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Recent blog posts

Cardiac Stress Test. You May Need One.

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically reviewed by Dr. Amit Pande

If you have ever run on a treadmill at your fitness center, you’ll have a good idea of your role in a cardiac stress test.

Medically reviewed by Michael Sutton, DO McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

“Two of the primary benefits of a total knee or hip joint replacement are less pain and more life, thanks to the ability to move again,” says Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Sutton of McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon. “As more joint replacements are being performed on young and younger patients, a key question they ask is: ‘When can I get back to work?’”Let’s layout a possible timeline for your recovery after joint replacement surgery:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Nathan Almeida

Popular Painkillers Raise Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke...“Ouch?! That muscle hurts!  Wow, my joints ache!” It’s nearly a reflex reaction for many of us to automatically reach for some ibuprofen or similar medication when aches and pains arise.  As we grow older, daily doses tend to become a fact of life.  But we need to be careful.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

All eyes turned as Donna walked in. Her face was beautiful.  The silhouette, striking. And those high spike heels!  Whew!  Every man – and a few women – inhaled sharply, losing interest in their year-old magazines.  Donna smiled sweetly, knowing that she was causing a ruckus – and thinking to herself, If only my knees didn’t hurt so much.  Well, maybe when the nurse calls my name, the orthopedic specialist can tell me what the problem is“A number of studies have shown the increased risk from high heels of developing osteoarthritis in your knees,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Eric Heimberger. “The knee joint deteriorates, possibly leading to total joint replacement.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark Fox

Congestive Heart Failure is the medical description of a heart that is slowly losing its ability to pump blood throughout the body. Thanks to medical advances more and more patients are surviving until they are in “late-stage heart failure” when they may experience pain, anxiety and have trouble breathing. Unlike cancer – where the patient seems to have a steady decline – in Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) a patient’s decline may be marked by a series of incidents, where the heart staggers, then rallies.  During this decline, more than 75% of CHF patients report not only pain and difficulty in breathing, but also fatigue, depression and accumulation of liquid in the body (edema).

Medically reviewed by Dale Lusk, MD

Squeeze….and release.  Squeeze…and release. Among the effective non-surgical treatments for female urinary incontinence, the Kegel is one of the simplest. At its simplest, the Kegel involves squeezing your pelvic muscles, as if you are trying to stop the urine flow. And it’s best when performed numerous times during the day. “Yes, but how am I supposed to remember?” You might ask.  “Stick it,” says Gynecologist Dale Lusk, M.D. of Advanced Women's Care. “I tell patients to buy some of those little red, green or blue sticky dots that they can get at the office supply or discount store. Take a marker and write a big ‘K’ on each one. Then, stick it on your TV remote. Whenever you see the dot, do a few Kegels. Stick one on your car’s rear view mirror. Every time you hit a red light, do a few Kegels. Stick one inside the refrigerator. Open the door; do a Kegel or two. Stick one on a book you’re reading. When you sit down to read, do a few Kegels.” 

Medically reviewed by Dr. David Lukowski McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Last year, nearly 54,000 people had their vacations ruined by luggage-related injuries. Most of those injuries involved lifting bags in a hurry (probably in a rush to or at the airport) that were too heavy, over packed, or just plain bulky. “The most common injuries are to the shoulder, neck, wrist and back,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. David Lukowski. “However, luggage handling can also aggravate existing knee and hip problems by exerting extra stress on these joints or creating bad posture.”  Here are some tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that can help keep your vacation healthy and enjoyable:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alan Blaker

Testosterone is a powerful hormone. It makes voices deep, grows beards and helps develop muscle mass. It might also help protect men against heart problems.  MIGHT is the key word.

Medically Reviewed by Taylor Holmes, DPT, STAR-C

Surgery is the gold standard for pelvic repair to “cure” urinary leakage or stress incontinence. However, following the diagnosis, nearly every gynecologist will start with a series of non-surgical options.

Modifying behavior and the way a woman reacts to her body’s signals has been the focus of clinical attention in the US for several decades. One of these – biofeedback – can be used in conjunction with Pelvic Muscle Exercises – also known as kegels.


Hospice and Palliative Care for the Cancer Patient

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark Fox

Now – more than ever before – survival is a realistic possibility for cancer patients, thanks to new technology, drugs and therapies. PALLIATIVE CARE. While cancer specialists treat the disease (with survival as the goal), palliative care specialists can treat the patient’s pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and depression associated with cancer. A study has shown that use of palliative care may even improve a cancer patient’s survival. Unfortunately, not all cancers can be cured.  And there may come a point -- no matter how good your cancer doctors, available treatments or even clinical trials – where therapies are no longer controlling the disease. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton, Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Hip Joint?  Bad Knee?  Leg Cramps? Torn Muscle? Hairline Fracture? Inflamed Tendon? “In medical terms, those questions are the beginning of a differential diagnosis,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Pat Denton of Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates. “For most people, the term leg pain can be the key to a multitude of medical issues – some minor, some serious. Many – but not all – are handled by Orthopedic Specialists.” Let’s try to sort things out a bit. Orthopedic Specialists primarily deal with problems related to your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Below are some common leg pain issues treated by Orthopedic Specialists:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Leask

Americans love numbers.  We rate baseball players with a range of statistics. We rank golfers.  We grade ourselves on everything from academics to attractiveness (“He’s a 9 out of 10.”) Another set of numbers important to everyone are how much things we do (or don’t do) increases our risk of heart disease – 200% (2x) to 600% (6x). “It’s good to know how your lifestyle is affecting the possibility that you will suffer heart disease or die of a heart attack,” says McLeod Cardiologist Gavin Leask, MD.  "The following list shows you which actions (or lack of) increase your heart risk.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brad Campbell

A woman’s reproductive organs can be affected by five main types of cancer, identified by the location where it started: ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal and vulvar. This article looks at symptoms associated with ovarian cancer. A woman has two ovaries in her pelvis, located on either side of her uterus.  They produce the eggs for reproduction as well as some female hormones. There is no simple, reliable test for ovarian cancer, in the way a Pap test can identify cervical cancer. Making it even more confusing for a woman, many of the symptoms are typical of other non-cancerous problems. 

8 Things to Know about Cancer-Related Fatigue

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rommel Lu, MD

Cancer patients often feel tired physically, mentally and emotionally.  Not surprising, given the struggle and stress of testing, surgery, radiation therapy and the attack of chemotherapy on cancer cells. “X-rays and lab tests can’t tell us about a cancer patient’s fatigue,” Says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Rommel Lu.  “It’s the patients who tell us. They complain of heaviness in arms and legs. They also have trouble concentrating and completing everyday tasks. They might be irritable and take less care in their personal appearance. Knowing more about the problem can help cancer patients deal with their fatigue.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton, Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Ever try to hold up 150 or so pounds and keep it stable ALL DAY? That’s what your knees do. And small C-shaped wedges between the cartilage and bones in your knee act as stabilizers and shock absorbers.  Each of these wedges is called a “meniscus.” Given their work assignment, it’s not hard to understand that a meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries.  

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Carmichael

Success, A Blend of Skilled Surgeons & Technological Developments. In 2014, a person with a faulty heart valve can have it replaced and expect extraordinarily low operative mortality rates and minimal complications. Today’s positive reality represents decades of research and refined surgical skills. 1960s - MECHANICAL VALVES. The first aortic valve replacement occurred in 1960, using a mechanical valve that was essentially a ball loosely fit inside a ring. It was soon replaced by a valve using a disk that tilted open and closed.  Eventually, a valve was developed with two leaflets. Leaf versions of the mechanical valve can last a long time but the patient must take medication to prevent blood from thickening and clotting the valve opening. 

Medically Reviewed by Brad Campbell, MD

A Higher Risk is Actually Good News for Women A study unveiled in late 2013 indicated that 1 in 5 women face a risk sometime in her life of surgery for urinary incontinence or pelvic prolapse surgery.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Rodney Alan, McLeod Orthopaedics

“Pssst.”  “Down here.”  “Listen carefully.”  “I need your help to keep us both out of trouble.” A bit overly dramatic for sure.  Our knees don’t talk.  But if we don’t treat them right, in time we may not be able to ignore our knees, whether they talk or not. “Knee joint replacements are soaring, especially among younger people between 45 and 60,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rodney Alan.  “And while total joint replacements are some of the most successful surgeries performed, it’s important to do what you can to make your original knees last as long as possible.”

Medically Reviewed by Evans Holland, MD

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) describes a gradual weakening of the heart over time.  As it weakens, the body tries to compensate.  With the weakening, the heart may have to pump faster to maintain the blood pressure.  Blood and oxygen are diverted from some parts of the body, such as muscles, to keep organs working.

Medically Reviewed by Charles Tatum, MD 

DID YOU KNOW  By age 65, more than a third of US women have had a hysterectomy. Women living in the US South or Midwest are more likely to have a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is a descriptive term that covers a range of surgical procedures and options. At its most basic, a hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman’s uterus. (The uterus is where a baby grows.)

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