Health Matters Blog

Things to Consider Before Orthopaedic Surgery

Published February 17, 2012

Things to Consider Before Orthopaedic Surgery By Robert Feinberg, Physician Assistant In last week’s Health Matters column, my colleague Dr. William Vranos referenced some studies that indicated a significant rise in total joint replacement surgeries being carried out. Indeed, one study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality projects a 670 percent increase in knee replacement surgeries alone by 2030. But the good news is that a lot of people seeking orthopedic care aren’t in need of immediate surgery. In fact, some patients may not need surgery at all to treat their conditions. One of the main roles of physician assistan...

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Advances in Joint Replacement Lead to Younger Patients, Better Outcomes

Published February 10, 2012

William Vranos, MD Advances in Joint Replacement Lead to Younger Patients, Better Outcomes by Dr. William Vranos Just after the new year, a group of orthopedic surgeons in Finland published the findings of a study showing that over the 25 year period between 1980 and 2006 there was a 130 percent increase worldwide in knee replacement surgeries for patients between the ages of 30 and 59, with the greatest increase occurring in patients between 50 and 59 years old. There was a time when we would have to tell people suffering from arthritis they would have to wait until they were 65 years old before surgery would be advisable. But the incremental advances in s...

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Think You Need Back Surgery? Listen to Your Leg Pain

Published February 3, 2012

Jon Thatcher, MD Think You Need Back Surgery? Listen to Your Leg Pain By Dr. Jon Thatcher It’s almost a certainty that each and every one of us is going to experience back pain at some point or another in our lives. The most commonly quoted statistic says four out of every five people will suffer some sort of back problem. But despite its prevalence, the causes of back pain are complicated and even mysterious at times, making treatment difficult. [caption id="attachment_550" align="alignright" width="200"] Jon C. Thatcher, MD[/caption] Another commonly accepted statistic is that 85 percent of the time the origins of back pain cannot be determined....

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Dehydration Also a Cold Weather Risk

Published January 26, 2012

Peter Foote, DO Dehydration Also a Cold Weather Risk By Dr. Peter Foote Following is part two of a two-part column on cold-weather injuries. When it’s a humid August day and the sun shines brightly without a cloud in the sky, the perspiration beading up on our foreheads is a reminder to make sure we’re drinking enough water. This is particularly true when you are exercising or working outside and your body is losing fluids more quickly. Furthermore, it is equally important to consume enough water when taking part in outdoor activities during the cold winter months, even if we aren’t sweating or feeling thirsty. Back in 2005, a study conducted...

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Don’t Let Frostbite Ruin Your Fun

Published January 20, 2012

Peter Foote, DO Don’t Let Frostbite Ruin Your Fun By Dr. Peter Foote Following is part one of a two-part column on cold-weather injuries. [caption id="attachment_502" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Peter Foote, DO"][/caption] January is Vermont’s coldest month, meteorologically speaking. In the Vermont Weather Book, author David Ludlum says this is the time of year when the Atlantic jet stream travels its southernmost course, leaving polar winds coming from the northwest unimpeded by its warm air. Here in Brattleboro, January’s average temperature is 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Not as cold as northern parts of the state like Newport, where ...

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Helping Physicians Focus on Patient Care

Published January 13, 2012

Prudence MacKinney Helping Physicians Focus on Patient Care By Prudence MacKinney Recently, I was showing a physician and his wife around town as part of the interview process for a position we have at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. They were self-professed “city people,” looking for a safe community in which to raise their family; while at the same time they did not want to feel isolated geographically or culturally. Brattleboro obviously met a lot of their quality-of-life criteria. [caption id="attachment_2228" align="alignright" width="160" caption="Prudence MacKinney"][/caption] The truth is that Brattleboro’s vibrant community and the proxi...

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Putting Resolve into New Year’s Resolutions

Published January 6, 2012

Janine Foote, DO Putting Resolve into New Year’s Resolutions By Dr. Janine Foote So what resolutions did you make when the clock struck 12:01 a.m. this past Sunday? And how are you doing on them so far during this first week of 2012? Starting the new year with a self-improvement goal is a time honored tradition. You can ride that global feeling of having a fresh start and determine to do things differently in the future. [caption id="attachment_501" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Janine Foote, DO"][/caption] A lot of the more common resolutions are health related. We want to lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, or just feel less stresse...

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The Challenges of Rural Health Care

Published December 30, 2011

Kari Dickey, DO By Dr. Kari Dickey As strange as this may sound, I remember deciding to be a doctor when I was three years old. I loved trying to help all the little injured animals I found near our family’s house in Keene. Then as I got older, all the kids would come over to my house when they got hurt instead of going home. [caption id="attachment_573" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Kari Dickey, DO"][/caption] The more I learned about being a doctor the more I knew that I didn’t want to specialize in any area. I wanted to be able to care for babies, parents and grandparents. So much can get missed when you see someone for one acute pr...

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This Holiday Season, Make Sure You’re Happy

Published December 23, 2011

By Maggie Lake [caption id="attachment_2082" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Maggie Lake"][/caption] We all have the perfect holiday image in our minds: gifts galore, beautiful decorations and parties, great food, happy children tearing through one perfect gift after another. Maybe we remember our own perfect childhood holidays. We want to recreate them or versions of the stories we see in the relentless commercials and magazine ads. Now let’s talk about reality. You are NOT living in a television family. You do not have unlimited funds to buy all of the furnishings for the perfect party or the perfect mountain of toys and ...

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The Ultimate Gift

Published December 16, 2011

By Arthur Magnaghi, Jr. This is the time of year we give gifts to our loved ones. We also may give a little more or do a little more to support charitable efforts we find meaningful. With just a few clicks of the mouse button this holiday season, Vermonters can help save a life, just like my own life was saved nearly four and a half years ago. With that in mind I would like to share some important thoughts and facts with you that come from within a person who would eventually die if he had not received the “ultimate gift” of life, in my case an organ donor’s healthy heart. If it were not for the compassion, kindness, caring and un...

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