What Smartphones are Doing to Our Hands


Smartphones have become so pervasive; it’s almost as if they are an extension of our bodies. With built-in fitness apps, instant access to personal social networks and support, and the ability to retrieve all the knowledge of the world wide web on demand, the health benefits of smartphones seem endless. Although these benefits are very real, there are also very real negative effects that come with excessive use of smartphones and other devices. Unsurprisingly, our hands receive the brunt of the wear and tear our bodies experience from constant texting, talking, searching, and all the other activities, so integral to our day-to-day life, that are carried out on these devices.

Here are some common orthopedic injuries and conditions that can result from unrestrained smartphone use. Although they certainly existed before smartphones and can have other causes, the incidence of many of these conditions have increased proportionally as smartphones have come into greater and greater use.

  • “Text Claw.” Although this is not a formal diagnosis or condition, this term was coined to describe the pain and numbness in the hands and wrists experienced by frequent tech-users. Text claw might also be used to describe a condition called Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, in which numbness or cramping is experienced in the the ring and pinky fingers and hands.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Preliminary research indicates that there may be a link between smartphone use and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). When muscles and joints are used excessively, particularly in awkward or unusual positions, repetitive stress injuries can result. Symptoms can include stiffness, pain, or aching in the hands or wrists.

Luckily, there is no need to throw your smartphone away to experience relief from these and other conditions related to smartphone use. Cutting back is never a bad idea, of course, and preventative measures, such as wrist stretching, can be taken to avoid an injury. If you are experiencing pain in the hands or wrists, an orthopedic specialist can help. Contact AOSMI today.

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Pinky Injuries: Causes and Treatment

9218987 - little finger stitched after an operation

Breaking or fracturing of the pinky is an all too common injury that should not be taken lightly. Because of the location of the pinky, it is often possible for the hand to continue to function close to normally in the event of an injury only to that finger. However, a broken or fractured pinky should be seen immediately by an orthopedic specialist.

How do I Know if My Pinky is Injured?

A pinky injury is frequently caused by trauma to the finger resulting from sports and other physical activities but can also occur during day-to-day routines like cleaning or cooking. Individuals with certain orthopedic conditions, such as osteoarthritis or calcium deficiencies, are more susceptible to a pinky injury.

A broken or fractured pinky can be identified by some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising or discoloration
  • Deformity
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness

If left untreated, even a minor injury can result in permanent damage which can affect functioning of the wrist and hand as a whole.

What is the Treatment for a Broken Pinky?

If treated quickly and effectively, the average time it takes for a pinky to heal is three to four weeks. Treatment typically involves applying a splint or cast, which prevents the finger from moving and allows the natural healing process to take place. In some cases, bone alignment must be corrected surgically, and follow up physical therapy is sometimes required. In these more severe cases, healing can take as long as ten weeks.

If you believe you may have experienced an injury to your pinky, even if you do not recall an accident or trauma to the finger, do not wait to receive treatment. Contact AOSMI today. One of our orthopedic specialists will determine if any injury exists, its extent, and the best course of treatment.

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Getting to Know Cubital Tunnel Syndrome


Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, otherwise known as ulnar nerve entrapment, happens when the ulnar nerve experiences increasing pressure or compression. Have you’ve ever bumped your elbow against a hard surface and felt a sharp stinging pain, otherwise known as hitting your ‘funny bone’? That’s your ulnar nerve in action.

Second after Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is the most common nerve compression that happens in the arm. The ulnar nerve can be found in a small tunnel of this in the elbow, also known as the cubital tunnel and can be compressed when your elbow is bent. This pressure on your ulnar nerve can cause a considerable amount of pain or discomfort, and may get to the point where you could lose the function of your hand (dominant or nondominant). In general, men are more likely to be affected by Cubital Tunnel Syndrome than women. People with jobs that have them doing repetitive elbow movements and prolonged elbow flexion are even more likely to experience Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

You might have Cubital Tunnel Syndrome if you feel a numbness and/or pins and needles from the inside of your forearm to your hand. Typical symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome include; tenderness on the inside of your elbow, pain or numbness after keeping your elbow bent for a long period of time, and a difficulty in feeling the difference between sharp and dull objects when they touch the inside of your forearm. If Cubital Tunnel Syndrome goes untreated these are some symptoms you might experience; clumsy hands, having the small muscles of the hands waste away, and something known as ulnar claw hand which is when your fingers bend inwards.

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms be sure to contact an orthopedic specialist. Make an appointment today with the Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute for a NJ pain management specialist.


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National Arthritis Awareness Month Is Here


With more than 50 million Americans (one in five adults) suffering from the chronic pain of Arthritis, May has been named National Arthritis Awareness Month. Why all the recognition? Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in our country and affects over 300,000 families. While commonly recognized, little is still understood about the illness and most do not understand the catastrophic effects Arthritis has on those who suffer and those who love them. NJ physical therapy centers report that a large percentage of their patient load is comprised of those looking to ease the physical pain of the illness while maintaining mobility. As we enter into May, let’s stop and take a look at a few facts about Arthritis.

  • By 2030, up to 67 million adults are expected to be living with Arthritis.
  • Arthritis is not just an illness that affects those in old age. Nearly 300,000 infants, kids, and teens suffer with a form of the disability.
  • An average of 172 million workdays are missed every year by those suffering from Arthritis, and these workers are less likely to maintain regular employment than those without the disability.
  • On average, the country sees one million hospitalizations a year due to Arthritis-related injuries and conditions.
  • $156 billion dollars worth of lost wages are seen every year as a result of the illness.

Now that you understand more about the condition, how can you help?

There are a number of reputable organizations dedicated to helping those with Arthritic conditions. To get involved with the cause, contact the Arthritis Foundation to learn about making donations, volunteering to help with their events and signing up for their e-newsletter. If you are suffering from the pain of Arthritis yourself, call AOSMI today to speak with an orthopedic specialist about how physical therapy and pain management services can help you.

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Simple Movements To Relieve Body Pain


Whether you’re recovering from a sports injury or are simply experiencing the annoyances of physical pain from the daily grind of day to day living, there are a few simple movements you can try to help relieve your pain. As contrary as it seems, stretching is your saving grace when it comes to dealing with physical pain. Here we offer a few simple movements to get your muscles and joints moving and relieve common pains. As always, if the pain persists or worsens, call an orthopedic specialist to have it looked at. Stretching will not treat physical injuries or solve underlying conditions.

Simple Movements To Relieve Body Pain:

  • Hamstring Floor Stretch: Designed to relieve lower back and leg pain, this hamstring stretch move will loosen the leg muscles and provide relief from cramping, spasms, and generalized aches from overuse. To execute, simple lay on your back with both knees bent. With both hands placed behind the knee, lift one leg at a time for 30 seconds. Lift each leg five or six times and then rest.
  • Knee To Chest Stretch: This easy stretch is designed to ease pressure on the glutes and help reduce hip pain. To execute, lay on your back with both knees bent. Place your hands around one knee and pull that leg up to your chin (keeping it bent). Return to the starting position and then move to the other leg. Do four or five lifts on each side for maximum relief.
  • Spinal Stretch: Your spine controls nearly all your movements. Stretching the muscles, joints, and ligaments that comprise this lifeline will provide all-over relief from aches and pains. An easy spine stretch involves lying on your back with legs outstretched and your arms spread out. Take your left arm and reach over your body to grab your right knee. Pull that leg over the left side of your body (with the knee bent) and hold for twenty seconds before returning to the starting position. Do the same for the other side. Do the motion between five and six times on each side for maximum effect.

These simple movements should keep you pain-free all summer. Again, if pain persists, is acute, or worsens with stretching, call AOSMI to request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist and have your injury diagnosed and treated.

Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute is a medical practice located in Freehold and Monroe, NJ, our medical professionals are experts in orthopedic surgery, joint replacement, sports medicine, integrative wellness, spine care, physical therapy, and more.


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Understanding Musculoskeletal Health: What You Need To Know


Musculoskeletal health refers to the overall health of the muscles and bones that comprise your body’s systems. Understanding the key elements that go into keeping your musculoskeletal system in working order is key to preventing sports injury, body pain, and illness. Our team of New Jersey orthopedic surgeons has comprised a short list of what you need to know about your body’s musculoskeletal system.

What You Need To Know About Musculoskeletal Health:

  • Nixing The Soda Can Save Your Body: Soda, especially regular and diet colas, have been shown to lead to osteoporosis. The reason for this lies in the fact that these popular drinks prevent calcium absorption and lead to lower bone density. Be kind to your bones and drink water rather than soda.
  • Stand Up Straight: Your mom was right; your posture is crucial to overall health. Poor posture can lead to strains in the wrists, shoulders, elbows, and back and cause persistent pain and muscle damage.
  • Get Moving: Whether you’re interested in weight loss or not, getting up and moving around on a regular basis is crucial to musculoskeletal health. Living a sedentary life has been shown to cause painful and dangerous loss of muscle and bone strength and puts you at risk for a host of injuries.
  • Slim Down For Your Health: Maintaining a healthy weight is about more than fitting into the latest summer fashion trends. Being overweight has been shown to affect everything from cardiovascular health to the performance of your bones and muscles. The main reason is that all of this extra weight puts undue pressure on your bones and muscles and leads to deterioration and possible injury. In keeping with our previous tip, get up and get moving to keep your system from having to overwork itself to support the weight of your movement.
  • Sleep Well: All too often our society places prestige on working around the clock and missing out on crucial sleep time. This does more than lead to overtired, cranky Americans. It is putting all of our systems at risk for disease, injury, and increased pain. To highlight this point, studies have shown that one night of missed sleep can trigger cellular action that can lead to tissue and muscle deterioration. Imagine what regular lack of sleep is doing to your body!

Now that you know the basics of musculoskeletal health, incorporate these tips into your daily life for improved overall health and a reduction of aches and pains. If the pain persists or your suffer an injury, call AOSMI to request an appointment with a sports injury specialist today.

Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute is a medical practice located in Freehold and Monroe, NJ, our medical professionals are experts in orthopedic surgery, joint replacement, sports medicine, integrative wellness, spine care, physical therapy, and more.


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Non-Surgical Treatments for Hand and Wrist Injuries

Proper functioning of the hands and wrists is essential to many activities of daily living from cooking and cleaning to personal hygiene, performing work duties and more. Overuse and fragility of the small bones in these parts of the body leave the hands and wrists vulnerable to a variety of injuries. Such injuries can include:


  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Tendon pain
  • Sports injuries


There are a number of non-surgical options available for these and other conditions that can arise from injuries to the hands and wrists.


Splinting and Bracing


20020488_lPlacing the injured wrist, hand, or finger into a splint or brace keeps the injured area from moving and allows it time to rest and heal. Depending on the severity of the injury, the splint or brace may need to be worn constantly for a period of time or, in some cases, may only be worn during sleep. Splinting and bracing can be helpful in treating arthritis, carpal tunnel, and a number of impact injuries.


Temperature Regulation


Applying hot or cold packs to the affected areas of the hand or wrist as directed by a physician can alleviate symptoms of some conditions, such as arthritis and carpal tunnel.



In some cases, your orthopedic specialist may recommend the use of steroid injections to treat certain hand and wrist injuries. Studies have shown that steroid injections can be effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel, as well as tendon and ligament injuries.


Occupational Therapy


An occupational therapist can design a specialized regimen of exercises for patients with hand injuries. Over a period of time, practicing these exercises can assist in restoring proper functioning of the wrist, fingers, and hands.


Massage Therapy


For repetitive stress injuries to the hands and wrists, including carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, massage can alleviate pain and improve functioning in affected parts of the body.


Request an appointment with Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute today. One of our orthopedic specialists can determine whether any of these options could be used as an alternative to surgery for your hand or wrist injury.

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Treatment Options for Hand and Wrist Injuries

orthopedic surgeonsAmong patients dealing with joint problems, the hand, wrist, and elbow are common trouble spots. These closely associated parts have many complex functions that can be impaired or even restricted entirely by the pain and discomfort associated with many common conditions. Orthopedic treatments for the hand and wrist can address these issues in a variety of ways. The first and most easily employed methods are non-operative treatments, which restore function without requiring surgical techniques. Long-range treatment plans guide the progress of non-operative care, gradually addressing stress and weakness in the muscles or joints. AOSMI physicians research the latest advances and use the most up-to-date techniques when assisting patients through non-operative orthopedic care to ensure each case includes the most modern and suitable methods.

Beyond non-operative treatment, AOSMI’s expert orthopedic specialists can address hand and wrist issues with surgical procedures: these techniques are most often recommended in cases that include significant trauma or serious wear and tear. Hand and wrist surgeries are especially helpful for patients with major sports injuries. These surgeries can include tendon and ligament repair, artificial joint replacement of the finger, thumb and elbow fusion, and more, each method selected carefully to match each patient’s individual needs. The AOSMI is dedicated to optimal care in every patient interaction: find out more about the practice’s philosophy and hand and wrist capabilities through the online portal or by contacting a company expert.

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Hand and Wrist Health: Carpal Tunnel Prevention

orthopedic surgeonsCarpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common ailment that affects many typical employees at sedentary desk jobs. Working at a keyboard for long stretches of time can place significant strain on the hands and wrists, sometimes resulting in the onset of this troublesome condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve as it travels from the forearm into the hand: while there are many possible causes for this compression, most professionals agree that a high amount of overuse or repetitive activity can contribute to carpal tunnel symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness. Nevertheless, there’s hope for those whose jobs, interests, or lifestyles require repetitive motion of the hands and wrists: stretches and exercises can work to mitigate the damage and preserve optimal function.

Just a few minutes of the right exercise can be a major safeguard against carpal tunnel syndrome. Healthline hosts a helpful post outlining three such exercises, including basic stretches that can be performed at the desk. Interested readers can also find a wealth of information here at AOSMI’s site: our orthopedic specialists regularly update and revise the informative content we share with our patients and our community. Informed prevention is the best way to stay in good health: keep up with AOSMI updates via our blog, social media, and email to find the latest details.

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Stay Healthy in the Workplace

orthopedic specialistsMany professionals in the workforce today do not have jobs that seem immediately hazardous to an employee’s health. While there are workers who spend entire workdays on their feet or regularly enter dangerous situations to complete required workplace tasks, most modern staff members might not imagine that their working conditions could affect their health. It may come as a surprise, but a sedentary job at which an employee spends most of his or her time seated at a desk or computer keyboard can be a health risk all its own. While it won’t generally present an immediate hazard like a more active job, a desk job can place strain on a worker’s back, neck, shoulders, and wrists, presenting a range of complications that must be identified and managed for optimal health.

At AOSMI, we provide physical therapy not only for athletes, but also for workers facing issues related to a demanding office job. Our staff includes specialists in occupational therapy and overall wellness as well as highly qualified surgeons who can help patients resolve more intensive health issues. In addition to the direct help we offer through visits to our practice, we share informative health resources online, here on the blog and in our Orthopedics Library. Read more online or contact us today to find out the risks of an office job and the best ways to manage and treat any related conditions.

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