Wednesday, 14 of November of 2018

Tag » Orthopedic Surgery

Celebrating July 4th



Happy 4th of July to you and your family from Dr. John Kagan and staff!  For most people, the 4th of July celebration means cookouts with family and friends, perhaps a day at the beach and certainly fireworks in the evening.

As we celebrate the anniversary of our country’s independence, it’s also a good time to celebrate just how far we’ve come in creating a better quality of life, free of pain and disability, for people with musculoskeletal injuries.

Did you know that the term orthopaedic comes from two Greek words, orthos for correct or straight and paidion for child?  It was a French surgeon named Nicholas Andry who first used the term in the mid 1700s when he published a medical journal on treating children’s skeletal deformities.

But references to treatment of musculoskeletal injuries go back thousands of years. In fact, Hippocrates, often called the “father of  medicine,” describes treating dislocated shoulders, knees and hips. The Egyptians used splints made from bamboo, reeds and bark; many of which been found with mummies discovered in Egyptian tombs.

If you enjoy history, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2008, published an interesting timeline of historical achievements, which can be viewed online at

Some of the highlights of the timeline include: the first use of antiseptic in 1865 on a patient with an open fracture, the discovery of the X-ray for diagnosing skeletal injuries in 1895 and the introduction of stainless steel for orthopaedic implant devices in 1926. Jump to more present day with the first total hip replacement in 1960, the first artificial tendon in 1965 and the first use of bone cement in 1970.

Every age has brought new discoveries that have advanced science and medicine and created the specialty of orthopedic surgery that we practice today. But it’s still fascinating to think about how far we’ve come and what is yet to be discovered.

Dr. Kagan has more than 30 years experience as a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. For more information on his services, go to or call 239-936-6778.

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


Physical Therapy After Orthopedic Surgery

After orthopedic surgery for injuries like rotator cuff tears of the shoulder, ACL injuries in the knee or joint replacement, physical therapy is a key part of rehabilitation.

Muscles, tendons, cartilage and bone may be weakened from injury and surgery and will need a structured program of progressive exercise. The goal of physical therapy is to help patients rebuild their strength, improve their range of motion and get back to their daily routine and independence faster. It also lessens the chance of re-injury at a later date.

Depending on the injury or surgery, complete rehabilitation may take several months. It also requires motivation. Exercises and putting weight on your injured limb may be uncomfortable at first, but following the instructions of your doctor and the physical therapist will allow you to gradually see a noticeable improvement in your mobility and level of pain. A walker, crutches, splints, ice packs and pain medication will be prescribed to help you cope during the rehabilitation period.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, early mobilization also helps improve circulation after surgery to reduce the potential risk for blood clots. If your surgery requires hospitalization, you can expect to begin physical therapy the day after your procedure. The therapist will assist you in correctly transferring from the bed to a standing position as you begin to put weight on your injured limb. You will receive a structured exercises to do both at the hospital and at home.

Patients recovering from a variety of orthopedic conditions can receive onsite physical therapy at the offices of Dr. John Kagan. For complete listing of orthopedic services provided by Dr. Kagan go to

Treating Leg Fractures

A car accident or serious sports injury from being tackled during football, tripping while playing soccer, or snow skiing while on vacation can fracture the shin bone of the lower leg, called the tibia. Depending on the severity of the force, you may sustain a closed or simple fracture where the skin isn’t broken, or an open fracture, also called compound fracture, where the skin is pierced.

Long distance runners are also at risk for a different kind of fracture, a stress fracture. This kind of injury results from overuse – continually pounding the leg and foot on the road, track or sidewalk. Competitive volleyball players can also sustain this type of injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, stress fractures occur when fatigued muscles can no longer absorb the shock of the impact and transfer the “load” to the bone, causing a small crack to appear.

If your shin is broken, or you think you may have a stress fracture, the physician will order an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of injury. Rest can often heal stress fractures. Other fractures usually require at minimum a cast to realign the bone and allow it to heal. But more serious injuries may need surgery. Orthopedic surgeons use a variety of internal and external fixation devices, including inserting metal plates, pins or screws, fix the fracture and promote healing.

Recovery may take several weeks or months depending on the severity of the break. Once the bone begins to heal, you may need physical therapy to rebuild muscle strength in the leg.

Physician specialists in orthopedics treat severe fractures and other bone and joint conditions. To learn more about these services, go to

Therapy After Hip Replacement Surgery

Physical therapy is essential for a successful recovery from hip replacement surgery. Physical therapists are trained to help people who have been injured or ill improve their ability to walk, handle daily activities and regain their independence.

Under the guidance of the therapist, you will perform specific exercises to help strengthen the joint and muscles. Participating in therapy will allow you to return to everyday activities faster and stronger.

Physical therapy begins while you are still in the hospital. Medication will reduce discomfort as you gradually learn to put more weight on the joint, balance without falling and walk with an assistive device such as a walker. You may also be asked to do simple exercises while you are in bed, such as tightening the muscles in your legs and pointing your feet.

When you are ready to leave the hospital, the therapist will give you certain exercises that are to be performed daily at home. The therapist will also teach you how to get in and out of the car, tie your shoes, sit in a chair and get in and out of the bathtub without damaging the new joint. For a while you will need to avoid putting too much stress on the joint. You will also attend therapy sessions at the doctor’s office or outpatient center until you have made sufficient progress and can resume an active lifestyle.

For more information about rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery, go to

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.

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