Paragon Orthopedic Center September Newsletter

Enjoy this month’s newsletter to help you understand the symptoms of the seasonal flu and those of Covid-19.  As the weather gets colder, you might wonder what that sniffle could mean.  Knowing some similarities and differences might help you make important decisions if you begin feeling ill.  Educate yourself Southern Oregon and then pass along what you know.  Just click on the attachment.  Knowledge is power!

Paragon Press September 2020

What You Might Be Doing Wrong While Sitting At Your Computer

The Coronavirus limitations have made many of our daily activities relate to a computer, whether it is your child’s schooling, shopping online, or working remotely.  Some of you have even had your appointments with Paragon Orthopedic Center online with one of our healthcare providers.  While not ideal, we want you to feel safe.  Staying at home feels safer for many right now.  If you are experiencing some pain while at home sitting at the computer, you might need to consider your body positioning.  Everything from your fingers, to your eyes, to your back can be affected by just sitting incorrectly.  Ideally, your position should be neutral and not stress any particular part of your body.  Reaching, twisting, hunching, straining, and slouching are all to be avoided when it comes to working at a computer.   We found an article that helps you do a self-check right now as you read this.  Frequently, it takes an effort to keep your body in good condition, especially as we age.  Here are tips from a great article about this:

  • Head, shoulders, and torso in line with the hips.
  • Elbows close to the body bent 90 degrees.
  • Wrists and hands in straight lines with lower arms.
  • Shoulders and upper arms relaxed and close to the body.
  • Back supported including lumbar (lower back) support.
  • Thighs and hips supported by a well-padded seat and parallel to the floor.
  • Knees are the same height as the hips.
  • Feet fully supported by the floor.

Read more here:

Posture Perfect for Computer Users

Another consideration to quit smoking with all this smoke

If you live in Southern Oregon and you don’t smoke, you might be having trouble breathing, or feeling a burning sensation in your throat, or experiencing headaches as a side effect.  The smoke in the air has been at hazardous levels for days.  Our bodies were not meant to breath in smoke, whether unintentional as a byproduct of fires, or intentional like a cigarette.  If you do smoke, maybe our toxic air has given you an opportunity to think about what the inhaled smoke from cigarettes is doing to your lungs and body.  Smoke has a deleterious effect on the body and even your bones are affected.  It can make you prone to osteoporosis and bone fractures by reducing the blood supply to your bones and other body tissues.  Smoking also decreases the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones.  It also affects the hormones in your body that assist with building and maintaining a strong skeleton.  As many smoking pre-operative patients at Paragon Orthopedic Center have discovered, Dr. Bents and Dr. Van Horne will tell you you cannot have surgery without a complete cessation of smoking because research concludes you will heal slowly and have a higher likelihood of a failed surgery if you smoke.  Hip fractures are higher in smokers and a fracture of your hip is something you want to avoid if at all possible.  The University of California Irving (UCI) has some fantastic information with a great graphic about how smoking affects your bones.  It is information you need if you smoke.  If you don’t smoke, educate yourself to help loved ones quit.  Click on the link here:

NEWS FLASH-One egg a day will not increase your risk of heart attack!

We are here to unscramble the information out there that declares eggs to be bad guys for your health.  Maybe an angry chicken got the rumor started, but research can put the myths to bed.  Harvard Medical School has done studies and these, along with others following hundreds of thousands of people, find that eating up to one egg a day does not increase rates of heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular diseases.  Research shows that most of the cholesterol in our body comes from our liver which produces it–not the cholesterol in the food we eat.  The liver is triggered to increase cholesterol production by saturated fats and trans fat.  More on that in a moment.  If you have certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, you should limit yourself to 3 eggs a week.  That’s the good news.  Here’s the not-so-good news…what might be bad for you is what you’re eating with eggs.  Artery-clogging bacon or cheese, and the saturated fats in doughnuts or muffins can definitely increase your risk of heart attack due to the effects of the saturated fats that trigger increased cholesterol production.  Try mixing your eggs with some vegetables or fresh salsa, and add a side of whole-grain toast.  From a bone-health point of view, eggs are not the highest food in calcium, but each large egg does have 25mg.  You’ll note from our previous blog that there were other foods with far higher calcium content, but every little bit adds up throughout the day.  The healthcare professionals at Paragon Orthopedics would encourage you to eat as much calcium as you can every day for strong bones.  Eating your sources of calcium, versus pills, is optimal for absorption.  Another added benefit: the 6g of protein in each egg will help you feel full longer.  To read the article by Harvard Medical School read here:

Seven Foods Higher In Calcium Than Milk

When it comes to calcium-rich foods, milk is almost always at the top of the list.  Paragon Orthopedic Center would like you to make note of 5 foods you can incorporate easily into your diet to get a daily charge of calcium for strong bones.  Here’s the quick list with tips:

  1. Kale-Chop it up and add it to your salads and you’ll love the crunch.
  2. Tofu-This takes on other flavors very easily.  Add to stir-fries and casseroles.
  3. Almonds-Buy them raw and dry roast these in the oven for a deeper flavor and a crisp crunch.  Be careful of the added sodium that comes with the pre-salted varieties and read the label to see if they’ve been roasted in oil, which can bring added fats that aren’t healthy.
  4. Bok Choy-Add this to stir-fries or cook as a side dish with garlic and ginger.
  5. Canned Salmon-Use this instead of tuna for your next sandwich.
  6. Dried Figs-Easily added to oatmeal and cereal for a bite of sweetness and texture.
  7. Calcium-fortified Orange Juice-This is an easy switch from your usual OJ.  Just make sure you choose the one with added calcium, which should be on the label.  Buying the concentrate in a can will save you a few cents too.

Here is an article with further information on these choices.  Paragon Orthopedics wants Southern Oregon to have strong bones that resist fractures, so choose your foods wisely!

Fractures After A Fall…Could It Mean Something Bigger Is Going On?

We all have risen from either lying down or sitting and felt a little dizzy.  For some, this ends up with a complete, uncontrolled fall to the ground that results in a fracture.  Simply reported, you might write it off as an isolated accident.  Dizziness, or lightheadedness, can be a sign of something greater.  The technical word for the drop in blood pressure that leads to the dizziness is called orthostatic hypotension.  According to a New York Times article in August, a significant number of falls and the resulting fractures are likely the result of orthostatic hypotension, especially in older age groups.  It can be a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, or a warning sign for some heart and neurologic disorders.  Research is being done as to what orthostatic blood pressures might indicate, such as an early indicator of diabetes or Parkinson’s Disease.  If someone you love has a fall, be an advocate by making sure the dizziness investigated.  Paragon Orthopedic Center is a big advocate for preventing fractures.  Our highly trained staff are here for you if you get a fracture, but we’d rather you didn’t have to experience the pain and inconvenience of one.  Let your providers know if dizziness was the cause of your fracture or the fracture of someone you love.  Read the full article here:

What Type of Mask Is Best? Which Are Not Effective?

With requirements for wearing face masks nearly everywhere these days, you’re probably seeing an increasing variety: some clear shields, some shields that only cover a portion of your face, bandanas, masks that have vents, and even literal gas masks.  You’re probably wondering which ones are actually effective because some don’t look designed to contain the droplets from your mouth.  The CDC has some information that is very helpful.  First, to address the clear face shields, the CDC does not recommend these as a substitute for a cloth mask.   They do acknowledge there might be situations where a face shield is optimal/necessary. The limited evidence they have on these shields indicates that if you must use one, it should wrap around the sides of the face and extend below the chin.  If the shield is reusable, it should be disinfected after every use.  We did a previous blog about how the vents in the manufactured masks do very little to contain your mucus droplets.  That is explained again in this CDC article.  Masks are a critical preventative measure you can take to contain this highly contagious virus, especially when social distancing is difficult.  Paragon Orthopedic Center continues to require patients to wear a mask when in the clinic and limits visits to only the patient.  We realize this might be an inconvenience, but we also want to do everything we possibly can to keep you, your family, and our staff healthy.  We are hoping for this all to come to an end as much as you are, but until then, please work with us and follow our guidelines for the sake of everyone’s health in Southern Oregon.  Let’s keep  the Covid-19 numbers low Grants Pass!

Read more about how masks are effective, who should wear a mask, who should not wear a mask, face shields and even a link on how to clean your face shield if you wear one:

Golfer’s Elbow…or Is It Tennis Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow is pain that occurs on the inside of the elbow as a result of repeatedly using your wrist and clenching your fingers.  The pain stems from damage to the muscles and tendons that work the fingers and wrist.  This isn’t necessarily limited to golfers and can affect anyone who does this repeated motion.  Tennis elbow, however, is pain that occurs on the outside of your elbow, so the location of your pain should help you understand which condition you might have.  Both cause inflammation and pain.  So if you believe you have golfer’s elbow and the pain is on the inside of your elbow, why did this happen?  Do I need to see Dr. Bents or Dr. Van Horne?  Not necessarily.  If your elbow appears deformed,  if your elbow is hot and inflamed with a fever, if you can’t bend your elbow, or if you feel something is very wrong like a broken bone, please call Paragon Orthopedics right away.    There are risk factors that put you at higher risk for developing golfer’s elbow and ways to prevent it.  Here is an article with a graphic that helps you understand the location of pain for both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, as well as symptoms and causes of golfer’s elbow.  There is a link at the bottom to continue reading more about diagnosis and treatment.  Check it out here:

What do you do when you dislocate your shoulder?

You’re sliding into second base and your shoulder pops out.  You fall down unexpectedly and feel your shoulder pop.  You see someone who has been in a car accident and they can’t move their arm.  What do you do?  You will definitely need to promptly seek a healthcare professional’s assessment of your shoulder.  An x-ray will show whether your shoulder has been dislocated and if any other bones have been fractured.  While you are waiting to get that professional help, here are two things you can do:

  • Ice the shoulder-this will reduce pain and swelling
  • Keep your shoulder from moving by immobilizing it-splint or sling the shoulder as it is to prevent any further damage to the tissues and blood vessels.  DO NOT TRY TO PUT IT BACK IN PLACE.

An orthopedic surgeon is who you want to be looking at those x-rays and diagnose your problems.  Dr. Bents and Dr. Van Horne have treated many of these over the years.  They have a combined 50+ years of experience and know exactly what is best for you.  They want to get you back to great health as soon as possible and their knowledge can reassure you that you’re getting the best care in Southern Oregon.  The Paragon Orthopedic Center in Grants Pass is very good at getting you in quickly for emergent situations such as these.  You can read more in this article from The Mayo Clinic about shoulder dislocations.

DVT and Orthopedic Surgery

One of the big risk factors when having orthopedic surgery is developing a deep vein thrombosis, or a DVT.  This is a blood clot that develops within a deep vein after surgery and can travel to places such as your lungs, causing great tissue damage, even death.  Both Dr. Bents and Dr. Van Horne have protocols for preventing deep vein thromboses.  Paragon Orthopedic Center considers it a priority to not only prevent them by having you take certain measures, but also to educate you about the symptoms so that if this does develop, you can seek treatment quickly.  No one knows why some develop them and others do not, but some people are more at risk for developing one.  The risk factors include:

  • Obesity, age, medical history, smoking, genetic factors, pregnancy, and certain medications.

The symptoms include:

  • Pain in your leg and/or calf, feeling like a cramp that won’t go away
  • Reddened/discolored/tender skin
  • The area is warm to the touch
  • Swelling of your thigh, calf, ankle, or foot

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons put a video together to help you understand more about DVT’s.  Find that here:

Always let your surgeon know if you have any concerns about a DVT.  Dr. Bents and Dr. Van Horne want you to have great surgical outcomes and our team at Paragon will troubleshoot all of your concerns.