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Orthopedics Blog

  • Millions of Americans have “learned to live” with pain, numbness and tingling in one or both of their hands. These symptoms can range from being painful to downright crippling. The good news is, you don’t have to live with pain. A single visit, microinvasive solution, is available.


  • With Covid-19 changing daily routines and canceling all sports and activities for the last few months, many sports enthusiasts and athletes have been out of commission for far too long. As we gradually return to a “new” normal and implement our fitness routines, it is essential to ease back in to avoid injury. After a period of inactivity, your body needs to adapt and slowly increase activity as tolerated.

    You may ask, “How do I go about this safely?” The answer is - make a plan.


    Return to play:
    Whatever your end goal - whether you are a collegiate athlete, a weekend warrior, an avid yoga goer, a once a week golfer or a high school track star - you have to start back at square one after being off your game for a few months.


    Before you jump back in, start by creating a daily stretching plan, then slowly incorporate a strengthening workout to complete every other day. Core strengthening and cardio or aerobic exercise are also essential to do every day as you gradually increase your baseline activity.

    If you were used to running 5 miles a day or squatting 250 pounds, do NOT start working out at that previous intensity. Instead, begin at HALF of your “normal” activity (in weight, distance, duration, intensity, etc.), and slowly increase as tolerated, provided you do not feel pain while doing it, that night, or the next day.


    Recovery:
    It is very common to be sore after returning to an activity that you have not done in a while. Soreness is okay and expected, but do not neglect persistent pain that continues for more than a few days. Sharp shooting pain felt during activity could be an overuse injury and a sign you tried to do too much too soon. LISTEN to your body. If your body is telling you that you need a rest day, take it. Your body will thank you later.


    If you are feeling tightness in your muscles, applying heat to them before stretching will help warm up and loosen your muscles to allow for maximum mobility. If stretching and heat do not help feeling sore after exercise, try applying ice or taking anti-inflammatories.


    Any training regimen, whether rebuilding or maintaining, is not complete without proper nutrition. If you are not fueling your body with a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and lean protein, as well as maintaining good hydration before, during, and after exercise, you will not be able to reach your peak performance. When you ask your body to perform on an empty tank, it is harder for your body to train and recover, and most importantly, injuries can often occur.


    Injury prevention:
    Preventing injury is key to any training or participation in athletic activity. The last thing that you want is to sustain an injury, sidelining you or setting you back when trying to return to your sport. Your chances of avoiding injury are best if you can develop and stick to your training plan. Gradually increase activity intensity, incorporate strength, conditioning, and core workouts, stretch before and after exercise, maintain a healthy diet and hydration, get a good night’s sleep and always listen to your body.

    Dr. Lisa Daye and her Sports Medicine Orthopedics team are here for you. Whether you need to get your training back on track, avoid injury, or are injured and need treatment, Dr. Daye and her team can work with you to develop a plan that’s right for you.


    Call 716.500.BONE(2663) for more information or to schedule an appointment.


  • Music and medicine may not be a combination that typically comes to mind for patients. In fact, music selection is probably not high atop the list of any considerations whirling around one’s head when preparing for surgery or a medical procedure. 

    Anxiety is a universal experience when undergoing any procedure and is not limited to surgery. Anyone who's undergone an MRI exam, medical testing, or visits the dentist knows this. A certain level of stress can be present when someone is using tools or instruments to poke around your body. Many surgeons understand this and frequently play music during operations when the patient is fully unconscious.

    Dr. Paul Paterson, a "think outside-of-the-box" orthopedic hand surgeon, employs music to reduce anxiety for Carpal Tunnel syndrome patients. He understands their stress when they come to see him, and is not going for any ordinary surgical experience. Instead, he refers to his Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief procedure as a "spa-like" environment. He routinely utilizes personalized music selections during the Release and Relief procedure as a tool to optimize relaxation and get his patients back to doing what they love.

    Dr. Paterson's Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief procedure is performed under nothing more than local anesthesia. The minimally invasive procedure requires such a small incision that an operating room is unnecessary, and the patient is wide awake. The key theme  - less is more. The less anesthetic used means fewer complications. In addition, it makes it easier on the patient because less preparation is required for the procedure. 

    You don't need to plan for a ride home afterward, and you don't have to worry about not eating the morning of the procedure. All in all, your concerns diminish substantially, and the risk of complications during the carpal tunnel are greatly reduced. In fact, Dr. Paterson also has a text messaging system that provides you with all the updates and answers you need before, the day of and after the Release and Relief. Another tool to reduce stress.

    So, where does the music come into play? Music is the added “extra” measure to increase relaxation and diminish anxiety during the procedure. You are awake during Release and Relief; the local anesthesia will make it so that you feel nothing. And, studies show that music takes your mind off preoccupations, lowering your body's automatic response to stressors. As a result, lower heart rates and blood pressure – both great for surgical and non-surgical procedures. And that means an easier recovery, thus getting you back to your life as soon as possible. 

    Music is just one of the ways Dr. Paterson aims to optimize the space for a procedure that does not need to be so complex or involved. Less time, less equipment, and patient satisfaction are the goals of the endeavor. 

    So, when you arrive at General Physician PC Orthopedics for your Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief, make sure you have your favorite music or band in mind. Then let Dr. Paterson and his expert team take care of the rest.

    For more information about the Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief procedure visit: https://www.gppconline.com/paul-paterson-md/dr-paterson-carpal-tunnel

    Watch The Commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS0eoP0xisg

    Take the Carpal Tunnel Assessment Quiz HERE

     

    Office locations

    ECMC Ambulatory Care Center
    462 Grider Street
    3rd Floor
    Buffalo, NY 14215
    Map/Directions

    5844 Southwestern Blvd
    Hamburg, NY 14075
    Map/Directions

    55 Spindrift Drive, Suite 120
    Williamsville, NY 14221
     
    Map/Directions

    Phone
    716-500-HAND(4263)


  • You have hand pain, maybe tingling, and you think you might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - but what does that mean? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common injury that occurs when excess pressure is put on the median nerve running through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and shooting pains that wake you up at night . Living with constant pain, not sleeping well, and losing function can be frustrating and debilitating, especially if you cannot do the things you love. 

    You Have CTS – Now What?

    Once you know you have CTS, then what? Traditionally, you can spend weeks, even months, going to  appointments and tests trying to resolve CTS. “However, there is a better option: the Release and Relief procedure - a new minimally invasive procedure. The procedure aims to shrink the time spent diagnosing, testing, surgically correcting, and recovering from months to ONE day (also known as the “episode of care”).  Shrinking the “episode of care” means less time in the doctors' office and a quicker return to normal life.

    What is the “Episode of Care”?

    The episode of care for any injury or illness is the time spent taking care of that specific injury or illness and, ideally, getting you back to full health . It starts at your first doctor's appointment and continues with every subsequent office visit, test, and procedure. You can expect an episode of care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to consist of 4-6 appointments over several weeks or months.

    What Else Does a CTS Episode of Care Entail?

    The first appointment for CTS involves diagnosing the issue. Most doctors use electromyography (EMG), a test to read the nerve activity in your wrist. Electrodes are inserted through the skin into the muscle tissue to relay information to the doctor to confirm the CTS. It’s costly, not to mention unpleasant

    Some doctors may conduct additional tests, including blood work and x-rays. If you opt for remedies like splints, NSAIDS, or cortisone injections, your episode of care may be extended. Consider the time spent driving to and from appointments, time taken off from work, and interrupted routines or activities, which can increase stress levels.

    Dr. Paul Paterson, an orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgeon, uses the latest technology to get patients with CTS in and out in just ONE day. This innovative procedure is known as Release and Relief. As a result, your CTS episode of care is whittled down to ONE office visit. 

    How Does Release and Relief Work?

    After your assessment and confirmation of CTS, you will be scheduled for a procedure. You may take time to consider your options, or you can get it done there and then. First, Dr. Paterson will use ultrasound-guided technology to confirm the diagnosis – no electrodes are required. Then, local anesthesia is administered. Patients are fully awake and, and in fact, listening to music during the procedure.  Dr. Paterson uses a specially designed instrument that works in tandem with ultrasound to complete the procedure quickly and efficiently. The Release and Relief procedure is finished in less than five minutes per hand, and patients are ready to go home – no long recovery, no physical therapy.

    What About Follow-Up?

    After the Release and Relief procedure, you can opt into a text service to stay connected with Dr. Paterson for check-ins the next day. No need to come back into the office unless it’s necessary. Dr. Paterson even provides his patients with his number to call him with any urgent questions and concerns.

    Although saving time is a significant benefit of the Release and Relief procedure, quality is just as important. Rest assured Dr. Paterson delivers both. If you’re experiencing CTS symptoms, take our assessment quiz HERE. Or, click HERE and schedule an appointment online. For more information, you can also call the office at 716-500-HAND. You don’t have to wait weeks or months for relief; let Dr. Paterson get you back to enjoying life in just ONE Day.

     

    Office locations

    ECMC Ambulatory Care Center
    462 Grider Street
    3rd Floor
    Buffalo, NY 14215
    Map/Directions

    5844 Southwestern Blvd
    Hamburg, NY 14075
    Map/Directions

    55 Spindrift Drive, Suite 120
    Williamsville, NY 14221
     
    Map/Directions

    Phone
    716-500-HAND(4263)


  • Living in Western New York, you can’t avoid cold, snow, and ice during the winter, but you can prevent serious winter-related injuries. In an earlier blog post, Dr. Riegel discussed heart attack risks. This week, Dr. Falcone, an orthopedic surgeon, offers tips for protecting your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.Thousands of people every year suffer from preventable injuries during the winter months. To protect yourself, observe some basic safety tips to prevent yourself from being one of them.

    Protect Your Body, Inside and Out

    Cold temperatures make muscles, tendons, and ligaments more prone to injury, so you’ll want to mitigate the risks of spending time outside by:

    • Keeping your body warm. Wear appropriate outerwear and layer your clothing to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature. Your layers should be light, loose, water-resistant, and wind-resistant.
    • Stretching. Warm up your muscles before shoveling, putting up or taking down holiday lights, or performing other outdoor home-care tasks.
    • Staying Drink enough water! It’s natural to worry about dehydration in the heat of summer, but in winter, don’t forget our bodies are often working harder to move under extra or heavier clothing, breathing harder from exertion, and sweating when we’re inside over-heated buildings. If your body becomes dehydrated, lactic acid builds up in your muscles, which can cause cramps and bodily strain—greatly increasing the chance of falling and other injuries. Proper hydration helps keep your muscles and ligaments healthy, and it even helps with pain relief and healing.
    • Wiping your shoes thoroughly when you enter a building. Snow and ice build up in the soles and can cause you to slip when you step onto a smooth, hard floor. 

    Beware of the Biggest Problem

    Falling or slipping on icy outdoor surfaces, of course, is the biggest issue we face in the winter months. Both can cause broken bones, wrenched backs, sprained joints, or head injuries. We all take walking for granted, but if you try to walk in the winter like you do in the summer, you’re putting yourself at risk.Two things are essential to injury prevention: wearing boots or shoes designed for maximum safety on ice and snow and changing the way you walk. Slip-resistant footwear is key. So is taking shorter steps with slightly bent knees and taking things slow—try not to rush or run. If you have the choice between walking on potentially icy pavement or snowy grass, choose the grass. That way, if you fall, you’re less likely to be hurt. And, when you’re out and about, use handrails whenever possible, treat every walkway as though it has black ice, and keep your hands out of your pockets – you may need your arms for balance or to catch yourself. In fact, if you have to navigate black ice, walk like a penguin: widen your stance, spread your arms, and do your best to balance.

    And if you do fall? Bend your elbows and knees to help your arms and legs absorb the impact, and be mindful of how you get up.

    Prepare to Drive Differently

    Winter driving can be harmful to your body, including preparations. Scraping ice and snow off your car—be sure to clear both windshields!—can bring about damage to joints, tissue, and muscles. Shoveling, with all the lifting, twisting, and throwing it requires, can cause muscle strains, sprains, and soft tissue injuries. Try pushing the snow away instead of lifting it onto your shovel. If you lift it, protect your back by keeping a slight bend in your knees. And listen to your body: if something is starting to hurt, take a break. Finally, pay attention to severe weather warnings. If you don’t have to be out on the roads when conditions are snowy or icy, don’t go anywhere. But if you do, take proper precautions to avoid abrupt stops, skids, and collisions—which can cause concussions, whiplash, back injuries and broken bones.

    One final note: if you have any pre-existing orthopedic conditions, including and especially joint implants or any kind of surgical reconstruction, be sure you talk to your physician about any extra precautions you might have to take in the winter weather. We want everyone to enjoy the great outdoors this winter – safely!


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