Tag Archives: osteoarthritis

Meet Steven Page, MD – Sports Medicine Physician

Throughout last year we profiled all our physicians here at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates in a series of interviews. We were pleased to have Steven Page, MD join our SOA group late last year as  Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician.  This week, we posed those same questions to him so you might get to know him better.

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Dr Page, what inspired you to become a physician?

When I was in high school, I injured my ankle playing soccer. I went to see an orthopedic sports medicine doctor. He took great care of me and led me through a rehabilitation program that got me back to playing quickly so I didn’t have to miss the season.   I loved playing and being around sports.  I knew then I wanted to be a sports medicine doctor so I could take of people the way he took care of me.

Why orthopedics?

I really like that we can actually fix problems and get people back to doing the things they like to do.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that my patients are really motivated to get back to what they enjoy. When patients are engaged in their own care, we work together like a team to accomplish their goals.

What is your biggest challenge?

Finding a way to spend as much a time as I can with every patient while not making the next patient I see have to wait.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a __________________.

A veterinarian. I have two boxers and I absolutely love animals.

Your proudest moment?

A college football player that I did a knee surgery on during my fellowship is still playing in the NFL over 10 years later today. I am proud that I had a small part in enabling his success.

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

My favorite place visited is Maui, Hawaii. You can be on top of a volcano that looks like a Martian landscape in the morning and scuba diving with sea turtles in the afternoon.

Any hobbies? Activities?

I love to play sports and enjoy skiing and scuba diving. I get injured a little easier now as I get older so it helps me relate to my patients.

What’s your next adventure?

Becoming a father. I trained for years to be a surgeon, but I am totally unprepared for this.

Your guilty pleasure food?

French fries and macaroni and cheese. And I don’t feel guilty about it all!

Tablet with the text Sports medicine on the display

Whether you are a weekend warrior, professional athlete, or just a regular couch potato who overused those muscles and bones,  Dr Page sees patients of all  walks of life and all ages from pediatric to geriatric. If you’d like an evaluation, call 941-951-2663 or schedule an appointment with us online through our web page at www.SOA.md.   We have three locations and offer same day appointments. To keep up to date on everything at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates “like” us on Facebook HERE, or, follow us on Twitter HERE.

THUMBS UP ON EASING YOUR THUMB PAIN

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At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we are often asked, “My thumb hurts, is this part of aging? Must I live with it or can something be done?” The good news is a resounding YES THERE IS HELP and treatment is typically non-invasive.

Thumb pain is common among females over the age of 50. It can occur as a result of several factors: family history, repetitive pinching, twisting and turning activities, and history of trauma to the thumb. One of the most common joints in the hand to develop osteoarthritis is the thumb. In osteoarthritis there is gradual reduction of joint space. As we continue use of our hands, small muscles around the basal joint of the thumb work hard to compensate for instability. Ligaments also tend to show changes. The wear and tear of the joint exacerbates pain intensity resulting in patients modifying the way they pinch and/or delegating activities or worse, simply giving up on activities they enjoy.

Symptoms of thumb arthritis can be pain with pinching or gripping activities. Usually patients experience pain while turning keys/door knobs, writing or typing, and opening jars or lids. Pain might also occur during rest.

Treatment for thumb arthritis can be operative or non-operative. Non-operative measures could include cortisone injection for pain reduction or a consultation with a hand therapist.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, hand therapy consultation includes comprehensive evaluation to understand the activities that cause pain. It also includes measuring the range of motion and strength in both hands. Your hand therapist might fabricate a customized brace to rest the affected joints. Patient education is the most important part of treatment. Our hand therapists will educate you on various pain management strategies, activity modification, or a customized brace to immobilize the wear and tear on the joints. If range of motion is affected we can teach stretching and dynamic stabilization exercises to strengthen the small muscles of hand. Additionally, there are joint protection techniques to reduce stress in the affected joints.

Success of conservative management depends on several factors such as intensity of the arthritis and patient compliance in following through with the therapist recommendations.

Don’t give up on your thumb discomfort. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has Certified Hand Therapists in all of our three locations.  Check out our website at www.SOA.md where you may make an appointment online or call 941-951-2663. We offer same day appointments when necessary.

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BACK TO LIFE: MANAGING YOUR HIP PAIN

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Hip pain is a very common complaint we hear from patients at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. A decrease in mobility may make your daily activity problematic, depending on the severity. Did you know hip pain stems from many different causes?

We typically think of a broken hip as a condition suffered by the elderly, however hip fractures can occur in younger patients, particularly from a traumatic injury such as a serious fall, sports injury, or auto accident. These injuries may also involve labral tears, impingement, avascular necrosis (loss of blood to the bone), bursitis, and muscle tears.

The most common condition we see as a cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease. This is the wear and tear of the joints occurring when the cartilage (or cushion) between joints breaks down. Characteristic indicators of OA might be pain, stiffness, swelling, and/or loss of mobility. Currently there is no cure for arthritis, however there are many ways to help manage it.

hip pain

Whether trauma or arthritis, at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we begin with a comprehensive evaluation to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Typically we you will have a digital x-ray taken on-site in our office at your first appointment. Having on-site technology allows for a prompt diagnosis. Knowing the exact problem is essential to determining the best treatment options for you.

In the case of a less serious hip injury, Physical Therapy may be all that’s needed to extend your range of motion and manage your condition. PT and regular low impact exercise, such as bike riding or walking, may strengthen your muscles and help relieve discomfort in the joints. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or aspirin may be helpful, although should not be used on a long term basis. Other options include cortisone injections and PRP (platelet rich plasma) however, PRP is not a covered benefit of insurance and there is currently not enough scientific data to validate its effectiveness. It is important to know that nothing currently will regrow cartilage nor correct alignment.

hip injection

If measures to alleviate hip pain fail, you may want to explore a discussion with us about hip replacement surgery. You may be surprised to learn that hip replacement surgery can mean a relative quick recovery time. Everyone is unique so your timeline could be longer or shorter depending on individual circumstances. You will likely be in the hospital for about three days. A day or two after surgery you will start moving with assistance. Physical therapy will be fundamental to an optimal recovery. After 12 weeks, you may be able to resume normal activity under consent from your surgeon. In every case, it’s vitally important to discuss your situation with a skilled surgeon and listen closely to their advice.

The team of physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are experts in diagnosing and treating your condition. We have four convenient locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed. Cal us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment or click HERE to view our website.

Sources: SOA website; WebMD; Arthritis Foundation; American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

BAD TO THE BONE: Treating Knee Pain

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The knee is a very complex joint with many components making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. When damaged, it can seriously impact your quality of life. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people visit an orthopedic physician. Difficulty standing and walking can greatly diminish your sense of independence. The GOOD news is that most collective knee pain problems are treatable.

The CAUSES OF KNEE PAIN are many, including injury and disease. Injuries of the knee commonly seen tend to be damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, and the meniscus. There are an estimated 2.5 million sports-related injuries a year just by adolescent athletes alone. A fracture is most often caused by trauma such as a car accident, a fall, or sports contact; the most common broken bone in the knee is the patella, more generally known as the kneecap.

Fast facts on knee injuries:

  • The highest knee injury rates occur in people between the ages of 15 to 24.
  • Sports participation is a high risk factor for knee injuries.
  • 60% of high school sports-related injuries occur in the knee.
  • Female basketball and soccer athletes are as much as 8 times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than a male.
  • Young athletes suffering an ACL injury will have an increased risk of arthritis as they age.

Orthotics-for-knee-pain

Avoiding knee injuries:

  • Warm up properly prior to exercising or participating in sports.
  • Wear proper footwear with a good fit.
  • Don’t increase sports or exercise workouts suddenly.
  • Wear knee guards in sports activities.
  • Maintain strong, flexible leg muscles.
  • Always, always, always … Use a seatbelt when driving.

The MOST WIDESPREAD DISEASE affecting the knee is arthritis, which is caused by the gradual wearing-away of cartilage. Primary symptoms are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee. Currently, there is no “cure” for arthritis, however there are options, both surgical and non-invasive. Depending on the amount of arthritic damage, treating knee pain may often be done without surgery. These options may include one or a combination of physical therapy, weight control, injections, medications, bracing, exercise, and strengthening. When considering knee replacement surgery, the physicians and physical therapists at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates have a wide array of experience and expertise.

Whatever the cause of your knee pain, from sports injury to trauma to arthritis, the 13 physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are here to help alleviate your discomfort. We have four convenient locations. Browse here to view our physicians and their specialties or call us at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment.

Sources: SOA.md website; MediLexicon International; arthritis.org; webMD

INSPIRATION JUST AHEAD — Meet Dr Kim Furman

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The fifth in our series of getting to know our SOA physicians on a personal level features Dr Kim Furman, Fellowship Trained and Board Re-Certified Orthopedic physician.  Dr Furman specializes in hip and knee joint replacements, and there’s an inspirational side of him you may not know.  Read about it here:

What inspired you to become a physician?

Great question but difficult to answer.  Since age 9 while growing up in Brooklyn, I wanted to go into medicine. Perhaps I was influenced by my next door neighbor, who was general physician, as well as my childhood pediatrician, who made house calls, when I was sick.  Surprisingly, my parents never directed me to the medical field but fully supported my decision.

Why orthopedics?

Several factors influenced my decision for Orthopedics.

As a kid, I was always working with my Dad in his basement workshop, building and repairing all sorts of stuff.  I was mechanically inclined and loved working with my hands.

For 7 years, while in college and medical school, I was an operating room technician at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. I had the opportunity to work with all the surgical specialties.  I was fascinated by reconstructive plastic surgery and this became my initial focus.  During that time I suffered a traumatic knee injury.  A close friend of my family was an orthopedic surgeon.  He took care of my knee injury and had a significant impact on redirecting my focus to orthopedics.

While continuing work at Columbia Presbyterian, I rotated through orthopedics.  It was at that point that my decision for orthopedics was solidified.  I loved all the neat tools that were used.  Working on fixing fractures was just like woodworking I did as a kid and continue to do now.

Unfortunately, I suffered numerous complications from my knee injury and seven surgical procedures later resulted in significant knee arthritis.  My personal experience with my injury, multiple surgeries, and arthritis has given me an inside view of the problems of my patients.  I can empathize easily with them.

What do you love most about your job?       SOAStudio-170

The gratification I get from returning a patient to a pain free life style.

What is your biggest challenge?

The ever changing medical environment (insurance, government intrusion) that has taken away the true art of medicine and has made it a business.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be an ________________.

Anthropologist/archaeologist

Your proudest moment? 

The birth of my 2 children.

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

China, because of the incredible history and culture developments.

Any hobbies?  Activities?

Woodworking, gardening, fishing and traveling.   I was an avid softball, tennis, and paddleball player before my knee arthritis limited those activities.

What’s your next adventure?

A trip to the Antarctic.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Pepperoni pizza

NOTE:  Dr Kim Furman is  a Fellowship Trained and Board Re-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon. He specializes in the treatment of arthritic knees and hips and has been with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates for 30 years. You may read his medical CV by clicking HERE.  SOA treats both adults and children in four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and offers same day appointments when needed. For more about SOA, click HERE, or call 941-951-2663 for an appointment.

9 SMART FOODS FOR HEALTHY BONES

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You’ve heard calcium and vitamin D are essential to maintaining strong bones and slowing osteoporosis. Here’s a list of bone-smart foods to include in your diet that will pack a punch in elevating your calcium and vitamin D intake:

  • Hearty greens like kale and spinach have an added plus of iron
  • Sardines may be off-putting for some but even a tiny portion will add to bone health
  • Salmon, as little as 3 ounces, has 100% of your daily vitamin D and an added bonus of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fresh OJ but watch your portion of sugar intake
  • Yogurt; not the Greek style … it has less vitamin D than the regular
  • Milk – choose low fat, fortified with vitamin D
  • Eggs; don’t be afraid of the yolk which is where the vitamin D is located
  • Cheese, in moderation please … two small cubes should suffice
  • Fortified cereals

What are YOUR “go-to” healthy favorites? Let us know in the comment section below.

Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.  A healthy diet is essential to your bone health. If you’d like to view information about Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, our facility, our locations, or our physicians, please CLICK HERE.

Treating Arthritic Back Pain: A SOLUTION

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Arthritis or Osteoarthritis that causes back pain can be a debilitating condition for the people who suffer from it, and a challenging condition for physicians to treat. Arthritis of the back affects the facet joints in the spine and although these joints can be injected, studies have shown that this may only provide temporary pain relief.  With the recent technological advances in the field of interventional pain medicine, physicians now have the ability to block the pain from these joints for a much longer period of time.

Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure in which a specialized needle is used to apply heat directly to the nerves causing pain. After the nerves are heated, they are unable to continue sending pain signals. In addition to back pain, radiofrequency ablation is often used to treat buttock pain, posterior thigh pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches. Studies have shown that radiofrequency ablation can reduce pain severity and frequency in the majority of patients with facet arthritis for up to one to two years.

Radiofrequency ablation is carried out in two steps. In the first procedure, which is diagnostic, a medication is injected into the back over the sensory nerves of the facet joints, also known as the medial branch nerves. This medication serves to temporarily block the pain signals.

If a patient gets pain relief from the diagnostic procedure, the doctor will move forward with the second step, which is the actual radiofrequency ablation.

Nomen Azeem, MD has seen a vast increase in quality of life for hundreds of his patients, without having to resort to invasive surgery or increased medication. He is a double board-certified Interventional Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and an expert in minimally invasive procedures for treating arthritic back pain, including spondylosis, degenerative changes, and osteoarthritis. Click HERE for more information about Dr Azeem.