Health Blog with a stethoscope sitting on top of a laptop.

Welcome to Our Blog.

At McLeod Health, we are dedicated to providing useful health and medical information to our community. Take a look at our blog categories and choose those that interest you. Be sure to subscribe to each category of interest and we will send you new blog articles as they are posted.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.

When Your Aching Shoulder Leads to Joint Replacement

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Pat Denton, MD

What’s the first thing they ask you to do in school?  Raise your hand. Right? So, if it’s something you’ve practiced most of your life, why does it hurt so much now? One possible answer: You may need a shoulder joint replacement, the third most common joint replacement after knees and hips.  “The shoulder is more complicated than some joints in the body,” says Dr. Pat Denton of Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates. “It’s actually several joints with muscles and tendons that enable a broad range of motion, enabling you to reach for your wallet, swing a golf club and hammer a nail. 

Medically reviewed by Valencia Oxendine-Rose, MS, ATC

Let’s start with a quick quiz.  Which of the following help reduce the inflammation and pain of osteoarthritis – the major cause of knee and hip replacements? (Mark ALL that apply)

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Sutton McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

How much difference does 20 years make? In 1994, a British study determined that you should not drive for at least 8 weeks after a total joint replacement in your right knee. Twenty years later, how has the advancement in surgical technique, implant materials, pain management and physical rehabilitation, changed the guidance on when you can return to driving? “We start with the understanding that you should not be on pain medications or narcotics,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Michael Sutton. “The next benchmark is whether your reflexes and normal strength have returned.  And the third variable is whether it’s your right or left knee or hip.”


From a presentation by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

In any surgery, there is some level of risk.  However, advancements in technology and surgical technique for hip joint replacements has raised the level of success and lowered the possibility of infection, blood loss, nerve damage or other complications says McLeod Orthopedic specialist Dr. Eric Heimberger.


From a presentation by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Today’s total knee joint replacement patient is helped to get back on their feet and start physical rehabilitation the same day of surgery. Dr. Eric Heimberger offers an overview of this common surgical procedure.


From a presentation by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Nagging knee or hip pain can be mentally aggravating while keeping you from enjoying life.  McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Eric Heimberger, M.D. provides a list of more than a half dozen more conservative, non-surgical options that might help you avoid surgery:

Medically reviewed by Michael Sutton, D.O.

You’re thinking about a total joint replacement. And there is a lot to think about when it comes a new knee or hip joint. “The actual surgery for knee replacement or hip replacement is very common, but gives a patient much to consider, “ says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Michael Sutton. “Testing, the day of surgery, pain, coming home, returning to your life and work. Here are some tips on avoiding problems after your surgery so that you get the most out of that new knee or hip.”

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D.

“I’m sweating like when I was a kid picking cucumbers in July,” thought Michael as he approached the airport security checkpoint. It was anxiety – not the summer heat – triggering Mike’s perspiration. He was taking his first airplane trip after receiving a hip joint replacement. “Will my hip set off the metal detector?  Will they pull me out of line for an embarrassing and time-consuming special check?” worried Mike. Michael’s not alone. The rate of total joint replacements for knee and hips continues to climb. Even the U.S. economic downturn, starting in 2008, did not halt the growth of joint replacements. One researcher called them “recession proof.” If you’re like Michael – living with a knee joint or hip replacement and planning air travel -- you might have a few questions. 


From an interview with Patrick Denton, M.D. Pee Dee Orthopedic Associates

You finally decided to see an Orthopedic Specialist for that knee or hip pain. They diagnosed an arthritic or deteriorated joint. Conservative treatments didn’t work. Surgery was performed. Now what? McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Patrick Denton, M.D. outlines what you should see from this point on:

Total Joint Replacement – What You Can Expect

Posted on in Orthopedics

From an interview with Dr. Patrick Denton Pee Dee Orthopedic Associates

Traveling to a foreign country. Eating unfamiliar food. Having your hip or knee joint replaced. The “unknown” in anything can create anxiety. To help reduce your anxiety about total joint replacement, McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Patrick Denton explains what you can expect.


From an interview with Patrick Denton, M.D. Pee Dee Orthopedic Associates

Younger and younger people are new knee and hip joints.  Yet, surgery is not always the place to start when your joints are hurting, according to McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Patrick Denton, M.D.

Medically reviewed by Kyle Watford, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

“I think we need to do some tests.” When you visit an orthopedic specialist, diagnostic testing is likely the third phase used to identify the cause of your hip or knee pain. It follows a conversation with the specialist about when your joint started hurting and what kind of pain and how much pain you feel. Next comes the physical examination. The specialist looks at your knee or hip, maybe with a bit of poking and prodding.

Are You Too Old for Hip or Knee Joint Replacement?

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

In the past, surgery to replace troublesome knee and hip joints was reserved for folks over 60. Yet, the desire by today’s mature adults to be more active and not surrender to aging has driven up total joint replacements among the 45-60 age groupAs we live longer – and try to remain more active – the question arises: How old is TOO old for hip or knee joint replacement? “We do know that osteoarthritis – the primary condition requiring joint replacement -- gets worse with age,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Rodney Alan. “So, the chances of needing surgery increase as we age.” 

Prepping for Your Total Joint Replacement

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

It finally hits home. You’re sitting with your family physician, pain management or orthopedic specialist and you hear the words, “You need a joint replacement.” Certainly your knee or hip has given you daily bouts of pain and limited your activity.  You want to feel better.  But now – OMG! -- you face the reality of hospitalization, surgery, rehab and recovery.  “What a patient does BEFORE the surgery is as important as what follows,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Rodney Alan.  “Mental, emotional and physical preparation sets the stage for successful surgery and a faster return to normal life activities.”

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopaedics

Sam looked up as his Orthopedic Surgeon entered the exam room.  “I think we need to move to a total joint replacement on your knee,” said the surgeon. Sam didn’t hear much after that. The surgeon’s comments were drowned out by the waterfall of questions washing over Sam's brain. “Questions are common for people facing major knee or hip joint replacement,” says Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Rodney Alan. “Each patient has some questions specific to their situation, but a study funded by the National Institutes of Health identified the 4 Most Important Questions patients have about their pending joint replacement surgery.”

10 Tips on Handling Fall Recreation Injuries

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Adam Ploeg, MS, ATC McLeod Sports Medicine

The most dangerous student sport in the autumn is…(would you believe) cheerleading, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research. While that may surprise you, the fact that football and soccer are also near the top of the list is not surprising. If you or your child is engaged in fall sports, here are some tips to help you navigate the rough waters of autumn competition.  Remember, that the rate of injury for youth athletes is about the same as professional athletes.

Medically reviewed by Al Gilpin, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

First, the clothes for Physical Education. Add a pencil case, calculator, water bottle and MP3 player. Stuff in a couple textbooks. Don’t forget one or two 5-subject notebooks. Top it off with some keys or hand sanitizer. And voila’! You have a student’s school backpack. If your student’s backpack is like most these days, it may weigh 20 to 25 pounds, about 20%+ of your student’s total body weight. Today’s school bags are twice as heavy as ten years ago. One study found that more than 5 out of 10 of U.S. school students carry a backpack that’s too heavy for them.

Elbow Pain: Reaching for Solutions

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Pat Denton, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

“No matter what, I’m going to finish this (golf, tennis, gardening, carpentry, painting, insert your activity). An attitude like that can lead to success. However, it can also lead to a painful elbow due to Tendonitis or Bursitis. FIRST, SOME BACKGROUND. Three long bones meet in the elbow, forming a hinge joint supported by muscles. Your elbow joint and muscles are critical to reaching, lifting and rotating.

Medically Reviewed by Pat Denton, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Repetitive, one-sided twisting of the spine. Bending over, repetitively to pick up weights from 10 to 40 pounds. Chronic wear and tear on shoulder and elbow joints. Muscle and tendon tears that create scar tissue. Golf can be fun.  Yet, half of all amateur golfers report some type of orthopedically related injury. (That’s a lot, even when we subtract the 10% who were hit by a club or ball.) For the most part, golf injuries do not vary considerably based on the amateur golfer’s age or handicap.

Medically Reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D. McLeod Orthopaedics

Millions of people are enjoying the quality of life and end of pain that a total knee or hip joint replacement delivers. Many of those people will also experience the need for a second replacement – also called a “revision” – of their artificial joint. 

The information on this site is intended to increase your awareness and understanding of specific health issues and
services at McLeod Health. It should not be used for diagnosis or as a substitute for health care by your physician.
To report technical issues, please contact us. Public Access to Information or To Report a Concern.

©2012 McLeod Health. Download Vendor Code of Conduct | HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices | Patient Bill of Rights
Report a Concern | Visitation | Download McLeod Health Mission & Values