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Rush Orthopedics — Conditions We Treat

The following conditions are some of the most common conditions treated by specialists in this area. These specialists offer expert care for many other related medical problems. If you need care for a condition not listed here, please call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) to find a doctor who can help you.

  • A complete or partial tear tothe anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — the part of the knee joint connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone can result from a hit on the side of the knee, overstretching the knee, or quickly stopping and changing direction while running, landing from a jump or turning.
  • Avascular necrosis (also called osteonecrosis) occurs when blood flow to bones in the joints is disrupted. Deprived of blood, the bone eventually starts to die and may eventually collapse.
  • The two types of back pain are acute, which typically occurs after a fall, injury or heavy lifting, and chronic, which persists for three months or longer.
  • Cancer of the bones can either travel to bone from other organs (metastatic bone cancer), or it can begin in the cells of the bone itself (primary bone cancer).
  • Bunions

    Bunions occur when the big toe leans toward the second toe. This creates a realignment of the bones in the big toe, which causes a bump to appear at the base of the big toe. A bunion can become painful as the bump becomes larger.
  • Bursitis is when a bursa — a small, fluid-filled sac with a jelly-like feel that helps protect bones — becomes swollen or irritated.
  • Capsulitis

    Capsulitis is when the lining of a joint becomes inflamed and causes the casing of tissue around the joint to contract. This makes the joint stiff, and bands of tissue called adhesions form around the capsule, limiting mobility and causing pain. Capsulitis can affect any joint but most commonly occurs in the toes and shoulder (this is known as adhesive capsulitis or “frozen shoulder”).  
  • The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the inside of the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the passageway, is squeezed or compressed by the surrounding tissue.
  • Chordoma is a rare cancerous tumor that is most commonly found at the base of the skull or spine.
  • Clubfoot

    Clubfoot is a congenital condition in which one or both feet turn inward and downward. The condition is more common in boys than girls, and it may be hereditary (passed down through families). Usually, the defect can be fixed nonsurgically, but in severe cases, surgery may be needed. Babies with clubfoot should ideally be treated shortly after birth, when it is easiest to reshape the foot.  
  • Concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury. When a person suffers a bump, blow or jolt to the head, the brain can shift and hit the inside of the skull.
  • In spite of its name, degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease. It refers to the natural process by which the intervertebral discs of the spine change as people age.
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement

    Femoroacetabular impingement is a condition where the bones of the hip do not form normally during childhood and, as a result, do not fit together perfectly. As a result, the hip bones rub against each other, damaging the joint and causing pain in the groin area or toward the outside of the hip.  
  • Gait Abnormalities

    Gait abnormalities are irregular, uncontrollable walking patterns — such as walking with the head and neck thrust forward, dragging the feet or waddling from side to side. There are many potential causes, including arthritis, birth defects (such as clubfoot), infection, traumatic injury, leg-length discrepancies and cerebral palsy. Often, the gait abnormality can be corrected by addressing the underlying problem.  
  • Hemangiomas are abnormal masses, or tumors, that develop when blood vessels grow out of control. While rarely cancerous, brain and spine hemangiomas can sometimes bleed into surrounding tissue or grow big enough to weaken spinal bones. Brain and spine hemangioma symptoms When symptoms develop, they vary depending on the location of the tumor and may include the following:
  • A herniated disc occurs when part or all of a disc slips or ruptures between the vertebrae in your spinal column. For this reason, a herniated disc is also known as a “slipped disc” or a “ruptured disc.”
  • Hip Dysplasia

    Hip dysplasia, or developmental dysplasia of the hip, refers to dislocation of the hip joint that is present at birth. One or both hips may be affected. Children with dysplasia may have one leg that appears to turn out more or is shorter than the other, or reduced movement on the side with the dislocation. They may also waddle or limp while walking and have a lower back that is rounded inward.  
  • Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic problems for people of all ages. Knee pain is most often caused by overuse injuries such as tendonitis, bursitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome (“runner’s knee”) that produce inflammation (pain and swelling).
  • Kyphosis

    Kyphosis is curving of the spine that eventually leads to a hunchbacked or slouching posture. When it occurs in adolescents, known as Scheuermann’s disease, the cause is the wedging together of several vertebrae. It is mostly found in adults, however, and can result from arthritis, disc degeneration, osteoporosis-related fractures, injury or spondylolisthesis. Certain diseases, including muscular dystrophy, Paget’s disease, spina bifida and polio, can also cause kyphosis.  
  • Twisting or over-flexing the knee can cause a tear in the meniscus cartilage in the knee. Meniscus tears are a common cause of knee pain, especially in athletes.
  • Myofascial pain syndrome (also called chronic myofascial pain) is a condition in which connective tissue called fascia tightens and contracts. This is usually from an injury or overuse (repetitive motion).
  • Neck Pain

    Neck pain is common and often results from strain or tension caused by everyday activities, such as routinely sleeping, working or watching TV in an uncomfortable position. Other, more serious possible causes include sprains, fractures and spinal stenosis.
  • Neuropathy refers to any disorder in which the body’s nerves are damaged and do not work properly. The damage may be to a single nerve or to several nerves. Examples of neuropathy symptoms are numbness, tingling, weakness and pain.
  • With osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, the cartilage that cushions joints loses its elasticity and wears away in places. This makes the bones rub together, causing pain, stiffness and swelling. In addition to wear and tear, research by rheumatologists at Rush and other centers suggests that inflammation may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria, a fungus or other germs.
  • Plantar fasciitis occurs when tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused and becomes inflamed (swollen and irritated) and painful.
  • Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD)

    Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD) is a rare non-hereditary birth defect affecting the pelvis (especially the hip) and thigh bone (femur). People with PFFD have shortened legs (one leg or both) and deformities in one or both hips. They also frequently have other birth defects, including a shortened tibia or fibula and foot deformities.   
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in joints. As it progresses, RA can cause joint deformity and even lead to disability.
  • Injury to the rotator cuff — four small muscles and tendons coming off the shoulder blade — can happen during a fall or accident or develop over time from overuse.
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain

    Sacroiliac joint pain, also known as SI joint pain, is pain caused by damage to the sacroiliac joint, which connects the hip to the spine. It is a common cause of lower back pain.
  • Sciatica occurs when there is damage to or pressure on the sciatic nerve, which causes nerve pain. The sciatic nerve starts in the low back and runs down the back or side of the leg.
  • Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine develops a side-to-side curve in an S- or C-shape. It can occur in both children and adults.
  • Shoulder Dislocation

    Shoulder dislocation is when the ball part of the shoulder moves partially or completely out of the socket, causing pain and instability in the shoulder joint. This can happen from a traumatic injury or from overuse. Once a shoulder is dislocated, it is then more vulnerable to slipping out of place again.
  • Shoulder Impingement

    Shoulder impingement — inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and bursa in the shoulder — is a common injury in athletes who use overhead throwing or lifting motions. It causes pain throughout the shoulder joint (extending as far as the elbow) that may be manageable at first but typically worsens over time. Other symptoms include decreased range of motion and strength in the shoulder; after a prolonged period, it may be difficult to lift the arm over the head.    
  • Shoulder pain can result from many different injuries, such as a rotator cuff tear, or it can be a symptom of a condition like osteoarthritis.
  • Soft tissue sarcomas are cancerous tumors that begin in the muscle, fat, nerves, tendons, blood vessels or connective tissues. Most are found in an arm or leg, or the abdomen (stomach) area.
  • Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, which can cause numbness, weakness or pain.
  • Spondylolisthesis

    Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra (bone) in the lumbar spine (lower spine) slips out of place. In children, spondylolisthesis can occur as a result of a birth defect in the lumbar spine or from an acute injury. In adults, spondylolisthesis frequently occurs from abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones, such as from arthritis.
  • Spondylolysis

    Spondylolysis is a crack in the vertebra (bone) in the lumbar spine (lower spine). Spondylolysis is typically the result of a stress fracture. Spondylolysis is more common among athletes that must hyperextend their lower backs, such as gymnasts, weight lifters or football linemen. If the stress fracture weakens the bone significantly, it can slip forward causing spondylolisthesis.
  • Stress Fracture

    Stress fracture is a crack in a bone caused by repeated stress, such as routinely running long distances. Stress fractures are most common in the lower legs and feet, but they can also occur in the spine and other areas.
  • Tendonitis is swelling and irritation of a tendon, the sinewy structure that connects muscle to bone. It is caused by injury or overuse.
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury

    UCL injury most often occurs in athletes who use overhead motions or throw a lot, putting extreme stress on the ulnar collateral ligament. Symptoms include pain on the inside of the elbow, a feeling of looseness or instability in the elbow, and tingling or numbness in the small finger and ring finger. The injury also impairs a person’s ability to throw, though it rarely affects other types of motion.  
  • Wrist Fracture

    Wrist fracture is a break in the larger of the two bones in the forearm (Colles’ fracture) or in a small bone on the thumb side of the wrist (navicular fracture). These common injuries usually occur from falling onto an outstretched arm, sharp twisting or getting hit on the wrist.