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Does Long Distance Running Cause Arthritis?

bone and joint health Mar 12, 2019

 

I often get this question - does running cause arthritis?

In general, physical activity is important in maintaining your health. Many people falsely believe that running can cause arthritis but research show that this isn't necessarily true.

In reality, walking, running or strenuous exercise can significantly decrease risk of any knee osteoarthritis. Doctors are still trying to understand how running can improve knee arthritis, with continual research studies.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis caused by trauma or overuse of joints. Any of your joints can be affected, but the knee is the most common.  Knee arthritis occurs when the cartilage that covers the surface of your joint (also called hyaline cartilage or articular cartilage) becomes progressively worn away, eventually leaving the raw bone beneath exposed. Under normal conditions the cartilage is even slicker than a hockey puck on ice, but once the smooth covering wears away the result is a...

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But I’m Not a Tennis Player!

bone and joint health Feb 25, 2019

 

As a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon, I often see patients with complaints at their elbow. One of the more common diagnoses is tennis elbow, otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis. Surprisingly, most of my patients with this condition don’t even play tennis!! Many types of repetitive arm movement can lead to tennis elbow. It all has to do with the tendons in our arms.

Tendons are the structures that hold muscle to bone. The tendons in our bodies are very tough and stretchy, kind of like rubber bands. But like rubber bands, tendons can weaken over time. Wear and tear on these tendons as we go about our daily activities can eventually lead to micro tears, and instead of being one long, smooth bundle of stretchy fibers, the tendons become “tangled” by the process of tearing and re-healing, and are weakened. This leads to inflammation of the tendons. When this inflammation happens at the outside of the elbow, a part of the body called the epicondyle,...

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The Road to Orthopaedics

Uncategorized Feb 14, 2019

Even halfway across the globe, the love story with orthopaedic surgery has common themes. I've had the luck to be acquainted with Dr. Michelle, an amazing mom of young children who is not only a PhD but also an orthopaedic surgery resident in Europe. She is guest blogging for NancyMD today about her road to the specialty. I see echoes of what I found so satisfying about going into this surgical specialty in what she writes. 

 

Which specialty fits?

As a medical student I thought I wanted to get into plastic surgery. I liked the artistic aspect of shaping body parts. I thought the heavy machinery (and more specifically the drilling into bones) in trauma surgery would make me faint. I dreaded my first fracture fixation. When I was there, I noticed that it was not fear but a weird fascination that got to me so much. I simply loved it. Then I thought if I'd first see a dislocated joint I would need to sit down and breathe into a bag. But a weird thing happened...

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Nothing to Fear, Just a Dislocation Here!

bone and joint health Feb 09, 2019

Obviously going through medical school, we study a lot of very tethnical things - like the Krebs Cycle. But sometimes the practical aspects of specialties other than our own escape us. I was honored to have Dr. Bradley Block ask me to make a guest appearance on his podcast, Physicians Guide to Doctoring, where we talk about the common sports and orthopaedic injuries tat are encountered. 

 

Take a listen right here:


THIS PODCAST ANSWERS THE QUESTION, "WHAT SHOULD WE HAVE BEEN LEARNING WHILE WE WERE MEMORIZING KREB'S CYCLE?" THIS IS A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR PRACTICING PHYSICIANS AND OTHER HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONERS LOOKING TO IMPROVE IN ANY AND ALL ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES AND PRACTICES. PHYSICIAN AND NON-PHYSICIAN EXPERTS ARE INTERVIEWED ON A WIDE RANGE OF TOPICS TO HELP US HELP OUR PATIENTS, PRACTICES, COLLEAGUES, COMMUNITIES AND MOST OF ALL, OURSELVES.

You can learn more about what Dr. Bradley Block  and other great podcast episodes at Physicians Guide to...

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Injury Prevention on the Slopes

bone and joint health Jan 28, 2019

 

Ski season is here, and it's time to think about how we can avoid injuries on the slopes. As an orthopaedic surgeon, I most often see knee injuries, but also plenty of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries as well. 

Hopefully you've done some pre-season conditioning - but if not, go ahead and start now! Obviously avoid a heavy workout the day prior to your first ski day, but if you have time to become more regularly active with your cardio, strength and flexibility routine, get started with that. It's important to increase intensity, duration and weight slowly to avoid injury. Don't let your injury avoidance plan injure you! Always talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program. 

 

Morning Warm Up

Before you start down the mountain, you will want to make sure all your muscles are properly warmed up to avoid injury. The glutes, hamstrings, quads and core are great stabilizing muscles that protect the rest of your body from injury. Make sure these are...

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Kitchen Mishaps! Knives and Avocados

bone and joint health Jan 14, 2019

 

Love avocados, but hate cutting them…..they are slippery little rascals and are responsible for many nasty hand injuries.

Stab wounds from using knives in the kitchen are not fun but are reported daily. Accidental self-inflicted knife injuries to digits are a common cause of tendon and nerve injury requiring hand surgery.

Many of us do not think about how much you use “your hands for your senses”!

Until you lose that ability of sensation, not just functional implications, but how else do you recognize hot, cold or pain but by touch.

 

Kitchen Knife and Avocado Statistics

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates over 137,000 people receive hospital treatments for injuries from kitchen knives every year.

There has been an apparent increase in avocado injuries due to the way people hold the fruit in the hand. Therefore, dubbed “avocado hand”, has spread as one plastic surgeon in England says, into an epidemic and suggests that avocados...

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My shoulder hurts...it’s my...biceps???

bone and joint health Dec 21, 2018

 

Patients are often confused when I inform them that the biceps (long head of the biceps) is to blame for their shoulder pain. Most think of their biceps as the “Popeye” muscle at the mid portion of the upper arm.

To understand why the biceps can play a role in shoulder pain, we need to understand a little anatomy. The long head of the biceps takes a right-hand turn as it dives into the shoulder joint, attaching at the labrum, which is a cartilage rim around the cup, or the glenoid, of the ball and cup shoulder joint.

The reason the long head is susceptible to injury is because it is vulnerable in its journey. There are two parts to the biceps tendon - the long and the short head. The short head does not tear often and isn’t a part of the actual shoulder joint. Because of the short head, most sedentary people can still use their biceps even if the long head is completely torn - though cosmetically there may be an asymmetry in the appearance of the biceps. It...

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Should I sit or should I stand…are standing desks good for you?

bone and joint health Oct 30, 2018

Sit-stand desks are becoming increasingly popular, and have been touted as solutions for reducing obesity, combating cardiovascular disease, premature death.

The British Medical Journal published a study this month that looked at a sit-stand desk and its effects on prolonged sitting and physical activity as well as psychological and work-related health. They found that giving the worker this desk promoted less sitting, and using self-reported evaluations, the workers noted a positive change in work engagement, occupational fatigue, daily anxiety and quality of life. 

It’s important however when studies come out, to look at them with a critical eye. When a study uses self-reports, that always introduces the possibility of bias. Reporting one's own experience is very subjective. 

Also - it’s important to note that while there were some positive benefits reported in this study, it doesn’t necessarily measure whether one is less likely to be obese, have heart...

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Staying Active and Injury-Free...At Any Age!

bone and joint health Oct 10, 2018

No one can argue that staying active can have multiple benefits. Adults that maintain a regular exercise program will find that exercise can help them: 

  • Maintain healthier weight
  • Have healthier cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Be at lower risk of suffering a heart attack
  • Lower their risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
  • Have stronger bones, muscles and joints
  • Have a lower risk of falls
  • Improve mood
  • Improve sleep patterns

 

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One of the tricks of starting and sticking to an exercise program is to avoid injury.
 
There's nothing more frustrating than finally getting over inertia to start a fitness program, only to be sidelined by injury.
 
In my personal journey, I'm frequently discovering new sports and hobbies - or rediscovering. And if I find something I love, I tend to overdo it. As I got into my forties, I found out first-hand that charging hard at one sport without balancing that with cross-training resulted in some of the common overuse...
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ACL Injuries in the (ahem) “Older” Athlete

bone and joint health Sep 18, 2018

Over the last twenty years, physical fitness as a means to improve overall health has increased among the over-40 set. This is great, right? Yes, absolutely. Athletes who remain active as they age do a better job than non-athletes in retaining lean muscle mass. They also show improved bone density, bone structure and bone strength. However, what physicians are seeing are injuries related to the increased level of activity. 

One area of interest is anterior cruciate ligament injury in the over-40 age group. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the ligaments that connect the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), and it controls the back and forth motion in the knee. Specifically, it keeps the tibia from sliding too far forward, while also avoiding too much rotation in the knee. 



Injuries of the ACL occur when there is a rapid change of direction or acceleration, a direct collision with the knee, or an awkward land from a jump or a height. Some ACL...

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