Tag Archives: Tennis Elbow

GETTING TO KNOW YOU –Michael Gordon, MD

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Over the next several weeks we’ll be asking each of our physicians to reveal a more personal side that extends beyond their medical biography. This week, we spoke with Dr Michael Gordon, who is Fellowship Trained and Board Certified in treating hands, wrists, shoulders, and elbows and sees adults and children of all ages.

What inspired you to become a physician?

I wanted to be able to help people in a tangible and meaningful way. I enjoyed creating and tinkering with and fixing things as a child. You could say I was the neighborhood mechanic. I even built a boat with my father as a summer project.

Why orthopedics?

It’s most similar to architecture, mechanics, and carpentry, and, provides gratification of fixing or restoring function to the anatomy. When I considered applying to medical school, I shadowed an orthopedic surgeon and watched him return the ability of walking to people. It was very inspiring.

What do you love most about your job?

Seeing the faces of joy and gratitude when patients have recovered from their injury or condition.

What is your biggest challenge?

Not having enough time.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a ________.

Rock Star

Editorial Note:  Dr Gordon plays guitar and sings in the band “McDreamy and the Anatomy”, a group consisting solely of physicians! The band competed at the “DR IDOL” fundraising event for Boys & Girls Club a few years ago when they rocked the crowd and won the title.

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Your proudest moment?

Becoming and being a father to two amazing daughters.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled?  Why?

I’m not fond of trying to name the “best”, “favorite”, or “most” because there are so many great places. I would say Thailand, Japan, and Israel were culturally interesting, but Europe is wonderful too. The US has amazing resources that we sometimes forget like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.

Any hobbies?  Activities?

Music, Music, Music. Exercise has also become a central part of my life.

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What’s your next adventure?

I’d like to make it to the Great Barrier Reef for scuba diving. I haven’t made definite plans, but it’s on my list. Also the Red Sea.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Cheetos.

You can read Dr Gordon’s professional biography by clicking here.  Michael Gordon, MD is one of thirteen physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates.  With three locations and same day appointments, our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

TENNIS ANYONE?

tennis racket and ball

Tennis is one of the more popular sports on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Year round competition at all levels can unfortunately lead to various “overuse” injuries, and some athletes may even sustain acute traumatic injuries which may force them to miss time. An overview of common injuries as well as ways of preventing and treating them may help to keep a tennis player on the court.

Tennis Elbow

Perhaps the most dreaded of all the overuse conditions is “Tennis Elbow,” or lateral epicondylitis. A degenerative process affecting the tendons on the lateral aspect of the elbow, which help to bend the wrist backwards, it is commonly seen in tennis players given that these muscles help resist impact when the racquet strikes the ball. Combined with their importance in gripping the handle, these muscles/tendons are prone to overuse if not properly prepared. Strengthening, a regular warm-up routine, and paying attention to grip size can help minimize the risk of developing the condition. Treatment often includes rest, therapy, braces, medications, and injections. While most cases improve with these conservative measures, occasionally surgery is needed.

Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder, like the elbow, is also predisposed to overuse injuries in tennis players. The serve is a complex motion that not only requires a balance of muscle coordination around the shoulder, but good core and lower extremity flexibility and strength to minimize risk of injury. The rotator cuff muscles can often become fatigued or weak, which can throw off the balance, and irritate surrounding tissues. The tendons and surrounding bursa can become inflamed, which may affect one even off the court. Again, conservative treatment is often all that is needed, not only focusing on the shoulder, but providing a total body program to minimize the stress on the shoulder during strokes. If symptoms persist, then further imaging and possible surgery may be needed, especially if a rotator cuff tear is present.

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Lower Extremity Injuries

The legs are just as important as one’s arms on the tennis court. Rapid changes of direction, sudden stopping and acceleration, and jumping are often needed during a match. Muscle strains, knee and ankle sprains, and stress injuries can occur during these movements. Strains, such as “pulling” a hamstring or calf muscle, can often be prevented by adequate stretching prior to playing. An awkward step or twisting episode may result in a sprain. Ankle sprains almost always improve with conservative measures, but recurrent sprains may result in continued instability and require surgery. Knee sprain treatment depends on what is injured. While certain ligament and tendon issues around the knee can heal with non-operative treatment, meniscal and ACL tears often need surgery, but this is determined on a patient-to-patient basis.  Quickly increasing the amount of tennis one is playing may predispose them to a stress fracture, either in the lower leg or foot. These require rest and off-loading of the limb, possibly with the assistance of crutches. Lastly, proper footwear is vital to the health of the lower extremities and minimizing the risks of these conditions.

Summary

Understanding the spectrum of conditions that can affect tennis players is often a good first step into learning ways to avoid them. Every patient/athlete is unique and working with them through their condition in a customized approach will best enable them to get back in the game.

Trevor Born, MD  is a Sports Medicine Physician at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treating upper and lower extremities with non-surgical treatment as well as minimally invasive options. Click HERE for more information.

 

TENNIS ELBOW? It’s Not What You Think!

tennis-elbow Many people will come to the sports clinic with complaints of pain on either side of their elbow which has been present for months and is aggravated by gripping things or shaking hands. While often referred to as Golfer’s or Tennis elbow, this painful tendon condition usually occurs not from playing golf or tennis but from repeatedly gripping or lifting objects improperly. Unfortunately, the condition can become severe enough where the tendons on either side of the elbow will become swollen, degenerated, and possibly torn causing persistent pain. Despite being referred to as lateral or medial epicondylitis by the medical community, this condition is known not to be an inflammatory condition. Because of this, typical anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen or Naprosyn often will not help. While steroid or “cortisone” injections can be tried and may give temporary relief, studies have shown that the condition often returns weeks to months later causing further delay in healing. The good news is that this condition can be treated non-surgically. Medical studies have revealed that a dedicated specific exercise program that concentrates on eccentric strengthening of the elbow and wrist tendons often will successfully cure the problem. Even when rehabilitation fails, other procedures less invasive than having surgery can often be performed which can significantly improve pain in 90% of the cases. So whether you are struggling with chronic elbow pain from playing doubles tennis or from lifting luggage at the airport, the physicians at SOA can evaluate your elbow problem, correctly diagnose the cause of the pain, and suggest a specific treatment regimen which will get you back on the road to recovery. Paul Lento, MD PM&R, American Medical Society Sports Medicine