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Soft Tissue

Many approaches to treating injuries & chronic conditions of the soft tissue (of the joints and musculature) at Aria

Integrally matched with bones in the musculoskeletal system are the soft tissues that hold the body and its skeleton together, that give movement to the body, and that cushion and contain the hard tissues that are the body’s framework.  Disease and damage can affect these structures and compromise orthopedic function intensely and acutely or gradually over a long term.  Among areas in which Aria’s experts concentrate their expertise are:

Arthritis
At any one time, tens millions of Americans are diagnosed with arthritis, and just as many have pain from such arthritic processes but have not been diagnosed.  Worn and damaged soft tissue in and around the joint is most often the cause.

Today more than ever, though, patients are less willing to simply live with this problem.  They want a solution regardless of the cause, knowing that the options in orthopedics have expanded and with modern 21st Century medicine an individual need not easily give up musculoskeletal function and vitality.  Aria’s staff dedicates itself to finding the underlying basis of arthritic pain for each individual and offering the medically appropriate course of care — be that activity modification, physical therapy, medication, or surgery (including joint replacement).  The staff places special emphasis on hips and knees, but also treats the arthritic back, shoulder, elbow, and other areas.

Tears & Strains
Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscle and other joint and connective tissue has startling properties of strength, flexibility, pliability, and durability.  But everything has its limits, including the human body.  The stress placed on such tissue can cause it to stretch severely (resulting in strains), detach, and rip (resulting in partial or complete tears). 

Evaluation requires experienced consideration of the causes and the individual’s activities, often with additional information from radiologic studies, sometimes including MR imaging.  Treatment can range from knowledgeable use of conservative therapies such as heat & cold, medication, and immobilization to arthroscopic surgery.

Spasms
When muscles become overly stressed, depleted, or tight, they may react with involuntary contraction that can be very painful and even debilitating.  Muscle spasms can prevent immediate activity or limit activity chronically.  

Muscles that is over used or pushed beyond its capacity by physical activity or as a result of compensating for other orthopedic problems may produce repeated spasms, tightness, or soreness.  Aria’s orthopedists can help address these conditions through means that involve conditioning, manipulation, stretching, medications to relax muscles or limit the pain, and other care.

Soft-tissue conditions account for the vast majority of orthopedic visits.

Growth and developmental
conditions of soft tissue

Individuals who have abnormal bone structure, as well as children and young adults whose musculoskeletal system is growing rapidly, can experience a wide variety of conditions that result in pain and difficulty with normal activity.  Hard and soft tissue may not be well aligned or configured with one another.  Adolescents, ages 10 to 15, for example, commonly experience lower-extremity discomfort, particularly for instance in the knees.  Care for inflammation and pain involves allowing activity as tolerated, though bracing, orthotics, casting, physical therapy or, rarely, surgery can be called for in some conditions.

Individuals participating in sports are more likely to suffer from all of these types of soft-tissue-related conditions.  In sports medicine, the orthopedic surgeons at Aria Health provide comprehensive care and screening to local athletes, as well as to scholastic teams.  Collaboration with trainers and coaches includes pre-season examinations and is geared towards injury prevention.  Care of acute injuries is also a primary focus.  Learn more about Aria’s sports medicine program.

Also critical to treating soft-tissue injuries is arthroscopic surgery, which spares patients large open incisions when an orthopedic operation is necessary.  Learn about Aria’s services arthoscopic surgery services.

See also Aria’s:

•    Work Health program
•    hand and wrist services
•    podiatry services