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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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Has the Scooterpocalypse Arrived?

bone and joint health Aug 27, 2018
A number of major cities have seen shared e-scooters, or electrical scooters, take over their streets. It's certainly popular with the riders, but it is creating waves with a lot of critics as well. In Portland, Oregon, there are four companies trialing the scooters over a several-month period.  Driving around my city, I find that we are being inundated with scooters - being used on the sidewalk, on the streets, in bike lanes. 

Some of the 75 plus cities that have tried to adopt this new concept of convenient transportation have already kicked these companies out, and I'm curious what will occur here in Portland.

So what about the orthopaedic surgeon’s take on the e-scooter craze? When I first saw these people zipping down the street on these motorized scooters, my first thought was, "Why is no one wearing any protective gear?". We wear helmets when we ride bikes, a wise roller blader wears knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads with helmet. Why are these scooters...
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Your Orthopaedic Surgeon Will Tell You That You Should DEFINITELY Smoke Cigarettes If...

bone and joint health Aug 11, 2018

...you want to wait extra loooong for your fracture to heal
...you want to have a higher risk of surgical complications, like infection or problems healing your wound
...you're okay with developing osteoporosis
...you want to be more likely to develop overuse injuries, like bursitis or tendonitis - and take longer to recover
...you want to have a detrimental effect on your athletic performance
...you want to have more pain after a surgery

Sound attractive? I would guess not for most.

As an orthopaedic surgeon, I treat many acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, including fractures, sprains, strains, tendon/ligament injuries and bursitis.  I often discuss with smokers the risks above - not to mention the risks of smoking that first come to mind...the damaging effects on the heart and lungs.  Many individuals are unfamiliar with the fact that smoking can even affect the health of the bones and joints.
 

 

The quick and dirty on why smoking affects musculoskeletal...
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Do All Rotator Cuff Tears Need To Be Fixed?

bone and joint health Aug 04, 2018
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that connect muscle to the top of your humerus at the shoulder. These tendons are important because they help give you the strength to be able to lift you arm as well as rotate it. You need your rotator cuff to be able to reach a lightbulb, swing a tennis racket, or even to scratch the back of your head.
 
Tears of these tendons can occur traumatically (due to an accident or injury), but what many people don’t realize is that they can exist with no symptoms at all. The latter is more common as individuals age. Up to 20% in their 50s-60s and one third to half of individuals in their 70s-80s can have a tear with no symptoms at all.

Do all tears NEED to be fixed? The answer is it depends! Not all tears necessarily need to be fixed. Surgeons will often observe tears that don’t show any symptoms. However, if individual has weakness or pain that isn’t relieved with non-surgical options, then surgery may be considered.

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