Orthopedic pain resonates from the musculoskeletal system (i.e., bones, joints, nerves, etc.). If you are suffering from nagging orthopedic pain — even if you think it’s nothing — we’re here to tell you that it’s time to do something about it. That pain can have several causes from trauma to disease.

In this month’s Ask the Expert, Fredericksburg Orthopedic Associates answers common questions about orthopedic ailments. Their physicians are specially trained in advanced surgical procedures each performing a particular surgical expertise. Specialties include:

• arthroscopic surgery, including knee and shoulder reconstruction
• carpal tunnel repair
• neck and back pain
• shoulder surgery
• total joint replacement and revisions
• and more

In addition to medical and surgical expertise, Fredericksburg Orthopaedic Associates offers patients physical rehabilitation. Let’s learn more.


Tell us a little bit about Fredericksburg Orthopaedic Associates

Fredericksburg Orthopaedic Associates was formed in 1971. We have since grown to 11 doctors with subspecialty interests in general (including common childhood injuries), spine, total joints, sports, shoulder, hand, and foot & ankle and pain management. We also have five physician assistants, as well as three physical therapy locations to help us take better care of our patients.

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Our physical therapy locations are housed in the same building as our physicians. We work as a team to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. Our therapy professionals include physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, certified hand therapists, certified vestibular therapists as well as a certified lymphedema therapist.

We are proud to be consistently named one of Fredericksburg Parent’s Family Favorites, as well as Best of the ‘Burg Orthopedists and Northern Virginia Magazines Top Doctors for Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Interventional Pain Management.

Do I really need to be seen by a foot and ankle specialist after an ankle sprain?

“Yes,” says Michael Bowen DPM, AACFAS, fellowship trained, foot and ankle surgeon at Fredericksburg Orthopedic Associates “If untreated, a minor ankle sprain can turn into a long-term issue for the patient. The foot and ankle specialist will decide which treatment is best for the patient moving forward that would give them the best outcome.”

When should someone suffering from shoulder pain make an appointment?

injured armIf someone has constant pain for more than three to four weeks which is not relieved by NSAID’s like Motrin or Aleve, they should make an appointment to be seen by an orthopedic specialist. Also, after any traumatic event such as a fall. If they are unable to raise their arm after a minor injury they should be seen as soon as possible (a few days).

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a clinical diagnosis of pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. It can be caused by many things such as over use, genetics, trauma, or certain oncology drugs, as well as certain conditions like hypothyroidism. Symptoms may include hand and wrist swelling, numbness in the hand, weakness in grip, pain in the hand and/or nighttime pain in the hand or wrist.

How can I help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome? I’m on my computer all day for work; will this aggravate the problem?

Carpal tunnel is a pinched nerve in your wrist due to a thickened ligament. Avoiding bent positions of your wrist can be helpful. An ergonomic keyboard and taking vitamin B6 (100 mg daily) is protective. If it is waking you up at night, a night splint is also helpful. However, it is the number one hand problem we treat, and it tends to progress with time. Although cortisone injections can give temporary relief, the most effective treatment when the symptoms are bad enough is surgical release.

Once diagnosed, what are the treatment options?

Depending on the severity and duration of the symptoms options include:

  • Nighttime bracing and anti-inflammatories
  • Cortisone injection
  • Surgery

What is a hand therapist and what are the benefits to using one?

A hand therapist specializes in physical therapy for the hand and the wrist. People who have injuries or surgery on the hand or wrist typically require these therapists to help with the recovery process.

Certified hand therapists are specialized in treating upper extremity conditions including:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Sports injuries
  • Tennis elbow and other types of tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, thoracic outlet syndrome and other nerve entrapment disorders
  • Repetitive motion syndromes
  • Amputations
  • Burns and frostbite
  • Arthritis
  • Tendon and nerve injuries
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Complex regional pain syndrome RSD

Can we really injure ourselves using smartphones?

“Like with anything in life moderation is key,” says Ali R. Hashemi, M.D., general and pediatric hand & shoulder surgeon. “Having said that, I have never treated an upper extremity condition that resulted from excessive cell phone use.”

Do you have any advice for people who want to get healthier and more active, but find running or HIIT painful?

“Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise for numerous reasons. It is a very efficient form of human locomotion allowing coverage of long distances so riders can enjoy fresh air and please the senses aesthetically as they travel through country roads, mountains, farms and lakes. This relaxing and enjoyable form of exercise has a tremendous mental health benefit,” says Dr. David Zijerdi.

“Cycling has been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and various cancers. It enhances weight loss and increase the body’s metabolism even when off the bike. Moreover, cycling is a low impact sport. It benefits people with overuse injuries and minimize damage to arthritic joints while increasing muscular conditioning and strengthening joint cartilage.

“Whether you are a recreational athlete, runner, triathlete or just trying to get into shape, cycling is the best form of exercise given the tremendous physical and mental health benefits and minimal impact trauma to the joints.”

What’s Next?

Fredericksburg Orthopedic Associates wants you to get back to pain-free living. Using state-of-the-art technology, they deliver multi-specialty orthopedic, medical and surgical treatment for the following:

  • Arthroscopic Surgery
  • Carpal Tunnel Repair
  • Fractures
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Spine Surgery
  • Total Joint Replacement and Revisions
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Micro Hand Surgery
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Arthroscopic Knee and Shoulder Reconstruction

“If you are suffering from pain and limited mobility due to an orthopedic ailment or injury, it is time to regain your independence and return to an active lifestyle. Let us help you stop joint pain and get back to life!” – Fredericksburg Orthopedic Associates

We will be chatting live on Facebook with the doctors of Fredericksburg Orthopedic Associates later this month. Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts for details!

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