Pain Relief Struggles: How Do Vices Affect My Orthopedic Health?


Pain relief from orthopedic conditions greatly depends on the body’s physical condition as a whole. This is why vices can have lasting negative effects on musculoskeletal health. But how exactly do these vices such as smoking, drinking, overeating or leading a sedentary lifestyle affect the way a person heals from orthopedic conditions?

How does smoking affect orthopedic health?

Smoking has been linked to a number of cancers, emphysema, heart disease, diabetes and strokes, among other illnesses. Smoking also increases the risk for osteoporosis as it weakens bones, reducing their blood supply and slowing their absorption of calcium. In addition, it breaks down the estrogen that bones need to stay strong and slows down the production of bone-forming cells. All together it amounts to weak and brittle bones. Based on this information, it is no surprise that studies have found that elderly smokers have a 30-40% greater chance of breaking their hip.

However, the consequences of smoking on orthopedic health don’t just apply in your golden years. Smokers, who are athletic in nature, are affected by shortness of breath and in turn, decreased oxygen delivery to the muscles. In addition, smoking weakens the muscles and joints, increasing the risk for bursitis, arthritis, tendinitis, injury, fractures and tears in tendons and ligaments.

How does drinking affect orthopedic health?

It was once believed that only alcoholics were at a greater risk for health consequences, but now it’s believed that binge drinkers are also susceptible. Alcohol has long been associated with liver disease, pancreatic cancer, heart problems and more. It has also been associated with orthopedic health conditions such as an increase in bone fractures, ultimately slowing down the process of bone healing, making those fractures more difficult from which to recover.

How does overeating and a sedentary lifestyle affect orthopedic health?

Smoking and drinking aren’t the only vices harmful to bone and spine health. If you’re seeking chronic pain relief and you live an inactive lifestyle, or you find yourself eating more than you should and gaining weight, it’s important to understand the correlation between those vices and your health. Weight issues coupled with a lack of exercise can greatly increase the risk of back pain. Inactivity combined with extra weight puts pressure and strain on your joints and spine, putting you at a greater risk for sciatica, herniated discs and pinched nerves.

These vices negatively affect bone and spine health, making chronic pain relief more difficult to achieve. Cutting out harmful vices such as smoking and drinking as well as getting into an active lifestyle will empower you to regain control of your orthopedic health. Take back your health and find your way to lasting pain relief!

Orthopedic Conditions: What is a Torn ACL?


Athletes and fitness fanatics alike are familiar with the phrase “torn ACL.” It is one of the more painful orthopedic conditions, and it usually affects athletes and those with an active lifestyle — but it can also strike those with less active daily lives.

What is the ACL?

In addition to bones and joints, the knee is held together by four principal ligaments that allow for flexibility, support and ease of movement. While all ligaments are important, the function of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) makes it the most vital and the most delicate. The ACL, which runs diagonally through the middle of the knee, provides stability in rotation for the knee and protects it from hyperextension. In other words, it keeps the knee stable and in place by preventing it from going farther in any one direction than it should.

What Happens When Your ACL Tears?

The ACL can be torn in a variety of ways. In sports, when the knee locks and pivots or twists at the same time, the ACL gets caught in the sudden motion and tears. This type of tear is common in high-impact sports such as basketball and football, as well as in fitness activities such as running and jogging. An ACL tear can also happen as a result of a major injury or accident, where the knee has taken a direct blow or has locked and twisted abnormally. Statistically, women are more prone to suffer from a torn ACL.

Torn ACL Symptoms and Treatment

As opposed to many other orthopedic conditions, a torn ACL is fairly easy to recognize. Most people who have suffered an ACL injury report hearing a pop of the knee at the moment of injury, followed by intense pain and gradual swelling. If left untreated, a torn ACL may cause complications that require long-term chronic pain management, which is why it’s important to see a specialist as soon as symptoms occur.

Treatment for an ACL injury greatly depends on the activity level of the person suffering the tear. For instance, someone who lives a less active lifestyle and has a minor tear may be able to heal with non-surgical treatment options, including pain medications, physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the knee and promote healing.

Those with a more active lifestyle, particularly athletes, may benefit best from arthroscopic surgery. This minimally invasive surgical procedure allows orthopedic specialists, who focus on this type of surgery, to reconstruct the ACL using a graft of tissue taken from the patient’s body. Prior to surgery, three weeks of rehabilitative therapy and exercise are recommended to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings. After surgery, pain medications and ongoing physical therapy are recommended to restore the knee’s range of movement. Recovery time for this kind of surgery is usually about six to nine months.

Orthopedic Conditions: What Causes Joint Pain?


Joints connect your bones, allowing for flexibility, mobility, and support. Because joints are an essential part of our daily activities, those who suffer from joint pain can experience a wide spectrum of pain throughout the day. Joint pain is one of the most common orthopedic conditions. It is often related to conditions like arthritis; however, there are many non-arthritic causes of joint pain such as gout, sprains and strains.

Common Causes of Joint Pain

As the population ages, joint-related orthopedic conditions become much more commonplace. This is due to the joints and surrounding bones, tendons, and ligaments wearing out or becoming affected by problems like gout, bursitis, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, which affects approximately 27 million Americans, is also known as degenerative joint disease. This condition occurs when the protective cartilage at the end of the bone has begun to wear out.

In addition to arthritis, those suffering from fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and, in some rare cases, bone cancer, are vulnerable to joint-related pain. Damage to joints and surrounding tissue can cause both short and long term problems, but age appears to be the primary reason for joint pain that requires chronic pain management.

Symptoms and Treatment for Joint Pain

The key symptoms of joint-related pain include joint swelling, redness, tenderness, warmth, stiffness in the joint, weakness, loss of range of motion in the joint, locking of the joint, and limping. These symptoms are often debilitating enough to necessitate help from an orthopedic specialist. One of the hallmark symptoms of arthritis is joint pain, generally caused by inflammation and erosion of the joints and cartilage between the bones.

Treatment options for joint pain depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Due to the variety of orthopedic conditions which can result in joint pain, it’s important for patients to be diagnosed properly in order to proceed with treatment. Treatment for these conditions can be immediate or part of a comprehensive chronic pain management plan. They may include one or more of the following:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Topical creams made specifically for arthritis pain and prescription muscle relaxers.
  • Physical therapy, which can help strengthen muscles around the joints and stabilize them.
  • Steroid injections can alleviate severe instances of joint pain, such as; arthritis, tendinitis, and other chronic conditions.
  • Lifestyle changes, especially exercise and weight loss, can help reduce joint pain in those who are overweight.
  • Other techniques such as heat, ice, rest, and glucosamine supplements can be helpful in reducing the joint-related pain.

Learn more about joint pain from some of the most knowledgeable orthopedic specialists available today at

Torn Meniscus Treatment 101: Facts from MISI


Athletes are not the only ones at risk of a torn meniscus; in fact, it can happen to anyone. Heavy lifting and age often play a factor in this type of injury, but it can be avoided. In order to prevent menisci tears, it’s important to first understand what a meniscus is and how this injury can occur.

What is a Meniscus?

The knees each have two c-shaped pieces of cartilage between the femur and the tibia. These pieces of cartilage, known as the menisci, serve as cushions and shock absorbers for your knees. The menisci works to distribute force evenly through the knee and help in the lubrication process by moving fluid around the knee.

Tearing of the menisci can occur when lifting, squatting or twisting the knee – often in sports. When the meniscus experiences trauma or force, it can tear in different ways, requiring a wide variety of options for torn meniscus treatment. Tears can range from minor to severe; severe tears are more likely to require surgical intervention for repair.

Torn Meniscus Symptoms and Treatment

You may experience a range of torn meniscus symptoms, depending on the severity of the injury. Minor tears will usually manifest in pain and swelling that, when treated properly, can go away in about 2-3 weeks. Depending on the location of the tear as well as the severity, it’s possible for a meniscus tear to heal on its own with proper rest and care.

Moderate and severe menisci tears tend to be far more painful and debilitating. If you have a moderate or severe tear, you may experience intense pain and increased swelling over a number of days. You may also experience a stiff knee that is hard to bend or straighten. In severe tears, the cartilage has moved out of place from the joint, making your knee lock, pop or catch. Severe tears will give you a feeling that your knee will give or that you’re not able to walk with stability. In those cases, surgery may be required as the primary option to repair or remove the damaged cartilage and prevent any more damage.

Surgery may also be necessary depending upon the location of the tear. If it’s located in the “red zone,” the area with the most blood flow, the tear may have a chance to heal on its own. However, a tear in the “white zone,” the non-vascular area of the cartilage, is usually beyond repair and needs to be removed. For more information about torn meniscus treatment options, visit the Minimally Invasive Orthopedic Relief website.

Ice or Heat for Back Pain Relief ?


If you’re one of many back pain sufferers, you’re probably familiar with the use of ice or heat for back pain relief. Two very common non-pharmaceutical treatments, heat and ice therapies have their own benefits. It’s important to figure out which is the right form of therapy for your condition.

Ice: Shocking the Muscles into Relief

Ice therapy is a common and effective method for reducing swelling and inflammation caused by lower back injuries, muscle sprains and conditions such as arthritis.

How does cold therapy help? The shock of the cold applied to the injured area causes the veins to contract, giving the muscles room to flex and become less inflamed. Combining ice therapy with heat is a great way to help the area recover faster. Doctors generally recommend ice therapy in three 10-15 minute increments a day for the first few days following an injury.

Heat: Blood and Oxygen Flow

Heat therapy can be a more effective method of lower back pain relief for those suffering from chronic lower back pain and back injuries. When applied, heat relaxes the veins, which has several effects on the injured area:

  1. It improves blood flow so nutrients and oxygen, necessary for the healing of tissue, can get to the injured area faster.
  2. The heat relaxes and soothes the muscles, reducing pain.
  3. The increased flow of oxygen and blood helps the body to eliminate cellular waste so the injured area can heal faster.

Heat is often used in combination with ice therapy for injuries to the lower back. However, it’s also an effective solo treatment for chronic back pain. Moist heat — showers, baths or moist warm towels — often works best for back pain relief, but heating pads and all-day heat packs can help alleviate pain throughout the day. Typical treatment lasts 15-20 minutes.

Long-lasting Pain Relief

Heat and cold therapies can be great for relieving back pain for minor injuries, but if the pain persists, you may need a more effective way to get the upper or lower back pain relief you need. If you’re experiencing chronic pain from arthritis, a degenerative disc or another back condition, talk to your doctor to find the right pain management plan for you.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery | What Does ACGME Fellowship-Trained Mean?

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When severe pain and chronic back problems force you to seek spine surgery, it can be easy to overlook aspects of your surgeon’s training and experience for quick relief. While we know it can be tempting to find any doctor experienced in minimally invasive spine surgery to entrust your back problems to, the truth is something as serious as spine surgery requires someone with the training and expertise to treat those issues safely and effectively. An ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) fellowship-trained spine surgeon is the ideal professional to treat your symptoms.


Why does ACGME fellowship training matter?

Some doctors choose to pursue fellowship training past their residency in order to become more specialized in their area of choice. While it means an additional year of school, that year prepares dedicated surgeons for the challenges of performing potentially life-altering procedures.

As a patient, you may not know that, while any qualified doctor can attempt to treat back pain, a spine surgeon with ACGME fellowship training has the knowledge necessary to not only locate the source of pain, but to treat it with greater accuracy and effectiveness. In fact, once fellowship training is over, in order to ensure their expertise in their chosen specialty, additional board exams are required.

ACGME fellowship-trained doctors are more informed about the latest technology and treatment options for your specific needs. A general practitioner may be able to give you a treatment plan for your pain or injury, but may not know enough about the specific area to identify newer and more effective treatments to implement.


What should you look for in fellowship-trained back doctors?

  • Find a doctor who is board eligible or board certified with ACGME fellowship training in spine surgery.
  • Find a doctor you are comfortable with. It doesn’t matter how highly recommended they are, if you do not feel comfortable with a doctor, it will not work. Being uncomfortable may prevent you from asking important questions regarding your condition and treatment.
  • Find a specialist with access to the latest technology and treatments available for your condition. Whether you suffer from chronic back pain or herniated discs, it’s important to err on the side of caution and find someone with access to all of the best possible equipment, medication and surgical treatments in the industry. That will give you the greatest chance for a fast recovery.
  • Look for a doctor working in a specialty practice. Chances are, if your doctor is fellowship trained in the spinal column and working in a practice specializing in that area, they treat patients with spinal problems exclusively. This means they will have a greater understanding of specific problem areas that you may need help with.


MISI specialists: Your minimally invasive spine surgery awaits

Every spine surgeon at MISI is fellowship-trained with specialties in orthopedic and spine care. They have been handpicked by MISI’s director, whose priority is to give patients access to the most highly qualified, highly educated and highly experienced medical professionals in their field. When you go to MISI in search of an ACGME fellowship-trained spine surgeon, you can rest easy knowing that you will receive only the best and most experienced in minimally invasive spine surgery.

A surgeon with the right level of expertise should treat your debilitating pain. Call MISI today at (855) 339-4481 to set up your appointment with an ACGME fellowship-trained specialist and get yourself on the road to recovery.

Common Baseball Injuries | Treatment for Herniated Discs and More


If you’re a baseball player you probably know that America’s pastime, while fun, also carries with it an extremely high risk for injury. Whether you’re tagging from second or sliding into third, baseball can be rough on the body, possibly requiring treatment for herniated discs or other conditions. It’s important to recognize the various types of injuries that can occur in order to know how to prevent them and treat them properly.

Herniated disc. This happens when there is a tear in the disc’s outer layer.  Discs are the spine’s “shock absorbers” – layers of material between the vertebrae that protect the spine from day-to-day stresses. Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda missed several games in 2009 for a herniated disc. Our Herniated disc treatments can help with the pain, numbness, or weakness in the back, neck, legs or arms.

Torn meniscus. A torn meniscus is a common but very painful baseball injury. The meniscus is the cartilage in the knee that provides cushion and absorbs the shock of stress to that joint. Alex Rodriguez missed a few games in the Yankee’s 2011 season from a torn meniscus. A minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure in the knee can be a low risk solution for this condition.

Tennis elbow. This doesn’t just happen to tennis players; it’s actually common among pitchers as well.  In fact, people who have jobs where they have to repeatedly perform the same motion with their arm can suffer from tennis elbow. The tendons joining the forearm muscles on the outer part of the elbow get the brunt of any repetitive motions, resulting in painful damage to the area stemming from overuse. Depending on the injury, we can do a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure in the elbow with little down time.

Treatment for Herniated Discs and Other Injuries

If you’re an avid baseball player, you’re likely to come across one or more of these injuries at least once in your lifetime. The right minimally invasive treatment can not only make you feel better, but also give you back the strength and flexibility necessary to enjoy the game once again.

The key to getting better quickly is finding professionals who understand the full scope of these types of injuries so patients can heal and get back on the field. MISI specialists are ACGME fellowship-trained with the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of sports-related injuries.

Offering state-of-the-art solutions such innovative pain mapping and minimally invasive procedures with small incisions and faster recovery times, MISI is ahead of the curve when it comes to treating the most common baseball injuries. Our highly qualified doctors can get to the root of the problem so that you can get back on the field. Call MISI today at 855-466-6741 to set up your appointment and get back in the game!

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and More | How MISI Treats Football Injuries

minimally-invasive-spine-surgeryDuring football season, you’ll often hear the same thing from your fantasy football-loving friends: “I can’t believe my player is injured!” As the season for this punishing sport rolls on, so does the potential for damage, at every level of play.  We often see patients with injuries similar to those that take your favorite quarterbacks and wide receivers out of the game, some of which we treat with innovative pain management procedures and if needed, minimally invasive spine surgeries, including:

  • Herniated Discs: You may remember Tony Romo suffering a herniated disc toward the end of the 2013 season. This type of injury can create serious pain and numbness in the lower back and legs. While the traditional surgical method requires stripping away back muscles and exposing the spine, we perform minimally invasive spine surgery, which is much less traumatic and avoids damaging muscles and surrounding tissues. Instead, the procedure often involves the use of real time X-rays and the insertion of a small tube system through a 3-7mm incision. Through minimally invasive spine surgery, patients can recover faster and get back to living.
  • Finger Fractures: Dez Bryant delayed treatment for his pinkie fracture for three games in the 2012-2013 season. Putting off finger fracture treatment is something you should never do. A fractured finger may seem like a small thing, but in reality it can be a complex injury. There are many bones in the hand that work together to perform specialized tasks, so an injury to one of them can cause the entire hand to be misaligned. Usually, fractured fingers can be repaired non-surgically using a splint, but in particularly bad cases surgery is required to promote and allow for proper healing.
  • Torn Meniscus: This is one of the most common sports injuries. When he landed awkwardly after a jump during this season opener, Jadeveon Clowney tore a meniscus, taking him out for four to six weeks. When one is torn, a person can experience pain, stiffness, swelling and the knee “giving way.” Similar to our minimally invasive spine surgery, we treat torn menisci using minimally invasive knee arthroscopy by inserting a tiny camera through a small incision to provide a clear view inside of the knee. Once inside, the surgeon repairs or trims the tears using state-of-the-art instruments and techniques.
  • Whiplash: This happens when an impact or blow causes the head to jerk forward or backward abruptly. Jay Cutler was forced to take some time out when he suffered this injury in 2012. A person suffering from whiplash has pain and stiffness in the neck and often in the muscles of the head, chest, shoulders and arms. For whiplash pain, we use real-time X-rays to map out pain trigger points, letting the doctors know exactly where to apply medicine.

Football players can benefit from minimally invasive surgery, but so can the rest of us! MISI is the most advanced option for treating spine, hand, foot and general pain. Call the Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute today at 855-466-6741 or visit our website to set up an appointment.

Meet MISI | Your Choice in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and More

Minimally Invasive Spine SurgeryAt the Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute (MISI), our fellowship-trained doctors offer procedures including minimally invasive spine surgery to help decrease your pain without large incisions or lengthy recovery times. While traditional open neck and spine surgery require large incisions, long hospital stays and painful recoveries, minimally invasive spine surgery involves incisions so small that they can often be covered with a single Band-Aid®. Our team of certified doctors is dedicated to getting you back on your feet and back to your life more quickly.

While MISI is an innovator in spine procedures, we don’t just treat back pain and perform spine surgery. Our team specializes in a variety of areas, including the neck, hand, foot and general pain, to help our patients alleviate their symptoms and get back to living their lives stronger, healthier and happier.

Our doctors are more concerned with patients than procedures and will explore every possible treatment before suggesting surgery, which is always the last option. This might include rehab, physical therapy, outpatient pain management procedures or a variety of other options. If necessary, our team may then suggest an endoscopic procedure, laser spine surgery or minimally invasive spine surgery.

The primary difference between MISI and other clinics is our team of experienced and innovative surgeons. Our doctors are fellowship-trained, educated to be thought leaders in their field and are on the cutting-edge of minimally invasive procedures.  As field authorities, they’re also advisors to international technology companies, helping design groundbreaking tools for minimally invasive surgery.

Why suffer with pain when you have an alternative? Get back to your life. Call the Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute today at 855-466-6741 to set up an appointment, and learn how you can benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery or our other minimally invasive treatments.

Innovative Stem Cell Therapy Seminar- 3/27/2013

Say Goodbye to back and neck pain with
Adult Stem Cell Therapy.

You’re invited to An Educational Seminar
on Adult Stem Cell Therapy.

Join Dr. Rimlawi and Dr. Benbow for a free discussion about the exciting new technology of adult stem cell therapy, which can help treat back and neck pain by using a patients own stem cells to promote faster healing for minimally invasive and non-invasive procedures.

When:  March 27, 2013  7:00 PM

Where: Minimally Invasive Spine Institute
            10400 N. Central Expressway
            Dallas, TX 75321                

RSVP: 1-855-GETSTEMCELL | 1-855-438-7836

(please RSVP by March 25)

LEARN MORE ABOUT ADULT STEM CELL THERAPY and how The Minimally Invasive Spine Institute is using this revolutionary therapy to significantly improve the treatment of back and neck pain.

According to the World Research Group, disorders of the spine are one of the largest public health problems in the U.S., while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that back pain is the most common neurological ailment affecting Americans, second only to headaches. Back pain is a leading cause of disability and lost wages through time taken off work.

At , we strive to do everything we can to help our patients live pain-free lives. We realize that adult stem cells have the remarkable potential to differentiate and become new tissue forming cells, including bone, tendon and cartilage, with Adult Stem Cell Therapy being studied for a host of treatments throughout the world today. The potential of stem cells in regenerative medicine is virtually limitless and is emerging as a promising field in which to augment spine surgery.

The Minimally Invasive Spine Institute doctors are leaders in cutting-edge procedures that utilize a patient’s own adult stem cells to regenerate tissue.

Technology is now available to procure adult stem cells from bone marrow and adipose tissue without challenging ethical issues associated with embryonic stem cells. And the talented doctors at MicroCision have extensive clinical trial experience in harvesting a patient’s own stem cells and delivering those cells to aid in the treatment of severe back pain through the use of minimally invasive outpatient procedures. These procedures replace damaged cells and promote the growth of new tissues in order to help the tissue function at an improved level, while reducing or eliminating pain.

Positives of Adult Stem Cell Therapy:

• Can significantly enhance the quality of life of those affected with back and neck injuries.

• The ethical approach to using one’s own stem cells.

What does Dr. Rimlawi, founder of The Minimally Invasive Spine Institute and MicroCision Procedure have to say about stem cells?

“The medical community is now starting to take notice of the impact stem cells have on the future of medicine. Science has demonstrated the huge potential of stem cells in regenerative medicine and now the technologies are available to deliver these therapies to the patient. The breakthrough shows promising results and should ultimately lower costs. These therapies will become the standard of care in the future.” – Dr. Rimlawi