10 Facts about Rotator Cuff Injuries and Repair

Your shoulders are important body parts that should be treated with care; however, the amount of work you make your shoulder do every day often goes unconsidered. This can sometimes result in an injury. Rotator cuffs are involved in most shoulder injuries. Rotator cuff injuries and tears are one of the most common injuries to effect adults and athletes.

rotator cuff injuriesThe rotator cuff is “a group of four muscles that come together as tendons”. These tendons “form a ‘cuff’ over the head of the humerus”. The four muscles that create this cuff are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor. These muscles all originate from the scapula, collar bone, and attach to the humerus. They attach at specific spots known as the greater tuberosity and lower tuberosity.

The main functionality of the rotator cuff is to lift and rotate the arm. It also stabilizes the ball of the shoulder within the ball and socket joint that allows free movement of the arm.   However, the rotator cuff has other uses and rotator cuff injuries affect those significantly. Below are ten facts surrounding rotator cuffs and rotator cuff injuries including the most common – rotator cuff tears.

Rotator Cuff Injuries, Tears, and Repairs: 10 Important Facts

  1. Tears are found in 30% – 50% of the population that is older than 50.
  2. Rotator cuff tears are among the most common shoulder disorders that require surgical management.
  3. Once the rotator cuff tendon tears off of the humerus bone, it starts to lose its nutrition. This causes it to begin to die. Timely surgery can greatly improve rates of surgical repair.
  4. Risks for post-operative failure after rotator cuff surgery include: a tear that is larger than 2.5 cm, fatty degeneration of the muscles in an MRI scan, older patient age, patients who are smokers or diabetics with blood sugar control.
  5. Fatty degeneration is associated with muscle weakness after shoulder surgery. This affects shoulder function in addition to being a risk factor for post-operative failure.
  6. After rotator cuff repair surgery, tendon retreat rates of anywhere between 25% and 95% have been reported by orthopedic surgeons observing post-operative patients.
  7. PRP (platelet rich plasma) has been shown to enhance the quality of early tendon healing in rotator cuff repair surgeries.
  8. The supraspinatus is the most common muscle torn out of the four muscles that make up the tendons in the rotator cuff.
  9. Once the rotator cuff surgery has been performed and rehabilitation is completed, a patient will have spent 5-6 months towards total recovery.
  10. Rotator cuff surgery will restore the entire range of motion to the shoulder. It will also reduce pain and significantly improve function when successful.

Injury to a rotator cuff can occur due to sports, sustaining a fall, or can simply be age-related.

Most commonly, a rotator cuff repair is diagnosed with an MRI after a patient complains of severe pain in the shoulder area and visits an orthopedic surgeon. Once an MRI is completed and the pain is diagnosed as a rotator cuff injury then treatment is decided. Not all rotator cuff repairs require surgery; however a large rotator cuff tear often requires surgery and months of rehabilitation in order to properly heal and regain functionality.

One of the most important things you can do if you suffer a rotator cuff injury is to seek medical attention immediately. Recovery rates are drastically improved when a rotator cuff injury is diagnosed and treated by a doctor as quickly as possible. If you feel that you may have an injured rotator cuff, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists immediately by calling 502-212-2663.

Injection Therapies for Knee Osteoarthritis

Stem Cells

Stem cell injections have been shown scientifically to help with pain reduction and improved function when injected into an osteoarthritic knee. There are over 200 growth factors in a stem cell recruitment therapy injection. The injection has the ability to reduce inflammation, reduce pain, repair damaged cartilage, and potentially regenerate new articulate cartilage. It is a quick injection that requires a regular office visit and will likely feel just like a flu shot. A small slender needle is used to inject the stem cell recruitment therapy. Your physical activity does not have to be altered after the injection. The only restriction is there can be no use of NSAIDS medication, such as Motrin, Aleve, or Mobic, for at least 2 weeks. If it is not covered by insurance, the cost is $1,600.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

PRP injections is a process where blood is drawn out of your arm in the office. We then centrifuge your blood in order to separate out the platelets from the rest of your blood cells. These platelets are then injected back into the knee joint. While the platelets have growth factors, there are not as many as found in stem cell recruitment therapy. PRP injections tend to work as well or better than a hyaluronic acid injection. The entire process takes about 30 minutes and requires a blood draw of approximately 10 cc. Though PRP injections are not covered by insurance, the cost of the procedure is $380.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Hyaluronic Acid is a synthetic fluid that is injected into the knee and helps to stimulate the synovial cells that line the inner part of the knee joint. This helps produce a more thick cushion-like fluid for the knee. In a normal knee, the fluid in the knee joint is thick like motor oil. However, when the knee becomes arthritic, it starts producing a fluid that has a water like consistency. After injecting the hyaluronic acid into the knee, it “tricks” the knee joint into producing a thicker more viscous joint fluid. Unlike the stem cell recruiting therapy and PRP, it does not have any growth factors. Effects of HA injections usually last up to 6-12 months. While most insurances will cover a percentage of the cost, the full price is about $600 per single injection.

Cortisone

Cortisone is a steroid that helps reduce inflammation temporary and is excellent for acute pain relief. It lasts between 3 to 4 months and does not have any growth factors. However, during the 3-4 month time frame, the cortisone will wear off and the symptoms will return. Cortisone shots are usually covered by your insurance company.

When it comes to treating an arthritic knee joint and chronic pain, there are several options we can provide that range in both efficacy and price. Prior to receiving any treatment, your coverage will be checked as benefits with insurances companies tend to change on a regular basis. To  get more information on what would be the best treatment option for you, make an appointment with Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists in Louisville, KY by calling 502-212-2663. Dr. Grossfeld has over 25 years of experience in orthopedic medicine and is a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon.

6 Health Benefits of Swimming According to an Orthopedic Surgeon

health benefits of swimmingSwimming is a wonderful way to enjoy the summer time. Whether you’re going to the beach, lake, or pool — swimming is a fun way to exercise and keep cool during the hot months. However, swimming doesn’t have to be an activity you only partake in when the sun is out and the weather is warm. Most gym memberships feature swimming pool perks and the local YMCAs in Louisville, KY have indoor pools which make it possible to swim year-round.

Swimming has been scientifically proven to offer a wide variety of health benefits to those who participate in the sport. Your body can greatly improve in a variety of ways when you add swimming to your exercise regimen. And unlike some other sports that have equally weighted benefits and downfalls, the health benefits of swimming greatly outweigh any downfalls making it a great sport for people of all ages, sizes, and shapes to pick up. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in sports medicine, explains the top 6 health benefits of swimming.

6 Health Benefits of Swimming

1. Increases Your Heart Rate

Swimming is a great way to increase your heart rate without having to participate in high-impact exercises like running. Running, and other high-intensity cardio exercises, can be very hard on your joints including your knees and ankles. Swimming relieves all the pressure off of your joints and can raise your heart rate as high, or even higher, than traditional cardio exercises can.

2. Builds Endurance

Swimming is a great way to build endurance. By swimming, your body goes through two different stages of energy use – an aerobic phase and an anaerobic phase. During the aerobic stage, your body is getting enough oxygen to power itself and provide your muscles with energy whereas during the anaerobic stage, your body is not getting enough oxygen. The switch between aerobic and anaerobic stages that occur during swimming helps to build up endurance and eventually, your body will spend longer time in the aerobic phase than in the anaerobic phase and you will be able to fight off the tired feeling that often causes us to stop exercising.

3. Weight Maintenance

All cardio is great for weight loss and weight maintenance including swimming. Depending on the goals around your weight, swimming is a perfectly healthy way to shed pounds or keep them off once they are gone. In addition to being an enjoyable way to maintain your weight, swimming also improves heart and lung health. By improving the health of your heart and lungs, you can explore more exercise activities and continue to build endurance through cardio.

4. Strengthens and Tones Muscle

Swimming is a cardiovascular exercise. It raises your heart rate and gets you sweating, but the water also provides resistance which allows you to build strengthen, and tone your muscles. You can target different groups of muscles by using different swimming styles such as the front stroke, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly stroke, and many others. Toning muscle and strengthening your body are two more health benefits of swimming that are undeniable.

5. Provides Low-Impact Therapy

Low-impact therapy is an important part of any exercise routine. Most cardio exercises are high-impact. For example, when running or jumping, at least one foot is constantly bearing the entire weight of your body. This can be detrimental to your bones and joints which is why it is recommended to substitute some high-impact cardio with low-impact cardio such as swimming. When you swim, you are constantly staying in motion to stay afloat and you are rarely coming in contact with solid surfaces. Additionally, the buoyancy of the water helps to prevent any joint damage from occurring.

6. Stress Relief

Swimming is not only a great exercise. It is also a great stress reliever. When you’re swimming, you must keep your mind focused on one thing and one thing only — swimming. Most exercises are stress relievers in one way or another, but with swimming, your thoughts must be totally focused on moving your arms and legs to propel yourself through the water. In a study done by Speedo, they found that 74% of people surveyed said that swimming helps to relieve stress and tension after a long and busy day. In addition to relieving stress, the surveyed party also agreed that after swimming, they feel better about themselves both mentally and physically.

If you are searching for a new cardiovascular exercise or are simply looking for a way to add more physical activity into your daily routine, Dr. Stacie Grossfeld of Orthopaedic Specialists recommends swimming. The health benefits of swimming are wide and far for both mental and physical health including heart, lung, and bone health.

To find a YMCA in Louisville, KY that has a swimming pool, visit their website and check out their map. In addition to the YMCA, Louisville, KY has public pools that are available in the summer and private gyms which feature indoor pools.

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in sports medicine who practices in Louisville, KY. Her practice, Orthopaedic Specialists, has two locations and she is currently accepting new patients. Are you interested in learning more about ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, are looking for guidance on how to eat healthy and lose weight, or are experiencing pain in your joints or bones? Contact Dr. Grossfeld today at 502-212-2663.

10 Important Things to Know Before Getting Subchondroplasty

subchondroplastyWhat is Subchondroplasty?

Subchondroplasty (or SCP) is a method where a doctor injects a hard-setting bone substitute into the bone in order to seal up a fracture. When the leg bone, tibia, or knee becomes overstressed with wear and tear, they develop defects such as insufficiency fractures or bone marrow edema (also known as “bone bruises”). These insufficiency fractures are very painful — in fact, much of the pain associated with arthritis in the knee actually results from the fracture, not “bone on bone” changes.

Subchondroplasty is minimally invasive and uses X-ray imaging to monitor the body’s interior in real-time. Using this imaging technique, orthopedic surgeons can find insufficiency fractures in the bone and fill them with a bone graft substitute that spurs growth of actual bone over it. The result is a healed bone and reduced pain in the leg and knee.

10 Things to Know About Subchondroplasty

  1. An orthopedic surgeon may prescribe medications and rest before opting for this minimally invasive procedure.
  2. Subchondroplasty is not recommended for patients with BMI greater than 40 or for people with severe malalignment of the knee joint.
  3. Being overweight and poor diet increase the likelihood of developing bone marrow edema. If your orthopedic surgeon suggests this procedure, they will also recommend lifestyle changes for weight loss to prevent further necessary treatment.
  4. The hard-setting bone substitute is made of an engineered calcium phosphate mineral compound that mimics chemical structure of human bone. Over time, the compound is resorbed and replaced with new bone.
  5. Subchondroplasty is an outpatient procedure and only takes about 20 minutes to complete.
  6. Patients are able to bear weight immediately after their procedure. Crutches may be recommended for 1-2 weeks after the surgery to reduce strain on the healing joint.
  7. Post-op pain should start to decrease within 24 to 36 hours after subchondroplasty.
  8. The subchondroplasty procedure is relatively novel and was first introduced in late 2010.
  9. To regain strength and mobility in the knee, your orthopedic surgeon will recommend physical therapy after the subchondroplasty procedure.
  10. Future knee replacement is still an option if this procedure is not effective.

If you or someone you know is experiencing leg pain due to insufficiency fractures or bone marrow edema, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists. Dr. Grossfeld has about two years of experiencing performing the subchondroplasty procedure and while doing so she has seen excellent results.

For more information and to schedule an appointment with Louisville orthopedic surgeon Dr. Grossfeld, call 502-212-2663. You can also visit either of the Orthopaedic Specialists’ locations in Louisville, KY to get more information and schedule an appointment today. 

Inspiring Personal Trainer & Weight Lifter Lauren Russell

Those who have met Lauren Russell would describe her as the epitome of both dietary and physical health with the physique of a Spartan statue. The 29 year old mom of four, lifts, is active within the CrossFit community, and is also a personal trainer; all of which she has been doing for over 10 years now.

Passionate about helping others achieve their fitness goals, she both created and teaches a Cardio Fit class at the YMCA in Norton Commons, where she met Dr. Stacie Grossfeld. The class which meets 6 times a week, is a mix of a high intensity workout with lifting incorporated. Lauren who has been teaching this class for four years now, prides herself in her student’s loyalty. “No one comes to class if there’s a sub. We’re like our own little family and usually arrive 30 minutes before class just to talk.”

Despite her friendly and personable demeanor, Lauren doesn’t mess around when it comes to her class or her clients. “If someone comes in whining that this is their first time, or to go easy on them, I just say, ‘sit down! Listen! Let’s get to it!’”

Lauren’s no nonsense attitude is equally applied to her Olympic lifting competitions. Her best snatch (the raising of a weight from the floor to above the head in one quick movement) is a 63, and her best clean and jerk (the raising of a weight over the head and then to shoulder level) is a 91.She is currently fully invested in going to nationals for weightlifting and is taking the summer off to train herself before returning to competition. Though Lauren trains under her coach Benjamin Carter, who runs the CrossFit gym Bluegrass Barbell, she keeps close track of her dietary and physical health at home as well.

A Day in the Life

A creature of habit and schedule, she even makes it a point to take advantage of hotel gyms while traveling with her husband for work. Rest days, she says, make her tired. “It’s as if I need the workout to keep my energy up.” When in town, she wakes up every morning around 5 am to drink her coffee, and then work out with her husband for an hour or two. The pair converted their garage into a full scale gym to better utilize the early morning hours as their bonding time.

Throughout the day, Lauren uses the RP Strength program online to track her fats, carbs, and proteins down to every detail and recommends the app for everyone from Olympic athletes to mom’s just like herself. Though she eats the same thing every day, with very few exceptions, she loves the type of training she does and isn’t bothered by a routine diet. “I actually miss it when I don’t eat my usual meal.”

Daily meals include a protein and carb combo as she works out in the morning, and a protein pancake with bananas afterwards. For lunch, its egg whites, Brussel sprouts, a sweet potato, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, 2 pieces of bread, and a 2-5oz turkey breast. Dinner consists of spaghetti squash, homemade pasta sauce, and handmade sausage from Whole Foods. Her occasional indulgence (usually on date night) is red wine; though she often rewards herself with a black, cold brew coffee from Starbucks.

Female Empowerment

A tattoo in script that runs down Lauren’s thigh reads, “Strong and Beautiful”; a gift for herself after completing her very first pull up. It’s these exact words that exemplify why she lifts. “All women should do something that makes them feel strong,” she says, “I work out because of the way it makes me feel: strong and powerful. There’s a major girl power element to it.” Instead of tearing each other down, she advocates for women to be more supportive of each other in their strength and in general. This is why when a teammate of hers beats her in competition, she doesn’t let her athleticism over power her; instead congratulating them and high-fiving them in support.

On top of her rigorous athletic career and training program, Lauren is a busy mom of four and running for Vice President of the Parent Teacher Association at one of her daughter’s schools. Admittedly, she doesn’t like to slow down, and enjoys staying busy with her kids in tow.

Getting the Kids Involved

Lauren encourages younger generations to stay active as well. “You’re never too young to get started. Just make sure you get a professional who knows how to train your specific age to avoid injury.” She supports her daughters Ezra (age 9) and Lucy (age 3) who also share her love of nutritional health and athleticism. In fact, Ezra just finished competing in her 2nd weight lifting competition, and Lucy lifts a small 1.5-2lb weight. While they also watch what they eat, Lauren lets her kids be kids; never making them stand out of a pizza party, and even baking cupcakes for class parties. And when she does indulge in a treat, she makes sure to do so in front of them so they know it’s normal.

Lauren’s advice to others wanting to be more active is to just do it! “You don’t have to be a certain size, shape, or even in a specific place in your life to start. Small steps make a big difference. First find a workout you enjoy so you will actually stick with it. And when it comes to your diet, don’t try cutting everything out at once, but rather get rid of one bad habit at a time.”

 

 

 

How to Prevent Fall Injuries in Children: Tips from a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

fall injuries in childrenThe most common cause of nonfatal injuries for kids ages 1 to 19 are falls. Every day an estimated 8,000 juveniles are admitted into the emergency room due to injuries sustained from a fall. Fall injuries in children can be as minor as bruises or sprains, but they can also be as serious as head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones.

  • Signs of head injury in children include unconsciousness, abnormal breathing, disturbance of speech or vision, change in pupils, weakness, paralysis, neck pain, stiffness, vomiting, and seizures.
  • Signs of spinal cord injury in children include muscle weakness, loss of muscle movement, difficulty breathing, loss of feeling in extremities, and loss of bowel or bladder function.
  • Signs of a broken bone in children include pain, swelling, and deformity. You may have heard a snap upon impact and it painful for your child to move, touch, or press on the injured area. There should be swelling and bruising, as well.

Preventing Falls and Fall Injuries in Children

If you want to prevent fall injuries in children, you have to prevent falls. You can’t always protect your children from falls, as they grow they still becoming accustomed to their bodies and learning how to control their movements. However, you can minimize hazards around the house to help prevent fall injuries in children. Here are some tips on doing so.

  • Always monitor infants and toddlers. If your baby is on a bed or change table, always have a hand on them especially if something draws your eye away. In order to be safest, change diapers on the floor when possible.
  • If you use a hop swing or baby bouncer, never put it on a surface above the floor such as a table top.
  • As your child grows, prevent them from climbing furniture by keeping their toys and other items of interest within their reach.
  • When your child begins walking, keep pathways clear of tripping hazards.
  • Install safety gates on both sides of stairs until your child is coordinated enough to navigate them on their own.
  • Children under the age of nine are not old enough to use bunk beds.
  • The bath is a common area for slip and falls. Use non-slip surface mats in the tub and teach your children to stay sitting during bathtime and to get out with caution.
  • Use stickers and decor to make glass doors visible when closed.
  • Place locks on windows where children could fall out.
  • Gaps between railings on stairs and balconies should be no wider than 3 ½ inches.

These tips should help to prevent your child from suffering a fall-related injury.

However, accidents do happen regardless of prevention and monitoring. If your child sustains a fall related injury, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld. Dr. Grossfeld has over 25 years of experience as an pediatric orthopedic surgeon and can help with children’s injuries such as broken bones.

You can contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists by calling 502-212-2663 today to schedule an appointment.

What are Stem Cells?

A stem cell is just a cell that hasn’t decided what it wants to be when it grows up. They can be thought of like clone cells in that if you put a stem cell in a bone it turns into a bone, and if you put a stem cell into a tendon it turns into a tendon.

Stem cells have over 200 growth factors to assist in the healing process and can facilitate it by differentiating into specialized cells required for the body’s repair. In fact, it’s a tissue injury that turns stem cells on and gets them working. So when a person has an injury or a degenerative type problem like arthritis, the stem cells are injected into the area in need and can then stimulate the healing process. As we age our stem cells age, so the younger the stem cell is the more potent it will be.

What is the difference between Adult Stem Cells and Amniotic Fluid derived Stem Cells?

Amniotic fluid stem cells and adult stem cells have many related benefits when considering them for medical use. First, these fluids and cells are immunologically privileged; meaning they cause no reaction between completely unrelated donors and recipients. This means there is no risk of rejection of the stem cell once it is injected into the site of injury.

Amniotic stem cells (ASCs) are a sort of hybrid between embryonic and adult stem cells in terms of their plasticity and differentiation abilities. Many more stem cells are present in amniotic fluid than adult bone marrow. In fact, amniotic fluid can develop into many different types of tissues such as skin, cartilage, cardiac, nerves, muscle, and bone.

Amniotic fluid contains levels of hyaluronic acid, which aids in joint lubrication and acts as a joint medication. It naturally occurs in all of our joints already, but giving a joint an added boost of hyaluronic acid could provide improved functionality in terms of support and also pain relief. It also contains a full complement of growth factors that function to stimulate stem cells to differentiate into many different cell types.

This is significant for example, because if you inject stem cells near a knee with degenerating cartilage, a portion of these stem cells may attach to the damaged area and begin to grow new healthy cartilage cells supporting and healing previously untreatable injuries. Amniotic fluid stem cell recruitment therapy contains anti-inflammatory and anti-adhesion properties, which work to heal joint, muscular or skeletal injuries. Keeping inflammation at rest is a great way to accelerate the healing process.

Where do the stem cells come from?

They come from amniotic fluid that is collected at the time of a C-section. The stem cells do not come from the baby or an aborted fetus, but instead come from the amniotic fluid that is typically discarded at the end of a C-section delivery. Therefore there are no ethical issues with using amniotic stem cells.

How do I know if the stem cells are safe?

The donor is screened and tested prior to being consented to use the amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid is then sent to an FDA approved lab where it is processed accordingly and safety checked. After processing, the fluid is cryogenically frozen and stored.

Donor tissue is recovered using the safest recovery techniques and sterilized equipment to minimize bioburden contamination. Allografts are procured via a network of qualified and trained recovery partners, using a stringent screening and recovery protocol, in a highly controlled processing environment, minimizing risk of disease transmission. All tissues are processed aseptically and sterilized using Gamma irradiation.

What kind of medical or sports condition can benefit from stem cell recruitment therapy?

In general any injury that involves a joint, tendon, ligament, sprain, strain or muscle injury can benefit from stem cell therapy. Stem cell recruitment treatment provided by an Orthopedic Specialist is designed to target areas within the joints to help with the creation of new cartilage cells, reduce pain, and improve joint health. Listed below are some specific conditions that can be treated with stem cell therapy:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Acute muscle tears or strains
  • Ankle sprains
  • Hamstring tears or sprains
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Osteoarthritis / arthritis
  • Hip bursitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Posterior tibial tendinitis
  • Peroneal tendinitis
  • Stress fractures

How long does it take to see results?

Most patients feel no improvement for at least three weeks but it can even take up to six or eight weeks. However, once you feel improvement, you will notice continued improvement lasting over six to eight months.

Does it hurt to get a stem cell injection?

In our office we use a very small and slender needle to inject the stem cells into the injured area. If feels similar to getting a flu shot. There may be some mild soreness in the joint for up to a week after the injection.

How much does it cost?

My office will check with your insurance carrier to determine if they cover the injection, as well as the copay, co-insurance, and deductible status. If stem cell injections are not covered by your insurance provider, it is a $1,600 cost per injection.

Dr. Grossfeld has over 25 years of experience in orthopedic medicine and is a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon. To get more information on stem cells as a treatment option, call 502-212-2663 to make an appointment today.

 

Supplements Recommended For Patients By Dr. Stacie Grossfeld

Louisville Orthopedic Surgeon Stacie Grossfeld recommends the following supplements as a means of improving your joint health!

Turmeric

Turmeric is not only a spice, but a member of the ginger family, and is often used in curry powder. The active portion of turmeric is known as curcumin (Curcuma longa). The anti inflammatory and free radical-scavenging properties of curcumin have been well documented and used to treat inflammation. It may have anti-carcinogenic properties as well.

Turmeric is safe for most adults although high doses or long term use can cause indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea. Patients with gallbladder disease should avoid Turmeric because it can worsen their condition. The recommended dose as an antioxidant is 500 mg per day and the max dose is 2000 mg per day.

Glucosamine with Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are part of normal cartilage and are the building blocks of what makes up articular cartilage in your body. They may be taken as either a tablet, capsule, powder, or in liquid form. In addition to several studies completed, I have had many patients state that this supplement helps to reduce their arthritic symptoms.

Its important to remember that the US food and drug administration does not regulate dietary supplements the same way it regulates medications.The recommended dose is 1500 mg daily of the glucosamine and 800 mg to 1200 mg daily of chondroitin. They can be taken once a day or divided into 2 to 3 equal doses.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids and is an essential fatty acid that our body needs in order to function properly. Some soft data suggests fish oil will help to reduce the effects of osteoarthritis on the knee joint. Several studies completed also show a positive affect on those suffering with arthritis when fish oil is ingested. Additionally, we know that fish oil has an excellent cardiac protective effect because it lowers blood triglycerides that circulate in the blood stream, protecting against heart disease and reducing high blood pressure.

The recommended dose is 2500 mg twice a day and up to 5000mg per day.

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld of Orthopaedic Specialists, in Louisville, KY, is a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon. If you would like more information on daily supplements that could benefit your joints, contact Orthopaedic Specialists today by scheduling an appointment and calling 502-212-2663.

What is Pulmonary Edema?

pulmonary edemaIn short, pulmonary edema is a condition where a person’s lungs are prone to filling up with fluid. Because of this, the body then struggles to get enough oxygen. Pulmonary edema is especially risky for people with heart problems. Treatment consists of medications, but there are also surgeries and procedures used to drain the fluid from the lungs. Timely treatment of the condition’s underlying causes improves a patient’s outlook.

This condition is also called “lung congestion,” “lung water,” or “pulmonary congestion.”

Pulmonary Edema Symptoms

Pulmonary edema makes a person feel shortness of breath as the body struggles to receive oxygen. The increasing amounts of fluid in the lungs block the oxygen from entering the bloodstream. Until the fluid is removed by a doctor, a patient may feel:

  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath when physically active
  • Lower body swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Feeling breathless when lying down

People also experience this condition as a side effect of high altitude sickness, when there isn’t enough oxygen in the air. These symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

When Do Pulmonary Edema Symptoms Become an Emergency?

Acute pulmonary edema develops suddenly and if left untreated the fluid in the lungs can make a person drown. Call 911 or your medical emergency service if you experience:

  • Inability to breathe.
  • Anxiety from breathing issues.
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating and breathing difficulties
  • Pallid, blue or grey skin.
  • A rough cough that produces a frothy, pink mucus
  • Feelings of suffocation
  • Irregular, rapid heartbeat

Treating Pulmonary Edema

The first thing a healthcare team will do to a patient with pulmonary edema is introduce more oxygen to the system. They prop the patient up and deliver 100% oxygen through a nasal cannula or positive pressure mask to assist with breathing. If this does not work, the healthcare providers may insert a endotracheal tube, or breathing tube, down their throat for mechanical ventilation.

From there, the doctor diagnoses the cause of the pulmonary edema and treatment from then on out attempts to fix the underlying cause. They may administer:

  • Heart medications to control pulse and blood pressure.
  • Suction catheter to remove fluid from the lungs.
  • Pain relievers to make the experience more comfortable.
  • Preload reducers to decrease fluid pressure in the heart and lungs.
  • Afterload reduces to dilate blood vessels

Pulmonary edema is a serious lung condition that often develops quickly and escalates to a medical emergency without much warning. If you are susceptible to pneumonia or expect to be exercising at a higher altitude in the future, you must be careful. Taking precautionary steps against pulmonary edema can save your life.

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld of Orthopaedic Specialists, in Louisville, KY, is an orthopedic surgeon with a focus on sports medicine. She has over 20 years of experience treating athletic and non-athletic patients alike. If you feel you may be at risk of developing pulmonary edema, contact her today. Call 502-212-2663 or visit one of her two office locations to schedule an appointment. 

Smartphone Thumb: It’s Real and It’s On the Rise

smartphone thumbSmartphone thumb is a popular term used to describe pain felt at the base of a person’s dominant thumb. The dominant thumb is the one they use to operate their smart cellular device. While updated with a moniker that reflects the technology du jour, this condition isn’t exactly new. In the 1980s, people worried children were all going to get “Nintendo thumb”. In the 1990s and early 2000s the term “Blackberry thumb” was thrown around.

The cause of smartphone thumb is repetitive stress injury or RSI. RSI is a diagnosis of exclusion meaning doctors only reach it after ruling out several other, more serious options. If there is nothing broken or dislocated in the hand, a doctor will come to the conclusion that the pain results from slight inflammation due to repetitive motion.

The repetitive yet limited motions the thumb makes while texting are abnormal motions, which can lead to pain. Eventually, more serious conditions including osteoarthritis and tendonitis can develop. Using other fingers to operate the device, taking breaks from your phone, and stretching the area regularly can all help prevent the pain caused by smartphone thumb. Rest and mild pain relievers can help alleviate the discomfort for a time. However, these are not the only options available.

If you find yourself regularly plagued with chronic joint pain due to smartphone overuse, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are an affordable, in-office treatment that can help reduce discomfort for a prolonged amount of time.

PRP injections involve taking blood from the patient and spinning a portion of it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from red and white blood cells. The platelets are then combined with the rest of the blood to be injected into the affected area. In the case of smartphone thumb, that area is the joint at the base of the thumb.

Some of the world’s top athletes have used PRP injections to treat issues including chronic tendon injuries, acute ligament and muscle injuries, knee arthritis, and fractures. Research backs PRP injections to treat issues such as Partial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears and knee osteoarthritis.

Recovery from PRP injections is minimal. Patients are given a local anesthetic before injections. Depending on the pain levels, most do not need more than two injections total. The patient may feel some residual pain for a day or two. Once the stiffness and soreness diminish, they are left with improved joint function and reduced discomfort.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Grossfeld is the Louisville authority on Platelet Rich Plasma injections. If you are interested in PRP injections as a way to reduce joint discomfort, contact her today. Call 502-212-2663 to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who has been voted as  one of the Top Ten Orthopedic Doctors in Louisville, KY and has received a Patient’s Choice Award as a top rated doctor from http://www.vitals.com/.