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Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopedics

Three things to know about pain management following a knee or hip joint replacement: One, you WILL feel better after your total knee replacement or hip joint replacement when you are fully recovered. Two, your medical team will use advancements in postoperative pain management to control your pain while you are in the hospital. And three, you should expect some discomfort when you return home. 

Medically reviewed by Pat Denton, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Your doctor lifts your arms up over your head. Then, you are asked to slowly drop your arms down by your side. Both arms slowly move until they are straight out from the shoulder.  As you continue, one arm just falls quickly to your side. Sometimes a diagnosis does not require the use of diagnostic testing equipment. In this case, the simple (and simply named) “Drop Arm Test” can tell your Orthopedic Specialist if an important group of muscles in your shoulder – the rotator cuff -- is torn. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

“So,” you ask, “why are we talking about ski and snowboard injuries when we are in the Southeast?” Those who enjoy snow sports on a regular basis and often every year know what to expect.  However, if you live in the South and plan an occasional ski trip, it is like a Northerner who takes a beach trip once a year, the unexpected can leave you hurting. The following tips will help you know what to expect and what to avoid so that you can have a safer, enjoyable trip.

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD

Surgery of any kind involves certain risks. Continuing developments in surgical technique and technology have significantly reduced those risks for total joint replacement patients. “In fact, serious complications in knee or hip joint replacement are found in less than 2 percent of patient outcomes,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rodney Alan of McLeod Orthopaedics. “Yet, as an informed patient, awareness of the possible complications will help you communicate any problems with your Orthopedic Surgeon.”

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopaedics

“Fashion knows no pain,” a line probably coined by a fashion designer. You know it’s not true, if only based on your personal experience with high heels, neckties or backpacksPurses and handbags are another place where fashion absolutely can cause you pain. How many of the following do you carry daily in a handbag or purse: wallet, phone, computer, keys, makeup, water bottle, notebook, diary, pens, pencils, workout clothes, gym shoes, umbrella…?

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopaedics

With modern materials and surgical techniques, your knee or hip joint replacement is likely to last 10 to 20 years – or even your entire life. Some people do need to redo the joint replacement.  Several causes can require this so-called revision surgery:

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.”

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