Paragon Press – February 2014

What is PRP?

There is a new therapy that is utilized to relieve pain from tendon injuries or osteoarthritis. This amazing new option does not require surgery and takes under an hour to complete. It is called Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP as it is known. Paragon Orthopedic Center has been performing these injections for over 4 years and has seen great success in pain relief. We have injected over 400 patients with PRP, ranging from high school and college athletes to patients in their 70’s. If you or someone you know endures chronic tendonitis, slow healing injuries or certain forms of osteoarthritis, this might be a great solution. Another benefit of this therapy is that it allows the body to begin healing more quickly. Want to know more? Continue reading to further understand this innovative technique.

How Is It Done?

PRP injections are performed in one of our examination rooms, using the ultrasound machine to guide the injection into the damaged tendon or joint space. First, the patient’s blood is drawn by our trained technicians. This blood is placed in a special centrifuge and the platelets are separated from the other blood components, taking about 15 minutes. Only platelets are needed because they are what aid in the healing process by binding together when they recognize injury within the body. This is called platelet-rich plasma (PRP). With the aid of an ultrasound machine, this PRP is injected back into the damaged tissue.

Then What?

Patients must rest that area for 2 weeks in order to allow the platelets to work in that injection area. The platelets release special growth factors that stimulate the regeneration of the blood vessels and new tissue during this time. After this rest period, physical therapy is suggested for 6 weeks. Dr. Bents likes to see his patients at 2 and 6 weeks after the injection for evaluation. Certain patients require more than one injection before they see improvement. The majority of patients find that they are able to return to their pre-injury activities with excellent pain relief.

Am I a Candidate?

The most common condition that responds well to PRP is rotator cuff tendonitis. We have also had excellent success with lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow) and Achilles tendonitis. Patients who have moderate arthritis in the knee, hip, or shoulder may be candidates as well. There have been studies showing up to 12 months of relief from PRP injections in knees with arthritis. This therapy is considered after other therapies have failed, such as anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and physical therapy.

What do I do if I want to give PRP a try?

Dr. Bents can perform injections in the office with an appointment. Call our office today to schedule an evaluation: 541-472-0604, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm.

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:

Paragon Press – January 2014

Happy New Year From Paragon Orthopedics!

NEWS FLASH-Let’s get that brain thinking and see how well you paid attention last year. Here is a 2013 review quiz of health and food news. See what you can remember.

1-In January, several European food companies were found to be fraudulently labeling what kind of meat as beef?
A) Horse, B) Llama, C) Squirrel, D) Pigeon

2-What ‘80’s throwback was the hottest health food of this year?
A) Pop Rocks, B) Spam, C) Crystal Pepsi, D) Chia Seeds

3-What was behind this year’s biggest food scare?
A) Corn, B) Cantaloupe, C) Bagged Salad, D) Eggs

4-This caused the major problems during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act:
A) Glitches in the Web Site, B) A Nurse’s Strike, C) Changing the name of Food Stamps to SNAP, D) Required Dental Coverage

5-The FDA took a step toward banning this:
A) 32-oz sodas, B) Trans Fats, C) High Fructose Corn Syrup, D) Cute characters that promote unhealthy food aimed at children

6-The FDA in November said that trans fats are no longer recognized safe. Companies have been moving away from trans fats for years. Which product still contains trans fats?
A) Sara Lee Cheesecakes, B) McDonald’s French Fries, C) Oreo Cookies,
D) Kellogg’s Pop Tarts

7-Federal regulators began scrutinizing:
A) E-Cigarettes, B) Medical Marijuana, C) Genetically Modified Foods, D) Moonshine

8-An outbreak of what caused a scare on two college campuses?
A) MRSA, B) Mononucleosis, C) Meningitis, D) Shingles

9-Which was not a new diet plan this year?
A) Paleo, B) Whole 30, C) Bullet Proof Diet, D) Ornish diet.

10-Which of these products was revived this year?
A) Apple Newtons, B) Planter’s Cheese Balls, C) Crystal Pepsi, D) Twinkies

11-US farmers in the heart of tobacco country are trying to grow which crop as demand for hummus explodes?
A) Corn, B) Chickpeas, C) Peppers, D) Lettuce

12-What percent of the world eats goat meat? Nearly:
A) 20%, B) 40%, C) 50%, or D) 70%

13– Which is NOT a new law to Oregon in 2014?
A) A law prohibits mothers from taking home their placentas at any time after giving birth. B) The minimum wage goes up $0.15, C) It is illegal to smoke in a car with kids, D) The maximum fine for texting while driving goes up from $250 to $500.



1-A Horse,
2-D Chia seeds. Chia seeds have gained attention as a good source of omega-3 fatty acid and fiber.
3-C Salad Mix. More than 600 people in 25 states and New York City became sick after eating food infected with a parasite called cyclospora. Public health officials in Iowa and Nebraska traced the infection to a salad mix.
4-A Glitches in the web site
. Also called Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act was rolled out at the end of 2013 and problems with the web site prevented many Americans from enrolling. Although the site was working better by December, glitches remained.
5-B Trans Fats
Also known as partially hydrogenated oils, the FDA should be making their final ruling on the ban on these oils in early 2014. If banned, the oils would be phased out over several years in foods such as frozen pizzas, microwave popcorn, premade doughs, and many store-bought baked goods.
6-A Sara Lee Cheesecakes.
7-A E-cigarettes These cigarettes have not been approved by the FDA for the use of turning chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. The FDA wants to regulate them like other nicotine products and say they may have toxic ingredients.
8-C Meningitis Most students recovered without problems, but one University of California student had both feet amputated. Symptoms include: fever with a rash, bad headaches, and neck stiffness.
9-B The Whole 30 All are diet fads, but the Whole30 Diet is new to 2013. It is basically an extremist “caveman” plan. While the strict plants and meat diet will surely spur weight loss by eliminating refined sugars, the diet is far from sustainable and is not designed to be that way. It sets up a yo-yo pattern of weight loss and weight gain.
10-D Twinkies All are products of the ‘80’s, but Twinkies returned to store shelves in July under new ownership after Hostess filed for bankruptcy.
11-B Chickpeas. This is the main ingredient in hummus.
12-D Nearly 70% of all red meat consumed globally is goat meat.
13-A A law prohibits mothers from taking home their placentas at any time after giving birth. A tricky question. This is exactly the opposite of the new 2014 law; mothers CAN take home their placentas after birth. All of the others are new laws for 2014.

These were tough questions, and even if you only got one or two correct, you hopefully had a little fun learning something.

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:,0,6753943.photogallery
Wall Street Journal, Thursday, December 26, 2014, p.B1

Paragon Press – December 2013

How many of these bone-depleting factors apply to you?

Stress & anxiety Sedentary lifestyle Nutrient deficiency Too much animal protein Hormonal imbalance High caffeine use Poor eating habits
Smoking Processed food Early menopause Some prescriptions Inadequate vegetable & fruit intake Lack of sleep Sugar
Ovary removal Hysterectomy Low sun exposure Inflammation Digestive weakness Dieting Underweight
Corticosteroids Excessive Cola drinks High salt intake High fat diet Alcohol/drug use Poor vitamin D intake Heavy metal exposure

All of these can deplete the strength of your bones, and it’s time you took an honest look at changes you can make. As you look at how many apply to you, consider that every one you eliminate is better for your bones. You could take on one or two as your 2014 New Year’s resolutions. It might mean not having a broken hip in the future, or a wrist fracture when you take a spill. Broken bones usually cause missed work days and major changes to daily living, so why not do all you can to prevent a break. Park farther away from the store’s doors, and take a healthy lunch to work, instead of picking up fast food. Drink milk instead of iced tea with dinner. Substitute a handful of almonds instead of that candy bar. Read up on how hormonal changes increase your need for calcium and talk to your doctor about this. Get control over your vices, whether they are alcohol, coffee, sugary snacks, or salty meals. To increase your chances of sticking with the changes you choose, make the healthier choices gradually and a part of your daily life, so that these choices become habits. Don’t quit coffee altogether, but cut down on your daily intake. Hopefully, you’ll never know the fracture you could have had.

When you make diet changes remember the foods that are HIGH IN CALCIUM.
Cheese • Orange Juice fortified with Calcium • Dark, Leafy Greens • Tofu • Soybeans • Milk
Cereals fortified with Calcium • Yogurt • Enriched breads

Do you have healthy feet? While you might eat a healthy diet, exercise routinely, and educate yourself on a healthy lifestyle, this question might be tough to answer. High heels, worn out workout shoes, and shoes with little support can lead to stress on the feet that affects other parts of the body. Did you ever consider that those $5 flipflops offer no support, possibly leading to muscle strain and lower back pain? High heels can shift your weight so that you are stressing your hips and back. You might be wondering why your back has been so sore when the answer has been on your feet.

A current health trend is for “minimalist shoes,” and while some studies show they have benefits, you do not want to jump into a pair and hit the road for marathon training. If you are used to wearing a bulky shoe, the shoe is doing the work and your body will not be ready to take on that load immediately. A minimalist shoe allows the foot, ankle, and lower leg to do the support work and stability when your body is in motion.


Paragon Press – November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Paragon Orthopedics!

Which Is Healthier?

The holidays are upon us and many of those celebrations revolve around food in one way or another. Are you hoping make healthier choices from the buffet table? Here is a short quiz to see if you can spot which choice is better for you.

Cow’s Milk vs. Soy Milk

Winner: Cow’s milk because it has more calcium and protein than soy milk. Also, sugar is added to soy milk to help it taste better. Unless you are lactose intolerant, 1% or skim milk is a better choice.

Jam vs. Jelly

Winner: Jam because it is made with actual fruit. Jelly is made with fruit juice and sugar. Jams also have added sugar, but at least there is a little vitamin C in it.

Steel-cut oats vs. rolled oats

Winner: It’s a tie. Both have nearly identical nutritional value. Don’t believe there is less nutrition to rolled oats because they are not raw, like steel-cut.

Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt

Winner: Greek yogurt because it is higher in protein, has about half of the carbohydrates as regular, and less sugar per ounce. Watch what you stir into that Greek yogurt! Regular yogurt is the winner for calcium content, so if your main concern is calcium, stick with regular.

Multigrain vs. Whole Grain products

Winner: Whole grain. A product that is multigrain has more than one type of grain, but not necessarily whole grains. You might see “Seven Grains” and this is an example of multigrain. You want whole grains because they contain all parts of the grain kernel, making them more nutritious. Whole grains are good sources of B vitamins and fiber.

Iceberg vs. Romaine Lettuce

Winner: Romaine. It has huge doses of vitamins A and K. Red Leaf lettuce comes in a close second, but Iceberg is 96% water and has the least nutrition out of all the choices of greens in a salad bar. Spinach also packs a nutritional punch with loads of vitamin A and K, as well.

Turkey burgers vs. hamburgers

It’s a tie. Turkey burgers are lower in calories, fat (especially saturated), and higher in calcium, but hamburgers have more protein and potassium. Surprisingly, hamburgers are lower in cholesterol when compared to 85% lean turkey burgers.

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:

Paragon Press – October 2013


Paragon Orthopedic Center is introducing the Paragon Patient Portal to make your orthopedic care easier to manage. This easy online service gives you access to your medical records, Paragon forms and paperwork, and prescription refills, all from your home computer. Getting yourself set up is a simple process that is clearly and easily laid out for you in one of our brochures. This Portal is a secure site, so you can be reassured that your patient information is safe and remains absolutely private.

With the Patient Portal you can:

  • Request appointments
  • Request prescription refills
  • Send secure messages to the office staff
  • Request your health record
  • Receive test results
  • Do paperwork for your appointment
  • Pay your bill online
  • Get appointment reminders and notifications via text!

Paragon has brochures available in the clinic to help you get started on the Portal and we are always available to answer questions. Manage your care at your convenience, in the comfort of your home, saving time, gas, and paper. Stop by today and discover how easy your orthopedic care at Paragon Orthopedics can be.

Did you know laughter can boost your immunity? It decreases your levels of stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Your body releases endorphins when you laugh, which can promote an overall sense of well-being. Watch a few I Love Lucy episodes and laugh yourself healthy!

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:

Paragon Press – July 2013

Treating Scars

Look in the “skin care” aisle of your local store and you will find several offerings for scar treatment. Many of us have scars from mishaps or surgeries and when they appear in noticeable places, we want them to be gone. For most people, it’s difficult to know which remedies might be quack cures and which produce real results. Here is some information to help you understand scarring better and available treatments.

Scars are the result of abnormal formation of collagen in the skin after an injury.

Keeping the wound moist is key. Letting the wound form a scab will cause a worse-looking scar. Using plain old Vaseline under a BandAid is an easy and inexpensive way to keep it moist. If you are looking to use moisturizers, know that the more ingredients they have, the higher the chance of an allergic reaction. Also, keep the wound covered. Exposure to sun will worsen any discoloration of the wounded area and cause the tissue to thicken. Scars are very sensitive, so they brown quickly. This discoloration and tissue thickening make any sort of treatment more difficult. If the area is on your face, liberally apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50.

Most drugstore remedies do not have any effect on scars. Vitamin E is an ingredient in some scar-healing products. It’s known for properties that lessen inflammation, but it hasn’t been proven to do much for scars. When it works, it is likely the result of the moisturizing effect that simply keeps the skin hydrated. Some people develop allergic reactions or skin irritations to Vitamin E, thus making healing more difficult.
Onion extract is another ingredient found in drug store creams, but is not scientifically proven to help.
One over-the-counter product known to help is silicone. It is often found as an adhesive sheet that sticks to the scar. Some experts think this works on scars because of the pressure that is applied to the skin through the bandage. It’s a slow process when you use this product and can be very expensive, with estimates at $40/month. Silicone can require up to two full years of use for full healing, requiring patience and diligence.

None is a guaranteed cure. Stay away from folksy home remedies, such as rubbing lemons or onions on the scar. These can be irritating and kill the healthy cells. Honey is one home remedy that might be useful. It promotes healing, yet kills off other bacteria and fungi. This shouldn’t be considered superior to keeping the wound moist, however.

You can try massaging the scar: 1-after stitches have been removed, 2-after the scab has fallen off, and 3-there is no risk of reopening the wound. Scar massage can prevent scar tissue buildup, puckering of the skin at its edges, and help range of motion. For lubrication, use a quality lotion without added scent, like Nivea or Eucerin. Additives can cause skin irritation. Ask for guidance from your healthcare provider. Note that massage will not help old scars.

Laser therapy has been shown to help thick or red scars. Cortisone injections are used to flatten thick or raised scars. A certified Dermatologist can determine if either of these would be helpful. These can be expensive, sometimes up to $500 a treatment, and require more than one procedure for optimal results. With some scars, you might be replacing one scar with another that looks better if it cannot be eliminated, which can happen in with acne damage.
If you try any scar treatment and the area shows signs of infection, such as pain, redness, bleeding, tenderness, or drainage, consult your healthcare professional immediately.


The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:

Paragon Press – August 2013

Aspirin vs. Warfarin

By definition, a thromboembolism is the formation of a clot (thrombus) in a blood vessel that breaks loose and is carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel. Clots are potentially fatal risks of surgery, with the severity of the problem depending on where the thrombus travels. If you have had total joint surgery in the past 40 years, then you probably know what warfarin is. As the drug surgeons have used to prevent postoperative thromboembolism/clots, warfarin is effective, but has many side effects. The most notable side effect is bleeding, since warfarin interferes with your body’s ability to clot. It can be difficult to determine the proper amount for each patient because dosing is individualized. A recent study following 28,923 patients showed that aspirin may be a more effective prevention for clots than warfarin.

The study showed patients who were treated with aspirin had:

  • A lower incidence of pulmonary embolism (clot to the lungs)
  • A significantly lower DVT rate (clots)
  • Fewer wound-related problems
  • Shorter hospitalization time

The patients who received warfarin were more than six times more likely to develop an embolism to the lungs than one on aspirin. It is also important to note that using aspirin would be less expensive because there is less monitoring of your blood clotting. Regular clinic visits to monitor clotting are necessary while a patient is on warfarin, but not for aspirin. This research shows clear advantages to aspirin, but more study is needed for a definitive answer as to which drug is safest and best. Dr. Van Horne and Dr. Bents keep up with the most recent studies and will review what is best for you and your surgery.

Did you know that because of genetics, some people metabolize caffeine slowly, needing 8 hours to rid half of it from the body, while others need just 2 hours?

Quitting caffeine usually brings withdrawal symptoms that can last 2 to 9 days and doctors recommend you taper off gradually over 2 to 4 weeks to kick the habit.

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:
Wall Street Journal: Tuesday, June 11, 2013, D1

Paragon Press – June 2013

Keeping a balance as you age

No matter what your age

When Brian was in his 20s, he was fit and healthy. He rode his mountain bike and played basketball, although he didn’t think of that as exercise because it was just fun with his friends. Now Brian is in his 40s. He has a family, a full-time job that keeps him late at the office, and after a few spills on his bike, he can’t afford to be aggressive on the trails or the court. He wants to stay active and get exercise, but his outlook has matured.

As life changes, so does your body. Workout routines need to be reassessed throughout our lives, like a 401-k. You take less risk as you age and slow down a bit. Everyone experiences age-related decreases in function. The body decreases the maximal amount of oxygen it can use with age, known as VO2 max. This decreased ability to use oxygen begins in our 20’s and decreases more with age. Muscular strength beings its own descent by the time we reach 30. The majority of this loss in muscle strength occurs after the age of 50 and falls at a rate of 15% per decade. Women also deal with a loss of bone density. It decreases with age, but accelerates after menopause. All of these decreases remind us of our mortality, but we can age gracefully.

And Now For Some Better News

Aging is not for sissies. It’s a battle, but one that will improve your quality of life if you put some effort into it. Experts say the ideal combination of exercise as we get older should include a mix of aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercises. Some may find a lot of benefit from high-intensity workouts, but a less-rigorous workout can be just as effective, if done consistently. Dr. Bents suggests trying new exercises as we age to fit our lifestyle and body changes. Simple core exercises should be included in any fitness program, including full or partial squats, sit ups or crunches, planks, and shoulder/rotator cuff exercises.

Try something new: Zumba, yoga, CrossFit, circuit training, or P90X are examples. Tweak your routines as you get older to keep yourself active, interested, and fit. Get up and start moving!

Staying Balanced – Doing only one type of exercise can lead to muscle imbalance, leaving you prone to injury. Here are some suggestions for staying balanced.

Running – If running is something you’ve enjoyed over the years, you don’t need to stop as you age. Your body might need longer to recover. Try alternating the running with another activity, such as swimming or a rowing machine, to allow the joints and muscles to recover without the impact or overuse.

Swimming – Swimming is great for a cardiovascular workout and easy on the joints, but you need to incorporate weight-bearing exercise to prevent bone loss. Walking &/or running are good options. When swimming, try to spend an equal amount of time on your back while in the water to balance overall muscle conditioning and strength.

Cycling – Cycling mainly works the quadriceps. You need to maintain a balance with some other exercise such as an elliptical rider. Overly strong quadriceps can pull the kneecap to the side and create pain. Combining bicycling and running is a good combination to work a variety of muscles and prevent overuse. A stationary rowing machine also is helpful to achieve balance without pressure on the knees, if that is an issue.

Tennis – If you are right-handed, your right side is worked more than the left. Maintain balance with some resistance training, using dumbbells or therapy bands. Free weights force that weaker side to do more of the work, resulting in more balance of the muscles and less chance of injury.

You don’t work out? – No matter what your age, it’s never too late to get up and start moving. Walking doesn’t require a membership. No excuses. As we’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, having a friend join you is more fun and creates some accountability. You’re more likely to stick with any form of exercise when you have a friend join you. Start with something that sounds fun to get your heart pumping, like any of the exercises just described, keeping balance in mind. Incorporate a good core-building activity, such as Pilates or yoga. Exercise DVDs are another great option. They are cheaper than a health club membership, you don’t have to leave home, and you can do them at your own pace. With the incredible variety of DVD’s available today, from P90X to tai chi, everyone can find something they’re willing to try. They really do work and help you reach that goal to MOVE.

Finally, listen to your body. That sore hip or achy knee may be telling you to either slow down or not do as much. Remember how balancing your muscles can improve core strength and keep your body strong.

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:
Medford Mail Tribune newspaper, April 7th, 2013, Rebalance your workout as you age, Page 1

Paragon Press – May 2013


How companies are hooking you on foods and other sneaky things they do to sell them

“Words–so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become, in the hands of one who knows how to combine them!”
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Millions of dollars are spent on marketing research about how to sell products, using little to say more. Every word, every image is chosen very carefully to convey exactly what the company desires. Many people in advertising take courses in psychology. Business degree programs offer studies in consumer behavior. They want to know how to get inside your head, sometimes without you realizing it. They are appealing to basic psychological impulses.

Here are a few of the phrases most commonly used:

  • LIMITED TIME-creating a sense of urgency to purchase
  • BY INVITATION ONLY-making the product sound exclusive
  • FREE-creates the a positive feeling, but keep in mind, the seller still has to make money
  • NEW AND IMPROVED-something nobody else has done before now. Our nation loves innovation.
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE-studies show people rarely return items, but this promise is reassuring.
  • DOCTOR RECOMMENDED-using an educated, trustworthy figure

Another claim to be wary of is “organic.” People tend to react to this word illogically, thinking it has fewer calories and better nutrition. “Organic” refers to the methods used to produce the foods, not the characteristics of the food.

Recently, General Mills wanted to introduce two new snack bars. They chose the same word to advertise both of them: protein. It’s the new buzz word for many kinds of foods. It’s selling drinks, supplements, bars, and cereals. Marketing has helped you believe protein will help you be healthier, your kid to perform better at sports, or your husband to lose weight.

DID YOU KNOW? – An average adult needs about 50 grams of protein in a day, and about 30 grams of fiber a day.

Do we need all this protein? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the average American actually eats more protein than needed, which can result in excessive caloric intake.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the average adult should get 10%-35% of daily calories from protein. Take a look at your diet to see if you actually need that protein bar. You might be spending more on a high protein snack or breakfast food that provides no additional nutritional benefits than what you would normally eat.

Much of the protein being added is from processed soybeans that have had the carbohydrates and fat removed. While this becomes an inexpensive way to add protein, the taste can be chalky. Companies have added other textures to avoid this issue, such as nuts and dried fruit, to produce a chewier texture.

GIVE ME PROTEIN AND FIBER! – When we eat food that promises to be a good source of things we need, such as whole grains or protein, we feel better about ourselves, like we’ve made a smart, intelligent choice that will benefit our bodies. According to the senior vice president of food marketing and innovation for Kellogg’s, over half of consumers are looking for more protein and fiber for breakfast, rather than “low-fat” or “no cholesterol” choices. A food must contain at least 5 grams of protein per serving to be considered a “good source.” For reference, one cup of milk has 8 grams of protein and a 3-oz piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein. A food that claims to be high in fiber must have at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. For reference, a slice of whole wheat bread typically has 1.9 grams of fiber, and 1 cup of cooked green peas has 8 grams of fiber.

What does PROTEIN mean to you? – Packaged food companies have these interpretations of its meanings. These assumptions help them sell their products. Be careful of how they might be targeting you and your family.

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:
Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, March 27, 2013, “When the Box Says ‘Protein,’ Shoppers Say ‘I’ll Take It’