Sports / Orthopedic

The Top 5 Questions Patients Ask Dr. Romine

Apr 25 2024

We spoke with Spencer Romine, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Mercy Health – Western Kentucky Orthopedics, about common questions his patients have asked him. Check out his answers below!

Q: Doc, is it broken or fractured?

A: “Honestly, I’m not sure how the difference between a break and a fracture of a bone ever started… But the answer is that there is absolutely no difference. A break is the same as a fracture.”

Q: Do I have to take my plates and screws out?

A: “There is no reason to have your hardware removed 99 percent of the time unless it causes you pain and discomfort. The only exception to this is with children. Kids will continue to grow and will actually cover plates and screws with new bone, making it very difficult to remove in the future.”

Q: Did I get carpal tunnel syndrome from typing at my job?

A: “There is very little evidence that typing and other repetitive activities cause carpal tunnel. The vast majority of patients develop carpal tunnel for no particular reason at all (idiopathic). There are multiple risk factors that may contribute, include several medical problems.”

Q: Did all the sports I played when I was a kid give me arthritis?

A: “Unless there was a specific injury that occurred while playing, sports are usually not responsible for causing arthritis. Unfortunately, research has shown that genetics are often the most important reason for developing arthritis of joints. In other words, thank your parents!”

Q: When do I need to get my joint replaced?

A: “I had a patient tell me once that another surgeon told him he had to get his shoulder replaced. My response was, ‘Do you want a shoulder replacement?’ A joint replacement, whether it’s the shoulder, hip, knee or ankle, is a completely elective procedure that is purely the choice of the patient! The benefits must outweigh risks, and nobody makes this decision but you. That being said, when your lifestyle has changed to the point when you are not able to enjoy your life due to pain and you have exhausted all forms of nonoperative treatment, the decision to have a joint replacement is often an easy one.”

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Also, learn about orthopedic services we provide at Mercy Health.

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