When the Bones are Good: 5 Keys to Bone Health

You often hear “the bones are good” when people talk about the value of a house. It’s to say the structure is sound, that it can stand up to what it may face, that it can protect those who live there. Well, the same goes for when the actual bones in your body are healthy. They can protect you from falls and fractures, and support all the functions of your body.

Let’s talk about those bones. Did you know your skeleton rebuilds itself as we age? That right, about every 10 years, our bones regenerate where new bone tissue replaces the old. As we age, though, the amount of new bone can decrease, resulting in bone loss which leads to weaker bones, increasing the risk for fractures. Thankfully, there are proactive measures we can take to better balance the process and protect our bones.  

Understand your risks for bone loss

Many individual factors can affect bone density, namely age, family history, weight and related health issues. Age: The older you get the more bone loss is projected to occur. Women, in particular, experience rapid loss following menopause, putting them at risk for osteoporosis. Family History: Bone mass is determined by our genes, so it’s important for this and other reasons to have a good understanding of your family medical history. Weight: Overweight adults are at higher risk for falls which can lead to bone breaks, and being underweight can increase bone loss and risk of fractures. Health Issues: If you have diabetes, an autoimmune disease, or are taking medications that are known to cause bone loss, be sure to discuss your risks with your doctor.

Nutrition

The right combination of vitamins and nutrients is needed to promote healthy bones. We hear much about the importance of calcium for bone health, which is for good reason. Calcium is stored in our bones. When our body does not have enough to function, it will steal some from its storage in, you guessed it, the bones. So load up on green leafy vegetables and dairy products, and try supplements if you need increase your daily dosage. And grab some water instead of soda, specifically, since they decrease calcium absorption. Vitamin D is also super important, as it helps our bodies absorb calcium from our diets and build those strong bones. It’s hard to get enough Vitamin D through food, so look for supplements or help your body make some by sitting in some good sunlight – just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Exercise

Committing to regular physical activity is a key component to a healthy lifestyle and the benefits extend to bone health. Weight-bearing activity helps your bones become stronger and can slow down bone loss after menopause. Brisk walks, dancing, tennis, jump roping, even hopscotch! Exercise in all forms is good for your skeleton. Also, as you grow stronger and gain balance through activity, you decrease your risk of falls leading to fractures. So get out there and keep moving!

Lifestyle & Environment

We all know smoking and heavy alcohol use are no good for your overall health, so it is no surprise that both can reduce bone mass. In fact, nicotine actually suppresses bone-forming cells. There may also be other everyday risks right under your nose. Tripping hazards and obstacles can lead to accidental falls, so be sure fix that loose step or tuck that computer cord away, for instance. And adding safety features around the house, like a grip bar in the tub for instance, is never a bad idea.

Consult with your doctor

If you are at risk for bone loss, be sure to consult with your physician. A bone density test may be in order to determine if prescription medicine may be necessary to help protect and build up bone tissue. It’s better to be proactive, than try to make up for severe bone loss down the road.

We hope that with this guidance, you can make your bone health a priority. The specialists at NEOSM are here to answer any questions you have in your journey.

Source: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons/orthoinfo.org

Tiger Woods’ Injuries: Defining Terms and Procedures

The recent news of Tiger Woods’ horrific car accident has been startling. Watching the images of the aftermath, we see how serious the incident and the injuries sustained by the golf great are. While news outlets have been reporting on details of the necessary emergency orthopedic surgery, fans are growing more and more concerned, so we thought it would be helpful to provide some expert insight into the meaning of some common terms and procedures being reported.

High-Energy Trauma/Fracture

Injuries sustained where a large amount of energy or force are at play are considered high-energy traumas. Accidents involving a moving vehicle, like in the case of Tiger Woods, or a fall from a significant height are examples. These traumas result in more complex injuries that generally involve more tissue damage.

Open Fracture

An open fracture, historically known as a compound fracture, is a fracture in which the bone has broken through the skin of the area at the time of injury. Because the wound is open, there may be contamination at the fracture site that increases the risk of infection. Severity of the injury depends on the degree of contamination and extent of damage to soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. Open fractures should always considered an emergency and treated immediately due to the increased risk of infection.

Use of Rods, Plates and Screws

When a fracture cannot be adequately treated with conservative measures, such as setting the bone and casting or splinting, surgery is indicated. In the case of open fractures, surgery is necessary to clean the area to minimize the risk of infection. Fractures treated in this way usually need to be stabilized with metal hardware, such as rods, plates and screws. This is called internal fixation. Nails or rods are inserted into the center of long bones, such as the tibia, for stabilization. These are most often used for fractures near the middle of long bones. Some fractures may require a plate and screws to hold the bones in place while they heal. In some cases, wires or pins are utilized to treat fractures in smaller bones. Depending on the case, pins and wires are usually removed once the bone has healed adequately. Rods, plates and screws are often not removed.

Compartment Syndrome

Fractures can cause bleeding and severe swelling, which can create excessive pressure within muscle compartments. If this occurs, this pressure can cause damage to muscle and other soft tissue within that compartment, which may be irreversible. This is called compartment syndrome. If this occurs, emergency surgery must be done to prevent this tissue damage. If not properly treated, this problem may lead to amputation. Treating this requires a procedure called fasciotomy, during which surgeons incise the covering of muscles (called fascia) to relieve the pressure from the injury. This release is commonly achieved through large incisions, which may heal together once swelling is reduced or may require skin grafting. Sometimes fasciotomy is performed if the injury is felt to have a high risk for developing compartment syndrome.

Until more information is released about the specifics of Tiger Woods’ injuries and treatment, it is hard to speculate on what his recovery will look like. The focus now is on successful healing from surgery and combating any complications, should they arise. Traumatic injuries are devastating to those who have had the unfortunate experience. We hope through the support of his family and all his fans, Tiger Woods will make a full and healthy recovery. We wish him all the best in his journey.

To learn more about the orthopedic trauma specialists in our practice, visit our NEOSM physician profiles.

Preparing Your Home for Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery can really be life-changing. Eventually, majority of patients are able to resume daily activities with considerable less pain and discomfort. Before and immediately after surgery, it’s important to follow your physician’s instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary setbacks. One key direction from our surgeons is to create a home environment focused around healing and recovery before your scheduled procedure to help set you up for success. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends you consider the following to prepare your home for your return.

Arrange for help at home from a family member, friend or caregiver for days or weeks after surgery.

Clear or arrange furniture so you can easily make your way with a cane, walker or crutches.

Plan for avoiding stairs. Consider moving your sleeping quarters downstairs, if you are able.

Remove any tripping hazards. Throw rugs or area rugs, electrical cords and clutter, for example, can be dangerous during recovery.

Make sure you have a good chair with a high seat and a footstool for elevation.

Have a shower chair and gripping bar set up in the bathroom.

Set up a “recovery center” – an area where everything you need most often are at your fingertips, like a table by your chair with your medications, tissues, water pitcher, phone, etc.

These simple planning steps not only provide a safe environment for your recovery, but they also grant you a huge amount of peace-of-mind, which you’ll appreciate once you are discharged.

If you have any questions about these tips, or knee replacement surgery in general, give us a call, the specialist at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine would be happy to provide answers.

Robotic Knee Replacement: Everything you need to know

NEOSM’s Dr. Jordan Simon recently sat down with Montefiore Nyack Hospital to share all you need to know about robotic knee replacement surgery. This advancement in medical technology helps guide skilled surgeons to ensure positive patient outcomes.

Click on the video below to watch the presentation.

At Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our physicians are leaders in their fields and continually apply the latest technological advances in medicine to their care. To find out more, contact us today.

Hudson Valley Top Doctors 2020

We are immensely proud to announce the NEOSM physicians named to Hudson Valley magazine’s list of Top Doctors for 2020. The providers at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are dedicated to providing exceptional, compassionate care to our community every day. Congratulations to the following doctors recognized for excellence in their fields. Thank you for being the best of the best!

Orthopedic Surgery

Kenneth Austin, MD
Marc Berezin, MD
William Davis Jr, MD
Barry Kraushaar, MD
Mark Medici, MD
Patrick Murray, MD
Steven Renzoni, MD
Richard Semble, MD
Jordan Simon, MD

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Michael Robinson, MD

Rheumatology

Shivani Purohit Mehta, MD

Sports Medicine

Richard Popowitz, MD

Congratulations to you all! If you’d like to make an appointment for consultation with one of our talented physicians, please call an office near you.

At-Home Relief for Tight Hamstrings

Did you know lower back pain, hip and knee issues, poor posture and other problems can be associated with tight hamstrings? The hamstrings are a group of three muscles located in the back of the thigh. When these muscles are tight, or inflexible, they can cause discomfort beyond pain in the immediate area.  If it’s difficult to touch your toes without bending your knees, either from standing or when seated on the floor, you may be suffering from tight hamstrings. So what can you do to feel some relief?

Prevention

A common cause of tight hamstrings is being in a seated position for prolonged amounts of time. Too much sitting means your hamstrings are constantly flexed, so it’s important to give those muscles a chance to elongate. Take breaks to stand up, walk around or do some stretching.

Equally important is the time you give to stretching before and after you exercise. Proper warm up and cool down of your hamstrings can prevent injury.

Stretches

Consistent stretching is a great way to relieve tight hamstrings. Here are some stretches to try at home.

  • Simple Hamstring Stretch

Seated on the floor with both legs straight out, reach forward while bending at the hip towards your toes, being careful not to overly round your back. Hold for up to 30 seconds.

  • Hamstring Stretch with Strap

While lying flat on the floor, place a strap or towel around the bottom of your foot, hold on to each end in your hands. Slowly extend your leg so the bottom of your foot is raised towards the ceiling while keeping your knee straight. Your other leg should be extended on the ground. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.

  • Standing Hamstring Stretch

While standing, cross one foot over the other. Bend at the waist and slowly lower your upper body toward your knees, careful not to bend your knees. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

It’s always key to listen to your body. If you are experiencing prolonged pain, it may be a sign of a more serious issue. Contact us to meet with one of our orthopedic specialists for a consultation.