Tag Archives: arthritis

MAY IS NATIONAL ARTHRITIS MONTH: Getting the Upper Hand on Arthritis

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

According to the Arthritis Foundation, 46 million Americans live with arthritis or chronic joint symptoms. Arthritis symptoms limit everyday activities such as dressing, bathing, and cooking for more than 7 million Americans. Half of those Americans with arthritis aren’t aware of options now available to help alleviate their symptoms.

The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition in which the joint cartilage deteriorates resulting in pain and loss of movement when bone begins rubbing against bone. Your hands are constantly on the go. Everyday activities such as preparing a meal, woodworking, carrying grocery bags, or using your computer may damage your joints over time. Fortunately, joint protection techniques may help reduce pain, stress, and inflammation. These techniques may also help prevent further deformities and increase your independence in daily activities. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to protect your hands.

Here are a few tips to keep your hands healthy:

 Give your Hands a Break

  • If you have pain during an activity, stop the activity. Pain is one of the best ways your body has of letting you know you are causing tissue damage, so listen to and respect your pain.
  • If writing is painful, try using a thick, rubber grip pen with a gel tip or roller ball to decrease the amount of pressure.
  • Remember to stretch and take breaks every 15 minutes during repetitive or prolonged activities such as needlework, painting, sewing, knitting and crocheting, hammering, and filing.
  • Use enlarged grips on every day equipment or tools to reduce strain on your joints; e.g. potato peelers, gardening tools, tooth brushes, hair brushes, or build up the handles with foam.
  • Keep scissors and knives sharp to minimize effort.
  • Always use two hands when lifting heavy objects. A gallon of milk weighs about 8 pounds, and lifting it with only your fingertips places excessive stress on your joints.

Don’t Use your Hand as a Tool

  • Don’t tear your mail open – use a letter opener to open mail.
  • Use utility scissors in the kitchen – do not rip open bags.
  • Always use the right tool for the job – use pliers for tight pinching and a small hammer for pounding.
  • Use a staple remover instead of your fingers and thumb.

Use Adaptive Equipment to Decrease Stress on your Joints

  • Use foam to enlarge small diameter objects such as paring knives, cutlery, toothbrushes, paint brushes, pens, and pencils.
  • Purchase lightweight kitchen, gardening, and workshop tools with built-up handles.
  • Perform a search on the Internet for “adaptive equipment” to see what products are available.

When Symptoms Become Severe

If you have already tried these techniques but are still experiencing symptoms, it might be time to consider a consult with an orthopedic specialist.  Gregory Farino, MD, a Board Certified/Fellowship Trained hand and wrist specialist at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, can help you with providing an accurate diagnosis as well as treatment options.

Farino pic

In the initial stages of arthritis, conservative management provided by a hand therapist may be all you need. Hand therapists can fabricate splints to support and protect the joints, recommend home exercises to improve strength in the small muscles of the hand, and educate you on pain management techniques.

If the arthritic process or your pain and stiffness is more severe, treatments like oral and topical medications or a cortisone shot may help relieve pain and improve mobility and strength. If conservative measures are not successful, surgery may be recommended. Joint replacement or joint fusion surgery has been consistently successful for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The hand and wrist team at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is here to help you manage hand arthritis and stay as active as possible. We have four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and offer same day appointments when necessary. Call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment or visit our website at www.SOA.md for more information.

Note: Article written by Gregory Farino, MD, a Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in hand and wrist and Sangeetha Bulusu, OT, CHT, CLT (Occupational Therapist, Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist). Both are available to see patients at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates.

Time Out with Johnny Gibbs, MD

SOAStudio-300

Our weekly blogs have given us fascinating insight to the more personal side of our SOA physicians. This week we sat down with Johnny Gibbs, MD, a Fellowship Trained, Board Certified Sports Medicine Physician, and learned a bit more about what makes him tick.

What inspired you to become a physician?

I originally started my career as a physical therapist, and learning more about disease processes, I developed a strong interest in medicine.  During my first year as a physical therapist, a young patient of mine, Claire, passed away from what seemed to be medical complications of her disease.  She was a young woman, in her thirties, a single mother, and wonderful person.  I will never forget how helpless I felt over her passing and as a result, was compelled to pursue medicine to help improve patient outcomes.

Why orthopedics?

My original interest in sports medicine and rehabilitation was sparked when I was a patient myself during high school.  That, along with a background in physical therapy, made it an obvious decision for me.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that I’m able to give people their active life back and alleviate their pain.   And, of course, I love the detail and intricacy of operating!

Gibbs with girl in cast   Gibbs surgery

What is your biggest challenge?

Trying to meet patient expectations while dealing with the constantly evolving challenges of the healthcare environment is an enormous task. At times our hands may appear to be temporarily tied as a result of changes in healthcare and insurance. I want patients to know I am their advocate.

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

That’s easy … If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a football coach.

Your proudest moment?

Even easier answer … Becoming a father to my children.

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

Bamberg, Germany, a small picturesque town famous for its smoked beer. Why? It’s delicious!

Any hobbies? Activities?

I love sports, watching ESPN, exercising, golfing, and spending time outdoors with my children.

What’s your next adventure?

My wife and I are going on a European river cruise to celebrate her graduation from dermatolopathology training.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Chocolate chip cookies and preferably Otis Spunkmeyer.

NOTE:  Dr Gibbs is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates with a specialty in sports medicine.  You may read his professional bio by visiting our website or clicking here. SOA has 13 physicians in four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and offers same day appointments when needed.

Thumbs Up for Dr Gregory Farino

Farino 2015 lab coat half

This interview marks the halfway point in chatting with our physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. Dr Gregory Farino, a Fellowship Trained and Board Certified orthopedic surgeon, has a specialty in hand and wrist conditions. Take a look at what inspires Dr Farino and what he does in an occasional spare moment:

What inspired you to become a physician?

I wanted to do something in the sciences where I could be useful and helpful to others. Initially during college, I was going to be a teacher but after spending some time with a few different MDs, decided to pursue medicine.

Why orthopedics?

As a medical student, I thought I would pursue primary care but after rotating through, sensed it wasn’t the right fit for me. I decided to try orthopedics in my 4th year of med school. I did a rotation at Einstein hospital in Philadelphia and worked with a great group of guys. They let me do an entire surgery and I was hooked. I decided to apply for an orthopedic residency.

What do you love most about your job?

Obviously the job is challenging in many ways but I enjoy knowing that the things I do and decisions I make translate into another person feeling better and functioning better. It is satisfying to know all of the time and effort I spent in training allows me to do something useful, not just for myself, but for everyone I see.

What is your biggest challenge?

Dealing with imperfection. I don’t handle failure well at all. I expect 100% success with what I do. Logically, I know it’s not possible but I expect it anyway. That creates unhappiness for me when things turn out less than my expectation.

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

I’m not sure. Maybe a college professor in history.

Your proudest moment?

I have to say my proudest moment was probably the day I matched in orthopedics at Penn State. It was my first choice and the culmination of 8 years of really hard work.

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

Sicily. It has everything: food, wine, beautiful vistas (the sea, mountains, an active volcano), fascinating history and great people.

Any hobbies? Activities?

I like to read mostly ancient Greek history and early American history. I am teaching myself to play the guitar and ukulele.

What’s your next adventure?

I usually have a trip planned but don’t at this time. I would love to go back to Italy.

Your guilty pleasure food?

It’s a tie: pizza and French fries.

 NOTE:  Dr Farino, MD is one of 13 physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. He is Fellowship Trained and Board Certified with a hand/wrist specialty. You may read his medical biography and CV by clicking here. SOA offers four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton), and provides same day appointments when needed. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

One-on-One with Trevor Born, MD

Born-077_R2

The past few weekly blogs have provided insight to our physicians on a personal level with our one-on-one interviews.  This week, we sit down with Trevor Born, MD, who is Fellowship Trained in Sports Medicine. Dr Born is a Bradenton native with impressive local accolades and we’re so pleased he returned to Florida after completing his medical education.

What inspired you to become a physician?

A couple reasons: Seeing the positive role physicians have in their patients’ lives, including my family members. Also knowing that physicians are constantly challenged and driven to continue the learning process not only for themselves but to further advance their patient care abilities.

Why orthopedics?

Why not? I was mainly drawn to orthopedics from my love for sports. I always thought, “Man, how awesome would it be to be the team doc for the Gators?” Coupled with the fact that building, architecture, and math were always passions of mine, the decision to pursue Orthopedics was a pretty easy one for me to make.

What do you love most about your job?

Establishing relationships with patients as I treat them for their chronic conditions or as they proceed on their journey to recovery from a serious injury. That about sums it up.

What is your biggest challenge?

Following Gator sports too much and their recent struggles? Really though, the most difficult struggle in today’s medical landscape is finding more time to care for and get to know my patients.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be an ________

Architect, teacher, or musician.

Your proudest moment?

That would be whenever I receive a letter from a patient or their family members letting me know how thankful they were for the care I provided.  Not many other moments out there make me feel as thankful and proud of my role as a physician.

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

Yellowstone National Park. The natural wonders and wildlife, scenery, volatile terrain, and how much of it is still truly unknown makes it pretty interesting in my mind.

Any hobbies?  Activities?

Guitar/music as I have been playing since middle school and there is never a party that could not benefit from a little guitar. When I have the chance I like following Gator sports and continuing to play golf, basketball, and tennis.

What’s your next adventure?

Starting a family.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Dark chocolate.

NOTE: Trevor Born, MD is Fellowship Trained in Sports Medicine with a specialty in upper and lower extremities. You may read his professional medical biography by clicking here.  Dr Born is one of 13 SOA physicians in four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton). Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offers same day appointments when needed.  Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

INSPIRATION JUST AHEAD — Meet Dr Kim Furman

Furman starting SOA_Walk_Furman

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.

CHECK THESE ORTHOPEDIC “A to Z’s” … How many do you know?

hand xray

At times, orthopedic terms can sound like a foreign language. We thought it would be fun to compile a list of one orthopedic term for each letter of the alphabet. Take a look and see if you’ve heard of these:

  • Arthroscopy – a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint where an exam and/or treatment is performed through a tiny incision.
  • Bursa – a fluid filled sac providing a cushion between bone and tendons or muscles.
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – pressure on the ulnar nerve (better known as your funny bone), one of the main nerves of the hand.
  • DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or pain and stiffness felt several hours after strenuous exercising.
  • Eccentric – the motion of a muscle as it is lengthening; the opposite of concentric, or shortening.
  • Fascia – a sheet of connective tissue below the skin that separates muscles or organs.
  • Gout – most commonly affected at the big toe, inflammatory arthritis caused by elevated uric acid in the blood; more prevalent in men.
  • Heterotopic Ossification – the presence of bone in soft tissue where it would not normally exist.
  • Impingement Syndrome – when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated, resulting in pain, weakness, and loss of shoulder movement.
  • Jones Fracture – occurs in the small area of the small toe that is prone to healing challenges due to less blood flow.
  • Kyphosis – abnormally convex curvature of the spine.
  • Lordosis – the inward curvature of the spine.
  • Meniscus – tissue that serves to disperse friction in the knee joint when moving.
  • Neuropathy – disease or dysfunction of nerves (sensory, motor or autonomic) causing numbness or weakness.
  • Osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis occurring when the protective cartilage wears down.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – a disorder of the heel and bottom of the foot causing pain, usually upon taking first steps of the day or after a rest.
  • Q -?
  • Referred Pain – pain perceived in a location different from that of the pathology.
  • Strain vs Sprain – partial tear of a muscle vs partial or complete tear of a ligament.
  • Tendinitis vs Tendinosis – “itis” occurs when the body detects an injury and responds with increased blood flow to the tendon; “osis” is a degenerative injury with repetitive stress over time.
  • Ultrasound – sound waves with ultra- high frequencies above the limit of hearing, allowing resolution of small internal details in tissue.
  • Viscosupplementation – a procedure where a fluid, hyaluronate, is injected into the joint to provide relief and movement.
  • W Sitting (pediatric) – a sitting position discouraged in children causing abnormal stress on hips and knees during growth.
  • X-rays – electromagnetic waves that are able pass through a part of the body to show internal composition, shown as a photographic or digital image.
  • Y – ?
  • Zika – a once rare mosquito born disease; though not orthopedic, the bite can cause joint pain; currently ranking high in the news as it spreads into several countries including USA.

So, how many did you already know? Do you have an orthopedic related term for the missing letters ”Q” or “Y”?

Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offers same day appointments at our three locations of Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice.  Our 13 physicians are committed to get you back on your feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

COMMON CONCERNS AS WE AGE

In our senior years, we hope to enjoy retirement while checking the fun items off our bucket list. Those senior years can be fulfilling however, they sometimes bring physical pain.

285x285_Arthritis_Rashes_2

Arthritis is the #1 condition experienced by seniors, affecting more than 50% of adults over 65 years of age.  It can be painful, but the good news is that it can be managed.  Most important is to keep moving, under the supervision of your physician, in order to manage the discomfort.  “Move it or lose it” is a great motto. Here’s a useful link with information from the Arthritis Foundation: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/tools-resources/

Fall-Prevention-Pic-1-300x201

Falls and Injuries contribute almost 30% of emergency room visits with over 20% of those occurring from accidental falls in the senior population.  This risk increases with age and occur largely in the home where loose rugs and slippery floors are major hazards. Fall Prevention week was in September but it’s never too late to read up on how to avoid common accidents. This link from the Mayo Clinic has practical advice on how to avoid becoming a statistic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/fall-prevention/art-20047358

osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects over 52 million Americans.  This condition of low bone mass can limit mobility. October 20 is World Osteoporosis Day and the National Osteoporosis Foundation has assembled pertinent information to help understand prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Here is their website:  http://nof.org/

At SOA we are committed to helping our patients get back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. Call us at 941-951-2663 (BONE) for an appointment at any of our three locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice.  Be well and stay healthy!

 

 

HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD YOU HAVE FOOT OR ANKLE ARTHRITIS?

foot funny

Do you find yourself limiting your activities due to pain and stiffness in your foot and/or ankle?

Arthritis of the foot and ankle is a common problem that can frequently occur as a result of previous injuries or as a degenerative process related to aging. It is also seen as a result of inflammatory conditions such as gout, rheumatoid, or psoriatic arthritis.

Arthritis of the foot and ankle doesn’t have to limit your ability to enjoy your daily activities. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet discovered the ‘fountain of youth,’ or a true cure for arthritis, but we do have ways to improve your pain and functional level. Numerous non-surgical options including bracing, shoe wear changes, activity modifications, physical therapy, oral or topical medications, or injections are available. These can make a big difference in your ability to enjoy life.

On occasion, non-surgical methods can’t give quite enough relief and a discussion of surgical options may be beneficial.

If you are struggling with foot or ankle arthritis, let us help get you back on your feet… back to work… back in the game… back to life!

For more information or an appointment with Dr. Eric James, orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, call 941-951-2663.  You may read more about Dr. James at our physician page by clicking HERE or, for more information on this topic, go to THIS LINK.

Treating Arthritic Back Pain: A SOLUTION

backpain

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.

EAT SMART TO MANAGE YOUR ARTHRITIS

arthritis hand Knee-Pain shoulder-pain

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we see so many patients of all ages with arthritis on a daily basis and unfortunately, it’s a condition most of us will eventually experience. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) published these alarming statistics:

  • 1 in 2 people will have osteo-arthritis by the time they reach 85 years of age
  • 2 in 3 people who are obese will experience arthritis in their lifetime
  • 1 in 4 will develop hip arthritis
  • 1 in 250 children under 18 years of age already have some form of arthritis
  • 50% of adults report having arthritis
  • By 2030, over 65 million people will have a physician diagnose them with arthritis

While there is no current cure, there are ways to relieve the inflammation and discomfort accompanying arthritis. The most important protocol you are able to control is diet.

Foods to avoid are sugar, alcohol, MSG, white carbohydrates, red meat, trans-fats (found in many packaged foods … read the labels!), tomatoes, and fatty acids (found in certain oils and dressings).

Your best diet to help contain inflammation should include ginger, walnuts, red bell peppers, carrots, beans, fish, fiber, watermelon, flax seed, apples, cherries, and berries. Read more here for more ways to manage your arthritis.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we have 3 locations with 12 physicians who are able to help you better manage and treat your discomfort from arthritis. We offer same day appointments. Click here to learn about our facility and physicians or, call us at 941-951-BONE to schedule an appointment.