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March is Brain Injury Awareness Month – What You Need to Know About TBI

It’s a growing problem in the U.S. and it’s showing no signs of decreasing. The number of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) is rising at an alarming rate in sports, recreational activities and through military service. TBI occurs when trauma to the head inflicts damage to the way the brain functions. This can happen due to a fall, a car crash, or a collision involving the head during sports or other similar impact-causing activities. The winter season brings with it a special set of risks from TBI, as the number of head injuries seen in emergency departments increases at this time. This more

Dr. Ryan Enke, physical medicine and rehabilitation at OrthoIllinois in Rockford and Crystal Lake

Get to Know Ryan Enke, MD

When choosing a physician, it’s important to know not only their credentials, but also why they do what they do. You can read our physicians’ bios on our website. However, we thought we’d dig a little deeper to find out what makes them tick. Why did they choose their specialty? When was the moment in their training they realized, “hey, I’m a doctor,”? Or even, what’s their favorite food? We pose these and other questions to our physicians for this monthly series so you can get to know better the physicians at OrthoIllinois. First up is Ryan Enke, MD. Dr. Enke’s more

Knee Pain – For Most of Us There’s No Avoiding It

Knee pain. It affects millions of Americans each year and doesn’t discriminate between young or old, serious athletes or casual exercisers. Knee pain can be a minor annoyance or so severe that it makes normal, everyday activities a struggle. Whatever your activity level, there is a good chance you will suffer from some type of knee pain in your lifetime. Here are some common symptoms of arthritis in the knee: Knee pain Swelling and redness Stiffness Weakness or instability Popping or crunching noises Inability to fully straighten or bend the knee Other causes of knee pain can include injuries such as fractures more

Letting your brain heal – What to do after suffering a concussion

As a team physician for various high school, collegiate, elite, and professional sports teams, I work with athletes who suffer concussion injuries. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. Concussions are classified as mild brain injuries, but effects of concussions can more

Is it time for Hip Replacement Surgery?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 332,000 total hip replacements are performed in the United States each year. In fact, from 2000 to 2010, the number of hip replacements have more than doubled and while procedures rose by 92 percent in people age 75 and older, they increased by 205 percent in people ages 45 to 54. Hip replacement surgeries are becoming increasingly commonplace, it is still a major surgery that involves weeks of recovery. But if constant pain from a deteriorating hip joint is limiting your ability to live a full life, then it might be time more

How to help your child through surgery and recovery

Helping Your Child Through Surgery and Recovery. It’s stressful enough having to go through surgery as an adult. However, any parent would agree that when their child has to have surgery, it’s an incredibly difficult time. The anxiety level is at an all-time high as you try to reassure your child that everything will be fine, while trying to mask your own fears for your child. Even if it’s a routine procedure, that doesn’t mean it’s routine for you and your child. Preparing your child for surgery is key to making sure your child is less anxious and you both get more

Recovering from Trauma: Paul Melull’s Story

I turned into the development in Geneva, Illinois and drove my way through the development, past homes under construction and through mazes of trucks, cement mixers and pallets of materials. I’m headed to Paul Melull’s home to talk to him about his experience with Dr. Earhart, one of OrthoIllinois’ orthopedic trauma surgeons. I rang the doorbell and waited, running through some of my questions in my head. Paul opened the door and welcomed me in, and after chatting for a few minutes, we sit down to talk about Paul’s experience. Paul’s story is both unique and familiar, in that each year, drivers in more

Helping girls with Scoliosis

Julia Dayton, a sophomore at Hononegah High School, founded the northern Illinois chapter of Curvy Girls Scoliosis (Curvy Girls) after she was diagnosed in November 2009 at the age of eight with Scoliosis. “Scoliosis has taught me not to run away from problems in my life. I have learned to stand up to things that are scary or hard to understand. Guess what? They all get easier the more you know!  It's so awesome to know I am not alone!" We had an opportunity talk with Julia and her mother Christy about Julia’s experience with scoliosis and about the positive impact Curvy more

New providers and services at OrthoIllinois!!!

It is a very exciting time at OrthoIllinois with the addition of two new specialties and multiple new physicians! On August 1, 2016, we will welcome Dr. Todd Alexander and Dr. Richard Broderick, both experienced neurosurgeons that will be merging their individual practices into OrthoIllinois and launching our expansion beyond musculoskeletal services. Neurosurgery is a specialty dedicated to the treatment of disorders of the brain (e.g. tumors, aneurysm), spine, and peripheral nerves.   Our new Neurosurgery division will be headquartered at the Riverside location and will collaborate with Dr. Braaksma, making our spine program even more robust.   Dr. Alexander is a Rockford native and more

What should I expect during my Functional Capacity Evaluation

A Functional Capacity Evaluation is a test to determine the ability of the evaluated person to function in a variety of circumstances, most often employment, in an objective manner. These tests, which are often performed by a licensed physical therapist, are requested by physicians, insurances carriers or attorneys to assist in closure of a worker’s compensation case or if there is a request for determination of disability benefits. While every Functional Capacity Evaluation is different depending on the person being tested and what information is being requested, tests typically are performed over a 2-4 hour period and may consist of more

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