Viewpoints

Latest views, polls and opinions on orthopaedic and musculoskeletal health topics from members of the Orthogate Community.

Are patients taking their prescription medicines just as the doctor ordered? Turns out, chances are high they are not. A 2011 report in Mayo Clinic Proceedings estimated that a shocking 50% of patients with chronic illness don’t take their medicines as prescribed. Long-term pharmacotherapy plays a significant role in helping combat disease, reduce health resource consumption, and lower hospitalization and mortality risk, however, the benefits of this type of medical intervention are largely missed due to poor medicine adherence.  

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Treating a patient for a foot or leg injury? Being unable to bear weight due to a sprained or broken ankle, foot injury, knee or lower leg issue, or because a patient is recovering from surgery, often requires a prescription for crutches from the doctor. An estimated 7+ million people use crutches every year for short and longer term mobility issues, making them one of, if not the most, prescribed orthotic aid. Rates of crutch injuries aren’t well quantified, but a 2014 systematic literature review revealed that over 70% of crutch complications develop from the use of axillary crutches.

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Many practitioners immediately associate back pain, particularly in the lumbar spine area, with muscle injuries due to overexertion. A brief patient interview regarding physical activity usually confirms this diagnosis, as almost everyone is guilty of overexertion, whether it be a sudden spike in activity or consistent, though lower-intensity, overuse over a long period of time.

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Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control illumines an alarming rate of hip fractures in the U.S. An estimated 300,000 adults over 65 experience a hip fracture each year, with over 95% of those being caused by a fall. Women are 3 to 4x as likely as men to experience a hip fracture in part because they have greater rates of osteoporosis and are more likely to fall. Hip fractures create a grave and potentially devastating situation for older adults. Not only is overall physical health and mobility negatively affected by a hip fracture, but risk of infection, cognitive decline, social isolation, and financial burden become mounting challenges as well. In many cases, hip fractures are the beginning domino to fall in a series of events that leads to death.

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From treating patients in a primary health centre in the remote village in Pune,India where the nearest road was 12 kms away with no proper water or electricity to one of the biggest Hospital Chains in Germany. The experience has been so stimulating.  I am willing to share my experience with you...know from the eyes of a doctor, how life looks at both the extremes.

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The face of medicine is changing. However, surgical subspecialties are a little slower to catch up. Orthopaedic surgery has one of the lowest percentages of females within a medical specialty in the United States. It is both rewarding and frustrating at the same time, but I love what I do!

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All pharma companies that produce and sell drugs and medical devices recently became required by law to disclose the amount of money they pay to doctors and teaching hospitals for promotional talks, research and consulting. This infogrpahic takes a closer look at the numbers and dollars, the main players and the impact this industry has on our health and our wallets.

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Surgical stockings are useful aids to help patients feel comfortable during their recovery period following surgery. There are many different types of these solutions — with compression stockings being among the most effective.

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Should joint replacement manufactures provide a warranty for their products? It seems pretty logical since most consumer products come with some sort of warranty these days. Basic warranties are almost universally provided and the market for extended warranties is increasingly popular. Take for instance my recent upgrade to the new iPhone 5s. At the time of purchase, the AT&T store suggested their extended warranty above and beyond Apple’s provided warranty. For a small amount of money, my phone is now protected from all kinds of disasters (for a limited time, of course).

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The systems based approach to medicine is abandoned for the ideal that the body is one interconnected unit in osteopathic medicine. Medical specialist of certain anatomical regions of the body should not be the sole individuals to care for pathology in those particular organ systems. Although D.O.s do exist who are specialist in certain organ systems in the body, the cohesiveness of the body as one intricate unit remains paramount in their clinical training and daily patient treatment.

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