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The North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists blog provides the latest information on orthopaedic conditions, injuries and procedures. Search our articles below by keyword category as well as author.

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Orthopaedic Injury Care Anytime

North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists is excited to announce the availability of the Hurt! smartphone app and the web-based version, accessible on a desktop device. This revolutionary new resource uses human-to-human interaction to connect patients with acute orthopaedic injuries to an expert Hurt! Care Navigator in real-time, 24/7, 365 days a year.

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RED-S and the Evolving Female Athlete

The Personal Impact

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Osteoporosis Management

We see our share of broken bones as an orthopaedic and sports medicine practice. From the high school baseball player who collided with first base a little too hard to the avid DIY’er who took a tumble from an unsecured ladder and everything in between, we’ve seen it all. As we age, we also gradually lose bone mass, which occurs as small amounts of healthy bone are absorbed into your body as small amounts are replaced. When more bone is absorbed than is replaced, the density (bone mass) is reduced. Osteoporosis develops when the bone is no longer replaced as quickly as it is removed, and over time, it causes the bone to become progressively weaker, increasing the risk that it may break.

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Healthy Aging & Bone Health

Observing Healthy Aging Month in September is an opportunity to emphasize the physical well-being of older adults. At North Florida Bone & Joint, our focus is on identifying proactive health practices that reduce the risk of orthopaedic injury and conditions and promote an overall active lifestyle. Three primary areas we look to include fall prevention measures, osteoporosis management and establishing a routine exercise program. 

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Orthopaedic Occupational Health

In today's dynamic work environment, ensuring the health and safety of employees is paramount for any responsible employer. From minor sprains to more severe injuries, orthopaedic-related incidents can significantly impact both the employee's well-being and the company's productivity. As an orthopaedic occupational healthcare provider, Dr. Erik Nilssen focuses on bridging the gap between companies and the healthcare system for orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injuries.

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In-Office Hand Surgery

In-office surgery of the hand and upper extremities offers patients the best of both worlds – innovation and accessibility with safety top of mind. At North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists, our fellowship-trained hand surgeons, Dr. Alex Coleman, Dr. Steven Kronlage and Dr. James Piorkowski, perform various procedures efficiently while maintaining the highest standard of care at our Gulf Breeze and Pensacola locations.

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Youth Sports Injuries

Youth sports participation promotes physical health and leadership skills and is a positive outlet for children within our communities. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.5 million youth sports injuries occur each year in the U.S. Of those injuries, one in three participants seeks medical attention, resulting in lost sports and school time. Fortunately, the CDC also concluded that more than 50 percent of these injuries are preventable.

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Prioritizing Patient Safety

At North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists, our entire team is tirelessly focused on the consistent delivery of safe and effective patient care. To sustain the year-round efforts of our healthcare providers, professionals, and support staff, NFBJS sets aside time from March 10-16 to highlight important patient safety issues and to recognize ongoing initiatives that illustrate our collaborative team-centered approach during Patient Safety Awareness Week and beyond.

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Safe Toys & Gifts Month

December is National Safe Toys & Gifts Month, and as we go about our holiday shopping, it's important to remember the impact those presents can have on the well-being of the children in our lives. A recently released report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicated that nearly 210,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for a toy-related injury in 2022. The annual CPSC report also provided the following illuminating statistics:

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Turkey Carving Safety

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 46 million turkeys will be consumed on Thanksgiving. While the centerpiece of tomorrow’s holiday celebration makes for a delicious meal along with standard accompaniments such as stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy, it must be safely served. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, too many people severely cut their hands while carving a turkey, and as the American Society of Hand Therapists points out, it’s one of the top five most common Thanksgiving injuries.

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Diagnosing & Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS for short, is a medical condition characterized by the compression of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel located in the wrist. When compressed, the outer covering of the nerve (myelin sheath) is injured due to a lack of blood flow, which reduces its ability to conduct signals up and down the nerve fiber. Unfortunately, if left untreated, the degeneration of the nerve will progress, and symptoms will worsen over time. Below, we discuss the symptoms of CTS more broadly and the methods for diagnosing and treating this common condition.

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Expanding Our Location Footprint

Since initially forming in 2008 as Andrews Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center, North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists has continued to grow and evolve. Our latest expansion began in the fall of last year when we welcomed Dr. Ryan Riggs, our second fellowship-trained sports medicine physician. The addition of Dr. Riggs was quickly followed by Dr. Brett Smith joining the group, bringing with him his expertise in total joint replacement and adult reconstruction surgery of the knee and hip. To accommodate this rapid growth, we are proud to announce the extension of our physical footprint with two new office locations – a second office on Davis Hwy. in Pensacola and a new office in Fort Walton Beach. Our new Pensacola office will open on April 1 at 4304 N. Davis Hwy., Ste. A, and is just south of our Foot & Ankle Center located at 4406 N. Davis Hwy. Dr. Smith and Dr. Riggs will be available for appointments at this new location and will continue to see patients in Ste. 207 at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze. The new Fort Walton Beach location opens March 25 in Uptown Station at 73 Eglin Pkwy. NE, Ste. 111, marking the first North Florida Bone and Joint Specialists office serving our patients directly in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. This new location provides patients with comprehensive physical and occupational therapy services as well as on-site imaging. Beginning April 19, Dr. Riggs will also be available on-site for office visits. The addition of these two new locations demonstrates our continued commitment to accessibility by reducing travel time and costs for our patients. Learn more about the conditions our expert subspecialists treat, or use the links below to request appointments with Dr. Riggs or Dr. Smith.

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Certified Hand Therapy

Hand Therapy services at our Pensacola office on 9th Ave. and our Gulf Breeze location at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (Ste. 209) provide an opportunity to treat both acute and chronic conditions or injuries of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. At Florida Bone & Joint, our fellowship-trained surgeons work closely with our exceptional Certified Hand Therapists to develop a comprehensive course of treatment to improve outcomes related to conditions and injuries of the upper extremities, including the following:

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Occupational Therapy Month

During the month of April, we want to take the opportunity to recognize Occupational Therapy Month and our highly skilled Certified Hand Therapists (CHT) who are board-certified in Occupational Therapy with a board certification in Hand Therapy. This additional qualification in the upper extremities requires 4,000 hours of patient care, three years of clinical experience and passing an advanced comprehensive exam.

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Adult Reconstruction & Joint Replacement

As a subspecialty of orthopaedic surgery, Adult Reconstruction includes the in-depth study, prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions caused by various diseases and disorders using innovative surgical and non-surgical intervention. At North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists, our expert subspecialist, Dr. Brett Smith, focuses on the care of knee and hip arthritis and other disorders related to the knee and hip.

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Hand Therapy 101

As a subset of occupational therapy, hand therapy plays a significant role in treating and improving patient outcomes related to acute and chronic conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. At North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists, our Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs) are board-certified in occupational therapy with an added qualification in Hand Therapy. Working with a CHT can have several benefits, including:

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