Raulerson Hospital
We are a 100-bed acute care facility providing a full range of medical and surgical services. We have been serving the Okeechobee and surrounding communities for more than 30 years.

What Are the Common Causes of ACL Injuries?

ACL injuries are among the most common types of knee injuries. They often occur during sports and can involve a sprain or a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament that runs diagonally across the knee. If an ACL injury is confirmed during a diagnostic imaging test, an orthopedics specialist may recommend a variety of treatments, from resting the knee to surgically rebuilding the ligament. Here are some of the most frequent causes of this common injury.

Rapid Change of Direction

If you have to change direction rapidly, especially when you are running, the movement can put undue pressure on your knee. As a result, your ACL may be overextended and become sprained or torn. Although this injury can happen at any time, it is especially common in sports that require fast pivoting, such as basketball and football. As with all types of ACL injuries, female athletes are more vulnerable to this kind of knee damage. Doctors suspect this could be because of differences between men and women in lower leg alignment or because of the effect of estrogen on ligaments.

Landing Incorrectly from a Jump

Landing incorrectly on your knee with force, such as when you land after a jump, can strain all of your knee ligaments, including the ACL. You don’t have to be an athlete to experience this kind of injury—even landing incorrectly on your knee from a very short height can cause a problem—athletes in certain sports are the most vulnerable. Basketball players, football players, gymnasts, and track athletes are especially likely to have this kind of ACL injury.

Direct Collision

Knee injuries like ACL tears can also be the result of a direct collision. This is most likely in contact sports, like football, but accidental collisions off the field can also lead to ACL injuries.

If you experience the symptoms of an ACL injury, which can include a “pop” at the time of injury, knee pain, sudden instability, and more, ask your doctor to refer you to Raulerson Hospital for radiology and diagnostic imaging near Okeechobee, FL. For additional information about our outpatient services and diagnostic imaging, please call (863) 763-9228

4 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

One of the best investments you can make in your overall wellbeing is improving your heart health. Having a healthy heart doesn’t have to involve deprivation or major lifestyle changes. Some simple steps can dramatically improve your cardiovascular health and help prevent you from needing emergency care for a heart crisis. Here are four easy ways you can boost your heart health starting today.

Move More

The American Heart Association recommends that everyone get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. That breaks down to 30 minutes five days per week. You don’t have to run a marathon to meet this fitness goal, and you don’t even have to get all 30 minutes of activity at once. Making choices such as taking a walk at lunch or doing 10 minutes of bike riding in the afternoon can all add up towards your goal.

Make Healthy Food Choices

A heart healthy diet is a balanced diet. Choose lean proteins, whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats for most meals. Limit your intake of added sugars and salts. Keep an eye on your portions to make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. If you’re not sure how many calories you should eat per day, talk to your doctor.

Manage Chronic Medical Conditions

Several chronic conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, can increase your risk of heart disease. By following your doctor’s treatment plan and taking medications as directed, you can control your chronic condition, and in turn, improve your heart health.

Get Enough Sleep

Depriving yourself of sleep puts an extra strain on your heart. Plus, it can increase the likelihood of obesity, which in turn increases your risk of heart disease. Most adults need eight hours of sleep per night to maintain good health.

If you do experience the signs of a heart problem, seek emergency care right away at Raulerson Hospital. From our emergency department in Okeechobee, to our cardiopulmonary services, we are dedicated to helping you stay heart-healthy. To request a referral to one of our physicians, please call our Consult-a-Nurse line at (863) 763-9228.

Signs That You Aren't Getting Enough Sleep at Night

Everyone has experienced a night or two of disrupted sleep now and then, but chronic sleep deprivation is a serious medical problem that could be a sign of many different sleep disorders. Failing to get enough sleep at night can lead to everything from depression to obesity and an increase in auto accidents. Although some people who struggle to sleep know they are up all night, others may have conditions like sleep apnea that make them unaware of their sleep problems until they experience symptoms during the day. If you have any of these signs of sleep deprivation, consider consulting your doctor to avoid chronic health problems that could lead to the need for emergency care.

Daytime Fatigue

Daytime fatigue is the first and most common symptom of disrupted sleep. If you experience chronic fatigue during the daytime but are not sure why, you may not be getting enough sleep at night. You may need to adjust your schedule to allow for more rest, or if you believe you are getting enough hours in bed, you may need to be evaluated for a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

Mood Changes

Inadequate sleep can have a powerful impact on your mood. If you consistently miss out on sleep, depression and anxiety may follow. You may struggle to control your emotions and lash out at people in a way that is out of character for you. Along with mood changes, you may also have trouble remembering things and have a delayed reaction time.

Increased Appetite

Lack of sleep can dramatically influence your appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body overproduces a hormone that stimulates your appetite and as a result, you may eat more. There is a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity because of the appetite changes associated with exhaustion.

Don’t let lack of sleep put your health in danger. The Sleep Disorders Laboratory at Raulerson Hospital can diagnose the cause of your sleep disruption and help you get the rest you need. Call our Consult-a-Nurse line at (863) 763-9228 to learn more about all of our hospital services and emergency care.

How to Prevent Injuries in the Workplace

Workplace injuries can be unfortunate for workers and employers alike. Even a minor injury can interfere with an employee’s ability to earn necessary income, while the loss of an employee to an injury can compromise productivity for a business. Every business should have a strategy for coping with workplace injuries, from a plan for providing emergency care when needed in the wake of an injury to a long term workers’ compensation plan. Part of managing workplace injuries is also taking steps to prevent them. These strategies can help make businesses safer for their employees.

Provide Proper Training

Improper training is behind many injuries in the workplace. All employees should receive adequate training before using any piece of equipment to avoid injuries caused by improper operation. They should also be trained on all of the company’s safety protocols, such as using wet floor signs after mopping or to indicate a spill. If employees must lift heavy items as part of their jobs, they should be trained in proper techniques to reduce the risk of spine injuries. Require appropriate safety gear, such as goggles, to be worn at all times.

Allow Adequate Breaks

In addition to acute injuries, chronic injuries can plague the workplace. These injuries are often the result of repetitive actions, such as wrist injuries caused by long periods of typing. Providing breaks for employees allows them to stretch their muscles and rest them, which cuts down on the risk of repetitive use injuries. Adequate breaks can also reduce employee fatigue, which can increase the risk of injury.

Offer an Occupational Health Program

Investing in an occupational health program is an investment in your employees’ wellbeing. These programs improve the overall wellness of employees and help to reduce absenteeism associated with illness and injury.

In the wake of a workplace injury, fast action can play an important role in handling workers’ compensation claims. For emergency care in Okeechobee, choose Raulerson Hospital. Our hospital staff is experienced in dealing with workers’ compensation claims and also provides occupational health services for businesses through our Company Care Department. Find out how we can help make your workplace safer and healthier by calling (863) 763-9228.

Examining the Symptoms and Treatments of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is a serious medical condition that requires emergency care. It refers to the inflammation of the appendix, which is a small structure attached to the large intestine. If you experience symptoms that may indicate appendicitis, it’s important to get to the ER as soon as possible. Undergoing prompt treatment for appendicitis at Raulerson Hospital can reduce the risk that the appendix will rupture.


The onset of symptoms is generally rapid for patients with appendicitis. Perhaps the most noticeable symptom is pain, which tends to start in the belly button area. Patients might report mild discomfort at first; however, the pain tends to become quite severe. Patients often describe the pain as feeling “sharp.” Within about 12 to 24 hours, the pain may migrate to the right-hand lower abdominal area and it may worsen with sudden movements such as coughing. Later, patients may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hard stools. Fever, chills, and shaking are other possible symptoms.

Treatment Options

When patients arrive at the emergency care department with possible symptoms of appendicitis, the physician can perform a physical exam, blood test, and imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. If the physician determines that it is difficult to confirm the diagnosis, patients may be kept at the hospital for monitoring for six to 12 hours. They are typically given antibiotics. If the symptoms do not improve and surgery is indicated, then the patient can expect to undergo an appendectomy. This is a surgery to remove the appendix. Patients are placed under general anesthesia before the surgeon carefully detaches the appendix and removes it. Generally, appendectomies are performed on an outpatient basis. However, if the patient’s appendix has already ruptured or if other complications occurred, the patient may need to stay at the hospital for a while.

The Surgical Services Department at Raulerson Hospital provides minimally invasive general surgery in Okeechobee, FL, including laparoscopic appendectomy. You can visit our website to learn more about our high-quality healthcare, including our outpatient services. Or, call (863) 763-9228 to speak to a registered nurse 24/7.

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