Archive for June, 2016

Back to the Life She Loves

After injuring her right knee, Linda Faiss tried everything her physicians initially suggested to relieve the pain in her knee. But nothing seemed to help.

“I was still basically hobbling around,” she says. “I couldn’t do many of the things I love, including walking my very large dogs—Kodiak, a 90-pound Malamute mix, and Riley, a 55-pound Australian Shepherd.”

Considering surgery

Linda Faiss and Roger Fontes MD- 12RT SMALL

Linda Faiss and Roger Fontes, MD

Linda consulted board-certified orthopedic surgeon  Roger Fontes, MD, to learn more about her options. Dr. Fontes recommended a partial knee replacement. He felt Linda was a very good candidate for the procedure because the iUni® unicompartmental knee implant he uses is custom fit to each patient’s exact bone structure.

“The iUni® implant allows us to preserve the parts of the knee that are not damaged,” he says. “It actually mimics the natural shape of the knee, which gives your knee the potential to feel and move more naturally.”

Giving it her all
Linda was determined to “do everything right,” she says. So she did what’s called “prehabilitation” to strengthen the muscles around her knee before her surgery.

Afterward, she was all in, too. She rode a stationary bike and swam every day. “The first time I tried the bike, I could barely make one rotation,” she says. “But I would crank up Donna Summer’s song ‘She Works Hard for the Money’ and pump away.”

Linda’s drive—and her new custom knee—have given her back her active life. It was just over five months after her surgery that Linda was able to take a 5-mile hike up to
Sloan Canyon.

A custom fit for success


Robert Tait, MD

Linda and Dr. Fontes aren’t alone in their appreciation of partial knee replacement. Robert Tait, MD, another board-certified orthopedic surgeon at St. Rose Dominican, agrees that not everyone needs their entire knee replaced. “If you only have damage to one compartment of the knee, a total knee replacement may not be the best option,” he says. “As patients are becoming and staying more active, the interest in the bone- and tissue-sparing partial knee replacements has increased dramatically.”

When Dr. Tait first saw the design features of the implant, he said, “this was the first thing I had seen in 20 years that held out the hope that we could improve long-term patient satisfaction.”

And he’s been pleased with the results. With the iUni® implant, it’s now routine to have patients come back after six weeks with full range of motion in their knees and off any pain medication, he says.


Robert Grondel, MD

Robert Grondel, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, also performs partial knee replacements at St. Rose Dominican and recommends the procedure when he knows it will benefit his patients. “Since the iUni® implant is custom-made for each of my patients, it reduces the amount of bone preparation I need to do to make the implant fit. This preserves more of the patient’s natural knee and results in more natural function.”

To find an orthopedic surgeon who performs the Conformis iUni® procedure at St. Rose Dominican, call 702.616.4900.

Categories: Siena

The Big Sneeze

Flower copyThe nose knows when seasonal allergies—or allergic rhinitis—come to call in southern Nevada. This very common condition affects 40 percent of U.S. kids and 30 percent of adults, causing  inflammation inside the nose—and those telltale signs of sneezing, itching, dripping, and congestion.

Invasion alert

It all starts with the body’s immune response to an allergen, such as pollen. The immune system tries to fight the foreign invader. Part of that reaction is the release of a substance called histamine—the trigger of those pesky (and often persistent) nasal symptoms, such as sneezing and nasal congestion. Other symptoms can crop up, too, such as:

  • Itchy, watery, red, or swollen eyes.
  • Sinus pressure and headaches
  • Scratchy throat.
  • Hives
  • Eczema

“Many residents here in the desert are surprised when they get seasonal allergies,” says Sean McKnight, MD, a board-certified Sean McKnight, MD, a Board-certified allergist and
clinical immunologist who specializes in treating allergies, asthma, and immunology conditions. “But we actually have long allergy seasons because of our warm climate. Spring allergies run rampant in the Las Vegas valley from March through June, with the main culprits being pollen from mulberry and olive trees. Then once the heat of the summer is over, we get another round when we experience our second allergy season in September and October.”

“Interestingly,” Dr. McKnight continues, “many of the allergen producing plants in Las Vegas are not native to the area. Rather, they are plants and trees brought in from other areas by our residents.”

Treat the sneeze

Several methods can help combat allergic rhinitis—and it often takes a combination to get symptoms under control. The first step is to figure out  what allergen is causing the problem (your doctor can help with that) and then do your best to avoid it. You can also:

  • Rinse your nasal passages with saline solution or use a saline spray to help rid your nose of allergens.
  • Try over-the-counter or prescription medications.
  • Consider allergy shots (immunotherapy). Given over a period of time (usually 3 to 5 years), immunotherapy actually modifies the immune system, helping reduce sensitivity to an allergen. Effective in 85 percent of patients, it reduces or even eliminates symptoms and can be a good option when medications aren’t providing relief.

Learn more about allergies at
Sources: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; National Institutes of Health

Categories: Siena
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