Health Matters Blog

Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Published April 9, 2015

By Jon Thatcher, MD There are approximately 300,000 total hip replacement surgeries performed annually in the United States with a 98% success rate with satisfied patients. Osteoarthritis (wearing out of the joint surface in this ball and socket articulation) which can cause groin, buttock, and thigh pain is the indication for hip replacement surgery in 85% of patients. The other 15% of hip surgeries performed are in response to less common conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and bone necrosis (death) of the femoral head. Because implant designs have improved, replacement of the diseased hip joints in patients 50 years and older is no...

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How Did I Decide on a Career in Orthopaedics?

Published April 2, 2015

Dr. William Vranos By William Vranos, MD After “Why does my (insert body part) hurt?” the next most frequently asked question I get is “How did you end up in orthopaedics?” When I tell the story, I realize that a lot of people don’t know how medical training is structured and what medical students go through to arrive at the biggest decision of their career -- which specialty to pursue. Hopefully the story of my “AHA! Moment” -- the one that set my course for a specialty in orthopaedics -- will be of interest to you. [caption id="attachment_14193" align="alignright" width="300"] Dr. William Vranos[/caption] I am second generation Greek. A...

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How Self-Hypnosis Can Help With Childhood’s Challenges

Published March 26, 2015

Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP by Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP We think of childhood as that special time in life where everything should be simple, happy, and carefree. In reality, the period between birth through adolescence is filled with challenges.. There are many developmental milestones children must master to advance to the next phase in their lives. Sometimes, life’s challenges get in the way. A child’s well-being includes maintaining a healthy body through good nutrition, adequate activity, and sufficient sleep. Nurturing a child’s mental health as well as social well-being is equally as important. This is accomplished through creating and maintaining a sa...

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You are what you eat?

Published March 19, 2015

Heather Lesage-Horton, MD by Heather Lesage-Horton, MD As a pediatrician, one of my goals at every patient’s yearly physical is to ask about activity and nutrition. As part of measuring growth we get a height and weight on each patient. We use this to calculate the child’s body mass index (BMI). With a growing number of American children falling into the category of overweight (BMI at 85-94th percentile, 5-10 in 100 same age and sex kids are larger) or obese (BMI ≥95th percentile 5 or less in 100 kids of the same sex and age are larger), providing advice on diet, nutrition and physical activity is becoming a more important part of our job. It is estimated tha...

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What to Do About Tick Bites in Children

Published March 12, 2015

Valerie Rooney, MD by Valerie Rooney, MD Every spring Just So Pediatrics receives many phone calls from parents who have found a tick on their child. They worry that their child will get Lyme disease, and about what they can do to prevent it. Yet, most children who we see in the office with Lyme disease never knew that they had a tick bite! What is a caring parent to do? Here are a couple helpful hints. First: Prevention. Wearing light colored clothing, long pants and long sleeved shirts and using insect repellent that has DEET (I like to put it on clothing if possible) helps prevent ticks from getting onto your child’s skin. Do daily tick checks aft...

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The Doctor- Patient Relationship: A Pediatrician’s Perspective

Published March 5, 2015

Dr. Susan Slowinski By Susan Slowinski, MD Pediatricians, Family Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician’s Assistants all provide primary care to children. There are many other professionals in a child’s life. Daycare providers, teachers, and counselors spend more hours with an individual child than his or her primary care clinician. Yet, we are in a unique position to enjoy the long view. We watch people grow. We watch the dependent infant become the strong-willed toddler, the observant preschooler, the questioning teen. We have the chance to teach children, to the best of their ability, how to take care of themselves. [caption id="attachment_1415...

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Modify Your Risk for Atherosclerosis

Published February 26, 2015

Daniel Walsh, MD By Daniel Walsh, MD Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes several common forms of heart disease, including coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD). It occurs when plaque builds up inside the arteries, hardening them to a point where it become difficult for blood to flow from the heart to other parts of the body. There is some evidence that our arteries harden as we get older, and that some people are more predisposed to atherosclerosis than others. There is also a great deal of evidence that there are many way we can modify our risk. These choices have even been shown to reverse the effects of the conditio...

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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) – It’s silent until it’s not.

Published February 19, 2015

Mark Burke, MD By R. Mark Burke, MD, FACC In my years of practice, I have had many people tell me they don’t care if they have a heart attack, but they sure don’t want a stroke. I suspect this is because the results of a stroke are often more visible to others than the results of a heart attack, even though quality of life may not be very good following either event. Whatever you feel about that way of thinking, it is clear that a stroke can be devastating. Fortunately, the risk of having a stroke has declined quite a bit: 40%-50% from 1972 to 1994 and about 30% since 1995, primarily due to improvement in blood pressure control. Unfortunately, in rec...

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Women and Atrial Fibrillation

Published February 12, 2015

Phaedra McDonough, APRN by Phaedra McDonough February is Heart Health Awareness Month for women. This educational month was established to help women gain a better understanding of their risks for heart disease. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common electrical abnormality of the heart. During atrial fibrillation the two upper chambers of your heart, called atria, are quivering instead of pumping and your heart rate becomes irregular. While in atrial fibrillation your heart works less efficiently. A serious complication of atrial fibrillation is a stroke, with women at significantly higher risk than men. Strokes from atrial fibrillation are related to the po...

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Fatigue and Shortness of Breath are Not Signs of Aging

Published February 5, 2015

by Phaedra McDonough Have you noticed your energy level is lower and you are more short of breath even when performing the normal activities in your daily life? Don’t ignore these feelings, or chalk them up to “getting old.” This is not a normal part of the aging process. It is your body telling you that it is struggling, maybe even with something as serious as a heart attack. Shortness of breath and fatigue are frequently experienced by patients prior to having a heart attack. But you may not be aware just how far in advance these symptoms start to show. It’s not necessarily a matter of minutes or hours. Many people who survive...

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