pain, contact our physical therapy team or your physician for alternative suggestions or treatments. 

National Physical Therapy Month

October 21, 2021

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and in celebration we would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness in regards to the benefits of physical therapy and the pride Orthopaedic Associates’ therapists have in the work they do and help they provide. 

 


Physical therapy helps patients get back to their active lifestyle after an injury or illness by assessing and diagnosing their physical deficits in combination with mechanical restrictions then putting together a personalized treatment approach in conjunction with working directly with a physician. Physical therapists aim to ease pain and help you move, function, and live better by working by your side through all stages of healing - from diagnosis through recovery. 

Patients may seek physical therapy for numerous reasons including; to relieve pain, to improve movement or ability, to rehab after a stroke, accident, or surgery, to prevent or recover from a sports injury, to manage a chronic illness, as well as many other health problems. People of all ages are proven to benefit from physical therapy. 

If a patient has a serious injury or illness, a physical therapist does not take the place of a doctor or surgeon, however they can work closely with other healthcare professionals to create and guide treatments to better outcomes. 



The therapists at Orthopaedic Associates enjoy getting to know each patient. Building that relationship and rapport is important so that they can learn what progress the patient wants to make and what kind of activities they want to get back to. 

During the first session, your physical therapist will examine and assess your needs by asking questions regarding pain or other symptoms, ability to move and do everyday tasks, as well as other medical history that is relevant. They will also administer a series of tests. Doing this helps to diagnose a condition, understand why you have the condition, and develop a treatment plan that works for you. 

At OAD, patients typically meet with their therapist and their surgeon at the first appointment. From there we can talk about the plan of care and what the expectation of the patient and OAD’s team is. 

Treatments could include guided stretches or exercises, massage, cold or heat therapy, practice with canes, walkers, or other items to help with movement and balance, or rehab to help learn the use of an artificial limb. A therapist will assess progress and adjust treatment when necessary. 



One advantage a patient will experience at Orthopaedic Associates is our offering of a one-on-one treatment approach. Patients will be generally seen from start to finish of treatment by one physical or occupational therapist - so that they aren't bounced around from one to the next. 

Another advantage is the direct access OAD therapists have with their physicians. This connection bridges the gaps where things could potentially slip through. It is important for patients to know that this connected loop does not get dropped and care team members are continually in communication. From day one the therapists are well aware of what occurred in surgery and can have that communication with the surgeon being literally steps away from each other. This communication goes both ways where if there is a question on the physician's end they can come speak with one of the physical therapists and vice versa. 

Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth has several specialized programs including a sports metrics program which works with athletes both in preventing injuries specifically with the ACL and preventing reinjury with the ACL. Another program is our return to sport testing which can be for any injury whether it is a lower or upper body injury to make sure the athlete is safe to return to their sport. We also offer a running assessment, which is also meant to prevent running injuries or can treat runners who have had an injury in the past and get them back to their love of running. 

Learn more about our team of therapists, each having extensive education in the areas of orthopedics, manual therapy, sports rehab, and injury prevention by visiting www.oaduluth.com/therapy.php. Please request an appointment if you feel your life and health would benefit from physical therapy. 

The Risk of Delaying a Total Knee Replacement

September 23, 2021

We understand the appeal you might see in putting off a surgery. Maybe your life is busy and you are waiting for a quieter time, maybe you have fears about the procedure or are concerned about the recovery process, or maybe you just haven’t made the time to call to schedule your appointment. Studies show that up to 90% of individuals who need a knee replacement wait too long, however delaying the procedure could deprive patients of a surgery’s full potential or cause greater pain. 

When a patient waits too long for a knee replacement, the osteoarthritis creates continued deformity of the knee joint. This causes the body to compensate and places additional stress and strain on other parts of the body. This compensation can affect your muscles and ligaments, skeletal system, hips, and even your good knee. 

Deterioration of function can also lead to the inability to be active, which can lead to additional problems due to weight gain, low endurance, cardiac conditions, or emotional health. This can also slow down the recovery process and can make post-operative procedures, like physical therapy, more challenging. 

As the joint deteriorates while delaying a total knee replacement, the overall replacement process can become more complicated. The surgeon will need to navigate the increased deformity of the joint while operating. This leads to a longer surgery, resulting in a higher risk of postoperative concerns including blood clots or infections. 

Patients who wait longer also do not tend to get as much function back after surgery as someone who had it sooner. A good indicator of expected motion after surgery is the mobility of the knee before replacement. 

While one reason patients put off a surgery is to postpone an unpleasant experience, by delaying you are ultimately dealing with chronic pain for a longer period of time, which affects your quality of life. As months or even years go on, you are also aging. With age comes longer and more difficult recovery times as well as other health issues that may affect a surgery. The younger and healthier a patient is at the time of surgery is typically a good indication of how well surgery and recovery will go. 

When hesitant to schedule a joint replacement surgery, remember that knee replacement is one of the most successful surgical procedures. At Orthopaedic Associates, we use cutting-edge, minimally invasive techniques in a comfortable setting with the best team in the region to ensure the best possible experience, recovery, and outcome. Learn more about our joint replacement services at www.oaduluth.com/joint-replacement-specialists.php

It is important to stay proactive when it comes to a total knee replacement. Make an appointment by calling (218) 722-5513 to consult your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon and talk about your best options to help you live in motion.