Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Tag » Kagan Ortho

Choosing The Right Orthopedic Surgeon – 4 Things To Know

Choosing the right doctor is an important part of your treatment process, especially if you’re looking for a orthopedic specialist. But how do you make the decision about which physician is best? Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

1. Check The Doctor’s Educational Background

The first step in learning more about the doctor’s qualifications is to ask about education and training, which includes medical school, internship and residency training. The surgeon should also be board-certified, which means he or she has achieved a certain level of expertise by passing a rigorous national examination and demonstrating in-depth knowledge in a particular specialty. In addition, ask about ongoing training and certification, which ensures that the doctor values staying at the forefront of advances, such as minimally invasive and computer-assisted techniques.

2. Ask About Expertise

How do you determine the doctor’s level of expertise? Years of experience in practice is one indication. Just as important is how often the doctor performs the particular type of procedure that you are considering. Practice makes perfect. The more frequently the doctor undertakes the procedure, the better he or she will be at it and the better the outcome will be for you.

3. Find Out The Doctor’s Reputation in the Community

Chances are someone you know – friends, family member or co-workers may have first-hand experience with the physician you are considering. Another good source of advice is your primary care physician. Although it’s not essential, you might also find out if the physician participates in the community outside his or her private practice. For example Dr. Kagan and his partners are involved with Florida Everblades minor-league hockey team and the Minnesota Twins Baseball Team during spring training in Fort Myers.

4. Evaluate Your Comfort Level

Once the physician’s credentials have been established, you’ll want to make sure that you have a certain level of comfort, confidence and trust in the physician – that the doctor-patient relationship works for you and the doctor has your best interests in mind. For example, does the doctor take time to listen, answer your questions, address your concerns and explain exactly what will take place during the procedure? Patients today are more educated about their healthcare and most want to feel they have an important voice in their treatment options.

In addition to feeling confident about your doctor, you’ll also want to make sure that the office staff is friendly, professional and caring. When you call the office, is the receptionist pleasant? Are you placed on hold for very long? Are your messages returned? Is there a process for reaching the doctor after hours during an emergency? And finally, is your time respected? While you may occasionally wait longer than expected to see the doctor because of an unexpected emergency or other situation, an hour-long wait in the lobby gets tiresome very quickly.

Want to learn more about orthopedic surgery or find out Dr. Kagan’s scope of practice and expertise? Go to


Avoid Major Injuries With These Fitness Conditioning Tips

As an orthopedic surgeon, I know all too well the damage that years of wear and tear can do to the joints of the body. Sports can also be a major challenge to the joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles, especially if you don’t take time to properly condition your body. While advances in orthopedic medicine and the introduction of minimally invasive techniques offer excellent results and a faster return to activity, whenever possible, it is always preferable for patients to take steps to prevent those injuries in the first place.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to help you stay in shape to enjoy Florida’s year-round warm weather and avoid placing too much stress on those joints!

#1 Gradual is Better Than a Jump-Start
Easing into the activity with a gradual warm-up will give time for the blood to get moving and for your heart rate and respiration to steadily increase. Stretch the muscles to get them ready for more intense activity. Breathe deeply and hold the stretch for a few seconds. Stretch slowly, don’t bounce or jerk the body.

#2 Don’t overdo any activity at first or work through the pain, even if you’re just gardening. Stop when you feel strain and soreness. Apply ice to joints, muscles or tendons that are achy.

#3 Flexibility and range of motion of critical for success most sports, and especially for golf and tennis. Keep the hips and shoulder limber with appropriate exercises and stretching.

#4 Rotate the type of exercise or activity you do daily. Don’t work the same muscles every day. For example, balance aerobic activity with strength training using weights or fitness machines.

#5 See your doctor or call our office for an appointment when you have acute pain from a sports activity that can’t be relieved with rest, over-the-counter medications and ice.

For more information on orthopedic-related conditions and how to treat them, check out our patient education videos at

How to Prepare for Joint Replacement Surgery

Once you have made the decision to undergo joint replacement surgery, it will be helpful to plan ahead so you will be better prepared emotionally and physically. It’s often a good idea to write questions down as they arise so you can be sure to have them addressed by your doctor in advance of the surgery.

If you live alone, your doctor may recommend that you recover in a specialized rehabilitation facility rather than immediately return home after your surgery. Because your mobility will be limited at first, it is often helpful to have professional healthcare providers assist you.

If you do return directly home after the surgery, here are a few tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to make the experience easier for you.

1. Avoid climbing the stairs to get to your bedroom. Instead, set up a convenient temporary bedroom on the first floor.

2. Look around your home and remove any obstacles, especially throw rugs that might cause you to trip or fall. Eliminate clutter near walkways and rearrange furniture if needed. Make sure you can get around easily – remember you will be using a walker or crutches at first.

3. Stock your freezer with easy-to-prepare meals or cook food in advance and freeze it. You will want to eat healthy, but may not want to spend much time cooking during your recovery.

4. Designate a comfortable chair where you’ll spend time during recovery and place items that you may want within arm’s reach, such as the phone, reading materials, television remote control, laptop computer, water glass and footstool.

5. To avoid bending over or reaching during recovery, buy a long-handled grabbing device and place any items that you regularly use on the kitchen counter.

6. Consider acquiring an elevated toilet seat and shower bench, or have handrails installed by the toilet and shower.

Joint replacement surgery is a very common and successful procedure that can greatly relief pain and disability. With a good attitude and proper preparation you can look forward to a speedy recovery and return to an active life.

Tips for staying active as you age

While there may be no single fountain of youth, you can slow down the aging process by staying physically active. Regular exercise enhances muscle and joint function, keeps bones strong, and decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Here are some tips developed by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that can help you exercise safely.

Warm Up
Always take time to warm up and stretch before physical activity. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Do not stretch cold muscles.

Cool Down
Just like warming up, it is important to cool down. Gentle stretching after physical activity is very important to prepare your body for the next time you exercise. It will make recovery from exercise easier.

Consistent Exercise Program
Avoid the “weekend warrior” syndrome. Compressing your exercise into 2 days sets you up for trouble and does not increase your fitness level. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you are truly pressed for time, you can break it up into 10-minute chunks. Remember that moderate physical activity can include walking the dog, working in the garden, playing with the kids and taking the stairs instead of an elevator. Parking on the far end of a parking lot will increase the distance you have to walk between your car and your destination.

Be Prepared
Take sports lessons. Whether you are a beginner or have been playing a sport for a long time, lessons are a worthwhile investment. Proper form and instruction reduce the chance of developing an “overuse” injury like tendinitis or a stress fracture.

Lessons at varying levels of play for many sports are offered by local park districts and athletic clubs.
Invest in good equipment. Select the proper shoes for your sport and use them only for that sport. When the treads start to look worn or the shoes are no longer as supportive, it is time to replace them.

Listen to Your Body
As you age, you may find that you are not as flexible as you once were or that you cannot tolerate the same types of activities that you did years ago. While no one is happy about getting older, you will be able to prevent injury by modifying your activity to accommodate your body’s needs.

Use the Ten Percent Rule
When changing your activity level, increase it in increments of no more than 10 percent per week. If you normally walk two miles a day and want to increase your fitness level, do not try to suddenly walk four miles. Slowly build up to more miles each week until you reach your higher goal. When strength training, use the 10 percent rule as your guide and increase your weights gradually.

Balanced Fitness
Develop a balanced fitness program that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. In addition to providing a total body workout, a balanced program will keep you from getting bored and lessen your chances of injury.

Add activities and new exercises cautiously. Whether you have been sedentary or are in good physical shape, do not try to take on too many activities at one time. It is best to add no more than one or two new activities per workout.

If you have or have had a sports or orthopedic injury like tendinitis, arthritis, a stress fracture, or low back pain, consult an orthopedic surgeon who can help design a fitness routine to promote wellness and minimize the chance of injury.

For more information on bone and joint health or to discuss your orthopedic care and concerns, please contact our office at 239-936-6778 or visit

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