Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Category » Sports Injuries

Are You a Runner? Tendon Injuries To Avoid



http://www.kaganortho.comWith perfect weather finally here, Southwest Florida residents and winter visitors are happy to be outside taking advantage of cooler temperatures by going for a run or playing tennis. But a few precautions are in order to avoid injuring the Achilles tendon.

The Achilles tendon connects the two large muscles at the back of the calf to the heel of the foot. It’s most commonly injured during sports activities, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Runners are particularly prone to Achilles tendon injuries, especially if they over train or pick up speed and intensity too quickly. But you might be surprised to find that wearing high heels can also contribute to Achilles tendon-related complaints. Wearing high heels frequently puts stress on the tendon.

Prevention is the best way to avoid an injury to the Achilles tendon. Be sure to do regular exercises that stretch and strengthen the leg muscles and tendons. Wear good quality athletic shoes that fit well during sports activities. Avoid running uphill and don’t take on too much training too quickly Also remember, it’s never a good idea to exercise through pain.

If you do sustain an injury to your Achilles tendon, in most cases, it will heal with a little nonsurgical intervention –rest and elevate the ankle; apply ice packs and take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. But, if the pain and swelling are severe, or the tenderness persists, call the doctor as you could have a tear, which may require more intensive treatment, ranging from immobilization and rehabilitation to outpatient surgery.

Want to know more information about orthopedic-related conditions and treatments? Go to, or call our office at 239-936-6778 to schedule an appointment.

Shoulder Injuries – What to Expect



Football injuriesAs football season moves into full swing across the country, shoulder injuries are inevitable, whether players are NFL pros, college or high school athletes. Most of the time, injuries come from contact with another player as a result of a tackle, block or collision or fall to the ground. Even though players wear protective gear, rotator cuff injuries, sprains, strains, contusions and fractures are common shoulder injuries that can be sustained during the game or practice.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons describes the shoulder as several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow you to move your arm in a wide range of motion. Of course, this also makes the shoulder prone to injury.

But it’s not only football athletes who can suffer from a shoulder-related problem. The discomfort of bursitis, tendinitis or tendon tears, shoulder instability, impingement and osteoarthritis can affect anyone of any age or athletic ability.

If your shoulder is giving you chronic trouble, making it difficult to lift your arm or the pain wakes you up at night, don’t put off scheduling an evaluation to determine the cause and best treatment plan.

What can you expect during a consultation?

In addition to a physical exam, the doctor may order an X-ray or arthrogram, which involves injecting dye into the shoulder to help better visualize the joint and surrounding tissue. Sometimes, diagnostic imaging tests such as, CT Scan, ultrasound or MRI, may be required if the doctor wants to gain a more detailed picture of the anatomy, especially of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Arthroscopy, which uses a tiny video-camera to allow the doctor to see inside the joint, can be used for both diagnostic evaluation and surgical repair of the problem.

For more information about shoulder pain or other orthopedic injuries, go to or call the office at 239-936-6778 to schedule a consultation.

7 Tips To Staying Safe and Injury-Free While Cycling



shutterstock_116062120With Southwest Florida’s year-round sunshine, bicycling is a popular way to get exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Of course with the summer heat, it’s always wise to bike in early morning or early evening, to wear sunscreen and a hat, and to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Here are some excellent tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to help cyclists stay safe and avoid injuries, which can range from the minor cuts, bruises and sprains, to fractures and even head injuries. Don’t let an accident ruin your fun.

Purchase a bike that is the right size for your body. Some bike shops even offer a professional fitting for avid cyclists. Why is this important? A bike frame that is too large, or handlebars and seat heights that are not adjusted properly can make it hard to control the bike, which will increase your risk of injury. Don’t forget to keep your bike in good condition by checking the brakes, tires and gears regularly.

Wear a helmet, all the time. National statistics show that wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent. Buy a helmet that is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A good fitting helmet should be snug, which means it won’t slide forward, back or to the side. It should cover the top of your forehead and the chin strap should keep the helmet from rocking or moving in any direction.

Don’t overdo it. For many people, cycling can be a fast-paced sport. Be sure to pace yourself to avoid overuse injuries or even heatstroke in the summer. On long rides, be sure to bring water with you. Change positions occasionally to avoid putting too much pressure on one part of the body or straining muscles.

Follow the rules of the road. Cyclists riding on the street must follow the same traffic laws as drivers, including stopping at lights and stop signs, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding to pedestrians at a crosswalk and yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway. Ride defensively, be aware of your surroundings and be careful of uneven or slippery surfaces and riding next to parked cars.

Don’t text and bicycle. Avoid listening to music with head phones, talking on a cell phone or texting. Be careful of doing anything that will distract you.

Wear appropriate clothing, especially appropriate footwear. Flip flops or sandals may be popular in Florida, but could put your toes at risk should you fall off the bike. You may want to consider padded gloves and shorts for longer bike rides. Also be careful of loose clothing that could become entangled in the gears.

Lights are essential for night visibility. Make sure drivers can see you. Wear bright fluorescent colors, put rear reflects on the bike and have both tail lights and headlights that are visible from 500 feet away.

Sometimes injuries happen, despite the best precautions. If rest, ice, elevation and compression aren’t enough, call an orthopedic specialist for an evaluation. For more information go to or call 239-936-6778.

Running Injuries – How To Treat & Prevent Them



shutterstock_110884610Running is a popular exercise these days that offers many benefits, from physical fitness to cardiovascular health. But it also puts runners at risk for orthopedic injuries that can range from bothersome to debilitating. What are some of the most common concerns?

  • Shin splints (pain that runs down the front or inside of the lower leg)
  • Stress fractures (tiny cracks in the leg bone)
  • Achilles tendinitis (inflammation in the tendon that attaches the calf to the heel)
  • Muscle strains or tears (hamstrings, quadriceps, calf and groin muscles)
  • Illotibial band syndrome (inflammation of the ligament that runs from the knee to the hip)
  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot, from heel to toes)
  • Ankle sprains (stretching or tearing of the ligaments around the ankle)

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries for all sports, including running, says the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). A recent article in the New York Times reported on a NATA study that suggests “ankle injuries are often mistreated or not treated at all and should not be taken more seriously to prevent re-injury, prolonged discomfort, chronic ankle instability and greater risk of early arthritis in the ankle.”

How are ankle sprains best treated? The study recommends never walking on a sprained ankle or ignoring the pain. Instead, ice it right away.  Wrap the ankle in a compression bandage, prop it up and apply cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.  Go ahead and take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen, but wait a day or two to begin taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofens.  Initial swelling is part of the body’s healing process, but after 48 hours, you’ll want to prevent the swelling from getting any worse.

Although X-rays are typically taken at the ER or a doctor’s office, the study suggests that a medical professional can usually diagnose an ankle sprain based on guidelines such as deformity, swelling, tenderness and inability to bear weight. Once the initial acute phase is over, “functional rehab” is recommended to help prevent re-injury. That means doing exercises that help strengthen the ankle and improve balance and flexibility.

Here are some suggestions for runners to help prevent injuries of all kinds, including ankle sprains. Warm-up and stretch before going for a run. Vary your fitness routine so you’re not running every day. Select a course that has a flat, smooth surface (be careful of running on the beach and sidewalk, which are uneven) and wear appropriate athletic shoes that fit well and are made for running.

For more information about ankle sprains or other orthopedic-related injuries, go to or call Dr. John Kagan at 239.936.6778.

Don’t Let Your Golf Swing Limit Your Game: Tips For Avoiding Common Golf-Related Injuries



shutterstock_3009221It’s not a surprise that golfing is one of the most popular sports in Southwest Florida. Top quality courses designed by all the pros, ranging from Arnold Palmer to Tom Fazio, are easy to find and enjoyable to play.

Most people think of golf as a relatively low-impact sport. But a variety of factors can contribute to shoulder and rotator cuff pain, low back pain, and injuries to the hand, wrist and elbow.

According to the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, one of the best steps you can take to reduce your risk of injury is to warm up slowly before stepping up to the tee. It’s also critical to follow proper body mechanics and learn good technique.  In addition, participating in regular exercise off the course can help you build core strength and keep muscles and joints more flexible.

The most injury prone aspect of golf is related to the swing and how you grip the club.  Avoid swing-related injuries with these suggestions from the Mayo Clinic.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, don’t strain your neck or back by hunching over the ball and distribute your weight equally on both feet.

Make sure your swing is smooth, easy and relaxed; don’t over-swing by trying to hit the ball too hard or too fast. Duffs, or hitting the ground during the swing, along with over-swinging and twisting the spine during the swing are very common – and a major reason for muscle and joint pain in the shoulders and back.

Shoulder and back injuries can also be related to lifting clubs out of the car, or carrying your bag improperly. Remember to use good body mechanics when lifting and carrying anything, including golf clubs.

Prevent grip injuries to the hand, wrist and elbow by selecting the correct club length and using a neutral rather than tight grip. Elbow pain is often related to overuse – don’t overdo it and strain the ligaments and joints. Like any sport, don’t play through pain or play too many days in a row without rest.

Minor aches and pains can be treated with cold or heat and topical creams, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.  If you have ongoing problems, consider taking lessons from a golf pro. But if you have serious muscle or joint pain, get an evaluation by an orthopedic specialist. For more information, go to or call 239-936-6778.

Summer, Baseball & Sports Injuries




shutterstock_51758455What could be more all-American than hot dogs and baseball in the summertime? We’re fortunate in the Fort Myers area to have our own home team, the Fort Myers Miracle playing at Hammond Stadium.

Summer is also a big time for Little League games. Whether your son or daughter is playing baseball on a Little League team or a professional athlete is playing ball for one of your favorite Major League teams, baseball is a sport that has the potential for injury.

It’s unlikely that your child would be at risk for the same level or intensity of injury that challenges professional ball players, like New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who broke his ankle in 2012 and continues to have problems with it, or Henley Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers who tore a ligament in his thumb and had to have surgery.

But STOP Sports Injuries, a safety and public awareness campaign organized by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, wants parents to know that injuries in young athletes are on the rise.

The most common Little League-related injury, says AOSSM, is a tear in the UCL, or ulnar collateral ligament, the ligament that stabilizes the elbow. Typically injury to the UCL is caused by overuse – “throwing too hard, too much, too early and without rest.”

What can you do as a parent to make sure your child’s summer is healthy and fun? Here are some tips from AOSSM. Be sure the coach rotates players so your son or daughter isn’t just pitching. Don’t allow your child to play despite pain or pitch on consecutive days.  And, be sure that the coach teaches players about both control and good mechanics.

Rest, ice and over-the-counter medications will most likely take care of the pain. But if not, examination by a physician and diagnostic tests, such as an X-ray or MRI might be needed. For expert advise, call Dr. John Kagan. Dr. Kagan offers more than 30 years of experience as a successful orthopedic surgeon offering both surgical and non-surgical treatments for sports injuries. For more information, go to

National Men’s Health Week




This Sunday, June 16, Dr. Kagan and staff will join families across the country in celebrating Father’s Day and thanking Dads – or other significant men in our lives, such as grandparents, step-fathers, uncles, teachersand mentors – for all they have done and continue to do for us.

This week, June 10-16, is also National Men’s Health Week and a perfect time to remind men to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, including eating healthy, exercising more, maintaining appropriate weight, not smoking and making sure they have an annual check-up with their physician.

Early detection is the key to preventing many illnesses and even has a role to play in greater awareness about orthopedic-related issues that affect men. As boomers push the boundaries for active, healthy aging, men of all ages are enjoying exercising, staying fit and participating in sports. This is a very positive trend, but at the same time, can put men at risk for sports-related overuse injuries that strain ligaments and tendons and stress joints and damage cartilage. Remind Dad to go easy on the joints and not ignore acute or chronic pain and tenderness.

Shoulder, hip and knee arthroscopic surgery are among the top 10 successful procedures in the U.S. every year. These procedures can be life-changing in reversing mobility and improving quality of life.

For more information about bone and joint health, visit

NBA Players At Risk For Torn Meniscus & Other Sports Injuries


Photograph: Bob Pearson/EPA

Photograph: Bob Pearson/EPA

Hardly a month goes by without news about a sports-related injury sidelining a professional athlete. In April, Russell Westbrook, a star point guard with the Oklahoma Thunder collided with a player from the Houston Rockets during the NBA playoffs, resulting in a torn meniscus that required surgery.

The same month, Danilo Gallinari of the Denver Nuggets tore his ACL when he landed awkwardly after going for a layup shot in a game against the Dallas Mavericks. And Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers has had ongoing problems with patellar tendinitis that finally resulted surgery on his left knee in April.

Knee injuries plague athletes in all sports, not just basketball. But the demands of basketball, including high and long jumps, as well as the need to accelerate, stop and turn abruptly – and the risk of collisions put players at high risk. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that the knee joint, which is the largest joint in the body, is one of the most easily damaged. Injuries typically fall into three categories – the ligaments that connect the knee joint to the bones of the legs are torn; the meniscus, the tough, rubbery cartilage that cushions the knee joint is ripped; or the kneecap is damaged.

For the average person who sustains a knee injury, a period of rest from the activity, medication and an injection may be all that is needed to alleviate the pain and mend the damage. But for professional athletes, who often repeatedly injury the same party of the body and may not give themselves adequate time for rehabilitation, a more aggressive course of treatment and surgery may required.

While the knee’s design can make it vulnerable to injury, so can muscle weakness and lack of flexibility, reports the Mayo Clinic. A fitness regimen that strengths the leg and pelvic muscles around the kneecap, hips and pelvis can help keep the knee joint more stable and balanced.

For more information about knee pain and treatment options, visit

Don’t Be a Weekend Warrior This Memorial Day



COPD_Home_Remedies_Slide_3This coming weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate Memorial Day with a weekend of social and recreational activities list. Whatever your plans are it’s important to remember not to overdo it physically and wind up with an injury.  A sedentary lifestyle with a burst of activity on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, falls into the category of weekend warrior.

Whether you’ll enjoy 18 holes of golf, an aggressive game of tennis with friends, showing the kids that you can still hold your own on the water skis, or tackling all the house and yard projects that you’ve put off for a while, a little common sense will prevent post-weekend musculoskeletal aches and pains – or worse.

According to the orthopedic experts at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “people with sports injuries—led by boomers—are now the No. 2 group coming into the doctor’s office, behind those complaining of a cold.”

The most common weekend warrior injuries fall into the following categories: 

Ankle sprain: Accidentally turning the foot inward can stretch or tear the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. It’s a common sports injury but can also result from just stepping down off something incorrectly.

Shin splints: Runners frequently experience shin splints, which causes pain down the front of the lower legs. In extreme cases, it could actually be a stress fracture, a tiny break in the shinbone.

Hamstring strain: The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of the thigh. Running, playing soccer, doing aerobics and similar activities can overstretch these muscles.

Tennis elbow: Repetitive use of the arm and elbow can inflame and irritate the tendon in the elbow, causing tiny tears in the tissue.  Tennis and golf players frequently complain about this injury, but it can also be a problem for painters, gardeners and carpenters.

Knee injuries: Knee injuries usually fall into three categories: ACL tear, meniscus tear and kneecap injury. An ACL tear means the anterior cruciate ligament is torn, sometimes the result of a quick stop that strains the ligament. A meniscus tear means the cartilage that cushions the bones in the knee joint is torn, while a kneecap or patellofemoral syndrome is caused by a repetitive movement of the kneecap against the thigh bone or femur, which irritates and inflames the tissue. Running, volleyball, basketball and activities that involve a lot of squatting like weight lifting and gardening can put the knees at risk.

In most cases, sports injuries can be relieved with ice and over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, as well as taking a break or rest from the activity until it’s healed. Knee injuries can be more serious and may need to be evaluated by the doctor.

For more information about musculoskeletal injuries and treatment, visit

Orthopedic Conditions Specific to Women




shutterstock_107013878 copyIn honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 12, Dr. John Kagan and his staff join families everywhere in recognizing and appreciating the vital role mothers play in our lives. It’s also the perfect time to discuss the type of orthopedic injuries that women are more at risk for than men, primarily due to biomechanical and structural differences.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, studies show women have a greater tendency to develop ACL injuries, patellofemoral pain syndrome,  also called runner’s knee, as well as stress fractures. In addition, women are at higher risk for hip fractures with advancing age. Here’s an overview of each of these conditions.

The ACL is a rubber-band like connecting tissue that attaches the bone in the upper leg (the femur) with the bone in the lower leg (the tibia). The ACL stabilizes the knee. Women athletes tend to have more ACL injuries primarily because they put greater stress on their knee due to several factors – their knees more frequently  “turn in” toward the body than men; women tend to jump and run with the feet in a more rigid position; and they bend their knees less when jumping and landing.

Patellofemoral pain in the knee usually occurs at the front of the knee, with women complaining of burning or aching especially when bending, squatting, running or climbing stairs. Like ACL pain, this condition is also related to structural differences in women’s bodies, such as greater pelvis width and muscle imbalances or misalignment.

Stress fractures are usually related to overuse but may also be a consequence of poor bone density. The AAOS reports that a stress fracture occurs when the muscles become over-fatigued and transfer the stress to the bone, which can cause tiny cracks in the bone. Most stress fractures occur in the lower leg or foot. Athletic activities in which the foot continually strikes the ground, such as running, tennis, basketball and gymnastics place women at higher risk for stress fractures.

Hip fractures are a serious concern for the elderly, in particular women age 80 and over. According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause can accelerate bone loss, increasing the risk of weak, brittle bones. Muscle mass also decreases with.

The best prevention for sports injuries is to avoid overdoing it. If pain develops, take a break from the activity and ice the injury.  If pain persists, call the doctor for an evaluation to prevent chronic, long-term problems. Proper training and strengthening exercises can be beneficial in correcting imbalances.

To keep bones healthy no matter what your age, the best prevention is to stay active, eat a healthy diet and continue to exercise appropriately.

For more information about orthopedic-related injuries and the treatment options, go to 

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