Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Tag » orthopedic specialist

Keep Seniors Safe By Preventing Falls



As an orthopedic specialist, I am concerned about the prevalence of falls among seniors. Falls are a leading cause of injury and disability for people age 65 and older. Seniors are especially at risk for fracturing their hip, as well as pelvis, shoulder, arm or spine. If the injury is serious enough, surgery may be required, which could require a lengthy recovery time and sometimes, loss of independence.

What causes such a high rate of falls among seniors? Medical factors such as arthritis, osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat and fluctuating blood pressure, as well as dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, vision and hearing loss and urinary dysfunction are often to blame.

But lack of exercise from a sedentary lifestyle is also a factor. Weak muscles, loss of balance and poor condition all contribute to the risk for falling. The key is to stay physically active with regular exercise you enjoy.

Other concerns include side effects from medications, such as dizziness and lethargy. Ask your doctor to periodically review all medications you may be taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies.

It’s also a good to look around your home and see if there are potential hazards that can be easily corrected. Here are several tips from the Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition’s Step Wise Lee program to make your home safer.

  • Get rid of small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs stationary and eliminate the chance of slipping on them.
  • Clear all papers, books, clothes and shoes from hallways and stairs.
  • Fix all loose or uneven floors, particularly tile so you don’t trip.
  • Rearrange furniture so you have a clear pathway through halls and rooms.
  • Improve the lighting with brighter wattage light bulbs. Put night-lights in every room.
  • Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower. Use non-slip bath mats in the tub or shower
  • Rearrange cabinets so items you use frequently are easy to reach, eliminating the need to use a step stool or chair.
  • Organize lamp, telephone and computer cords and other electrical wires so you don’t have to step over or around them.
  • Wear shoes in the house and outside – avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
  • If your home is more than one level, be sure to have handrails or banisters on all staircases.
  • Consider an alarm device that will call for help if you fall and can’t get up.

Dr. John Kagan has been treating orthopedic-related injuries for more than 30 years. For more information or to schedule a consultation, go to or call 239-936-6778.

7 Tips To Staying Safe and Injury-Free While Cycling



shutterstock_116062120With Southwest Florida’s year-round sunshine, bicycling is a popular way to get exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Of course with the summer heat, it’s always wise to bike in early morning or early evening, to wear sunscreen and a hat, and to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Here are some excellent tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to help cyclists stay safe and avoid injuries, which can range from the minor cuts, bruises and sprains, to fractures and even head injuries. Don’t let an accident ruin your fun.

Purchase a bike that is the right size for your body. Some bike shops even offer a professional fitting for avid cyclists. Why is this important? A bike frame that is too large, or handlebars and seat heights that are not adjusted properly can make it hard to control the bike, which will increase your risk of injury. Don’t forget to keep your bike in good condition by checking the brakes, tires and gears regularly.

Wear a helmet, all the time. National statistics show that wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent. Buy a helmet that is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A good fitting helmet should be snug, which means it won’t slide forward, back or to the side. It should cover the top of your forehead and the chin strap should keep the helmet from rocking or moving in any direction.

Don’t overdo it. For many people, cycling can be a fast-paced sport. Be sure to pace yourself to avoid overuse injuries or even heatstroke in the summer. On long rides, be sure to bring water with you. Change positions occasionally to avoid putting too much pressure on one part of the body or straining muscles.

Follow the rules of the road. Cyclists riding on the street must follow the same traffic laws as drivers, including stopping at lights and stop signs, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding to pedestrians at a crosswalk and yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway. Ride defensively, be aware of your surroundings and be careful of uneven or slippery surfaces and riding next to parked cars.

Don’t text and bicycle. Avoid listening to music with head phones, talking on a cell phone or texting. Be careful of doing anything that will distract you.

Wear appropriate clothing, especially appropriate footwear. Flip flops or sandals may be popular in Florida, but could put your toes at risk should you fall off the bike. You may want to consider padded gloves and shorts for longer bike rides. Also be careful of loose clothing that could become entangled in the gears.

Lights are essential for night visibility. Make sure drivers can see you. Wear bright fluorescent colors, put rear reflects on the bike and have both tail lights and headlights that are visible from 500 feet away.

Sometimes injuries happen, despite the best precautions. If rest, ice, elevation and compression aren’t enough, call an orthopedic specialist for an evaluation. For more information go to or call 239-936-6778.

Don’t Let Your Golf Swing Limit Your Game: Tips For Avoiding Common Golf-Related Injuries



shutterstock_3009221It’s not a surprise that golfing is one of the most popular sports in Southwest Florida. Top quality courses designed by all the pros, ranging from Arnold Palmer to Tom Fazio, are easy to find and enjoyable to play.

Most people think of golf as a relatively low-impact sport. But a variety of factors can contribute to shoulder and rotator cuff pain, low back pain, and injuries to the hand, wrist and elbow.

According to the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, one of the best steps you can take to reduce your risk of injury is to warm up slowly before stepping up to the tee. It’s also critical to follow proper body mechanics and learn good technique.  In addition, participating in regular exercise off the course can help you build core strength and keep muscles and joints more flexible.

The most injury prone aspect of golf is related to the swing and how you grip the club.  Avoid swing-related injuries with these suggestions from the Mayo Clinic.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, don’t strain your neck or back by hunching over the ball and distribute your weight equally on both feet.

Make sure your swing is smooth, easy and relaxed; don’t over-swing by trying to hit the ball too hard or too fast. Duffs, or hitting the ground during the swing, along with over-swinging and twisting the spine during the swing are very common – and a major reason for muscle and joint pain in the shoulders and back.

Shoulder and back injuries can also be related to lifting clubs out of the car, or carrying your bag improperly. Remember to use good body mechanics when lifting and carrying anything, including golf clubs.

Prevent grip injuries to the hand, wrist and elbow by selecting the correct club length and using a neutral rather than tight grip. Elbow pain is often related to overuse – don’t overdo it and strain the ligaments and joints. Like any sport, don’t play through pain or play too many days in a row without rest.

Minor aches and pains can be treated with cold or heat and topical creams, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.  If you have ongoing problems, consider taking lessons from a golf pro. But if you have serious muscle or joint pain, get an evaluation by an orthopedic specialist. For more information, go to or call 239-936-6778.

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