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Should You See a Doctor About Your Pain?

If joint or muscle pain keeps you out of the game or unable to participate in activities you enjoy, it might be time to see an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic team at Northeast Regional Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kirksville, MO, specializes in sports medicine, providing services to help you get back in action, whether you've recently experienced a sports-related injury or have been dealing with wear and tear. We take a patient-centered approach to people experiencing musculoskeletal pain and/or disability. We treat various conditions, including sprains, strains, broken bones, ACL and rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, arthritis and many other causes of back, joint and muscle pain. The sports medicine team wants to help you get back to doing the things you love.

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Treating Knee Injuries

Common sports-related injuries to the knee occur from twists, hard impacts, hyperextension or simple wear and tear. Without proper treatment, a knee injury could become a chronic problem, causing you to become more unstable and increasing your risk of falling. Your knee may not bend like it should, which can cause more damage and lead to early osteoarthritis. Our doctors can help pinpoint the origin of your pain and get you on the road to recovery. Here's a look at common knee issues we treat:

Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis can be caused by a sharp blow, repeated kneeling on hard surfaces or overuse. Typical symptoms include swelling and pain around the knee when you touch it or apply pressure. It may hurt even when you're resting. Bursitis occurs when the small, fluid-filled sacs cushion the bones, tendons and muscles around a joint become inflamed.

Torn Meniscus

Commonly occurs after forceful twists or rotations of the knee. The meniscus is cartilage that cushions between the thighbone and shinbone. A torn meniscus is typically painful and may result in swelling and stiffness. It may feel like the knee joint is blocked and can't be fully extended.

Torn ACL

Often occurs in athletes who play sports requiring sudden changes in direction, such as football, soccer, basketball or hockey. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments connecting the shinbone to the thighbone. When this ligament in the middle of the knee is torn or sprained, you may experience swelling, decreased range of motion and the inability to put weight on the joint without pain. Typically, there's a popping sound when the ACL tears.

Torn PCL

Though less common than an ACL injury, posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries produce similar symptoms. The PCL is located in the middle of the knee but behind the ACL is crucial for stability. A torn PCL commonly results from being hit just below the knee or falling on a bent knee.

Torn MCL

Pain from a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) will mostly be felt when the inside of the knee is stretched. Most MCL injuries occur when someone attempts to change direction and twists the knee at a fast speed or jumps and lands in a way that twists the knee forcefully.

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Knee Repair Surgeries

The surgical team uses minimally invasive surgical procedures such as the arthroscopic approach on many knee repairs. Using this approach, doctors can see inside the knee with a camera inserted through a small incision. Patients can often go home the same day as the surgery and begin rehabilitation soon after. Whether you're an athlete looking to get back in the game or want to walk, swim or cycle in all the places in the greater Kirksville, MO, area with less pain, we can assess your injury and suggest treatment options.

Treating Hip Injuries

Most sports-related hip injuries tend to be caused by chronic overuse of the joint and associated muscles rather than an impact, twist or traumatic injury. Hip pain could also be a symptom of back, knee or foot problems. It's important to see a doctor if your hip pain doesn't go away on its own. Many hip issues can be treated by taking a break from strenuous exercise or the activities that caused your pain, physical therapy, ice or anti-inflammatories. However, your doctor can help create the right treatment plan for you. Here's a look at common hip issues we treat:

Hip (Trochanteric) Bursitis

Caused when the small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles around a joint become inflamed.

Muscle Strains

Groin and hamstring pulls are common sports injuries involving running or force.

Iliopsoas Tendinitis

Pain, clicking or snapping in the groin or front of the hip.

Hip Pointer

Often the result of impact that causes a bruise to the top or front of the hip bone.

Hip Labral Tear

Typically caused by repetitive use or an impact that damages the cartilage outside your hip socket.

IT Band Syndrome

Often occurring in runners, pain can be felt from the outside of your hip down to the knee.

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What is Hip Bursitis?

Bursae are fluid-filled sacs between tendons, muscles and bones that reduce friction between moving parts in areas like the elbows, heels, hips, knees and shoulders. However, many athletes in the Kirksville, MO, area suffer from hip bursitis, an inflammation of the bursae.

Sacs between tendons, muscles and bones reduce friction between these moving parts. Trochanteric bursitis can cause chronic pain in the outer areas of the hip down to the knee. Pain with trochanteric bursitis is usually felt when standing, walking or running.

Another common cause of hip pain in athletes comes from sprains, which is a stretching or tear to a ligament, or a strain, which is a stretch or tear to a muscle. Pain, along with clicking or "snapping" sounds in the groin or front of the hip, could be a sign of iliopsoas tendinitis, also called hip flexor tendinitis. Bending, especially against resistance, typically increases pain for those suffering from this tendon irritation.

Treating Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder joint is the most mobile in the body. Activities we love in Kirksville, MO, like tennis, baseball, swimming, golf or manual labor that requires repetitive motion can often overextend the shoulder joint, leading to ligament, tendon or muscle damage. Clicking or popping in your shoulder when rotating the joint or reaching up is a sign that there could be cartilage damage, including a rotator cuff injury. Here are some common shoulder issues we treat:


Caused when the small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles around a joint become inflamed.


Inflammation of a tendon, typically from overuse.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Damage in a muscle that stabilizes your shoulder.

Pinched nerves in the neck

Sometimes presenting as pins and needles or even sharp pain in the shoulder.

Frozen shoulder

Pain and stiffness that limits your range of motion, often when your shoulder is held in one position for long periods.

Dislocated shoulder

When the arm bone comes out of the socket of the shoulder blade.

Shoulder Separation

Injury to a ligament between the collarbone and shoulder blade.

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Advanced Shoulder Issues

Shoulder pain can become more common as you age, especially for adults over 60. Sometimes, pain is caused by natural degeneration of the bone, muscle, ligament or tendons surrounding the shoulder. Depending on the severity of damage to bones in the shoulder, a joint replacement surgery could be an option. An acromioclavicular (AC) joint injury is a type of shoulder separation where the ligaments connecting the collarbone to the shoulder blade are damaged. Arthritis, fractures or separations commonly cause pain in the AC joint. If more conventional treatments like rest, ice and medication don't help to reduce your pain, then a doctor's examination is recommended. A surgeon may perform a non-invasive surgery such as arthroscopy or a mini-open surgery to examine the joint and possibly clean up damaged cartilage.

Treating Elbow Injuries

Elbow pain and stiffness can make simple tasks like eating, bathing or typing difficult. While elbow problems become more common as we age, they can result from an injury that may require special treatment. Rest, ice therapy and over-the-counter pain medications often help relieve elbow pain. If conservative treatments don't help, you may want to see a doctor if:

  • Everyday activities like brushing your teeth or lifting a cup, or turning a doorknob cause pain
  • Pain, redness or swelling in the elbow gets worse
  • You experience pain when not using your arm
  • You've lost range of motion in your elbow
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What Causes Elbow Pain?

Elbow pain is typically caused by an impact such as a fall or when tendons in the joint are twisted and injured. Many athletes and people with jobs requiring repetitive wrist and arm motions, like painters, plumbers or cooks, develop a painful condition commonly called tennis elbow. Pain from tendons in the elbow can spread to the forearm muscles and wrist. Some people may suffer from nerve pain or tingling in their forearms and/or fingers caused by trapped or damaged nerves in the elbow.

If conservative treatments don't help, you may want to see an orthopedic specialist if the pain doesn't go away within a few days. Elbow conditions we treat:


Caused when the small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles around a joint become inflamed.


When the bones are not in the right position. The elbow joint may occur when the humerus (upper arm bone) is thrust out of sync with the radius and ulna.


These breaks can be brought on by a fall, a jolt to the elbow or a twisting of the arm.

Golfer's elbow

Also known as medial epicondylitis, this condition is an irritation of the tendons between the forearm to the elbow. This condition describes pain in the elbow's interior.


Swelling of a tendon, a tough tissue strand that attaches muscle to bone.

Tennis elbow

Otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis, this condition describes pain in the elbow's exterior. It results from inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles to the elbow.


The good news is the orthopedic team can quickly determine the cause of most elbow pain and develop an individualized recovery plan to get you feeling better. The sooner you meet with a doctor, the sooner you'll begin to recover.

Treating Hand & Wrist Injuries

Hand and wrist pain can make accomplishing seemingly simple tasks like eating or bathing challenging. Also, it can keep you off the field. Whether you're suffering from an injury or arthritis, an orthopedic specialist can help identify and treat the problem. Many issues can cause pain in the wrist and hand. These include:


A group of conditions that cause inflammation of the joints. It can affect any joint in the body, including the hands and wrists.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A condition that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the wrist.


Misalignments can be caused by a fall, a direct blow to the joint or a sudden twisting motion.


Breaks in the hand and wrist can be caused by a fall, a direct blow to the hand or wrist or a twisting motion.


Injuries to the ligaments, the tissues that connect bones.


Injuries to the muscles or tendons are often caused by overuse or a sudden, forceful movement.

Tendon injuries

Often caused by overuse or a sudden injury.

Vascular conditions

Conditions affect the blood vessels in the hand or wrist. Vascular disorders can be caused by several factors, including atherosclerosis, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.


Orthopedic specialists can prescribe a treatment to help alleviate pain and regain function so you can get back to doing what you enjoy.

Treating Foot & Ankle Injuries

If you're suffering from foot or ankle pain, orthopedic specialists can recommend treatments to help you find relief. If left untreated, foot and ankle injuries can worsen, leading to other problems with your knees, hips or back. If you're having trouble walking or putting weight on your foot or ankle, it may be time to see us. We can help treat many common foot and ankle conditions, including:

Ankle Instability

A state in which the ankle joint is overly flexible, causing it to be more prone to sprains or dislocations. This can arise from a prior injury, overuse or weakness.

Cartilage Injury

Harm to the soft, slippery material covering the ends of bones within a joint, resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness.

Flat Feet

With this condition, the curves of the feet are flattened. This may cause pain, weariness and other complications.


A separation in a bone. This could result from a fall, sports injury or other impact.

Heel Pain

Can be caused by several conditions, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis or a tension fracture.

Plantar Fasciitis

An irritation of the plantar fascia, a bulky cord of tissue that courses along the underside of the foot. This may trigger discomfort in the heel or curve of the foot.

Shin Splints

Pain in the anterior portion of the lower leg brought about by irritation of the muscles and tendons in the shin. This may be due to overexertion or improper footwear.

Sprains and Strains

Wounds to the ligaments and tendons that prop up the joints. Sprains are triggered by stretching or rupturing ligaments, while strains are prompted by stretching or rupturing tendons.

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Patient results may vary. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of any surgical procedure or treatment.

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