Strong & Steady


Orthopedic surgeon offers new life to injured knees and ankles with advanced technology

Brace yourself. That’s something we might say to ourselves—or someone we care about—to help face a bump in the road with strength and resilience.

When that hard knock is a knee or ankle injury, orthopedic surgeon Roddy McGee, DO, is offering his patients a super-strong internal brace. This innovative technique helps people bounce back quicker—and with less discomfort—from injuries.

Dr. McGee uses this internal bracing technique to repair common sports related mishaps, including ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries in knees, Achilles tendon ruptures in ankles, and elbow injuries.

With this internal bracing technique, surgeons can use smaller incisions, so there’s less pain and swelling. “The faster recovery times mean you can return to an active life quicker,” Dr. McGee says. “The internal brace is a super-strong suture material that repairs the injury, provides temporary stability during healing, and is anchored into the bone. The plastic anchor eventually dissolves.”

From tattered and torn to strong and steady. If you’re a sports fan, you know that many knee injuries involve the ACL, the smallest of the four main ligaments in the knee. It is the main stabilizing ligament in the center of the knee. It keeps your shinbone (tibia) from sliding forward and rotating on your thighbone (femur).

Treatment for ACL injuries is typically reconstruction, often using tendons from other places in the body. By using the internal brace technique, surgeons can offer additional strength and support to the reconstructed ligament. It stabilizes the ligament, helping it heal at an appropriate length. It accelerates recovery—allowing people to walk more naturally and return to their activities sooner.

‘I knew what happened immediately’

Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body, connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. You need it for walking, running, and jumping. It’s strong, but it can still be vulnerable to painful injuries in both professional and recreational athletes.

Just ask Casey Craven. In February 2017, Casey was trying out for a regional level of American Ninja Warrior when his Achilles gave out in a painful and dramatic way.

“I was on the last obstacle, the 18-foot warped wall, when it popped. I knew what happened immediately,” Casey says. “It was an intense pain that felt like someone hit me in the back of the calf with a baseball bat.”

Dr. McGee repaired Casey’s Achilles with the internal brace technique. As with ACL repairs, internal bracing offers added stability—through a single small incision. Several sets of strong sutures tie together the ends of the tendon. This internal infrastructure braces the tendon during healing. Again, the result is less pain and a speedier recovery.

“Previous repair techniques would require the patient to be in a cast for six months,” Dr. McGee says. With the internal brace technique, patients typically recover much more quickly, he says.

Casey wore a boot for four weeks before he went back to his job as an operating room technician—and to his athletic pursuits, as well. He hasn’t had a problem since, even doing strenuous workouts, he says.

One coach’s game plan: Get it done!

A kinder and custom approach to knee replacement

Sam Thomas, baseball coach at Las Vegas High School, knows how important having the right equipment is to sports success. For him, that includes two custom knee implants.

When Sam first considered knee replacement at the age of 52 to relieve the pain of  osteoarthritis, he thought maybe he was too young. He’d heard he should wait until he was at least 55.

But advances in total knee replacement convinced him otherwise, and today he’s really happy with his custom implants. He got his right knee replaced in June 2015—and then his left in August 2017.

A perfect fit

In the past, orthopedic surgeons had to rely on “off-the-shelf” knee implants from a range of standard sizes, says Roddy McGee, DO. That required surgeons to adjust the bones in the joint to fit the implant. Today, Dr. McGee uses implants that are customized specifically for the patient—the ConforMIS customized knee implant.

How does it work? A CT scan of the patient’s knee is converted to a 3-D model. It’s used to design an implant to match the knee precisely. The custom fit follows the shape and contour of each patient’s knee—so the bone doesn’t have to be altered as much to make it fit. After surgery, these custom knees feel more natural and cause less pain than standard implants.

Sam’s advice? “Don’t wait—get it done,” he says. “Less bone is being removed, so even if I do have to have a knee replacement again sometime in the future, I’d feel very comfortable doing it. In fact, the second replacement actually felt better quicker than the first.”

Move forward with confidence. Find an orthopedic surgeon who does custom knee replacements at St. Rose Dominican by calling 702.616.4900.

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Better days ahead – 5 steps to less pain

If you’re coping with a bout of lower back pain—or living with nagging arthritis pain—you need help to ease the hurt.

Easy does it

Here are some strategies when seeking pain relief. It’s often about finding what works best for you.

  1. Try an over-the-counter pain reliever. Acetaminophen and aspirin can help relieve pain. Ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce swelling in the affected area.

    Check with your doctor about which type of pain reliever is right for you—and only take pain relievers as directed.

  2. Apply cold or heat. Try alternating hot and cold packs. Heat—such as warm baths, hot towels, or heating pads—can help with stiffness and muscle spasms, while cold packs reduce swelling.
  3. Keep moving. Staying active—as long as it doesn’t make the pain worse—may be a plus. For example, with back pain, movement helps keep blood flowing to the affected area, which reduces inflammation and keeps the muscles from tensing up.
  4. Explore your options. Be sure to see your doctor if your pain is severe or worsening. Discuss other ways to help manage your pain, such as with physical therapy, massage, and acupuncture.

    Also see your doctor if you have symptoms in addition to pain, such as numbness, tingling, trouble urinating, or unexplained weight loss.

  5. Stay in touch. Let your doctor know what’s helping, what’s not, and how pain is affecting your daily life.

Take care of yourself

Pain relief works best when you stay positive and take careof yourself. Make it a priority to:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Take time to relax
  • Count your blessings

 

 

Get Heart Healthy – One Day at A Time

The human heart is complex. Keeping yours healthy doesn’t have to be! “Making simple changes each day can help keep your heart healthy and strong,” says Andrew M. Ayers, MD, MBA, a licensed interventional cardiologist who practices at Dignity Health–St. Rose Dominican.

Where should you start? Dr. Ayers suggests focusing on small, everyday choices that can help you improve your diet, pump up your exercise routine, manage your weight, and relieve stress.

Where to begin? Try following this day-by-day plan for a heart-healthy week. These doable steps can inspire you to keep up the momentum and keep your heart healthy!

Monday

Go meatless. You’ll reduce your overall saturated fat intake, which can help prevent heart attacks and other problems. Look to beans, lentils, tofu, or unsalted nuts to replace meat in your favorite dishes.

Tuesday

Say “so long” to sugary beverages. They’re high in calories—and often low in nutrients— which add empty calories to your diet. Quench your thirst with water or another sugar-free beverage.

Wednesday

Take 10. A 10-minute walk, that is. Even this small burst of activity can  help your heart. Walk briskly enough to increase your breathing and heart rate. Then build on your success. A good goal: Walking for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

Thursday

Lighten up a little. If you’re a milk drinker, go from whole milk to low-fat—or even nonfat. You’ll get all the benefits of milk, like vitamin D and calcium, without the potentially artery clogging saturated fat.

Friday

Try something fishy. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps improve heart health. Aim for two servings of heart-healthy fish each week. (A serving is about 3. ounces.) Salmon, trout, and herring are great choices.

Saturday

Give yourself permission to relax. Set aside at least 15 minutes to just sit quietly and breathe deeply. Imagine your stress seeping away. Finding healthy ways to manage stress can help keep your blood pressure in check.

Sunday

Draw up next week’s plan. What new healthy habits can you work into your life?

For more inspiration, visit StRoseReach.org. We’ve got heart-smart articles, recipes, health tools, and more.

 

Dignity Health – Best Place to Interview

 

Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, ranked Dignity Health first among the 100 winners of its annual Candidate’s Choice Awards, honoring the Best Places to Interview in 2017 according to those who know best—the candidates.

Among all U.S. companies considered, Dignity Health received an impressive overall interview experience rating of 93 percent based on positive interview experience ratings, interview duration, and level of interview difficulty shared on Glassdoor throughout the past year. This rating is higher than any other listed company, and is a testament to the passion we bring to our ministry each day, and the way we share that passion with candidates.

Glassdoor noted several themes in candidates’ feedback that led to Dignity Health receiving the top spot on the Best Places to Interview list. Our interviewers often set clear expectations, shared useful information about the role, asked a range of questions—from related experience to how to handle specific situations—and allowed for open questions from candidates.

As Glassdoor’s chief human resources officer said: “The interview process is the gateway experience that employers have with a candidate, and you only get one chance to make a great first impression. It’s no easy task, but employers who get this right will have the recruiting and business advantage.”

We are honored by this award because we believe in demonstrating humankindness in all that we do, especially in our conversations with prospective team members. In the last year, we have implemented a behavioral based interview process, manager training, and standardized job descriptions for non-represented employees. This new approach helps us pinpoint consistent technical competencies, as well as cultural fit and an applicant’s commitment to our patients.

At Dignity Health, we want team members who share our belief that humankindness holds the power to heal and can guide our patients through their healing process.

Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Interview in 2017 list features winning employers across diverse industries spanning health care, business services, technology, retail, aerospace and defense, and more. For more information, visit Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Interview.

 

Dignity Health Nevada and Select Medical to Build Acute Rehab Hospital in Las Vegas

A joint venture agreement between Dignity Health and Select Medical Corporation has been made to construct and operate a 60-bed acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the Las Vegas area.  The new hospital, expected to open in 2018, will be built directly adjacent to the existing St. Rose Dominican Siena Campus, the largest hospital in Henderson.  Select Medical is the majority owner in the joint venture and will manage operations of the new hospital.  The agreement also includes joint operation of 12 outpatient rehabilitation clinics in the Las Vegas market, including 11 existing Select Medical locations and one Dignity Health center.

Nationally, Select Medical operates 20 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and more than 100 hospitals specializing in long-term acute care, as well as approximately 1,600 outpatient rehabilitation centers and more than 300 occupational medicine centers through its Concentra subsidiary.

“We are thrilled to partner with Dignity Health to provide an exceptional patient care experience for those needing physical and cognitive functional recovery throughout the region,” said Select Medical Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital Division President Jeffrey Ruskan.  “Our clinical leadership and outcomes in rehabilitation combined with Dignity Health’s reputation of providing outstanding system-wide care is a powerful partnership.  Together, we will deliver top-notch inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services for patients as they strive to restore strength and independence in activities of daily living.”

The Select Medical partnership enables St. Rose to grow its diverse package of health services to include care for patients who have experienced a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, neurological condition, amputation, orthopedic injury or have other rehabilitation needs.

“This joint venture brings together two health care providers that are committed to excellent patient care,” said Brian Brannman, senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health in Nevada.  “For patients being treated in one of our hospitals, the partnership with Select Medical will make additional long-term medical and rehabilitation resources available to help them return to a full, healthy life.”

Young athletes: Cheer them on to safety

February 3, 2017 Leave a comment

Every kid is a winner when it comes to playing sports. Game time can boost a youngster’s social skills and selfconfidence, while providing plenty of healthy exercise that’s also a lot of fun.

But every sport poses at least some risks. As a parent, you can work with coaches and your young athlete to help reduce these risks.

Stay off the injured list. To help your child score in safety, Emily Peterson, DO, FAAP, a pediatrician at Dignity Health Medical Group’s Henderson location, suggests the following:

ASK QUESTIONS. Learn what your child’s sports program is doing to prevent and respond to injuries, such as ensuring conditioning for players and safety training for coaches.

SCHEDULE A PHYSICAL. A preseason exam from a doctor will help confirm that your youngster is healthy enough to play.

GET EQUIPPED. Depending on the sport, a helmet, body padding, mouthguards or shinguards, eye protection, and proper shoes may be needed.

PLAY BY THE RULES. From football to soccer, many sports have rules designed to prevent injuries. Make sure your child knows—and follows—them.

BEAT THE HEAT. Give your child a water bottle—and encourage frequent drinking.

WARM UP. Encourage warm-up exercises before and cooldown exercises after both practices and games.

TAKE CONCUSSIONS SERIOUSLY. In general, players shouldn’t get back in the game until medically evaluated and cleared to play.

ENCOURAGE REST. Athletes need breaks in between seasons and during practices and games.

SPEAK UP. Teach your child to speak up if he or she is sick or hurt. And remember to check with your child’s doctor if you suspect an injury.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; National Institutes of Health; Safe Kids Worldwide

Take 10: Short workouts can really work

January 27, 2017 Leave a comment

“Not enough time.” That’s a common lament – especially when it comes to exercise. But with minor tweaks to your schedule, the benefits of exercise can be yours if you simply take it 10 minutes at a time.

Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. Weight loss, better sleep, and lower risk for heart disease are all compelling reasons to be active. And as long as your weekly total is 150 minutes, exercising in 10-minute increments (that’s only three times each weekday) is as effective as doing longer workouts.

Where to find openings for three 10-minute activity breaks? Try looking here:

Morning
Time your commute on public transportation so you can get off early for a brisk walk. If you drive to work, walk through a park near your office or park as far away from the entrance as possible.

Noon
Spend the last 10 minutes of your lunch hour climbing up and down the stairs.

Evening
Repeat your morning routine, and boom! You’ve done your time for today!

Sources: American College of Sports Medicine; American Council on Exercise

 

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