News At AOC

Fingertip Injuries in the Workplace

Fingertip injuries are unfortunately a common occurrence in many different places of employment. They are especially common in young men who perform manual labor. The fingertip is exposed in a variety of occupations where it can be crushed by heavy objects, lacerated by knives, or injured by power tools such as table saws. These injuries can lead to damage to the bone, tendon, nerve, nail bed, finger pad (pulp), and skin. Tendons (both flexor and extensor tendons) are the key structures that bend and straighten the finger. Nerves provide feeling to the tip of the finger, while the nail bed (germinal matrix) is responsible for making the nail.

The relative lack of soft tissue at the tip of the finger, as well as the presence of the nail bed, makes these injuries often complicated to treat. While some people may disregard the importance of the nail itself, it plays a key role in the function of the hand. Nails protect the fingertip, provide a counterforce when picking up small objects, and contribute to the tactile sensation of the fingertip.

When evaluating an injury to the fingertip, the degree of damage as well as the physical demands of the patient are taken into account when devising a treatment plan. Blood often collects underneath the nail(subungual hematoma) after a crushing injury. When there is a significant amount of blood, as well as a break of the underlying bone, surgery is often recommended to drain the hematoma, wash out the open fracture, and to repair the nail bed. The fracture itself is often amenable to nonoperative treatment with a splint - only occasionally requiring surgical treatment with a metal pin or screw.

Some fingertip injuries can be treated with simple daily dressing changes with antibiotic ointment. These patients often only have soft tissue loss of the fingertip, without the severe damage involving bone, tendon and nail bed as described above. With some persistence, the end result of this non-surgical treatment in select patients can be excellent.

While most patients with fingertip injuries are able to regain much of their pre-injury function, it is important to note that many of these patients will report residual numbness, cold sensitivity, and nail growth abnormalities. Finally, the involvement of a certified hand therapist is an integral part of optimizing functional outcomes for the long term with or without surgical treatment.        

Author: David Katz, MD

[1] Sorock GS,Lombardi DA, Hauser RB, Eisen EA, Herrick RF, Mittleman MA: Acute traumaticoccupational hand injuries: Type, location, and severity. J Occup EnvironMed 2002;44(4):345- 351. [1] DaCruz DJ, Slade RJ,Malone W: Fractures of the distal phalanges. J Hand Surg Br 1988;13(3):350-352.


Preparing the Body for Exercise is Important at Any Age | Hydration & Nutrition |

If you are younger, you may think that your body is very limber and is quickly able to adapt and thus you can jump straight into exercise with no sequela. Likewise, if you are on the other end of the spectrum, you may think that the type of exercise you do is so low impact, that you will do no harm by getting right into it. However, it is important to prepare the body for exercise at any age. Preparing for exercise requires a minimum of these three things: hydration and nutrition, warming up and proper clothing.

Hydration & Nutrition

It is vital to hydrate and eat well prior to exercising. It is important to remember that you will lose both nutrients and water during activity. Plain water is essential for maintaining our body's water balance and for replacing what is lost during exercise. Sports drinks, protein shakes and smoothies are all advertised as a great way to replenish your nutrients after exercise, however, these usually only playa role in high intensity exercise. It is wise to consult a doctor, nutritionist or trainer prior to high intensity exercise to determine what is best for your body and activity level before and after exercise.

Warming Up

Warming up before exercising allows your muscles and heart to prepare for activity. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of activity per week for the average adult. That comes down to about 30 minutes a day for 5 days. Of that 30 minutes, about 5-10 should be spent warming up. A warm up is a low-intensity activity to prep your body for a higher level of activity. Low intensity exercise can include swimming, jumping rope, walking, jogging, or really anything you enjoy! After a short warm up, you will want to stretch your muscles as well. Be sure to target all muscle groups including the extensors, flexors, power muscles, and stabilization muscles. Stretching should always be done after a warm up to avoid injury.



Have you noticed you're feeling achy or stiffness in the joints of your shoulder, elbow or hip? Does it hurt more often when you move it or press on it or does it look swollen or red? If so, it's possible you might be experiencing symptoms of bursitis.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis (bur-SY-tis) is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs - called bursae (bur-SEE) - that cushions the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints and occurs when the bursae become inflamed.

It often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion like your shoulder, elbow or hip but you can also experience it near your knee, heel and at the base of your big toe.


Repetitive motions and/or positions that put pressure on the bursae are the most common causes of bursitis. Activities such as, extensive kneeling for gardening, leaning on your elbows for extended periods of time and throwing a baseball are common culprits.

Who can develop Bursitis?

I'm glad you asked! Anyone can develop bursitis but some higher risk factors like aging, hobbies or an occupation with repetitive motions and/or habits and other medical conditions, such as, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes may heighten your risk.


Don't worry, most common cases of bursitis are treated with rest and avoidance of activities that may further inflammation. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, it may be time to give us a call and allow us to take a peek: disabling joint pain, sudden inability to move joint, excessive swelling, redness or rash development around joint, a sharp or shooting pain in the joint and/or fever.

Athens Orthopedic Clinic offers same day appointments in most locations and can conveniently be requested at or an easy call to 706-549-1663. Difficult to break away during the day? No worries - we offer after hours care in Athens and Loganville with walk-in availability. Hours of operation and directions can be found at


Shoe Tips

Whether you're a novice or a seasoned runner, having the "right" pair of running shoes can make a world of difference in not only the health of your feet but your enjoyability during and after the sport.

All shoes are not created equal.

Plain sneakers can quickly lead to injury due to support issues. Find a store that specializes in running shoes and invest in a quality pair that fits the needs of your goal and the unique shape of your feet.

Also, keep in mind, feet tend to swell in the afternoon. Buy new running shoes late in the day to ensure they will fit comfortably even when your feet are swollen.

Good socks.

Wearing plain cotton socks can lead to painful blisters. Good quality socks designed for running are a great investment to keep your feet healthy.

Practice good hygiene.

Overgrown toenails are potential hazards. Keep your feet clean and dry and trim your toenails regularly.


Stem Research yields exciting results for spine community

May 22, 2020

VAST Clinical Trial: Safely Supplementing Tissue Lost to Degenerative Disc Disease

by Douglas P. Beall, MD, Gregory L. Wilson, DO, Randolph Bishop, MD and William Tally, MD. 


  • This is the first study of any size to demonstrate significant and objective clinical benefit from treating the anatomic site that is by far the greatest source of back pain.
  • There was statistically significant improvement in function in the entire treated cohort.
  • There was statistically significant improvement in pain in the cohort of patients who had a greater than 20-point pain reduction.
  • Almost 60% of the patients had no back pain.
  • The results from the VAST trial is even better than the study that first created excitement for cellular therapy (MesoblastPhase 2).
  • VAST vs. Mesoblast Phase 2:
  • No Back Pain : 59% with VAST, 52% with Mesoblast Phase 2
  • More than 15-point reduction in ODI: 77% with VAST, 50% with Mesoblast Phase 2
  • As good as Basivertebral Nerve Ablation(Rhizotomy).

From neck and leg pain to scoliosis, the spine can be the source of many different ailments we experience. Athens Orthopedic Clinic’s fellowship-trained spine and scoliosis specialists provide each patient experiencing orthopedic spinal issues quality, state of the art care.

For more information on Athens Orthopedic Clinic’s SpineHealth team or to schedule an appointment, visit us at or call (706) 549-1663.


Arthritis Facts

In honor of National Arthritis Awareness Month, here are some facts to keep you in the know about the joint disease that can affect many areas of the body.


Did you know that 1 in 4 adults have arthritis?  That averages out to about 54 million Americans that have some form of the joint disease!  Of those who have arthritis, roughly 45% report limitations in physical activities due to symptoms.  And, despite popular belief, arthritis is not just an ‘old person’s disease.’  More than 32 million suffering from it are under the age of 65.


There a several signs and symptoms of arthritis but here are some of the most common:  Swelling, Stiffness, Pain, Deformity and Tenderness.  Quality of life is often greatly compromised by arthritis, limiting daily activities to perform simple tasks like climbing stairs, opening cabinets and doors, and bending over to pick up something.


Did you know that there are over 100+ types of arthritis?  The two most common types of arthritis, a painful condition caused by joint inflammation, are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage, stiffness and pain, while, Rheumatoid Arthritis is characterized by swelling, bone erosion and joint deformity.


Good news is Athens Orthopedic Clinic can help!  There are several conservative treatment options for the joint disease – arthritis, including, weight loss, assistive devices, low-impact exercises, medications and injections.


Arthritis is usually first diagnosed by a primary care physician through physical exam, imaging and blood tests.  Depending on the type of arthritis and severity, they may refer to either an orthopedic specialist or rheumatologists.

Our Family Serving Yours Since 1966

At Athens Orthopedic Clinic, we frequently prescribe exercise as a way to help treat arthritis.  The movement helps with flexibility and keeps joints well-lubricated.  Exercise is shown to help alleviate arthritis symptoms and pain by up to 40 percent.

If exercise is not enough, and you still have trouble managing your arthritis, please contact us for an appointment.




“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” - Luther Burbank

It’s May, the weather is beautiful, and with recent events, you might find yourself with a little extra time on your hands.  Gardeners all around will take full advantage of these elements and plant vegetables and sprinkle life back into their yards with bits of color here and there.  And, while most wouldn’t consider gardening a formidable activity, the realty is gardening can result in injuries just as a number of sports.

One of the top contributing factors to gardening injuries is it is widely considered a casual activity that doesn’t require a proper warm-up to prepare for the bending, stooping, twisting, turning and heavy lifting.  Just as you would before a workout, give your body and muscles a chance to warm-up with light stretches to help prevent neck and lower back pain.

In addition, repetitive tasks and repetitive positioning can result in injury, such as, Shoulder Tendonitis, Lateral Epicondylitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Pre-Patellar Bursitis and de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis of the Thumb.  Activating preventative measures like using a garden stool or pad for extended periods of weeding or planting and taking frequent breaks in order to mix up your positioning can help keep you healthy and your body happy.

“Gardening is great for the soul, but it can be tough on our joints!” Dr. Michael Shane Smith continues, “Avoiding violent repetitive overhead activities and deep squatting and twisting maneuvers can help protect our shoulders and knees from developing some of the more common joint problems often associated with yard work and gardening”

When lifting heavy items, always remember the general rules of thumb:

- Keep the load/item close to your body

- Use your legs (slightly bent) and not your back

- Don’t overload – make frequent trips if necessary

- Avoid twisting your body when lifting and setting item down; move your feet and hips to position placement

At Athens Orthopedic Clinic, we believe taking care of your body doesn’t have to be a chore.  Gardening is a great activity for children, beginners, families and experts.  Choose tasks that best fit your ability and rotate through them to avoid repetitive use type injuries.


Now is Great Time To Ride a Bike!

Cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and have some fun, all at the same time.  Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or trying it for the first time, it’s important to review safety measures as well as tips to prevent common cycling injuries before you hop in the saddle.

Safety First – Top 3

  1. Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
  2. Verify your bike is the appropriate size and fit for you.
  3. Loose clothing can be a hazard – wear appropriate and bright (easily seen) attire.

This month, take the opportunity to check out the Cycling pros from around the globe at the 40th annual Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium in Athens, Georgia. Located just a short drive from Greensboro and Lake Oconee is the college town of Athens, GA. Most notably recognized as home to the University of Georgia and the beloved Bulldogs' athletic programs; however, if you are a professional cyclist, Athens is home to one of the most revered cycling events in the world, The Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium. This professional race, now in it's 40th year. takes place on the closed streets of downtown Athens and public spectators are welcome. Admission is free. Cycling teams from across the globe make the annual trek to the Classic City to participate in this evening race, hence the name "Twilight", and enjoy the charm and hospitality of the Classic City.  The 2021 AOC Twilight Criterium is set for August 20-21. Visit the Twilight website for a full calendar of weekend festivities, including child and amateur cycling races, 5K, live music, food court and expo. Fun for the entire family.

Athens Orthopedic Clinic and Twilight remind all ages to remember the Top 3 safety measures above but also encourage you to be aware of the most common causes of cycling Injuries. Education and prevention is the key to happy, healthy rides!

Injury Prevention – Most Common Cycling Injuries

High speed

High speed is the most common cause and result in injury on a bike resulting in superficial soft tissue trauma and/or musculoskeletal trauma.  Wear your helmets, please!

Knee Pain

Not surprisingly, knees suffer the most overuse injuries in the sport. Be sure to verify you have the appropriate and proper saddle height, and if you are riding clipless pedals, make sure that your cleat position is correct.

Neck and Lower Back Pain

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it time and time again on how important it is to maintain good posture.  Spending long amounts of time in a stationary position can cause stress on any muscle so be sure to relax your upper body and move around occasionally. Also, bend from the hips, not the lower back. Your back should look straight, not curved.

Achilles Tendonitis

This is another overuse injury and the cause of inflammation.  Always verify your body mechanics are properly positioned on your bike, such as proper saddle height in contrast to your pedals as well as well positioned cleats in pedals.

Muscle Tightness & Fatigue

Tightness can lead to tearing so establishing a thorough warm up and cool down routine to keep your muscles flexible is very important.  Remember also to allow time for your body to rest and recover.

A trusted orthopedic is also an essential piece of the puzzle to staying safe and healthy.  Athens Orthopedic Clinic is your partner, not only when you’re injured and seek care, but also as an advocate to deliver tools to keep you and your family injury free.

If you experience a cycling injury or have questions regarding a past injury, Athens Orthopedic Clinic’s team of expert physicians and physical therapists are ready and available to treat and help you recover.  Request an appointment online at  or call (706) 549-1663. AOC's Greensboro location is open 5-days a week and is conveniently located at 1000 Cowles Clinic Way.



HOOKED? We fix that.

As the days grow longer and the anglers are called to the waters, it’s important to have a plan in place for those unexpected injuries. You're excited and give your cast just a little more oomph than normal and suddenly you hear a screech! You’ve accidently hooked your fishing partner! What do you do?

First and foremost, prevention is always the key. You can avoid accidental hooking, especially those in the face, by wearing a hat and sunglasses. Also, always be mindful as to where your buddies are fishing before you throw your first cast.

Next, what do you do?  

Your skin is the largest organ on your body, protecting you by keeping fluids in and bacteria out. While a hooking injury can vary from minor to severe, it’s always best to consult a doctor for treatment options because even minor injuries can have a serious consequence. Best practice is to stabilize the hook in place and seek treatment at an urgent care.  

Never try to remove a hook that is in or near the eye.

“Injuries most often happen when we least expect it.  We hope that you always stay safe whether you are fishing, driving or just riding your bike.” Dr. David Katz continues, “But if an injury occurs, please do not hesitate to come get it taken care of at one of our Urgent Care locations.”

Athens Orthopedic Clinic offers three urgent care settings for accidental injuries like this in Athens, Loganville and Snellville. Expert care is in place to get you treated and back on the water doing what you love.

For more information on our urgent care locations, visit


Our Patients Say It Best!

Stellar orthopedic care
I have had three surgeries here in the past three years, two lower back and one neck. Dr. Tally and Skye are awesome, and they have provided excellent care. The front office staff is welcoming and incredibly efficient. When I went to Athens Neurological for neck and back issues, I was accustomed to waiting over an hour at each visit. At AOC, I have never waited more than ten minutes in the waiting room. For most visits, I have x-rays, see the doc, and out the door in less than 30 minutes total! I would highly recommend AOC to anyone looking for stellar orthopedic care.
Jeff, Lower Back Surgery
They all get an A+
I was a bit nervous about the whole knee replacement thing, but I am glad that I chose AOC. All of the staff have been awesome. Thanks Dr. Mandfredi for giving me a new knee and improved quality of life. Thanks to David and the nurses for constant care and encouragement. They have the best Physical Therapy group I believe I have ever been involved with. They are very professional and tough. Thanks a lot to Megan Stines for putting up with my complaining, but making me do the work, no matter how much I tried to get out of it. They all get an A+. I would recommend them all to anyone who is looking for an Orthopedic clinic to go to.
Rodney, Knee Replacement
A sincere thank you
My husband and I were more than pleased with the expertise and care that was given to me during my ACL surgery. We want to extend a sincere thank you to Dr. Register and all of the AOC staff members!
Kimberlee, ACL Surgery
I highly recommend them!
Dr. Register performed arthroscopic surgery on my knee. He was attentive and fixed me up. His PA, nurse and PT were always helpful. The anesthesiologist was awesome as was the clinical staff. Thank you! I highly recommend them!
Donna, Arthroscopic surgery
Stellar orthopedic care
I have had three surgeries here in the past three years. (Two lower back and one neck surgery) Dr. Tally and Skye are awesome, and they have provided excellent care. The front office staff is welcoming and incredibly efficient. When I went to Athens Neurological for neck and back issues, I was accustomed to waiting over an hour at each visit. At AOC, I have never waited more than ten minutes in the waiting room. For most visits, I have x-rays, see the doc, and out the door in less than 30 minutes total! I would highly recommend AOC to anyone looking for stellar orthopedic care.
lower back surgery