Trigger Finger

Ah, the infamous trigger finger. No, we're not talking about that one friend who always insists on showing off their impressive marksmanship skills. We're talking about a condition that affects the tendons in your fingers and can cause some serious discomfort. So, what exactly is a trigger finger? Well, it's a condition where the tendon in your finger becomes irritated and inflamed, which can cause it to get stuck in a bent position. And just like a trigger on a gun, once it's stuck, it can be difficult to release. Ouch. Now, you might be wondering what causes a trigger finger.…

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that affects the wrist and hand. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed or pinched at the wrist. This compression causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. It is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that is made up of bones and ligaments. It houses the median nerve as well as several tendons that help to move the fingers. When the median nerve is compressed or pinched, it can…

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Oh snap! My cruciate is gone

In the sporting community, this must be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, topics to discuss. This is because the cruciate ligament is a main stabilizer of the knee when undergoing tackles, cutting, changing of direction while running, and even when winding up to kick. Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) occur most commonly during sports, particularly football. This commonly happens when the effected knee undergoes rotation with the same foot planted on the ground such as in kicking a ball forcefully. It is therefore a torsional or twisting injury of the knee and does not normally occur…

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The good, the bad and the weekend warrior

As you probably have guessed by now, I am a bit of a freak for activity. Not the usual gym kind of thing however; but the activity that gets my adrenals pumping. Even though I do try to keep a routine of day to day fitness such as cycling and running, I mainly thrive on the more thrilling or adventurous sport. Let’s just say that I do love a challenge. So, roll back a few years and I jumped to the prospect of a long and hard trail walk around the perimeter of Gozo; our ‘not-so-tiny’ sister island! A spark of…

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So, you want to exercise, huh!?

You have heard that exercise is beneficial and healthy, and you want to jump on the bandwagon to start an exercise programme. Well done. This is indeed the first step. The second step is understanding how to go about it. Here are a few things you should know. Types of exercises There are three main types of exercise and these should form the basis of your routine, being mindful of your ultimate goals. If you are after general fitness and staying in shape these should be admixed in equal proportions. Aerobic or cardio exercise This is rhythmic activity whose main goal…

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Adult flatfoot

As orthopedic specialists, we get referred a number of cases labeled as ‘Flatfoot’. While there are a number of conditions that give flat feet, the most common reason why an adult would develop a new pes planus, as we call it, is due to weakness (or insufficiency) of the main muscle responsible of keeping the inner arch of the foot. Most cases we see will be nothing more than symmetrical flexible flatfeet, which is a variant of the norm; but if new onset pain associated with (generally) a single-sided new flatfoot deformity is the case, then professional opinion should be sought…

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Shoulder that pain, Sir!

A common problem patients come looking for orthopedic help is shoulder pain. The main reason is that shoulder pain can be particularly troublesome at night. Disrupt a few nights’ sleep and your livelihood is shattered. The shoulder is a big enough joint that is largely responsible to orient the hand in space to perform the myriad of function the upper limb is responsible for; be it basic personal hygiene to highly skilled functions such as painting or playing an instrument. Anatomy of joint: The great design of this ball and socket joint enables the shoulder to have a wide range of…

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Fitter, Happier.

It is not news that exercise is healthy. It is on the media; public health sectors promote it and just about anyone who does some sport regularly feels good. But how tangible is this? I was recently seeing this patient in clinic who was raving about how his knee pain was making him feel old and disabled. He had to pack up with his running, cycling and even skiing. Eyeballing him I would have given him sixty-three tops - but boy was I wrong. He had clocked seventy-five and was still going strong! Surely, part of it is genetic (and this is also true…

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Taxing misnomers

Today I shall talk a bit about an irking bit of my job. As a doctor, I have vowed to educate patients as part of my profession; as most chronic conditions like arthritis involve an understanding from the patients’ end to understand the sometimes less then fast-acting treatment strategies like physiotherapy and lifestyle modifications.

On most clinic days I find myself engrossed in lengthy conversation about the basis of the disease of cartilage, bone, nerves and ligaments; only to get faces twisted in bafflement. On occasion, I even get an interjection like “ah ok, the nerve” when in reality we would have been talking about a tendon all along.


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A little something about back pain

Let’s talk a bit about back pain. This has to be by far the most common orthopaedic complaint. So the literature has it that about 80% of the population will have back pain at some point in their life. That is close to being as common as the common cold.

Here is the low down on what we need to realize:

Most, but not all back pain is what we call mechanical. This means that the pain is arising from muscle spasm or from the little joints in the back of the vertebrae. This is benign and usually resolves with activity.

Radicular pain is the pain originating from the back BUT actually running down the leg. This is usually due to a pinched nerve somewhere along the course of the sciatic nerve, which incidentally coins the term sciatica. (more…)

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