Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Common Winter Sports Injuries

Common winter sports injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures. Many of these injuries happen at the end of the day, when people overexert themselves to finish that one last run before the day's end. A majority of these injuries can easily be prevented if participants prepare for their sport by keeping in good physical condition, staying alert, and stopping when they are tired or in pain.

There are many things you can do to help prevent injury during favorite winter activities.

  • Keep in shape and condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
  • Warm up thoroughly before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.
  • Check that equipment is working properly prior to use.
  • Wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. 
  • Know and abide by all rules of the sport in which you are participating.
  • Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snow boarding. Learning how to fall correctly and safely can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe drops in temperature to ensure safety.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities.
  • Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or exhausted.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Want To Learn More About How To Treat Sports Injuries?

Personalized care is essential to orthopedic medicine because the same injury may affect individual patients much differently. At TOCA, we provide compassionate care to fit the needs of each patient. Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today by calling (602) 277-6211.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Sports Medicine Specialist?

A sports injury can be a career-ending accident if the proper measures are not taken.  It is important to seek out quality orthopedic services for performance-related injuries. A sports medicine specialist is familiar with treatment for common injuries and is able to provide customized care to facilitate optimum rehabilitation. Here are some of the reasons that you should find an orthopedic specialist who has a focus in sports medicine:
  • Reduced chances of long-term injury: Many sports accidents result in strains and sprains that can lead to chronic pain if not treated properly. Sports medicine incorporates immediate treatment with prolonged solutions to restore and strengthen affected muscles, bones, and connective tissues.
Sprain of a leg
  • Improved performance: Aside from providing care for injuries, physicians who specialize in sports medicine can recommend techniques for enhancing your athletic abilities and offer solutions to keep you in your best physical shape. This will help you train more effectively, which will result in a stronger performance when it counts. 
  • Injury prevention: When it comes to sports injuries, prevention is the most effective way to avoid long term problems. Your physician can recommend a skilled trainer to help you get the most out of your practice and performances without risking physical damage to your body. Additionally, athletes who have previously experienced injuries are more likely to suffer another performance-related accident. Working with a sports medicine specialist can help you prevent a secondary injury with expert advice and advanced medical treatment.
If you are an athlete in the Phoenix area, then contact The Orthopedic Clinic Association. We have a diverse staff of orthopedic surgeons and specialists who serve the Suns, the Mercury, and many of Arizona State University’s sports teams. Learn about our advanced imaging, bracing, and physical therapy on our website or call us at (602) 277-6211.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Running Shoe Essentials

Feet come in all shapes and sizes. Consequently, running shoes need to be individualized for each runner. In general, common foot types include flat feet, high arches, neutral foot type, pronators, or supinators. There are several ways to determine your foot type. The footprint test allows you to look at an outline of your feet. Many running stores have computerized footplates and video analysis to determine foot type. Additionally, inspecting your running shoes is an accurate way to determine your foot type and strike pattern. Knowing about your foot type is critical to picking out running shoes.
There are several different categories of running shoes. In addition to fitting your foot type, you should also consider your training needs and injury history. Motion Control Shoes are rigid and durable and control pronation. Barefoot Running Shoes have recently gained popularity. Those who prefer these use them for comfort, and feel cushioned running shoes are harmful. Trail Running Shoes have increased threads, and help with difficult surfaces. Stability Running Shoes are the most common. They have moderate support and are made for neutral foot types without significant flexibility. Cushioned Shoes are typically used for high arches without significant pronation.
Running shoes should be replaced between 300-600 miles, depending on running style, terrain, and weight. It is helpful to alternate shoes to prevent wear and decrease stresses on your feet. Avoid blisters by not wearing new shoes on long runs. Consult a running shoe specialist to determine what shoe is the best for your needs to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury.
- Dr. Anikar Chhabra, M.D., M.S.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dr. Tom Carter - Head Team Physician for the Phoenix Suns NBA Team

Introducing Dr. Tom Carter's personal website: Dr. Carter is the Phoenix Suns Doc (Head Team Physician for the Phoenix Suns NBA Team) and Orthopedic, Sports Medicine Physician at TOCA (

Monday, November 14, 2011

Examining The Benefits Of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy may be part of a treatment plan for a variety of patients, including those who have suffered a sports injury, chronic pain, arthritis, or back pain. There are several different modalities used in physical therapy, so it can be fine-tuned for personalized treatment depending on the patient’s needs. Below are just some of the reasons why physical therapy is an effective solution for easing the pain caused by musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.
1. Adaptable to any skill level: Patients ranging from senior citizens to professional athletes can benefit from physical therapy. Usually sessions are performed on a one-on-one basis, so the therapist can work closely with the patient to understand his or her physical capabilities and limitations. An individual treatment plan will be designed for each case based on the exact needs of the patient.

2. Chronic pain relief: Managing chronic pain can be a challenge because it typically does not respond to traditional medications and treatments. Physical therapy can address the root of chronic pain and ease soreness for the patient with many different techniques. Exercise and stretching are only a part of a physical therapy session. Massage and muscular manipulation performed by the therapist can help naturally reduce inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapist Working a Female Knee

3. Improved endurance and strength: Aside from helping to treat injuries, physical therapy can help you build strength to prevent future problems from occurring. Over time you will notice better flexibility, improved range of motion, and higher stamina.

4. Tips for at home care: Throughout your physical therapy plan, your therapist will show you exercises and stretches to perform at home to further the benefits of your sessions. This can help you recover faster and understand how to stay in shape for life.

The physical therapists of The Orthopedic Clinic Association, or TOCA, offer compassionate care backed by years of experience in the field. Schedule a consultation to design a treatment plan that suits you by calling (602) 277-6211

Welcome Video from our CEO Kendra Balazs

Monday, October 31, 2011

Innovations in Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgery is a broad area of medicine designed to treat musculoskeletal disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and injuries. Surgeries may include joint replacement, resetting a fractured bone, and decompressions. With revolutionary advances in laser, ultrasound, and video technologies, orthopedic surgeons are able to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions accurately and quickly with highly technical surgical procedures.
Internal Diagnosis
Problems of the joints are among the most common ailments treated by orthopedic surgeons.Arthroscopic surgery has made improving joint health a practical alternative to invasive joint replacement surgeries. This procedure uses a small incision through which a lens and lighting equipment are inserted. Then, fiber optics transfer the image of the inside of the joint onto a television screen. The doctor can then identify the exact source of the problem and apply appropriate treatment. This surgery can be performed in the ankle, knee, shoulder, or wrist. Arthroscopic surgery also allows for less downtime for patients and more targeted treatment.
Male medical senior doctor pointing at radiograph x-ray image
Outlook for Future Advances
A large part of the improvement of orthopedic surgery is the quality of artificial implants used to replace damaged joints. Research and testing is being conducted to create synthetic knee structures that behave exactly like joints in the human knee. This would make physical therapy much easier on patients after surgery because they would be allowed optimum mobility. Hip resurfacing has also become a subject of recent research because it allows more of the bone to be preserved, potentially avoiding total hip replacement. Computer-assisted hip resurfacing procedures are being developed to allow doctors the most accuracy when performing this surgery.
TOCA: The Orthopedic Clinic Association offers the latest techniques in orthopedic surgery to correct musculoskeletal disorders with the greatest possible comfort for the patient. We have several locations in Arizona for your orthopedic care. Learn more about us on our website or call (602) 277-6211

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Understanding MRIs

An MRI machine may be used after you have sustained an injury, or if you have an illness, to detect the extent and location of damaged tissue. These machines use a magnetic field to locate hydrogen atoms in the body. A computer then maps out an image that is readable by a technician or doctor.
This video explains how MRI machines work and what to expect when undergoing imaging. The procedure is painless, but it does require patients to stay completely still for 20-60 minutes. 
The Orthopedic Clinic Assocation offers in-house MRI testing as well as several other diagnostic tests. We have a skilled staff of physicians and medical professionals to provide the highest quality care. Learn more on our website or call (602) 277-6211.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TOCA Tip's #1: Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are very common in athletes and occur when there is a traumatic injury to the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint. Ankle sprains occur when an abnormal force is applied to the foot. Commonly, this happens while running or jumping on an uneven surface. The foot rolls in (inversion) or out (eversion) and the ligaments are stretched or torn, depending on the severity. Occasionally a pop is heard at the time of the sprain, followed by pain and swelling of the ankle.

Initial treatment for ankle sprains consists of the R.I.C.E. treatment plan (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Limit weight bearing with severe sprains early in treatment. Ice should be used for 20 minutes each hour, being careful not to put it directly on your skin as to avoid frostbite. Wrap the ankle in an ACE bandage or compression stocking to minimize swelling. Lace up ankle braces can give added support. Raise the ankle above the heart to minimize swelling. A NSAID can be helpful to reduce pain and inflammation. Early mobilization and physical therapy have been proven to decrease the time to return to sporting activities.

If you are unable to bear weight or have direct tenderness over the bone, seek medical treatment immediately to rule out a fracture.

- Dr. Anikar Chhabra, M.D., M.S.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What is Sports Medicine

Treating sports injuries is an extensive process because many common injuries have the potential to cause chronic pain and lingering damage long after the initial problem has healed. Sports medicine is the combination of diagnostic testing, treatment (casting, bracing and prescribing medication), and physical therapy that athletes may need after sustaining an injury. Here are some of the common ailments that are encountered in sports medicine:
  • Sprains and strains: Overextending or twisting a muscle or tendon can lead to a sprain or strain. A sprain is more serious and may actually cause tissue to tear. The ACL is one of the most commonly injured ligaments because it is located in the knee and the knees are subject to heavy impact from your body weight. Reducing inflammation is the primary goal of initial treatment. Physical therapy is often utilized over an extended period to strengthen the injured areas and prevent future sports injuries.
Checking a knee
  • Head trauma: Contact sports have the threat of concussion when cranial impact is made. Thorough screening is needed when a head injury occurs because serious neurological damage could be incurred. Brain images may be taken with an MRI to determine the extent of damage. 
  • Back injuries: Rigorous activity may have a negative effect on the health of your spine. Over time, back pain and numbness may be experienced. X-rays can be taken to pinpoint areas that have been subject to damage. Physical therapy is often useful in treatment, realigning the structures of the spine and helping to alleviate pressure on nerves in the spinal cord.
If you have experienced a sports injury or noticed a decrease in your athletic performance, then contactTOCA in Phoenix. We specialize in orthopedic medicine and physical therapy. To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled physicians, visit our website or call us at (602) 277-6211

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

List of top 10 Summer Sports Injuries

TOCA (The Orthopedic Clinic Association) is a proud supporter of our weekend warriors and our collegiate and high school athletes, however there are many injuries that are preventable! TOCA wants to remind people not to be lulled into a false sense of safety and security by a more 'leisurely' sport. Even a relaxing game of golf resulted in 131,975 injuries that were seen in the ER. Young athletes are more susceptible to injury because children's bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing.

The AAOS has released a list of 10 popular summer recreational activities with the most injuries.

Basketball: 1.6 million injuries that were medically treated
Bike riding: 1.4 million injuries
Baseball: 492,832
Soccer: 477,647
Softball: 406,381
Trampolines: 246,875
Inline Skating: 233,806
Horseback riding: 196,260
weightlifting: 189,942
Volleyball: 187,391

Sprains, strains, cuts, bruises, fractures and dislocation are many of these 5.5 million injuries.

The AAOS has started a campeign: Prevent Injuries America. for information go to

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July

TOCA (The Orthopedic Clinic Association) Would like to wish everyone a Safe and Fun 4th of July weekend!