Healthy Bones: Osteoporosis

Bone Health and Osteoporosis This month we are focusing on bone health. Unless you have recently sustained an injury to your bones, then it’s unlikely you’ve been putting much thought into their health. Since we can’t see our bones, it is much more difficult to remain aware and alert to their needs. For example, osteoporosis, which is a condition that degrades bones, is a common disease and yet most people aren’t aware of its serious effects on bone health.

Effects of Osteoporosis on Bone Health 

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 54 million Americans have osteoporosis. Approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone because of osteoporosis. The condition typically appears in women when they start menopause at age 50-55 . Male osteoporosis tends to occur after age 70. The start of osteoporosis is related to a reduction of the hormones estrogen and testosterone.

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. The first sign of the condition may only appear after a fragility fracture has already occurred. These kinds of fractures are most common in the wrist, spine, and hip. Studies show that someone who has had a fractured hip due to bone density decrease has a much higher risk of fatality because of the injury than someone else with the same fracture unrelated to osteoporosis.

Other than broken bones, osteoporosis can cause height loss or curvature of the spine. If you are experiencing either of those symptoms, it could be wise to get in contact with a healthcare professional.

Prevention

Prevention is the best form of treatment of osteoporosis. A few ways you can work to prevent the condition is by incorporating more calcium and vitamin D supplements into your diet. Some foods rich in calcium include dark leafy greens, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, and almonds. Sunlight is the vitamin D source most people know, but there are also other ways to incorporate vitamin D into your life even if you can’t get outside for lengthy periods of time. Foods such as salmon and other fatty fish, egg yolks, and portobello mushrooms are also good sources of vitamin D.

Other forms of prevention include frequent exercise, reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, as well as eliminating any smoking habits. These activities not only help prevent osteoporosis but also help to improve general bone health.

If you think you may be at risk for osteoporosis, there is also a bone density screening you can opt for. It is called a DEXA scan and is somewhat similar to an x-ray.

Treatment

There is no explicit cure for osteoporosis, however there are medications that can help reduce loss of bone density. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation can only go so far to help prevent the onset of osteoporosis, but they cannot help to reverse the effects of the condition. Only the group of FDA approved medications for treatment of osteoporosis can be used to rebuild bone mass such as: Prolia  and Forteo. Only an FDA approved medication for treatment of osteoporosis can improve and rebuild the bone density and strength. Ask your healthcare provider which agent they recommend before you try to self-prescribe.

Subchondroplasty or SCP for Bone Marrow Edema or Insufficiency Fractures

subchondroplastyMany people suffer from bone marrow edema or insufficiency fractures. And the long term effects of these conditions can be serious. Edema and insufficiency fractures can injure a person’s bone marrow and cause a long list of medical complications.

Fortunately, there are a variety of medical treatments available to treat bone marrow edema and insufficiency fractures. People with the most chronic and severe cases may benefit from subchondroplasty, a treatment provided by a board certified orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Stacie Grossfeld. Subchondroplasty can improve a person’s pain and also decrease the number of physical limitations often associated with bone marrow edema or insufficiency fractures.

What are Insufficiency Fractures?

Insufficiency fractures are a type of stress fracture. They happen due to normal stress on a bone that is weak. Insufficiency fractures are more common in older people, and particularly in older women.

What Causes Bone Marrow Edemas?

When you suffer from edema, your blood cells go to the injured site, causing a pooling of fluids. Injuries such as fractures or broken bones result in bone marrow edema. They may also be the result of ligament injuries, bruising on bones or inflammation. Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are regularly associated with bone marrow edema. Bone marrow edemas can negatively impact a person’s overall health. If you are suffering from this condition, seeking treatment is very important.

An Overview of Subchondroplasty as a Treatment for Edema

If you are experiencing edema, and you have not gotten better from medications and rest, you may benefit from subchondroplasty. Subchondroplasty, also known as SCP, is a procedure done for patients that have insufficiency fractures or bone marrow edema. Typically it occurs in patients with osteoarthritis. An MRI scan diagnoses it.

The surgical procedure is an outpatient procedure that takes about 20 minutes to complete. It involves a knee arthroscopy where a high definition television camera is inserted into the knee joint. A trocar, which is like a large needle, is injected into the area where bone marrow edema was identified on the preoperative MRI scan. Then a special type of bone graft is injected. The bone graft instantly heals the bone marrow edema or insufficiency fracture.

What to Expect after Subchondroplasty?

Following subchondroplasty, patients are able to bear weight immediately. And generally within 24 to 36 hours, people also experience a noticeable reduction in pain. Dr. Grossfeld has been performing subchondroplasty for about a year and while doing so has had excellent results. For more information and to schedule an appointment with Louisville orthopedic Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, call 502-212-2663.

Dr. Stacie Grossfeld of Louisville’s Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC Named 2017 Volunteer of the Year by the YMCA at Norton Commons

ymca at norton commons

Dr. Grossfeld accepts her award for the 2017 Volunteer of the Year from Mike Bramer, the District Executive Director at the YMCA at Norton Commons.

Louisville, KY – April 27, 2017 – Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, orthopedic surgeon at Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC, has been named Volunteer of the Year by the YMCA at Norton Commons in Louisville, Kentucky. Since 2015, Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has served on the Board of Directors for the organization, and has regularly connected the YMCA with potential business partners since joining.

Since joining the Norton Commons YMCA Board of Directors, Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has been happy to help fundraise for the Y at Norton Commons.

Some examples of Dr. Grossfeld’s involvement with the YMCA at Norton Commons include:

  • Finding and giving the Y a $4,000 blood pressure machine for members to use
  • Securing donations and contributions to the YMCA at Norton Commons
  • Encouraging individuals and families to join the YMCA through her orthopedic and sports medicine practice

Describing their experience with Dr. Grossfeld, leaders at the YMCA at Norton Commons explain: “Stacie is a tremendous asset to the YMCA at Norton Commons and she is very deserving of our Volunteer of the Year Award!”

The YMCA at Norton Commons is one of the newest YMCA facilities to open in the Greater Louisville area. At the Norton Commons YMCA, families can take advantage of a wide variety of programs including:

  • Nutritional Consultation
  • Personal Training
  • Youth Fitness Fundamentals
  • YMCA Weight Loss Challenges
  • Fundraisers through the YMCA Teen Leaders Program

The YMCA at Norton Commons also offers a warm water pool for recreational activities, a lap pool for exercise, a sauna, spa, group exercise and cycling classes, a fitness center, supervised Kid’s Club, Club Y for preteens, a full gymnasium, and more.

To read more about how Dr. Stacie Grossfeld helps give back to her Louisville, KY community and what the YMCA at Norton Commons has to offer to children and adults alike, click here.

 

Manage Knee Osteoarthritis: Study on Nonsurgical Solutions

The experience of knee osteoarthritis is extremely common for active individuals. It is especially common in those that have suffered previous injuries, those with extra weight, and those that are older in age. There seem to be several precursors to developing this debilitating and degenerative disease, but there are also ways to manage knee osteoarthritis.

According to the American Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Dr. Gwi-Chin Lee has a new update on the nonsurgical management of knee osteoarthritis. This information is in the January 2016 edition of the American Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

According to Dr. Lee, there are seven effective and scientifically proven ways to reduce and manage knee osteoarthritis pain. The following solutions are for those struggling to manage knee osteoarthritis.

Low Impact Aerobic Exercises

These exercises can reduce the pressure and impact felt when working out. Low impact aerobic exercises include: swimming, biking and yoga. These are great ways to maintain a healthy, pain-free lifestyle while continuing to do the things that you love. Manage Knee Osteoarthritis

Weight Loss

Knee osteoarthritis affects individuals that are typically overweight. Combining exercises with weight loss will only improve your chances of managing your osteoarthritis pain. By losing weight, you will take added pressure off of your joints. This pressure loss will reduce the stress placed on these bones and joints.

Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is proven to reduce knee pain, improve knee function, and decrease stiffness. This surgery is often required for people carrying extra weight, but it has shown to be effective for managing osteoarthritis as well.

Pharmacological Agents

This report found that patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids were able to manage their knee pain and increase their level of activity. Take these oral medications as recommended by a physician.

Intra-articular Injections

Patients receiving cortisone or hyaluronic acid injections saw significantly decreased levels of pain. A physician administers these injections by placing a needle in or around you kneecap. These tend to offer quick relief while offering short-term benefits.

Physical Therapy

These individualized sessions have found to be more effective at treating osteoarthritis of the knee than those attending exercise classes or those exercising alone. Physical therapy is personalized, controlled and evaluated regularly which allows you and a professional to manage specific pain.

PRP

Platelet rich plasma has been studied in the management of osteoarthritis and it appears to be equally as effective as hyaluronic injections. This is an aggressive and also invasive option. You should consult your physician before receiving this treatment.

These seven options offer nonsurgical methods of managing and also reducing osteoarthritis of the knee. There are several positive approaches to treating osteoarthritis. Three options that are clinically proven to not be successful include: laser or needle acupuncture, Tylenol, and undergoing a knee arthroscopy. All of these options should be avoided. Only consider further treatment if the other seven solutions have failed to alleviate pain.

If you are experiencing knee pain or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee, there are treatment options available. Call Orthopaedic Specialists at 502-212-2663 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld today.

 

When is it too Early for Youth Sport Specialization?

Dr. Brian Feeley considers sports specialization to be intensive, year-round training in a single sport with the exclusion to other sports. There was a concern that early single sport specialization may lead to increased rates of overuse injury and psychological burnouts.

Dr. Brian Feeley, Julie Angel, AT-C and Dr. Rob LaPrade have come together to publish an article in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in January, 2015. They specifically addressed the question, “When is it too early for single sport specialization?” They noted that these activity levels in the United States today include extremes of inactivity versus overactivity in sports. Greater than any time in history we are seeing more children who are morbidly obese with earlier onset diabetes.

And on the flipside, we are also seeing kids who participate in one sport year-round or multiple sports year round under the guidance of a coach and on a specific team. The authors felt that the coach is a primarily driving influence on the decision to specialize in a single sport. An article described that this decision may establish a fundamental early disconnect where the interest in the goals of the parents and child are not the same as those of the youth coach whose focus is on success in a single sport.

Research Findings

Youth Specialization in HockeyThe authors also noted that over the past 20 years there has been a shift in emphasis from youth group and recreational sports activities, to skill development with an emphasis on achieving a high level of accomplishment in a single sport.

The evidence for contribution of an early sport specialization to mastering a particular sport is not clear. It makes intuitive sense in early development of a skill set in sport such as golf, tennis, and gymnastics where post-pubertal size and strength gains are not as important or could actually be detrimental may be beneficial in those sports. The authors noted there is not clear literature to support this. They noted that some studies have suggested that late specialization in a particular sport with a child greater than 12 years of age, may actually result in better achievement than early specialization.

Gullich and Emrich studied more than 1,500 German Olympic athletes and found that the lead athletes specialized later and were more likely to participate in one or more sports over age 11. They noted that Olympic athletes played multiple sports up to age 12 and then started to specialize after that. There was little evidence for and against early specialization in many sports that have a high level of early year round participation in the United States. Athletes are at risk, especially the young athletes for overuse injuries in sports such as baseball, gymnastics, swimming, and ice hockey.

Overuse Injuries

The concern about overuse injuries in the youth athletes relate to the fact that they have open growth plates in their bones, ligaments that are changing size, and muscles that have not reach full maturity.

Youth Pitchers

They noted that youth pitchers face the issue of overuse injuries. These athletes depend on rotator cuff musculature and trunk rotation to throw a baseball which in combination with excessive torque on their humerus which is their upper arm bone, underdevelopment on their muscles, and open growth plates predisposes these athletes to shoulder instabilities, stress fractures through the top part of the humeral bone, and rotator cuff tears and tendonitis.

Youth Baseball Players and Shoulder InjuriesIt has been documented that a youth baseball player pitching more than 100 innings per year resulted in a 3.5 fold increase in risk injury that resulted in time loss from competition in the 9 to 14 year old age group. It is important that parents and physicians consider participation times outside of competitions that occur with private coaches, parents, teammates, and count these athletic exposures as part of the overall time spent in training.

Young Hockey Players

They also noted another area of concern is in hockey players. Studies have documented that the hip position in ice hockey players who are sprinting in the pubic age around 11 years of age tend to externally rotate when pushing off and then internally rotate while increasing hip flexion during the recovery phase. This range of motion creates an impingement on the femoral neck – the top part of the hip bone – and can lead to early stress on the acetabular cartilage and labrum. This can cause potential labral tears and cartilage damage later in life. The youth hockey players’ hip actually develop differently than a child who does not play hockey. These findings have proven to cause problems later on in life.

The authors noted that there is some scientific evidence for early single sport specialization is a risk factor for injury. A case control study of 1,206 7 to 18-year-old student athletes demonstrated that over the course of three years, playing a single sport was an independent risk factor for injury. The authors noted that the age of the athletes in that group and the hours of training per week were not as important as the risk factors of only participating in one sport.

On the flipside, there was also scientific evidence that early single sport specialization has a negative effect physiologically,meaning higher burnout rates.

National Regulations

Some sport organizations are starting to set down rules regarding the amount of time that the youth athlete can participate, such as USA Baseball instituted at pitch count recommendations based on its expertise and review of the literature.

USA Swimming set competition time limits per day for youth 10 years and under. USA cycling hold competitions for youth 10 years and up and has set gear ratio restrictions. These promote positive pedal cadence and reduce the risk of injury.

Baseball:

The authors then specifically looked at youth overuse injury in specific sports. They noted with baseball pitch-count and no routine in youth baseball has become a major factor in major league games as well. Pitch counts have developed around 2001 where it became apparent that 1 to 75 pitches in a game reported increased shoulder pain. However, even with these recommendations, a cross-sectional study of 754 pitcher ages 9 through 18 reported that 45% of the pitchers had no pitch-count in place. They noted that 13% pitch more than recommended eight months in a one year period. Similar studies have shown that the incidence of elbow pain in youth baseball players is between 20 to 30% for 8 to 12 year-olds, approximately 45% for 13 to 14 year-olds, and over 50% for high school, college, and professional athletes.

What is very concerning is a report by Dr. Ahmad that found that 31% of baseball coaches, 28% of players, and 25% of parents do not believe that the pitch count is a risk factor for elbow injury.

An even more concerning statistic is that 30% of baseball coaches, 30% of parents, and 51% of high school athletes, and 26% of collegiate athletes also believe that the ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction also known as a Tommy John procedure, should be performed prophylactically on athletes without elbow injury to improve performance. The Tommy John surgery is done when the athlete has torn, stretched out, or has chronically inflamed interstitial tearing to the ulnar collateral Sports Specialization in Gymnasticsligament. The Tommy John procedure reconstructs the elbow ligament and it is a major surgery. The concern is that baseball coaches, parents, and athletes think that surgery will actually help the players. This shows that there is a lack of information and education among baseball players, coaches, and parents.

Gymnastics:

The authors specifically looked at gymnastics and noted that spondylolysis, a common finding that is hypothesized to be linked with back walkover type skills or excessive extension of the back, occurs in gymnast and is essentially a stress fracture of the back. Gymnasts also experience stress fractures at the wrist and growth plate injuries in the upper extremity because they are being used as weight bearing joints even though they were not designed to be weight bearing joints.

Hockey:

As mentioned above, the risk of femoral acetabular dysplasia or changes in the hip joint, occur in youth hockey players. Another study noted that hockey players ages 16 to 19 year-old have a higher incidence of labral tears as documented by MRI scan.

Swimming:

In reference to swimmers, these athletes swim between 4 to 9 miles per day and often swim 11 months out of the year beginning at age 10 to 12 years of age. Overuse injuries in swimmers can occur in both sprint and distance events as well as triathlons. The authors noted that a majority of swimmers Specialization in Youth Swimmingbelieve that shoulder pain is a normal process of the training process. This study evaluated 80 lead swimmers between the ages of 13 and 25 years. They found that 91% of the swimmers reported shoulder pain, 84% had positive impingement signs, and 70% had MRI evidence of supraspinatus tendinopathy. Supraspinatus tendinopathy indicates that the rotator cuff is highly inflamed and there are actual tendon changes that an MRI will detect.

In conclusion, the authors felt that it is increasingly important to educate parents, coaches, trainers and physicians on the risk of early single sport specialization. It is their obligation to notice early signs of injury to prevent more serious injuries from occurring. These injuries, if not treated properly could potentially limit the participation of competitive athletes not only at the youth, but as a lifelong athlete.

Dr. Grossfeld is a double-board certified orthopaedic surgeon. She loves to be active and play sports, but she also understands when it is time to give herself a break. As a parent, coach or young athlete, be aware of your pain and stress levels. It is important to take time for recovery and continue to enjoy all of the sports you love!

How Body Weight Affects Your Knee Pain

Knee pain can occur in anyone for a number of reasons. It is a vulnerable joint because of the many ligaments and tendons that work together to allow for full mobility. While anyone may be at risk for knee pain, it is much more likely to occur in people who are overweight. When you are overweight, there is also a greater risk of knee pain leading to more severe injuries. According to the Center for Disease Control, two out of three obese adults will suffer from knee osteoarthritis at some point in their life. Excess weight can also cause existing arthritis to worsen.   

Losing weight is not an easy task. It can be especially tough when you are fighting off knee pain. You may find it easier to lose if you understand exactly how much being overweight can negatively impact the health of your joints and your overall health. It is also important to note that there is no catch-all definition for overweight.

Weight loss can help alleviate knee pain

A chart indicating the levels of Body Mass Index.

If you feel that you may be overweight, you should research what a healthy weight is for your height and gender. So for example, 150 pounds may seem like a lot, but for a man who is 6 feet tall that would be a perfectly healthy weight. To help determine where you fall on the scale of healthy weight to obese, you should also talk with your doctor. An expert who you can speak with in person will have a much better understanding of your body type than any charts you can find online.

Weight Distribution and Knee Pain

Just from walking you are distributing 1.5 times your body weight across your knee joints. Say you weigh 200 pounds. While you’re walking around, you’re placing 300 pounds of force on your knees. That force can double, even triple when you walk up and downstairs. When squatting, the force on your knees can increase as much as 5 times your body weight. Something as simple as squatting down to tie your shoe can become laborious when you are overweight.

Losing Weight with Knee Pain

When walking, climbing up stairs, and squatting are already difficult it may seem near impossible to lose weight. Start out with simple exercises that don’t put too much strain on your knees. For example, a stationary bike on low resistance, or walking on a treadmill at a slow pace. Both forms of exercise are both good way to start out. Then as you build strength and endurance you can work your way up to more challenging exercises. Then you will be able to burn fat more quickly.

While exercise is essential to losing weight, it is not the only factor. Diet also plays a major role in weight loss. For every pound lost, you’re losing approximately 3,500 calories. It can take quite a lot of effort to shed those calories through exercise alone. Portion control in meals can help to decrease the amount of exercise you’ll have to do later on.

The Benefits

As you lose weight, the benefits will become apparent. One pound of weight loss unloads at least 4 pounds of joint stress to the knee. A 2005 study from Dr. Stephen P. Messier of Wake Forest focused on the effects of weight loss on knee pain. According to him, the accumulated reduction in knee load for 1 pound of weight loss is more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked. For people losing 10 pounds, each knee would be subjected to 48,000 pounds less per mile walked. Another report from the 2016 edition of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage showed that a 10 percent reduction of a person’s Body Mass Index over 48 months delayed the progression of cartilage degeneration.

If you’re experiencing pain in your knees and you believe it could be a result of your weight, reach out to your doctor. Here at Orthopedic Specialists we have developed a specific weight loss program to help our patients achieve a healthy lifestyle. For more information give us a call at (502) 212-2663 or visit our program page here.

Love Your Knees: 5 Ways to Keep Your Knees Healthy

Despite being the largest joints in your body, your knees are among the most vulnerable areas. It can be common, especially in women, for active individuals to sustain knee injuries because they are overworking the area. We often take our knees for granted because they are such a natural part of our everyday lives, but it is important to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your knees to prevent any injuries in the future.

Five Ways to Take Care of Your KneesBelow are some helpful tips in knee care that will allow you to maintain a healthy life overall.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes that support your arches. If you can’t, or don’t like to wear shoes with arch support already in place, you can purchase inserts that will fit into almost any kind of shoe. This will help to distribute your weight evenly across the soles of your feet, and prevent any strain in your kneecaps. You should also make sure you replace your shoes as they wear with age. Runners typically replace their shoes every 200-300 miles. If you are not tracking your mileage, then note when the sole of the shoe shows wear. That is when you’ll know it is time to replace them.
  2. Exercise. For best results you should exercise 4-5 times a week for 30-40 minutes each session. Scientific studies have shown that keeping the muscles around the knee joint strong will reduce the force and wear on the knee joint. It is important that you are not putting excess strain on your knees as you work out. A few good examples of knee-friendly workouts include swimming, speed walking, and leisurely biking.
  3. Cross train. Even if you have found a few simple workouts that minimize stress on your knees, you shouldn’t exclusively do those exercises. You should focus on building and strengthening a variety of muscles. By utilizing different muscle groups, you will help to strengthen the knee and also reduce incidents of overuse injuries.
  4. Keep your weight in a normal range. When you walk on level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1.5 times your body-weight. For example: a 200 pound person is really placing 300 pounds of force across their knees. The force on your knees is 2-3 times your body-weight going up and downstairs. The force goes up even more to 4-5 times your body-weight when you squat. One pound of weight loss unloads at least 4 pounds of joint stress on the knee.
  5. Avoid activities that cause knee pain. Activities as simple as running up and down stairs, or standing for long periods of time can cause serious knee pain. Even if you are young and generally in good shape, it is always good practice to minimize any potential risk of injury or pain.

Whether you are just interested in getting more information on practices to help maintain healthy knees, or if you have sustained a knee injury and are looking for medical attention, contact Orthopedic Specialists today at (502) 212-2663 to set up an appointment!

10 Items You Need to Pack for Spring Break Travel

spring breakSpring break is the perfect time to get away from day-to-day life and take a trip to the beach. Whether you are a college student travelling with friends or a family looking to spend some quality time in a warm area, spring break is a great opportunity to break up the long stretch of winter, soak up some sun, and relax on a beach for a week. However, it is important to be prepared for any bump in the road when travelling and smartly packing your bags can really help.

Are you traveling to the beach for spring break this year? Whether you are going to an exotic beach outside of the country or just out of town, follow along for a helpful packing list to ensure that you have a great trip!

10 Items You Need to Pack for Spring Break Travel

1. Proof of identification

If you are going out of the country then it is prudent you remember your passport. You will not be allowed through customs, or aboard international flights, without your passport. If you are flying within the country then your driver’s license will suffice as a form of identification, but it is always best to play it safe and have two forms if they are available to you.

2. Sunblock

Going to the beach in the middle or towards the end of winter often means that your skin will be exposed to more sun than it’s seen in the last few months. Sunblock is crucial for avoiding sunburn (which can quickly ruin a vacation) and by packing your own, you avoid paying high costs for sunscreen at your resort or store around the area.

3. Band-Aids®

In the same way that your skin is going to be sensitive to the sun after being covered up, your feet are going to be sensitive to your sandals or flip flops after months of no wear. Band-Aids® are a great item to have in your bag in case your shoes start to rub blisters on your feet. Blisters can ruin a vacation as quickly as a sunburn can, so be sure to pack for prevention instead of treatment!

4. Tylenol and Motrin

Yes, both. There are big differences between how Tylenol and Motrin treat fever, inflammation, and pain. Tylenol is an acetaminophen that relieves pain and fever but does not reduce swelling and inflammation whereas Motrin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication which is great for managing both pain and swelling while also reducing inflammation. It’s good to have both with you so that you are prepared for any injury or pain that may arise while on vacation.

5. Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is often seen on the noses of life guards at the beach, but it is important to have some in your luggage in case someone is prone to severe sunburn. The thick, white paste is the broadest spectrum UVA and UVB absorber approved for use in sunscreen and has other uses as well. Zinc oxide is also called Desitin and used for diaper rash; however it is effective in treating sand rash, too!

6. Healthy Snacks

Be sure to bring healthy snacks with you for the airplane trip or long car ride to the beach. Health snacks can often be hard to find in the airport without paying a pretty penny or at roadside gas stations that are prone to selling sodas, potato chips, and candy bars over granola, dried fruit, and fresh cut vegetables. By choosing healthy snacks over junk food – you will stay fuller for longer on less food and also feel better for when you’re ready to get into your bathing suit and onto the beach.

7. Sunglasses

The beach is a sunny place most of the time and sunglasses are important to protect your eyes from excessive UV rays. When your eyes are unprotected and exposed to a lot of sunlight, you are more prone to get a headache which will dampen your spring break fun. We recommend packing a pair of sunglasses in your day-to-day bag, as well as your carry-on if you are flying, and bringing an extra pair in your suitcase. Like sunscreen, resorts and stores nearby know that sunglasses are in high demand over spring break and raise the prices.

8. Goggles

If you are swimming in the resort pool or in the ocean, you will want to pack swimming goggles in your bag. Swimming goggles will protect your eyes from chlorine in the resort pool and salt in the ocean water. Getting an eye infection or a bad case of dry eyes can ruin a vacation as fast as a sunburn or blister can and will require more care than what you can do for yourself.

9. Cash

It is extremely important to carry cash with you whether you are flying to your destination or driving. Cash is beneficial for giving quick tips to bellhops in hotels and wait staff at a restaurant. If you lose your debit or credit card then your cash will be your saving grace. We recommend keeping about $100 in cash on you to start vacation. Use your card when it available to save your cash for an emergency, but $100 should be enough money to keep you afloat if you are to run into trouble over the weekend and are unable to get to a bank until Monday.

10. Phone Charger

This may be last on the list, but that does not mean it is any less important than the other nine items. Be sure to pack your phone charger in your day-to-day bag or your carry-on for easy accessibility. Pack an extra phone charger in your suitcase, so you have a back up. Like other amenities, phone chargers are more expensive in your vacation spot than at home should you need to buy a replacement, so it is better to be prepared then in need.

We hope these tips help you prepare in packing your bags for your spring break travels. Remember that the more you can bring from home, the better you are going to be prepared and able to have an enjoyable, worry-free vacation! From the entire team at Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC – we hope you have a safe and fun spring break!

 

The Hows and Whys of Three Common Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries are common because of how frequently the area’s utilized in day-to-day life and how many joints are involved. We often think of our shoulder as one unified area of our arm, but it is actually made up of many different muscles and tendons. These factors make it particularly vulnerable to injury. Because of the many structures it can often be difficult to pinpoint exactly which part is injured. If you are experiencing shoulder pain and aren’t sure what’s causing it, here are examples of common shoulder injuries.

Understanding AnatomyThe shoulder is vulnerable to injury

Before trying to determine the category of injury, it is first necessary to understand the anatomy of your shoulder. It is comprised of three different bones: upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The rotator cuff secures your arm within the socket of your shoulder. It also maintains fluid movement with the help of a lubricating sac called the bursa. The bursa is located in between the top of your shoulder (acromion) and the rotator cuff. All of these elements need to work together for you to fully use of your arms without feeling any pain.

Impingement Syndrome

Often referred to as “swimmer’s shoulder” or “thrower’s shoulder,” impingement syndrome happens when the acromion rubs against the tendon and the bursa, resulting in painful irritation. This injury often appears in athletes who participate in tennis, baseball, and swimming. It can also affect individuals whose jobs require repetitive lifting or keeping their arms overhead for lengthy segments of time.

One common symptom of impingement syndrome is experiencing pain in the shoulder while doing activities that include overhead movement, such as reaching, throwing, or swimming. The type of pain associated with impingement syndrome is more dull than sharp and often lingers which can lead to difficulty sleeping at night.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is named for the freezing of mobility and overall stiffness that affected individuals experience. This feeling is caused by the thickening and tightening of the shoulder capsule which, if left untreated, can lead to the development of stiff bands of tissue called adhesions. The pain is usually a dull and aching variety and is enhanced whenever the arm is moving.

Adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, can be a consequence of a specific injury or it can be linked to diseases like diabetes, or hypothyroidism. It can also occur as a result of long-term immobilization due to surgery, or another kind of injury that would inhibit any arm movement.

Rotator Cuff injuries are some of the most common shoulder injuries Rotator Cuff Tear

Injuries to the rotator cuff are very common. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, in 2013 almost 2 million people in the U.S. went to their doctor because of a rotator cuff issue. If you’re having pain in your rotator cuff it can greatly inhibit your ability to carry out even minor tasks.

There are multiple ways that a rotator cuff can be torn. An acute injury would happen as the result of one specific event such as lifting a heavy object improperly. More commonly, rotator cuff tears happen over time as a consequence of the tendons wearing down. This can be caused by repetitive stress in terms of constant and repeated movements, or sometimes due to lack of blood supply which happens more frequently as we grow older.

 

Just because these shoulder injuries are common does not mean that you should have to endure the pain they cause. There are many options available for healing. For those of you living in the Louisville area, Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is an expert orthopedic surgeon with years of experience treating patients who have sustained shoulder injuries. She specializes in shoulder reconstruction, arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, as well as sports medicine. If you’re in pain, or struggling to maintain mobility in your arms and shoulders, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Call our offices at (502) 212-2663 to set up an appointment today!

How Does Sleep Impact Health?

Love Your Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and wellbeing throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right time can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety. The way you feel while you are awake depends in part on what happens while you are sleeping. So follow along for answers to the question: How does sleep impact health?

how does sleep impact healthDuring sleep your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health, according to the National Institute of Health. Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you are sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. Studies have shown that sleep improves learning, problem solving skills, controlling behavior and coping with change.

Sleep also plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Further, ongoing sleep deficiencies are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

5 Tips for Improving Your Sleep 

Looking for ways to improve your sleep? Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Get more exercise. Getting regular physical activity can greatly improve the quality of your sleep. According to a new study published in the Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity, getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week significantly improves a person’s sleep, and makes them feel more alert throughout the day. 
  2. Exercise at the right time day. The timing of your exercise is important. Exercising right before you are planning on going to sleep is not a good idea. However, exercise will help you sleep if done in the morning, afternoon or early evening.
  3. Watch what you eat and drink. What you eat or drink can also affect your sleep. Any sort of caffeine, sodas or sugar-rich foods are bad food / drink choices before you go to sleep.
  4. Sleep on a regular schedule. Going to sleep and waking up at similar times each day is important for the sleep cycle.
  5. Get the temperature right for sleep. While personal preferences vary, the suggested ideal bedroom temperature for sleep is typically between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (as noted on www.sleep.org).

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults including young adults.  Teenagers need more sleep, generally between 8 and 10 hours a night. And young school age children need the most sleep (an average of 9 to 11 hours a night). (more…)