total-knee-replacement

Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacements are becoming more common at any age given the wear and tear on the knees. Our William F. Tucker, Jr., MD, has more insight into this procedure:

Total knee replacement is one of the most common and most successful procedures in all of us. On average about 2 knees are replaced for every hip. This is due to the amount of stress which is placed in a localized area in the knee, which is a much more complicated joint than the hip.

Potential causes for arthritis, the reason people have the knee replaced, or increased stress from previous injury, such as sports related injuries, fall, accidents and increased weight. Knees see approximately 6 pounds of stress for every pound of bodyweight so even a small change in body weight has a great impact on the amount of stress seen in the knee.

Sports/activities which place significant stress on the knees and therefore are more associated with the replacements include football, soccer and high-impact activities such as rugby, hockey, and gymnastics.

The conventional wisdom was to wait until you are miserable before having a joint replaced. Following this advice leads to surgery on a severely deformed knee and a severely debilitated patient. My recommendation is to replace the joint when the conservative measures, such as weight loss, activity modifications and use of pain or anti-inflammatory medications like Tylenol, Advil or prescription anti-inflammatories no longer allows what you want to do and need to do to remain healthy.

Newer implants have significant improvements in materials, instrumentation which allows were better more producible correction of deformity, and easier and quicker recoveries which allow this surgery, which was once reserved for a last ditch effort and a miserable, usually out of shape patient, now to be performed in younger, healthier, more active patients.

The time in the hospital is shortened, typically in the range of one or 2 nights in the hospital. The thought process has progressed from the idea of the patient being “sick” to the patient being “well” but having a bad hip or knee. In some cases, the surgery can be performed as a day surgery. My advice to patients is a hospital is a good place to be for short period of time. It is much better to recover at home.

Medical data also indicates that the risk of complications with surgery is significantly higher in patients who are obese. Weight control is one of the most basic and important ways to minimize the need for knee replacement and minimize the risk of problems and improve the lifespan of your own knee as well as a replaced knee.

In summary, when you’re hip or knee is the primary issue keeping you from being healthy and active, don’t keep suffering.

methodist-employee-month-petr

Congratulations to Petr in ED!

Petr enjoys coming meeting, working with and helping a variety of people in his role as ED Paramedic. His desire to help others allows him to stand behind the MHFS’s Pledge. Petr believes, “anyone in healthcare should have the “need” to serve others. The true need to serve that comes from within.”

methodist-employee-month-christian

Congratulations to Christian in Med/Surg

Congratulations to Christian who works night shift in med/surg for being recognized as our February Employee of the Month.

Being able to help his co-workers, rounding on patients and guests, as well as, being able to connect with the patients on a more personal level are things Christian likes most about his work. He likes the ability to connect with the patients and their families here at Methodist Hospital for Surgery. Our hospital isn’t as chaotic as bigger hospitals. His workload allows him to provide a more personalized level of care for our patients and their loved ones.

employee-of-the-month-leslie

Employee of the Month

Congratulations to Leslie in Administration for being recognized as our December Employee of the Month.

Leslie enjoys the opportunity to work with others. “First and foremost, it’s about the people. I thoroughly love interacting with everyone at this facility: the staff, the physicians and their staff, guests and their families, people attending meetings here in Administration, etc. etc. I enjoy greeting each and every person with a smile. I like using my skills and talents to assist others.”

When asked to reflect on what brought her to the healthcare field, Leslie remembers, “The summer of my junior year of high school, I interned at the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital in West Haven, Connecticut. That was my first experience in healthcare and then while an undergrad at UConn I actually started out with a Pre-Med major but soon shifted gears. I loved the allure of a career in healthcare because of it enables service to people. I began actually working in healthcare for the first time in the 90’s when I was first hired to do Workers’ Compensation at Yale New Haven Hospital (previously Hospital of Saint Raphael) and later transitioned into the Risk Management department there and loved every moment of it. The spark was ignited for healthcare!”

“I am completely humbled and feel truly blessed to receive this honor. This recognition validates the work that I do as well as the way that I do it. Working at MHfS these past two years has been very rewarding, especially being able to be part of Administration, often considered to be the central hub of activity (setting aside the OR Suite). I enjoy giving 100% every day with a smile to inspire others. Smiling, compassion and caring are all free gifts that keep on giving. Sometimes these simple intentional actions can change someone’s day. I try to make a difference by paying it forward.”

sleep-lab

Sleep: Preparing Your Body for Positive Surgical Outcomes

There are apps to help you track it, tips and tricks to help you get more, and stacks of studies warning of the risks of too little. We’re talking about sleep, of course, and while most people understand the important role of sleep in overall health, we want to talk about its vital role in surgical recovery.

Suddenly wondering what sleep has to do with surgery? Consider this: while you sleep, your body’s cells work to repair themselves, your brain clears away toxins, and regulatory hormones prepare your body for routine function. Basically, sleep is an essential ingredient in the formula for health and healing. This is particularly important following surgery, illness or traumatic injury.

At Methodist Hospital for Surgery (MHfS), we know sleep and recovery go hand-in-hand, so we take every step to make sure your body is prepared to snooze and repair itself.

Welcome to The Center for Sleep Disorders

At the industry-leading Center for Sleep Disorders at MHfS, our highly experienced team of sleep specialists utilize a range of tests and tools to diagnose the most common sleep disorders affecting 40+ million Americans, including:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleepwalking

Patients with a history of sleep disturbances are strongly encouraged to participate in a sleep study before undergoing surgery. Diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, can directly affect surgical outcomes. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea contributes to higher risks for post-surgical complications, including cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.

Making Sleep Studies A Breeze

Sleep studies at the Center for Sleep Disorders are simple, painless and informative. Overnight sleep studies are conducted in one of our clinic’s spacious, private rooms, where you’ll enjoy free Wi-Fi, a 50-inch television, a private bathroom and a queen-size bed. You’ll almost think you’re on vacation! In addition to overnight sleep studies, known as nocturnal polysomnogram, we also conduct sleep latency and wakefulness tests, which evaluate daytime and nighttime alertness and performance.

Get back to a good night’s sleep and set yourself up for successful surgery. Contact the Center for Sleep Disorders at Methodist Hospital for Surgery today at 972-685-7345 and find out how you can participate in a comfortable, insightful sleep test.

diabetes-awareness

Driving Awareness During American Diabetes Month

Driving Awareness During American Diabetes Month

Did you know that diabetes is the nation’s seventh leading cause of death? It outranks AIDs and breast cancer combined. But with growing awareness of its prevalence and increased knowledge of how to prevent and manage the disease, diabetes has met its match with healthy lifestyle choices and advanced treatment options.

We are proudly taking the opportunity to increase awareness about this devastating disease that currently affects more than 29 million Americans.

Here are some things you should know.

Diabetes is not an indication of people failing to take care of themselves.

While lifestyle factors play a part in the onset of type 2 diabetes, genetics is the underlying factor for both types 1 and 2, and it is altogether unknown what factors actually trigger the onset of type 1. This is one of the most compelling reasons to stay in the know about diabetes—it has so many potential catalysts!

Risk factors to consider include:

  • Being Overweight
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Unhealthy Cholesterol Physical Inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Age, Race & Gender
  • Family History

A diabetes diagnosis does not mean you will have to take insulin.

While insulin dependency is a reality for those with type 1 diabetes, in which the body produces no insulin at all, it’s not for type 2. For those suffering with type 2 diabetes, treatment and symptom management may begin with a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes, along with the possibility of regulatory medications. Still, it’s important to know that type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, so while insulin may not be needed initially; it could become part of your regiment later in life.

You can live the good life with diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease, but it doesn’t have to overshadow your brightest moments. Those who are proactive in working with their doctor to understand their diabetes type and severity and who commit to making quality choices can still expect long and healthy lives.

For more information on how we can help, please call our Center for Wound Care & Hyperbarics at 972-685-7330 or visit us online at http://methodisthospitalforsurgery.com/services/

physical-therapy

Easing Pain With the Power of Physical Therapy

As we move throughout our daily lives, occasional aches and pains are an expected hiccup. Sometimes we can stretch our discomfort away or ease the edge with ibuprofen, but what about when pain refuses to be run off? What do you do when it becomes a chronic feature in life?

Methodist Hospital for Surgery urges you to consider one of the safest and most effective routes for pain management. Physical therapy (PT) can improve your mobility and range of motion and alleviate pain associated with injury, surgery and degenerative bone and joint diseases. In turn, it can eliminate the need for costly surgeries and reduce dependency on highly addictive opioids.

So ask yourself—could PT be your solution for chronic pain?

Will my pain respond to physical therapy? How do I know if it’s an ideal treatment for me?

PT has been proven to be effective for numerous types of pain, including back, hip, knee and shoulder pain. Joint pain of almost every kind benefits from this kind of treatment. For traumatic injury, such as muscular or ligament tears, or degenerative diseases, including osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease, PT can not just alleviate pain and improve mobility, it can eliminate the need for surgery.

How long do I have to participate in physical therapy for it to be effective?

The best PT programs are rooted in attentive, one-on-one care in which your therapist routinely re-evaluates your functional mobility. Because everyone who seeks PT has a unique performance goal, it is impossible to say how long your need for PT will last—your program may require one month or three. Instead, you and your therapist should work on developing a list of functional performance goals that will help determine when you can satisfactorily step away from PT.

Do I need a referral to get started with physical therapy?

We advise you to check with your insurance provider first and foremost, since they may require a referral or preauthorization. You should also consider specific state laws regarding the pursuit of PT. In Texas, you can request an initial screening without a referral or prescription, but ongoing treatment will require a medical diagnosis that warrants PT.

Take advantage of physical therapy’s proven power to heal. For more information and office locations, visit us online at http://methodisthospitalforsurgery.com/contact/

backpack-spine

Back to School: Back(pack) Problems

You’ve downloaded this year’s list of school supplies, braved the retail store crowd hunting for the same calculators, No. 2 pencils, and 3-ring binders, and undoubtedly came to terms with that fact that, whether first grade or freshman, your kids are growing up entirely too quickly.

As you send them off to begin another school year, you remember how many germs get passed around, hands stay unwashed and inevitable sick days lie ahead. Yet, there’s one aspect of your child’s health that may be easily overlooked but can have lifelong effects: proper spine health and care.

Remember all those school supplies you bought? Guess where they generally end up? You guessed it, on your child’s back, along with heavy books, lunches and personal items. These can add a significant amount of stress and strain on the spine, especially when factoring in how often they’re weighing on your child’s back.

Take this into consideration: the more weight that is on your child’s back, the more he or she must compensate to keep the back straight. When bent at the hips or lower back, unnatural compression of the spinal column and the vertebrae can occur, which generally results in soreness of the neck or can easily lead to back pain. Generally, to help offset the stress put on the spine, many physicians and physical therapists will recommend only carrying anywhere from 10% – 20% of the child’s bodyweight in their backpack at any point. This allows the back to stay aligned without putting unnecessary strain on it.

Also, wearing backpacks on just one shoulder adds an imbalance in weight to one side of the body, again forcing the spine to compress and compensate. While wearing a pack over one shoulder may be easier or is a preferred method for most kids, it can certainly cause pain if too much weight is being carried.

Backpack Health – How Can You Help?

You obviously won’t be able to monitor your children at all times, but you can certainly equip them with the right backpack to help reduce harmful stress and strain.

Purchasing a lightweight backpack with multiple compartments is ideal. The lightweight material won’t add a significant amount of tertiary weight to your child and the different compartments will allow weight to be distributed more evenly. Also, many backpacks now come with padding for the back and shoulders, providing even more support for your child.

Much like any tool or aid, there is a proper way to use it; the same goes with a backpack. You can tell your kids about the issues and complications that can arise from misuse. Encourage them to:

  • Make frequent locker trips instead of jamming everything in their pack
  • Wear the pack properly to evenly distribute the weight on their bodies
  • Leave unnecessary or untimely items at home or stored safely in their lockers
  • Keep only 10-20% of their body weight in the pack at any time

Help keep this school season healthy and safe. For all your medical care, trust Methodist Hospital for Surgery.

Additional Backpack Health Resources

New York Times Article