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When is it too early for sport specialization?

Before 12 years old. Maybe. A recent article in The American Journal of Sports Medicine tackles (pun intended) an often-asked question in recent years: when is it too early for sport specialization? What does single-sport specialization mean exactly? The article is not saying that it’s potentially bad for an adolescent athlete to play baseball during the season and then not play another sport until the following baseball season. It is, however, saying that it’s potentially harmful for an adolescent athlete to play baseball during the season in school, and then play club baseball, and then do specialized training for baseball during the offseason. Sports more

ADHD Medication, Kids, and Bone Health

At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), Dr. Jessica Rivera presented her research on the effects of ADHD medications on the bone density of children and adolescents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 6.4 million children age 4-17–or approximately 11% of children in the US–have been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s an alarming number and a 28% increase from diagnoses reported in 2007. For more information on ADHD itself, offers an excellent overview of the data. Given that ADHD affects such a large percentage of children, it makes Dr. Rivera’s findings all that more

Samantha’s Story

Samantha Drammann shares Her Victory Story about recovery from Hip Pain. After having a strange pain in my hip for six months, an MRI revealed that I had a labral tear. As a collegiate swimmer, I was worried about how this injury would affect my season. I opted to have surgery in August of 2015, and by January of 2016, I was back in the pool training hard! My recovery from hip arthroscopy went smoothly thanks to Dr. Van Thiel! As with any surgery, the first week of recovery was tough. Most of the difficulty I faced during recovery months was mental. It’s more

Guidelines for choosing an orthopedic surgeon

Learn how to choose the Best Orthopedic Surgeon for your employee’s work comp injury. Why does it matter who you choose? Because you want the best outcomes and quickest recovery so that your workers can return to work well equipped to perform their job functions. With that in mind, here's a quick list of things to consider when researching a physician. Post op protocols: Does the surgeon provide complete post op protocols and educational information? It is very important to follow specific instructions vital to recovery and returning to work following surgery. Experience: How long has the surgeon been performing this procedure? How more

Electrodiagnostic testing in work-related Injuries

Electrodiagnostic testing (EMG and nerve conduction studies) can play in important role in the correct diagnosis of work-related injuries. Pain, numbness, or weakness are common presenting symptoms in the injured worker. A timely and accurate diagnosis for the cause of these symptoms can lead to an appropriate treatment plan and reduce lost time from work. So how can an EMG help accomplish this? What can an EMG do for you? Confirm the diagnosis Exclude other diagnoses Localize the lesion Determine the severity Define the pathophysiology (what part of the nerve is affected) Provide prognostic information Detect sub-clinical disease Electrodiagnostic testing is up to 95 percent sensitive in detecting peripheral more

Amanda Rupert’s story

Hi, I’m Amanda (2nd from the right), a 26-year old Marriage and Family Therapist in Sycamore, Illinois. I grew up in Marion, Iowa and moved to Illinois for graduate school where I fell in love with exercise and fitness (because grad school is stressful!). Unfortunately, I had a love-hate relationship with exercise due to a knee injury. Back in high school, I injured my knee cheerleading, so I’ve struggled with my knee for eight years. During those years, I saw three different physical therapists–one in high school, one in college, and one after graduate school. They all were somewhat helpful and informative, more

How to handle an athlete’s injured finger

A young athlete–we’ll call him Jason–came into our office in November with a significant finger injury. Jason had visited an immediate care clinic where the physician indicated he had injured his finger joint. The finger was splinted and the physician advised him to “follow up with an orthopedic doctor in 2-3 weeks.” Jason’s mom was concerned with his level of pain after two weeks so she made an appointment to see Dr. Holtkamp the following week. Meanwhile, Jason had remained in the finger splint, not moving the joint. When he visited our office, x-rays confirmed he had fractured the joint. Because more

Dr. Izquierdo Wins Vocational Service Award

Last week, Dr. Izquierdo was honored by the Rotary Club of Crystal Lake. They presented him with the Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers Vocational Service Award for exemplifying professional integrity and high ethical standards in his vocation, while applying his talents toward the betterment of the community. We love seeing our doctors recognized for the great work they do!

Same day, outpatient knee replacement available at OrthoIllinois

“I’m having my knee replaced in the morning and then planning to relax at home the rest of the day.” Some of our total knee replacement patients can now say that, which we think is quite exciting! It's important to note that outpatient total knee procedures are not for everyone, and you should discuss with your physician if you are a good candidate for an outpatient procedure. Outpatient knee replacement procedures are the latest advancement in total joint replacement surgery. In fact, at the end of December, Dr. Michael Chmell performed the first outpatient knee replacement at the OrthoIllinois Surgery Center, and just more

When is the right time to take the plunge for a shoulder arthroplasty?

Patients come to my office with shoulder pain for many reasons. One of the more common conditions in my shoulder practice is osteoarthritis. The smooth articular cartilage of the ball and socket wear out, and your body tries to grow bone spurs to help distribute the force. It tries to help itself, but in the end, it hurts itself. The spurs that form turn your shoulder socket into a square peg in a round hole, resulting in lost motion and experience pain (all the time). It’s a miserable situation. Generally, we begin treatment of shoulder osteoarthritis with activity modification, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications. more

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