Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dr. Burgess: Protect you and your Children from Injury this Fourth of July Holiday

Protect you and your Children from Injury this Fourth of July Holiday!

Celebrating our Independence with a Boom has been a tradition for many families for years over the July 4th Holiday season.  Unfortunately every year thousands of children and adults are needlessly injured by not following basic fireworks safety tips. With the proper respect fireworks deserve, everyone can safely enjoy the show.

Children are most frequently injured by fireworks.  Most are under the age of 15.  You may think firecrackers or other types of explosive or rocket variety fireworks are most responsible for their injuries.  In fact, the biggest risk of injury comes from sparklers.  Sparklers account for roughly 16% of all firework related injuries.  If you consider children alone, sparklers account for about 1/3 of all injuries and over half of the injuries to children under 5.

In order to prevent children from being injured by sparklers, it is important to consider following some very simple safety tips.

1.   Never let children handle, light or play with sparklers without adult supervision.
2.   Dont let your child handle or light more than one sparkler at a time.
3.   Dont pass of a lit sparkler to someone else, have them hold the unlit sparkler while you light it.
4.   Dont hold your child in your arms while you or the child is using sparklers.
5.   Keep your distance: its recommended children stay at least 6 feet apart from one another while handling sparklers.
6.   Instruct your child to hold the sparkler away from their body keeping them at arms length.
7.   Avoid waving the sparklers wildly through the air as children frequently lose hold of the sparkler causing injury to themselves or others around them.
8.   Wear proper clothing and footwear.  Many injuries occur when an burnt out sparkler is dropped on the ground causing foot burns or puncture wounds from stepping on them.
9.   Once the sparkler flame goes out, the metal rod should be dropped directly into a bucket of water.  The extinguished sparkler and metal rod remain hot for a long time.
10.         Keep your fireworks out of the reach of children.  Lock them up.  Kids are creative and can easily find a source of fire to ignite fireworks, i.e. a lit candle.

Above all, use common sense, pay attention to children, and if alcohol is involved in an adult party with children, designate someone to remain sober and responsible while any and all fireworks are in use.  Hopefully these simple tips can help you and your family avoid an unwanted trip to the emergency department, or worse yet, a permanent and disfiguring injury. 

The Hand Surgeons at TOCA, as well as the rest of the Physicians and Staff with you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate with pride, our Independence Day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Text Neck: Is Smartphone Use Causing Your Neck Pain?

Text Neck: Is Smartphone Use Causing Your Neck Pain?
Virtually unheard of two years ago, “text neck” is a repetitive strain injury that’s becoming more common as more people hunch over smartphones. Aggravating muscle pain in the neck and shoulders, and sometimes lower back, is occurring even in teens and adolescents.
How can using a smartphone or other mobile device cause so much hurt? It’s all in how you look at it. Literally. Looking down, dropping your head forward, changes the natural curvature of your neck. Over time, that misalignment can strain muscles and cause wear and tear on the structures of the neck.

Three things happen when you drop your head:
1. Your neck moves forward.
2. Your shoulders round forward or lift up toward your ears.
3. Your neck and shoulder muscles spasm (contract).
The hours that modern society spends in a flexed position continues to increase, with watching TV, computer use, driving and texting. We eat bent forward, drive in a flexed position, watch TV or movies in a cushioned chair that we sink into -
all pushing our spine into a flexed position. How often are we doing something in which we actually look up?

What can be done to correct these problems?
The great news is that many cases can be alleviated. A physical therapist can help. Correction involves changing the root cause of the symptoms, such as postural correction, chair change or changing driving position. This may also include stretching the chest and front of the neck, and strengthening of the upper back. Cervical traction may also help with disk-related symptoms. Soft tissue mobilization and stretches may help tight muscles relax. lt does take a lot of work to change long-term habits.

Three tricks to nix text neck
To nix text neck, improve your posture:
1. Straighten up. Learn proper posture and neck alignment by peeking at your profile in a mirror. If you’re standing correctly, you should be able to draw a vertical line from your ear to your shoulder.
2. Arch back. If your posture isn't perfect, try doing shoulder extensions. Arch your neck and upper back backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This simple stretch can alleviate stress and muscle pain.
3. Look forward. Rather than tilting your chin down to read your mobile device, raise the device to eye level. The same goes for your desktop computer. Your monitor screen should be at eye level so your head isn't perpetually dropping and causing muscle strain.



Thursday, June 11, 2015

X-rays, CT Scans and MRIs oh my!

One of the more common questions asked by patients is what's the difference between X-ray, CT and MRI?

Diagnostic imaging techniques help narrow the causes of an injury or illness and ensure that the diagnosis is accurate. These techniques include X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

These imaging tools let your doctor "see" inside your body to get a "picture" of your bones, organs, muscles, tendons, nerves, and cartilage. This is a way the doctor can determine if there are any abnormalities.


X-rays (radiographs) are the most common and widely available diagnostic imaging technique. Even if you also need more sophisticated tests, you will probably get an X-ray first.

The part of your body being pictured is positioned between the X-ray machine and photographic film. You have to hold still while the machine briefly sends electromagnetic waves (radiation) through your body, exposing the film to reflect your internal structure. The level of radiation exposure from X-rays is not harmful, but your doctor will take special precautions if you are pregnant.

Bones, tumors and other dense matter appear white or light because they absorb the radiation. Less dense soft tissues and breaks in bone let radiation pass through, making these parts look darker on the X-ray film. Sometimes, to make certain organs stand out in the picture, you are asked given barium sulfate or a dye.

You will probably be X-rayed from several angles. If you have a fracture in one limb, your doctor may want a comparison X-ray of your uninjured limb. Your X-ray session will probably be finished in about 10 minutes. The images are ready quickly.

X-rays may not show as much detail as an image produced using newer, more powerful techniques.

Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed tomography (CT) is a modern imaging tool that combines X-rays with computer technology to produce a more detailed, cross-sectional image of your body. A CT scan lets your doctor see the size, shape, and position of structures that are deep inside your body, such as organs, tissues, or tumors. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before undergoing a CT scan.

You lie as motionless as possible on a table that slides into the center of the cylinder-like CT scanner. The process is painless. An X-ray tube slowly rotates around you, taking many pictures from all directions. A computer combines the images to produce a clear, two-dimensional view on a television screen.

You may need a CT scan if you have a problem with a small, bony structure or if you have severe trauma to the brain, spinal cord, chest, abdomen, or pelvis. As with a regular X-ray, sometimes you may be given barium sulfate or a dye to make certain parts of your body show up better.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another modern diagnostic imaging technique that produces cross-sectional images of your body. Unlike CT scans, MRI works without radiation. The MRI tool uses magnetic fields and a sophisticated computer to take high-resolution pictures of your bones and soft tissues. Tell your doctor if you have implants, metal clips, or other metal objects in your body before you undergo an MRI scan.

You lie as motionless as possible on a table that slides into the tube-shaped MRI scanner. The MRI creates a magnetic field around you and then pulses radio waves to the area of your body to be pictured. The radio waves cause your tissues to resonate.

A computer records the rate at which your body's various parts (tendons, ligaments, nerves, etc.) give off these vibrations, and translates the data into a detailed, two-dimensional picture. You will not feel any pain while undergoing an MRI, but the machine may be noisy.

An MRI may help your doctor to diagnose your torn knee ligaments and cartilage, torn rotator cuffs, herniated disks, hip and pelvic problems, and other problems. An MRI may take 30 to 90 minutes.



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dr. Evan Lederman: Named Top 20 North American Shoulder Surgeons of 2015!

Congratulations to Dr. Evan Lederman who has been named one of the Top 20 North American Shoulder Surgeons of 2015! 

Evan S. Lederman, M.D.

Dr. Lederman is an orthopedic surgeon and President of The Orthopedic Clinic Association (TOCA) in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also Chief of the Shoulder Service for the Banner Good Samaritan Orthopedic Sports Medicine Fellowship and Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Arizona. “Evan has developed innovative shoulder arthroplasty designs and techniques, excelled as a teacher of residents, fellows, and his peers, and has been a leader in his community for shoulder care.” - Orthopedics This Week: 20 of the Top North American Shoulder Surgeons: 2015 Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed.


Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1-7: Hand Therapy Week!

Happy June 1st! This week is National Hand Therapy Week. 

What is a Hand Therapist?
A hand therapist is an occupational or physical therapist who, through advanced continuing education, clinical experience and integration of knowledge in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, has become proficient in treatment of pathological upper extremity conditions resulting from trauma, disease, congenital or acquired deformity. A hand therapist may achieve advanced certification as a certified hand therapist (CHT). To obtain the CHT credential, a therapist must practice for a minimum of five years, accumulating at least 4,000 hours of treatment for hand and upper extremity disorders. Certified hand therapists must also pass a rigorous certification exam to demonstrate their competency in the practice of hand therapy.

What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). Hand therapy uses a number of therapeutic interventions to help return a person to their highest level of function. It evolved from the need for a specialist with the knowledge and experience required to manage the challenging recovery of complex hand and upper extremity injuries 

What Can a Hand Therapist Do for Me?
Hand therapists bridge the gap from medical management of upper extremity conditions to successful recovery, allowing individuals to function normally in their daily lives. Hand therapists provide non-operative interventions, preventative care and post-surgical rehabilitation for a wide variety of upper extremity disorders, from simple fingertip injuries to complex replanted extremities. Patients with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, or neurologic conditions, such as a stroke, can benefit from hand therapy through education on joint protection and energy conservation, and with recommendations for adaptive equipment or devices to improve function. A hand therapist employs a variety of techniques and tools, including activity and exercise programs, custom orthotic fabrication, management of pain and swelling and wound and scar care. A hand therapist can also be a consultant in the industrial world, training employees in healthy work habits.

Hand Therapy at TOCA

The TOCA Upper Extremity and Hand Therapists (Certified Hand Therapists) provide services that improve function, increase motion, relieve pain, increase independence in activities of daily living, increase strength and dexterity for return to home, sports or work.

TOCA's Hand Therapists work with individuals of all ages with a variety of injuries or conditions. Their areas of expertise involve evaluation, treatment and custom splinting of the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.

Hand Therapy is a type of rehabilitation performed by an occupational or physical therapist on patients with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities. Such therapy is performed by a provider with a high degree of specialization that requires continuing education, and often advanced certification. This enables the hand therapist to work with patients to hasten their return to a productive lifestyle.

To find a TOCA Hand Therapist near you call 602-277-6211 or visit: