Tag Archives: Orthopedic Surgeons

TUESDAY TRIVIA ORTHOPEDIC POP QUIZ – How Much Do You Know?

SKELETON THINKING

Let’s have some fun today and see if you can answer these questions.  Answers below…no peeking!

  1. Does cracking your knuckles increase your risk of arthritis?
  2. Should you put ice or heat on an injury?
  3. What’s the #1 condition experienced by seniors?
  4. How many years of education does it take to become a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon?
  5. What’s the reason for most visits to the emergency room?

answers

  1. While the sound of cracking knuckles can be particularly annoying to some people, truth is, contrary to popular myth, that it does not increase your chances of developing arthritis. It does, however, increase chances of minimizing your grip strength over time. The popping sound you hear is merely nitrogen releasing from the liquid in your joints. That liquid helps to lubricate your joints and keep them moving. If you experience pain with the popping, see an orthopedic hand specialist.
  2. Trick question! The answer is both. Using ice at the beginning of an injury will assist in reducing swelling. After swelling subsides, heat will help to increase blood flow to the injury and may reduce discomfort. When pain is not alleviated, consult your physician.
  3. The most common complaint among the elderly is arthritis and over 50% of seniors experience discomfort from this chronic condition. Unfortunately, arthritis is part of the aging process, however, there are many simple remedies such as NSAIDS and exercise to alleviate the associated discomfort. There are more options for more aggressive pain. As with any condition causing pain, a visit to your physician is warranted.
  4. It typically takes 14 years of education to become a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon. The requirements are 4 years of an undergraduate degree, 4 in medicine, 5 in a residency program, and 1 in fellowship. That’s a lot of education and it ensures you’re in good hands!
  5. Most emergency room visits are from falls and injuries. Sports injuries are common among youth sports participants, weekend warriors, professional athletes, and even “DYI” homeowners. Falls are particularly common among the elderly population and may occur from balance disorders, slip & falls, medication, obesity, walkway hazards, or poor footwear.

How did you do with your answers? Any surprises?

If you have a chronic pain or injury, you’ll be pleased to know Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offer same day/next day appointments at all three of our locations when needed. Check out our website at www.SOA.md or call us at 941-951-2663.

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THE SUPER SEVEN

superfoods

Our previous blog post talked about foods and drinks to NOT put into your body. Now let’s talk about the 7 foods that are nutritious AND taste good to help preserve your musculoskeletal system.

  1. Salmon is often referred to as a “super food”, packing a punch of protein, minerals, and vitamins like B12. Most important: salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt because the liquid is drained giving it a creamy texture. It contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, zinc, and B12. Stir some blueberries or strawberries into a cup of plain Greek yogurt and you have a great kick start to your day.
  3. Sweet potatoes are another “super food” and extremely versatile. Plain or fancy with stuffing or toppings, they are high in fiber and potassium. They are also known to maintain a healthy blood pressure. A sweet potato contains more nutrients and less calories than a white potato.
  4. While dairy products are essential to a child’s growth, it can be a source of discomfort for some adults. Dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D, along with other nutrients, to help keep bones and teeth strong. For those on a diet, you may opt for a fat free version and there are lactose free brands for those with a low tolerance. Both still have the calcium that is provided in regular milk.
  5. When your mom told you to eat your veggies, she was on to something. Leafy greens should be your “go-to” vegetable whenever possible. Greens like broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach, romaine lettuce, and arugula contain essential vitamins like A (for the immune system), C (for tissue repair), and K (for blood coagulation). Nuts may also lower your blood sugar. The best nuts for your health are almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews, however, go easy since a large handful may contain as many as 200 calories.
  6. Another great source of fiber and vitamin B can be found in beans. They may also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar. The best beans with benefits are chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney and black beans.
  7. Figs, dried or fresh, are rich in fiber and give you a feeling of fullness. They are also high in calcium to help promote bone health.

So there you have it. Add these “Super 7” to your regular diet and you’re on your way to a healthy eating habit. When you do have pain or injury to your musculoskeletal system, Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can be your “go-to” place for help. We have 3 convenient locations and offer same or next day appointments when needed.

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FIVE BAD TO THE BONE FOOD/DRINK HABITS

We often talk about how important exercise is to keep your joints lubricated.  At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates our favorite mottos are “move it or lose it” and “motion is lotion”. But what about our bones and musculoskeletal system? What we feed our bodies affects our overall health including our bones. Let’s take a look at some  foods that may be harmful when used in excess.

sugar

    1. Sugar. Yep, sugar is bad for you. You’ve heard it hundreds of times and unfortunately, that sweet stuff that tastes so good can do serious harm. First, there are calories, and heaps of them. There are good sugars in fruits and veggies, however, adding sugar in any form (including the healthy-sounding agave) is a problem. That problem worsens if you have diabetes. Sugar may also affect your heart and dental health. If you have arthritis, sugar may exacerbate symptoms. Some studies show sugar may cause addiction and cravings compared to cocaine addiction.
    2. Next is salt. Sodium is a necessary nutrient for the body in maintaining muscles, nerves, and balancing body fluids. When used in excess salt becomes a time bomb. High salt intake has been associated with increased risk of stroke, heart disease, hypertension, swelling of feet, and overall bloating.
    3. Our next culprit is soda. The average consumption per person in America is 38 gallons per year. Yes, you read that correctly. The good news is the statistic is down 6 gallons/year from a decade ago so we are starting to be more health conscious. Soda, or “pop”, contains high fructose, a form of sugar, and increases your sweet cravings. Soda also contains phosphoric acid which weakens bones and teeth. Even diet soda is harmful as it contains acids, food coloring and for some sodas, caramel coloring, a carcinogen. A diet soda may still trick the brain and induce cravings similar to one containing real sugar.
    4. Caffeine is a tough habit to break. Ninety percent of Americans consume it in some form at a rate of 300 mgs a day. That would be about three 8 oz. cups of coffee. Caffeine contains addictive qualities resulting in it being named by some as America’s favorite “drug”. It’s even more popular in European countries.
    5.  Last on the list, and you may have already guessed this one, is alcohol. While drinking small amounts of red wine have been linked with healthy benefits, there is an enormous downside to overindulgence, abuse, and addiction. Side effects may put you at risk for some cancers like liver and mouth. It may also cause poor judgement, hostility, depression, obesity, and lowered brain function.

That’s the bad news but don’t despair. On our next blog we’ll deliver the good news on how to keep your bones and muscles healthy with nourishing, tasty foods … stay tuned!

Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offers same/next day appointments at three locations. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

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UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

Mandel-064Crop

Our newest physician, Dr Adam Mandel, is an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. He took some time to sit with us and answer a few questions to get to know him on a more personal level. Take a look at our conversation:

What inspired you to become a physician?

I always was inspired to help people and strive to achieve health. Physicians help to not only cure disease but also to prevent it.  I enjoy educating people as well as continually educating myself.  Being a physician in an ever-changing world allows that.

Why orthopedics?

I was always mechanically inclined. In medicine there are procedural jobs such as orthopedics.  Being an athlete and mechanically inclined just matched me perfectly with orthopedics.

What do you love most about your job?

I enjoy the variety of cases that I do within my subspecialty. This includes trauma, sports cases, cartilage repair, tendon repairs, reconstructions, joint replacements.  I also enjoy constantly meeting new people and learning of their lives and help to ease and cure their pain or problems.  It gives me great personal satisfaction to be very gifted at what I do.

 What is your biggest challenge?

Electronic medical records, constant changing in laws, regulations, and compliance issues always challenge me. Being a physician isn’t always as glorious as it seems to be played out on television.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician what would you be?

I’d be a bartender on a beach.

Your proudest moment?

Becoming a father to two amazing children.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled? Why?

Most interesting was to Italy. The people, culture, different way of life.  It was all amazing to me.  I kept thinking of nature versus nurture and what a different life I would have if I was born there instead of the United States.

Any hobbies? Activities?

Working out, running, paddle boarding, boating, wood-working.

What’s your next adventure?

Traveling. Definitely traveling.

Your guilty pleasure food?

I’m not a sweets kind of guy or dessert, but I love sushi.

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Dr Adam Mandel is a Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Foot and Ankle Physician. He sees patients in our Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota offices. We are able to offer same day / next day appointments at any of our three locations and appointments may be may online at www.SOA.md or by calling 941-951-2663.

 

When Should My Child See an Orthopedist?

baby laughing

It can be hard to know whether a child needs orthopedic treatment or is just experiencing growth development. Symptoms can be signs of underlying causes. While many orthopedic problems that arise in childhood are temporary, it can be hard to know when your child may need additional care. Parents who notice persistent musculoskeletal problems may need to consider seeking pediatric orthopedic treatment. There are two primary orthopedic problems found in young children. These typically form when a child is first learning to walk and can lead to irregular walking habits.

Intoeing is identified as running or walking with the toes turned slightly inward as opposed to straight forward. The layman’s term for this condition is “pigeon-toed.” Intoeing typically corrects itself around the age of 8 in the majority of children, however, if it continues the child may need the assistance of a brace or other orthopedic treatment. Intoeing can be a symptom of metatarsus adductus (when a child’s foot is bent inward near the middle of the foot), tibial torsion (the inward twisting of shin bones), or femoral anteversion (an inward twisting of the thigh bone). Treatments include casts, braces, or surgery to reset bones.

Bowleggedness, or genu varum, is more commonly found in toddlers under the age of 2 and those suffering from childhood obesity. If a child has bowleggedness, there will be a noticeable gap between their legs when they place their feet together. As the child continues to grow, bowed legs typically straighten themselves out. However, if one leg is more bowed than the other or if the bowing is more severe than usual, the child may need orthopedic treatment. Furthermore, bowleggedness can be an indication of something more serious such as Blount’s disease or rickets. This is often identified via x-ray after the child is three years old. If left untreated, bowing may worsen or become permanent. Treatments include bracing, medication, or surgery depending on the underlying cause.

If parents notice these symptoms and they seem more severe than usual, it’s important to ask a pediatrician if seeing a specialist is necessary. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we treat patients from pediatrics to adults. We have three convenient locations and are able to offer same day / next day appointments when needed. Our mission is to get patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

PREVENTING SPORTS INJURIES IN CHILDREN

Child-falling Injury on the soccer field

Youngsters are particularly prone to sports-related injuries, but there are steps coaches and parents can take to keep young athletes healthy and active.

Children love playing sports, whether on organized teams or in neighborhood pickup games. In fact, more than 46 million children participate in sports each year, with most reaping the benefits of physical activity and teamwork. But with so many youngsters participating in these activities, there will inevitably be some injuries. In fact, one in three children playing team sports faces an injury serious enough to be benched. But most injuries are preventable, and knowledge is key to prevention.

Benefits of Participating in Sports

sports

In addition to keeping kids in shape, sports also improve coordination, self-esteem, and discipline. Team sports also promote teamwork, a valuable skill not always learned in the classroom, and cooperation with others. And while losing isn’t easy, it’s important for kids to learn how to accept defeat and try again. Many children become close friends with their teammates and learn valuable social and communication skills.

Sporting Hazards

cheerleader knee injury

For most youngsters, the benefits of sports far outweigh the risks, but children are still growing, and injuries can impact them more than they would an adult. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones are rather susceptible to injury, and sudden trauma like twists, falls, or collisions can lead to more than just a bruised knee; sports medicine physicians often see injuries like strains and sprains, broken bones, and growth plate injuries that affect bone growth. Overuse can also cause injuries when kids practice too long or too hard without adequate rest in between exercise sessions.

Preventing Sports Injuries

There are a number of steps parents and coaches can take to ensure kids remain safe on the field or court. The first is proper age-appropriate physical conditioning and training to ensure children are in good shape before joining the team. This conditioning should also incorporate  stretching techniques and adequate warm-up exercises for their particular sport. Protective gear is also a must, and kids should be given a lesson in how to properly use or adjust helmets, padding, mouthpieces, protective eyewear, and other safety equipment.

Too often young athletes are playing only one sport all year long without the potential for rest or recovery. Sports medicine specialists now understand that this is not a healthy strategy. In fact, young athletes who play or perform a single sport greater than eight months out of the year are at a significantly increased risk of experiencing an injury compared to the other youths who participate in different sports. Playing only one sport may overload developing structures causing overuse injuries.

Creating a Supportive Atmosphere

Children can also feel pressure to win, so it’s vital to their emotional health that parents and coaches foster a supportive atmosphere, emphasizing teamwork and sportsmanship over winning. When children are properly cared for physically and emotionally by their coaches, they’re a lot less likely to face severe injury and stress.

If your child has been experiencing pain during sports or other concerning symptoms, call Sarasota Orthopedic Associates at 941-951-2663 to schedule an appointment. You may also schedule an appointment through our website. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

DON’T LET BACK PAIN RUIN YOUR GOLF GAME

golf feet

While an estimated 75% of people will experience some form of back pain at some point in their life, that number is even higher among golfers. Pro golfers and weekend warriors are both subject to the pain. There are ways to avoid back pain, and, non-invasive treatments if it does happen to you.

Some of the more common causes of back pain in golfers are rotational stress from an improper swing, overextension, pivoting/twisting of the hips, and muscle spasms from overuse. Those with prior history of back injury or pain are at higher risk of re-injury. Deficits of hip range of motion as well as lumbar extension are also common in golfers with back pain. Research studies that have looked at differences seen in golfers with back pain versus pain-free golfers have shown statistically significant differences in techniques. Specifically what was observed is greater spine flexion when addressing the ball and less trunk rotation compared to pain free golfers who had twice as much trunk flexion velocity. That greater spine flexion versus trunk rotation increases risk of back injury.

There are simple solutions to avoid back pain in golfers:

  • Proper stretching and warm up prior to play
  • Strengthening back and shoulder muscles on days not in play
  • Knowledgeable coach/trainer to correct your swing
  • Correct fitting footwear
  • Cut back on number of days per week
  • Avoid playing a full round after a long hiatus from playing

At home remedies for reducing discomfort include icing, rest, or NSAIDS.

If your pain is not resolved after a few days, it may be time to see an Interventional Pain Management Physician for a non-surgical or minimally invasive solution. Some of the methods might include:

    • Injections. This may include injection of an anesthetic, a steroid, or both.
    • Radiofrequency ablation. This is used as an option to stop back pain that has become chronic and is no longer responding to injections.
    • SCS (spinal cord stimulation). Another option to stop chronic pain especially back pain that comes with severe pain in the legs.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we have three locations and offer same day appointments.  Ashot Kotcharian, MD is a PM&R physician with a specialty in  Interventional Spine & Sports Medicine. With proper attention and treatment for the discomfort, you can get back in the game with minimal down time. Fore!

BUILD YOUR GAME FROM THE GROUND UP

golf stance

A powerful, and effective golf swing starts with a stable foundation. From a solid foundation the entire swing can be leveraged and a low handicap status can be achieved. The important but often overlooked foundation, are pain free and well-functioning feet and ankles. While there is a lot of discussion about back, hip and knee injuries in golf, most golf instructors will tell you that the power of a swing is created “from the ground up”.

Injuries to the great toe

At the end of follow through, the great toe of the dominant foot experiences an increase in pressure. This can cause a jamming of the toe into the top of the shoebox. With repetition, the area under the toenail can become injured causing blood to form or the nail to lift from the nail bed. These types of injuries should not be taken lightly. Even though the toe is a small portion of the body, if not treated injuries to this area can cause significant pain, infection and loss of function. Wearing proper fitting shoes and adjustments in the golf swing to prevent the irritation of the nail is necessary to eliminate recurrence.

Ankle Instability

Stability is an important factor in performance in both accuracy and distance, and is also a contributor to the amount of power generated. The lower body needs to be the stable foundation for the upper body during the rotation required for the backswing and the trail foot is expected to remain relatively stable during this rotation. The lateral, or outside of the ankle is a common site of injury for golfers and other athletes alike. Repetitive strain will cause laxity of the lateral ankle ligaments and predispose that ankle to easier spraining. Sprains of the ligaments can lead to weakness and a lack of stability in the golf swing and while walking on the uneven terrain of a golf course.

Golfing is a highly coordinated sport that, by its nature, is associated with risk of repetitive motion injuries. Being intentional about maintaining good foot form and taking care of a stable foundation can keep golfers free of injury and enjoy years on the course.

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Dr Jemaar Graham is a Board Certified Foot and Ankle Podiatrist at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treating all related problems related to the foot and ankle with both surgical and conservative modalities. He joins the mission of SOA to get his patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

THE DOCTOR IS IN: Separating Facts from Fiction of Knee Replacement

Knee-Pain

Knee replacements have come a long way over the years, and along with improvements are misconceptions. Modern medicine is now able to reduce your post-surgical “down time” and in many cases, avoid surgery altogether. Let’s take a look at some of those myths.

Myth: You have to have knee surgery.

Truth: No one should tell you that you have to have surgery. YOU, the patient, determine when the time is right. Your orthopedic surgeon can show you the progression of your condition and discuss your discomfort level, however you are the one who makes the final decision.  Many times knee discomfort may be managed conservatively with options such as NSAIDS, physical therapy, strengthening, injections, or PRP (platelet rich plasma).

Myth: Advertising shows people running and jumping after knee surgery.

Truth: Don’t fall prey to marketing.  Everyone is unique and outcomes are different based on your individual situation.  Returning to golf and tennis are reasonable expectations after knee replacement for many patients.  Dropping 10 pounds prior to surgery and following your physical therapy instructions will make a difference in recovery.

Myth: My knee should feel like it did when I was 17.

Truth: All surgeries require a period of adjustment in recovery. If you’re 60 years old, expecting your knee to behave as it did when you were a teen is not realistic. Since everyone is different, your recovery will depend on you. Most patients are happy how their knee feels after replacement and would recommend replacement.

Myth: I heard a lecture that knee replacements don’t work and I should have regenerative therapy instead.

Truth: According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, over 90% of people having a knee replacement experienced reduced pain and are able to return to their normal activities they previously gave up. While PRP and Stem Cell Therapies are options, they aren’t the “golden ticket” you may hear in lectures peddling the fountain of youth. These may be helpful for some, but they do not “cure” arthritis and are not presently covered under insurance. Remember, everyone is different and what works for some, won’t work for others.

Bottom line: Know your orthopedic surgeon and ask questions. Based on my condition, how much improvement should I expect? What are the risks/complications? When can I go back to work? May I drive? The more you know, the lower your anxiety level and the better your ability to make decisions. ###

Steven Page, MD is a Fellowship Trained / Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in Sports Medicine. He specializes in surgical and non-surgical treatment of knees and shoulders. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offers same day/next day appointments in all three locations. Visit www.SOA.md or call 941-951-2663 for more information.

THE DOCTOR IS IN: Getting to Know Dr Graham

JemaarGrahamDPM

Dr Jemaar Graham is a Board Certified Podiatrist and trained to treat all problems related to the foot and ankle with both conservative and traditional modalities. He is a native of Lakeland, FL and joined SOA in May. We’re pleased to welcome him to our family and asked him to give us some insight into what motivates him.

What inspired you to become a physician? I’ve wanted to be a physician since early childhood. I accompanied my mother as she was seen by a podiatrist while I was in elementary school. After the nurses that worked there gave me a tour of the clinic, I knew it was what I wanted to do. In the following years I shadowed other Podiatrists, and studied bio-physics and knew Podiatry was a great fit for me.

Why orthopedics? I enjoy working with my hands and have an interest spatial reasoning. In many ways orthopedics is like being a carpenter. Thinking in three dimensions, solving problems and putting broken pieces back together again was much more attractive to me than other medical specialties.

What do you love most about your job? Seeing the relief on patient’s faces after treatment. There’s a sense of hope and restoration that comes from patients when overcoming something that was ailing them; it’s an honor to contribute to that.

What is your biggest challenge? Insurance companies and costs. There are many ways we as physicians could better treat patients if costs and payments were such an inhibiting factor.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a: Radiologist…maybe. Imaging and interpretation are a fascinating part of patient care. I think I would grow bored though

Your proudest moment? Seeing my daughter thrive and do well in anything she sets her mind to.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled? Why? Ghana. It was a blessing and honor to see the country of ancestors that is still filled with so much love and contentment.

Any hobbies? Activities? Photography

What’s your next adventure? Becoming a father of two daughters

Your guilty pleasure food? New York style cheesecake or red velvet Learn more about Dr Graham here. You may also make an appointment through our website or by calling 941-951-2663. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has three locations and offers same day/next day appointments when needed.

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