Diseases & Conditions

Getting the right orthopedic treatment for your joint condition starts with access to the right information. At Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, we strive to stay up-to-date on common joint diseases and conditions and share that information with you so you can make informed decisions about your care.


Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis results from a significant loss of blood supply to the top of the thighbone where it fits in the hip socket. This disabling condition can lead to painful hip movement and arthritis.

Bony Abnormalities

This condition involves irregularities in the hip joint such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), cam impingement, pincer lesions and dysplasia.

Bursitis of the Hip

Around the outer area of the hip, small sacs filled with liquid act as cushions between bone, tendons and muscles. When inflammation of the sacs occurs, hip pain follows.

Chondral Lesions or Injuries

Injuries to, or loss of, cartilage exposes the underlying bone surface, causing severe pain in the hip.

Detachment of the Hip Labrum

The labrum, a ring of soft tissue outside the socket of the hip, cushions and works like a suction cup to hold the hip together. Pain with internal rotation and adduction occurs when the hip labrum becomes detached.

Excessive Torsion

When the round ball of the bone sits more forward or backward in the hip joint, this can lead to symptomatic, painful hips and progressive cartilage wear.

Extra-Articular Disorders about the Hip

Disorders about the hip can be related either directly to the joint or to the outside of the joint. These disorders include tendon injuries, muscular injuries and nerve damage.

Hip Dysplasia

When the hip socket has limited coverage around the ball of the femur, the body forms more soft labrum tissue to compensate. This can result in the labrum tearing.

Hip Impingement

This occurs when the ball of the femur does not have its full range of motion within the socket. This causes a decreased range of hip joint motion in addition to pain.

Hip Osteoarthritis

This is the most common form of arthritis. Hip osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage breaks down, causing damage to the hipbone. More than 20 million Americans, mostly adults over the age of 65, suffer from osteoarthritis.

Labral Tears and Chondral Lesions in the Hip

The hip joint has a rim of cartilage called the labrum that allows the femur to move easily in the hip socket. A tear of the labrum can occur from injury, repetitive motion or degeneration, causing pain in the hip joint.

Periarticular Muscle Irritations and Tendonitis

A fall or direct blow to the hip, or overstretching and overuse can tear muscle fibers, resulting in hip strain. Strains may be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of the injury.

Ruptured Ligament of the Hip

Ligaments strengthen the hip and stabilize the joint. Ligament strains or ruptures occur if the joint is twisted or overstretched. Usually a “snapping” or “cracking” occurs when a ligament ruptures, followed by bruising, swelling and pain.

Snapping Hip

The occasional “snapping” that can be heard when walking results from the movement of a muscle or tendon over a bony structure. A tear in the cartilage or some bone debris in the hip joint can also cause a snapping or clicking sensation.


This is the term for inflammation of the inner layer of the joint capsule, which is made up of loose connective tissue. Most hip conditions overload this capsule, causing its inflammation.

Tendonopathies of the Hip

Disorders in tendons, the soft tissues that connect muscles to bones, can be caused by inflammation, some degree of degeneration or tearing.


ACL Injury

Spraining or tearing the anterior cruciate ligament, commonly referred to as the ACL, is one of the most common knee injuries. While people who participate in high-impact sports — like basketball, soccer and football — are more prone to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments, ACL injuries can happen to anyone.


Arthritis is a common medical term that refers to the inflammation of a joint, including the knee. The injury is accompanied by stiffness, swelling and pain. While there are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types.

Collateral or Combined Ligament Injury

Knee ligament sprains or tears are a common sports injury. Any sort of direct contact to the knee or sudden change in direction can cause injury to the knee ligament. Injured ligaments, also referred to as sprains, are graded on a severity scale from one to three, with three being the most severe and complete tear of the ligament.

Fractures of the Distal Femur (Thighbone)

When a fracture or bone break occurs above the knee joint, it is referred to as a distal femur or thighbone fracture. The distal femur is where the bone flares out like an upside-down funnel.

Fractures of the Proximal Tibia (Shinbone)

When a fracture or bone break occurs below the knee joint, it is referred to as a fracture of the proximal tibia, or shinbone. The proximal tibia is the upper portion of the bone where it widens to help form the knee joint.

Growth Plate Fractures

Children are still growing, which makes them prone to a unique injury called a growth plate fracture. A growth plate is an area of cartilage near the end of a bone. Since growth plates are the last part of a child’s bones to ossify or harden, they are very vulnerable to fractures.

Meniscal Tears

An extremely common knee injury, a meniscal tear occurs when the cartilage in the knee is ruptured. While anyone can get a meniscal tear, it commonly affects athletes, particularly those who play contact sports.

Patellar Tendon Tear

Tears to the patellar tendon occur where the tendon attaches to the kneecap. Tears are generally classified as either partial or complete. During a complete tear, the tendon is separated from the kneecap, making it difficult to straighten the knee.

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

This injury is characterized by inflammation of the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. The condition is commonly referred to as jumper’s knee because it is typically caused by frequent jumping on hard surfaces, which leads to overuse of the knee joint.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

This broad term is used to describe pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap (patella). This injury can occur in non-athletes, although it most commonly affects people who participate in sports — specifically young adults and females — therefore, this injury is often called runner's knee or jumper's knee.

Quadricep Tendon Tears

The quadricep tendon attaches the quadricep to the kneecap. When the quadricep tendon tears, straightening the leg is painful. Tears to the quadricep tendon can be either partial or complete. This injury is most common in middle-age adults who run, jump or participate in sports.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Located in the back of the knee, the posterior cruciate ligament is one of several ligaments that connect the thighbone to the shinbone. Symptoms of a torn posterior cruciate ligament include knee pain and swelling, stiff knee, difficulty walking and an unstable knee that feels like it may give out.

Shin Splints

This injury often occurs after a sudden change in physical activity, such as increasing the level of exercise performed each week. Shin splints occur when the muscle and bone tissue in the leg become overworked by repetitive activity. Other factors can contribute to shin splints, including improper footwear or abnormally rigid arches.

Stress Fracture

A stress fracture is considered one of the most common injuries in sports — with those participating in tennis, track and field, gymnastics and basketball the most susceptible. Typically, a stress fracture occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock and transfers that shock to the bone. This causes a tiny crack in the bone, also known as a stress fracture.

Unstable Kneecap

When a kneecap (patella) works properly, it rests in a groove at the end of the thighbone. When the knee bends, the patella moves within the groove. During a hard blow or fall, the patella slides too far to one side or the other, causing a complete or partial dislocation, also known as an unstable kneecap.


Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)

Adhesive capsulitis develops gradually over time and causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It usually resolves within one to three years.


Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, or small, fluid-filled sacs, which provide cushioning near joints. Bursitis most commonly occurs in the shoulder, elbow and hip.


A dislocation is a joint injury in which the ends of bones are moved from their usual positions. This injury causes joint deformity and immobility.


Fractures are broken bones. They are usually caused by accidents, osteoporosis or overuse.

Impingement Syndrome

Impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons and bursa of the shoulder are compressed by the bones of the shoulder. This condition makes shoulder movement difficult and painful.

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear occurs when at least one of the tendons that attach the shoulder to the upper arm bone is torn. This injury is a common cause of pain and disability.


A separation is an injury to the ligaments that hold bones together at the joint. The most common separation is a separated shoulder in which the ligaments that keep the collarbone and shoulder blade together are injured.

Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder arthritis occurs when the shoulder joint is inflamed. It causes shoulder pain and stiffness.


Tendinosis occurs when the tendon's collagen becomes worn due to chronic overuse.

Hand & Wrist


According to recent studies, more than 51 million people have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, a condition characterized by the inflammation or degeneration of the joints, including the knee. Arthritis is often accompanied by stiffness, swelling and pain.

Bicep Tendon Injury

The biceps muscle is the strength behind every bend of the elbow and rotation of the forearm and also keeps the shoulder stable. Injuries to the tendons that attach the bicep muscle to the bones can cause arm weakness and pain during the most routine and everyday activities.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

CTS is a common, sometimes sharply painful condition where burning, tingling and pain are felt in the fingers and hand. CTS is brought on by increased pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. There are a variety of causes of swelling and pressure, from injury to mechanical joint problems.

Congenital Hand Defects

Congenital hand defects or deformities are anomalies in the hand that are present at birth. While genetics may cause some deformities, others are without cause. Defects range widely in impact on the appearance and function of hands, and many (though not all) can be addressed with reconstructive surgery.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This syndrome can cause severe pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and hand, brought on by excessive or repetitive elbow use. It is caused by pressure on the nerve in the elbow, arm or wrist, and treatments can range from merely limiting use to surgery depending on the case.

DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

DeQuervain's tenosynovitis is also referred to as stenosing tenosynovitis. It occurs when tendons near the base of the thumb are irritated or constricted and cause pain in making a fist or turning the wrist. Repetitive gripping motions such as gardening, golf, or racket sports can aggravate this injury.


Dislocations of the elbow, finger and wrist are very painful injuries that occur when the bones are moved out of their proper jointed position. Injuries are usually caused by a fall or trauma, and can result in pain, swelling and the inability to properly bend or move the hand, wrist and arm.

Dupuytren’s Contracture

A hand deformity that usually develops over many years, this condition affects a layer of skin under the palm. Knots of tissue form under the skin, pulling one or more fingers (usually the ring or little fingers) into a bent position.

Lateral Epicondylitis

Commonly known as Tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis is caused by overuse, often by tennis and other racquet sports players. The tendons that join the forearm are inflamed from overuse, causing pain and tenderness over the outside of the bone.

Fingertip Injuries

These are the most common injury to the hand, as fingertips are very vulnerable to cuts, tears or crushing injuries that damage the nail, skin, bone or other soft tissue. Because fingers are rich with nerves and very sensitive, injuries can disrupt the function of the entire hand.


Fractures of the elbow, hand and wrist occur when the arm or hand is bent with enough force to snap the bone. These injuries are usually caused by a fall or traumatic blow and will result in severe pain, swelling and loss of movement.

Ganglion Cysts

The most common cause of lumps or masses in the hand, often on the back of the wrist, these cysts are fluid-filled sacks that likely result from a weakness of the joint capsule, ligaments or tendon sheaths. While many don't require treatment, some can, as they are painful and interfere with function or appearance.

Mallet Finger

A direct trauma injury to the extensor tendon in the tip of the finger, which is responsible for straightening the finger. Often a ball or unyielding object strikes the finger and forces it to bend further than normal, and the finger is not able to straighten on its own.

Nerve Injuries

These occur often in the hand, since the hand and fingers are filled with an intricate network of nerves used for feeling, gripping and movement. Damage to nerves can result in loss of function and skill as well as pain. Nerves are damaged by crushing or hard impact on the hand.

Osteochondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans of the elbow is most usually found in adolescent children ages 10-18, where a portion of the bone or cartilage is cut off from the blood supply. This creates a dead area of the elbow, resulting in painful locking and popping of the elbow as well as swelling or tenderness.

Sprains and Strains

Common in sports but can occur during the course of any physical activity, sprains and strains occur when the ligaments that connect one bone to the other are stretched or torn, usually as a result of a fall or awkward motion that overextends or ruptures the ligaments.

Tendon Injuries

Tendons are the fibers that connect muscle to bone. Tendons in the wrist, finger and elbow areas can become injured, inflamed or even torn through falls or sudden traumatic events, but often occur over time through misuse or overuse.

Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Injuries

This type of injury impacts the little finger side of the wrist. TFCC stabilizes the bone in the wrist and acts to stabilize movement. The wrist can be injured in a fall or sudden impact to an outstretched hand, resulting in pain, swelling and lack of movement.

Trigger Finger

A common name for Stenosing Tenosynovitis, it is a condition where a finger or thumb is trapped in a bent position. People who repetitively grip items have a higher risk for developing trigger finger, where the sheath that surrounds tendons in the finger becomes inflamed.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury

Many throwing athletes suffer from UCL injuries, as sprains and injuries repetitive throwing motions often inflame or even cause small tears within the ligament. The UCL is located on the inside of the elbow.

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You can also read more about diseases and conditions in our health library.