Be Active Again

Supermom and journalist, Mona Shand spends a great deal of time and energy running her three kids to and from dance class, cross country and swim practice, while juggling her career as producer and correspondent for the media industry and teaching aerobics. At age 43, she was devastated to learn that she needed a total hip replacement, and was sure that it meant she would be spending the rest of her life as a sideline parent.

Dr. Gibson assured her that it would not be the end of her active lifestyle, but rather the start of a new, pain-free life. He was right.

Less than six weeks after surgery, Mona competed in a one-mile open water swim race with her oldest son, Noah.

Know Your Options: Direct Anterior Approach to Total Hip Replacement

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year in the United States, more than 330,000 people have surgery to replace diseased, injured or worn-out hips with new artificial parts. If you are one of these people, ask your orthopedic surgeon if you are a candidate for the anterior-lateral approach (anterior means front) for total hip replacement. This surgical technique offers potential benefits over the standard posterior or lateral approach taken by most surgeons.

Approaching the hip through an incision in the front of the body allows the surgeon to avoid cutting muscle tissues surrounding the hip. By sparing these muscle tissues, a surgeon is able to reduce the patient’s pain and improve their overall mobility immediately following a procedure. As a result, a patient recovers much more quickly and is able to avoid weeks or months of prolonged physical therapy.

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Orthopedic Surgeon Andrew Ciarlone,DO, who has performed more than 500 anterior-lateral total hip replacements since 2011, refers to the approach as the “rapid-recovery hip replacement.” Dr. Ciarlone says: “When the incision point is made from the back, a surgeon must cut through muscle tissues to reach the hip. By choosing to make an incision from the front, a surgeon can work between the muscles to stabilize the joints and place the artificial components.” Continue reading “Know Your Options: Direct Anterior Approach to Total Hip Replacement”

Rediscover Your Mobility – Don’t Settle for Joint Pain

by John Cunningham, RN

Cunningham, JohnDoes standing up, walking or carrying something make your knee, hip or shoulder scream with pain? You’re not alone. Joint pain is extremely common – about one-third of adults have reported some form of joint pain in the last 30 days. While knee, shoulder and hip pain are the most common, joint pain can affect any part of the body and can range from mildly irritating to debilitating.

Joint pain can be caused by injury, excess weight or most commonly, arthritis. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 22 percent of adults claim to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and by the year 2040, an estimated 78 million adults will have arthritis.

The impact is significant. About 43 percent of individuals with arthritis report limitations on daily activities – walking, gardening, playing with grandkids, and at times even getting out of bed. Everyone is at risk for arthritis – nearly one in two people will develop arthritis in the knee by the age of 85 and two in three people who are obese may develop it in their lifetime. One in four may develop painful hip arthritis by age 85. Continue reading “Rediscover Your Mobility – Don’t Settle for Joint Pain”

Getting Back on The Dance Floor

Karen Langdon enjoyed dancing, scuba diving and living an active lifestyle with her husband. This all came to a screeching halt when the onset of debilitating pain in both hips, stemming from severe hip arthritis made doing the simple things in life, almost impossible.

“It got so bad that I couldn’t do two dances in a row and over time it got worse and worse,” explained Karen.

Following two minimally invasive total hip replacements, performed by G. Victor Gibson, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, using the anterior hip approach, Karen was able to reconnect with her loving dance partner, virtually pain free.

“Now I can go shopping and walk around the mall if I want to, scuba diving of course, and best of all I can go dancing with my husband again,” explains Karen.

“Karen has significantly fewer restrictions following the anterior hip approach as opposed to more traditional total hip replacements,” says Dr. Victor Gibson.

Karen has re-discovered her freedom, living a life free of pain. “There really are no restrictions after surgery. Just go do it, I recommend it highly, you will be so glad you did. Living a life that’s no longer in constant pain is wonderful.”

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Wins Over Skeptics

“It’s hard to imagine that only a few short years ago all shoulder repair surgeries were performed with large, wide-open wounds,” said Michael Chrissos, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Michigan Orthopedic Center on the campus of St. Joe’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. “The vast of shoulder repairs — some 99 percent — are performed arthroscopically. There is far less pain, blood loss and muscle trauma, and a much smaller scar.”

Recovery is tricky because according to Chrissos, patients feel so good right after surgery they try to do too much too soon. “It’s critical patients understand that the healing process takes time,” he cautions. “But this procedure not only relieves the shoulder pain they were suffering before they came to see me and vastly improves their range of motion, but that takes time.”

For Chrissos, this was a hands-on opportunity to be in on the ground floor of a wide-spread revolution. “At first there was a lot of resistance and plenty of skepticism,” he said, “and there should have been. When something new is introduced, you want to be sure it’s proven; but I knew intuitively that this technique was going to meet—or surpass—the results of open surgery.” Continue reading “Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Wins Over Skeptics”

ACL Tears Are Treatable and So Are Other Orthopedic Conditions

Many health-conscious Americans are on a quest to lead a more active lifestyle by participating in sports to be healthier and hopefully ward off disease and injury. At times, the body breaks down due to this increased activity and injuries occur.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the most common injuries among athletes. According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, about 150,000 ACL injuries occur in the United States every year.

The ACL is important for maintaining the stability in the knee, particularly in activities involving cutting, pivoting or kicking. The ACL is one of four major ligaments (ligaments connect bone to bone) that coordinate function and promote stability of the knee joint. ACL injuries are usually non-contact injuries that occur most commonly in sports such as basketball, soccer, football, downhill skiing and tennis.

According to Shivajee Nallamothu, DO, a St. Joe’s orthopedic surgeon, ACL injuries include a sprain or tear of the ACL and typically occur from a direct blow to the knee when it is hyperextended or bent slightly inward, often during a sport such as football. Continue reading “ACL Tears Are Treatable and So Are Other Orthopedic Conditions”

Non-surgical remedies for ACL Injury

Whether it is on a ski slope, football field, basketball court or soccer field, the ACL ligament is critical to running, jumping or otherwise moving quickly on your feet.

The ACL is located in the middle of the knee, where it acts as a stabilizer for the knee and keeps the tibia (the shinbone) from sliding too far forward. Kyle Anderson, MD, a St. Joseph Mercy Oakland orthopedic surgeon, says that while ACL tears are widely discussed within the context of professional sports, it is an injury that can strike athletes at all levels, including in high school.

Dr. Anderson should know. Not only does he specialize in orthopedic sports medicine and knee, shoulder and elbow reconstruction, he has treated hundreds of professional athletes, as well as many collegiate and recreational athletes.

People often hear the ACL pop when it tears or breaks, Dr. Anderson says. Pain, swelling, tenderness and loss of motion are other symptoms. The leg is usually, but not always, unstable and it may become too painful to bear weight. Continue reading “Non-surgical remedies for ACL Injury”

Living Again

It’s fall 2017, and children around the country recently returned to school after summer recess. The beginning of the school year is vastly different than last year for Jackson kindergarten teacher Colleen Anderson. The year before, mere days before the first day of school, Colleen was arranging her classroom when she injured her back.

“My life was immediately changed,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t move; I couldn’t do anything, and nothing provided relief.”

For three weeks, Colleen did nothing but lay in bed and ice her back. She returned to her classroom but couldn’t interact with her kindergarteners in the way she was used to. At the end of the school day, Colleen could barely walk to her car.

“As a teacher for young children, I’m used to bending over to engage in conversation, helping students tie their shoes or picking up the scattered toys and crayons. It was hard to pretend I wasn’t hurting all day,” Colleen said.

When the doctors and physical therapists near her home were unable to help, Colleen followed a friend’s recommendation to try St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. Continue reading “Living Again”

If Your Feet are Calling Out in Pain, Answer Them

by Andrew Moore, MD

Moore (3).JPGWhether you’re a teenage athlete suffering from an acute sports injury or a 70-year-old grandparent suffering from joint pain or arthritis, foot pain does not need to be an acceptable part of your life.

Anatomically speaking, our feet are among the most intricate structures in our bodies.  Taken together, our two feet are made up of 56 bones, or roughly 25 percent of all bones in the human body.  Each foot has 28 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and many tendons, all working together to move us from point A to point B, while supporting a tremendous amount of weight with every step we take.  With such a complex structure and the constant physical demand being placed on feet, it’s no wonder that 75 percent of Americans will experience health problems with their feet in their lifetime.

But there is good news:  Early intervention can reduce or eliminate foot pain altogether, help you avoid surgery, and improve your overall quality of life. Continue reading “If Your Feet are Calling Out in Pain, Answer Them”

“Be 92 Going on 62”: Enjoying life to the fullest after a hip replacement surgery

Elliot Valenstein, PhD, glides through the water as he completes 50 laps at the neighborhood racquet club pool. Swimming is one of the many ways he’s remained fit and healthy for most of his remarkable 92 years.

He also walks, rides his bike and has even been seen working on the roof of his Ann Arbor home from time to time.

But he wasn’t always so active.

“As I got older my joints began to ache and my walking became limited,” Dr. Valenstein says.

The discomfort increased over the course of a few years until, by his 90th birthday, he decided to have hip replacement surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor to relieve the pain.

He scheduled the procedure with board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas O’Keefe. Within a few hours of the surgery, he was sitting in a chair reading a book. A few days later, he left the hospital and entered a sub-acute facility to start rehab. After two days, he felt so good that he was able to continue his exercises at home.

“The care was excellent,” he recalls. “After the recovery period, the pain was gone and my movement was re-established. I was fine.”

Dr. Valenstein resumed swimming and doing the things that bring him and his family joy.

It’s a life that seems to be getting better with age.

As a young G.I. in the World War II, Dr. Valenstein served in the jungles of Burma. Following the war, he earned his doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Kansas and became a distinguished researcher at Walter Reed Institute of Research in Washington D.C. He returned to Ann Arbor to teach at the University of Michigan until his retirement. He is a published author and noted authority on brain stimulation and psychosurgery.

Dr. Valenstein and his wife still reside in the home they bought together in 1970 and where they raised two sons – Dr. Paul Valenstein, a pathologist at St. Joe’s Ann Arbor, and Carl Valenstein, an international law attorney.

Later this year, Dr. Valenstein will travel to California to officiate the wedding of his granddaughter.

Thanks to the expertise of Dr. O’Keefe and the team at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Dr. Valenstein’s new hip allows him to continue enjoying life to the fullest.

“The hip wasn’t a major life event in the grand scheme of things, and that’s a good thing,” he says.

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