Looking at hip replacement from another angle.

A lot has changed in joint replacement in the past 10 years and I get a lot of questions about what makes a good candidate for hip replacement in particular. This week, I’m sharing answers to some of the most common questions about the latest in hip replacement including the anterior approach.

When is it time to consider surgery?
I always recommend that any patient with joint pain visit us – or another orthopedic specialist – before pain begins to significantly interfere with daily activities. Doing so allows us to explore physical therapy, and other non-surgical solutions first – surgery is always the last option. But even when other options have been exhausted, far too many people put surgery off for too long, even when hip pain is severely limiting simple day-to-day activities like walking up or down stairs. Living in pain inhibits your ability to be independent, manage responsibilities and stay fit – a key factor for long-term health.

How invasive is a hip replacement procedure?
Traditional hip replacement is accomplished by accessing the joint through the side or back of the hip, a method that requires cuts to multiple tendons and muscles. Recovery from this procedure can take months, but is still a highly effective long-term solution. But a newer, very minimally invasive procedure is also available. Using the anterior hip approach, we access the hip from the front of the body and avoid cutting any major tendons or muscle groups, significantly reducing pain and recovery time.

How long will it take to recover from a hip replacement procedure?
Patients must start slow with traditional hip replacement and keep their range of motion to an absolute minimum after surgery to aid recovery and avoid dislocation. A full recovery can take around six months. By contrast, the anterior approach has many people back to an active lifestyle as soon as six weeks after the procedure, with far fewer post-procedure restrictions.

Remember, surgery is always the last option patients should explore, but no one needs to live in pain. See one or our orthopedic specialist to find the best solution for you. To learn more about the anterior approach to hip replacement, contact our offices for a consultation. If you would like to make an appointment, please Click Here to use the online form or call (303) 344-9090.

Change up your exercise routine as the weather changes.

Change up your exercise routine as the weather changes.

Being active means maintaining our fitness even when we can’t get outdoors, and changing temperatures give us a good excuse to switch up our exercise routine. Think of it as a chance to “cross train” and give your body a rest from some of your normal activities. Here are 3 ways to use cold weather to your advantage this month: 

  1. Turn a weakness into a strength: If you walk or run religiously outdoors in warmer weather, your hips, knees and feet might be ready for a break. Try yoga, a stationary bike, rowing machine or an indoor pool to build upper body strength. Tennis players and golfers: this is your chance to hit the weights and start a core routine to give you the flexibility and power you need for a strong swing, come spring. It’s also a great time to get disciplined about technique. Practice that putt at an indoor facility (or make your own!) or commit to that proper forehand grip you’ve been avoiding.
  2. Get motivated: Many people find it harder to be active in colder temps, so get together with a group to find inspiration and motivation!  Local rec centers and fitness clubs are always a great source for group classes, and there are mall-walking groups you can join, such as Colorado Mills Milers walking club. 
  3. Work and Work out. Our friends at Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness reminded us that we shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to get moving while we are at work! Try these simple exercises next time you’re stuck on a long conference call:

–      Theraband scapular adduction: Put a theraband in each hand with palms up and arms extended, bring arms out to the side and squeeze shoulder blades together. Aim for three sets of 10 reps.

–      Sit to stand: Make sure your chair height is set so your knees bend at a right angle when sitting. With both feet flat on the floor, stand up slowly, focusing on your quads and hamstrings. Complete three sets of 10 reps each.

–      Upper trapezius stretch: sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor.  Tilt your head toward once side, pointing your ear toward your shoulder while keeping your spine straight. Hold the post for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Complete three stretches for 30 seconds each.

Keep Your Swing Strong

Even though the first frost has come and gone, many of Colorado’s courses are still going strong. If you can get out a few more times this year, Littleton’s Arrowhead Golf Club tees up a generous schedule from March-November and at the Broadmoor Golf Courses, golf can be played all year long with occasional interruptions for snow during the winter. Inverness Golf Course showcases its top 100 resort ranking 362 days a year (with “occasional pauses for weather”).

But when the snow falls, even the most ardent among us seek cover. For those days, here are a few tips to keep your swing and your back strong all winter long.

1. Get strong to the core – Yes, you’ve heard this one before! Core strength provides critical support and strength for your back. Exercises are available for all ages to help build and strengthen your core, and we’ve suggested a few here. Your doctor can identify the exercises that are most beneficial for you based on age and activity level. Remember: strong core, strong back.

2. Settle into the right easy chair this winter – the right chair. One with strong back support that allows your legs to be perpendicular to floor provides your body the right partner for your time off your feet. Rest easy, but rest correctly.

3. Give your indoor chores a friendly lift – indoor activities such as organizing, storing, or pulling out those boxes of holiday decorations all place strain on your back. Put the right muscles to work and use the quads muscles in your legs – not your back – to do your winter lifting and cleaning.

Old man winter doesn’t need to slow your game down. Invest in your back and you’ll spring back to action with the warmth of the spring sun.

Ski Season is Officially Underway in Colorado. Are you ready?

Skiing is a great winter activity, and because it uses all of our muscle groups, it makes for great exercise. As Coloradans we are blessed to have easy access to some of the world’s greatest skiing, and the first local resort is already open for the 2013-14 season. But the best snow is still to come, so it’s not too late to start your pre-season conditioning! The best way to get ready for the slopes? Read on for great ways to get in ‘slope shape’ by focusing on three key areas – core strength, leg and hip strength, and flexibility.

Start with your core. Think about the classic skiers’ pose for a moment. See how you bend at the waist and the knees as your body navigates down the mountain? Without balanced strength across your entire core – your abs, lower back and obliques – skiing puts undue strain on your back. Using your whole core to stabilize your body will reduce back strain, protect your spine and provide better balance and coordination. There are a lot of great core exercises out there, but we like these three because you can do them virtually anywhere, and with the exception of an exercise ball, they require no special equipment:

1. Crunches (for abs) – there are many varieties – pick several and rotate to keep your ab muscles guessing.
2. The basic “plank” where you hold yourself in a pre-push up position while tightening your core muscles for a 30-count each time – builds back strength.
3. Any activity that involves an exercise, or “stability ball” requires you to engage your core and, as the name implies, helps to promote stability.

Build strong hamstrings, quads and glutes to protect hip and knee joints. As we lean forward in that typical skiers’ pose, we require hamstring, glutial and especially quadricep strength to keep from falling over. Even the most fit among us will admit to having sore quads after a hard day of skiing – we rely on them that much to maintain balance and move among moguls, or even to make a basic “s-curve” down the mountain. Our favorite exercises for these areas start with low-impact, steady strength training, and again don’t require any equipment:

1. Lunges are great because they work all three areas together, and you can progress at your own pace by varying the depth of your lunge, the number of reps and the amount of weight your legs bear. Most people can start with just their own body weigh, and add hand weights over time.

2. Steps. But not just any steps. To truly work the hamstrings and glutes you really need to step up – at least 12 inches off the ground for most people (this varies depending on your height). You don’t need any special equipment to get started–even taking stairs two-by-two will get you going. You can also use a stationary step and add some hand weights to increase resistance over time.

Improve your range of motion and flexibility through stretching.  If there’s one thing we know for sure, skiing always brings its surprises –uneven terrain, crowded runs, and bad visibility are just a few factors that require us to be on our toes and make quick, often unexpected movements. By improving your joints’ range of motion and your flexibility before you take your first run of the year, you are far more likely to avoid injury when you have to act fast on the mountain. We love these “yoga inspired stretches” from snow.com, which focus on the very same core, glute and leg muscles we’ve been talking about.

So no more excuses – get going!  Yes, the snow is flying across the state, but you still have time to get in slope shape without even heading to the gym.  If you are one of the lucky among us who has already taken their first run – we want to hear about it! Or better yet, we want proof, post a photo on our Facebook page or drop us a line!

October is the ultimate CrossFit month

Did you know that October is the ultimate “CrossFit” month? Yes, I’m talking about the fitness trend – cross-training strength and conditioning programs – but I’m also talking about sports fans! October is the only month of the year when pro football, basketball, hockey, baseball, golf and even soccer are all in full swing.

Unless you’re getting too aggressive with your remote control, you probably won’t get hurt being a #superfan, but as more amateur athletes are getting in the cross-training game, we want to be vigilant about injury prevention. Participating in multiple sports within the same season or cross-training programs not only increases the amount of repetitive motion strain, it also reduces recovery time between high-intensity activities. So whether you are a couch potato looking to turn over a new leaf, or a training junkie, follow these tips to avoid injury.

• Develop proper technique and increase activity as you master new techniques. Cross-training can be accomplished at many levels. Know yours skills and be willing to learn over time.

• Prevent overuse and minimize the risk of overtraining by starting slow and building strength across alternating muscle groups..

• Warm ups, stretching and cool down are always important, and they are essential when cross-training or participating in multiple fitness activities in the same season.

• Young athletes beware: Cross-training and multi-sport participation increases stress on bones and supportive ligaments during growth, which can lead to injury. Watch for early warning signs.

• Don’t ignore signs of injury. There’s a big difference between pushing through a workout to build strength and ignoring injuries. Listen to your body and see an expert if something doesn’t feel right.

Does your son or daughter have heel pain? 3 Steps for prevention and recovery.

Heel pain is becoming more and more common among active kids, tweens and young teens. If your child is suffering, there is help! Advanced Orthopedic’s Dr. Paul Stone, a specialist in complex reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, answers three of the most common questions about heel pain in kids:

My child has severe heel pain after sports practice, what is causing this?

Heel pain (also called Sever’s Disease) typically occurs in highly active kids ages 9 to 14 whose feet are still growing and not fully developed. While kids’ feet are growing, the process of forming new bone leaves a structural weakness in the back of the heel.  Strain on that growth area causes the growth plate to become inflamed, which results in heel pain that gets worse with increased activity. High activity and growth spurts also place strain on the Achilles, while repetitive activities like running and jumping exploit that weakness and increase the pain.

My kids have not yet experience pain, but they are active and growing, how can I prevent this kind of pain?

Watch for and prevent overuse. This may sound difficult, but a little “schedule management” can go a long way! It’s important to view your child’s aggregate schedule when making decisions about physical activities. High-activity periods such as training camps, tryouts, and weekend competitions place serious strain on growing feet, leaving heels vulnerable to overuse and pain when paired with other day-to-day activities. Make simple, small changes to adjust for these busy times, by building in down-time where kids are off their feet.  

How can we stop the pain? My child says it’s unbearable.   

Since the pain stems from an on-going growth process, rest and time will always help, and this pain will typically resolve on its own. However, there are a few tools to minimize pain so you don’t have to sideline your young athlete: 

  • Ice. Ice will sooth heels after activity and help to reduce inflammation. It’s also a good routine to get kids off their feet after an intense workout.
  • Heel Cups. Flexible heel cups, such as Tuli’s, slip into any athletic shoe and cushion and elevate the heel bone, taking pressure off the Achilles tendon and improving flexibility.   
  • TLC. That’s right, caring for growing feet is one of the most important tools at any athletes disposal. Keeping kids’ feet clean, well rested and well supported is essential. By minimizing bare feet, flip flops, and other flimsy footwear when kids are growing so rapidly, you can help (although you might not be the most popular person in your home). 

Our children’s feet are indeed busy. Slowing them down is difficult, but looking out for them just may keep those little dogs from barking.

Are you considering joint replacement?

Are you considering joint replacement? Get the facts. Find a fit. Plan Ahead. Three tips to keep seasonal changes from slowing you down.

It’s officially fall in the Mile High City, and along with cooler weather and shorter days, there will soon be another sure sign of fall in doctors’ offices across the country: full schedules and busier waiting rooms.

As consumers meet their annual healthcare deductibles, many revisit procedures they have put off during the active summer months to ‘cash in’ on their annual investment in deductible payments. If you are one of the millions that will contemplate a joint replacement procedure this fall, be prepared! Plan ahead and take these three steps:

  1. Make an informed decision. Is joint replacement right for you? Take our quiz as a first step to learn more. Click this link – http://on.fb.me/1fD5uZc
  2. Book a consultation. All reputable specialists insist on at least one consultative appointment before scheduling any kind of surgery. This is your opportunity to get familiar with your surgeon, discuss your personal situation, and find the best treatment and recovery plan for you. Doctors’ schedules fill up fast this time of year, so book an appointment now if you want to consider treatment options before year’s end.
  3. Get ahead of the change. If you have insurance, you don’t have to wait until next year to get the treatment or consultation you need now. Next week, Colorado’s new health insurance marketplace will begin to offer plans to consumers and small businesses for coverage that takes effect in January, 2014. While no one knows for sure how the new exchange marketplace will impact the demand for and deliver of healthcare services, one thing’s for sure: physicians, support staff and patients will all be spending extra time navigating the new laws, which will likely complicate scheduling and staff availability. Get ahead of the change by planning for your care now.

Maintaining good hydration on hot days.

Fall high school sports seasons are in full swing, but it still feels like summer in Colorado. It’s a good time for parents and kids alike to think about what they put in their bodies before, during and after a workout. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, reduced concentration (and performance), and cramping.

There are myriad sports, energy and “water” drinks on the market today – and most are packed  with sugar or artificial sweetener, additives and other junk. So what’s the best way to stay healthfully hydrated on hot days? Women’s Health Magazine recently shared the best drinks for hydration, performance, recovery, among others – and we agree!

Best Drink for Hydration: Coconut Water. With natural electrolytes and few calories, 100% coconut water delivers.

Best Drink for Enhanced Performance: Coffee. Tests have shown that athletes can go longer and stronger with a moderate intake of caffeine.

Best Drink for Recovery: Low Fat Chocolate Milk. Surprised? Many people are. But chocolate milk’s combination of carbs and protein has been proven to support post-work out recovery more than traditional sports drinks.

Is it time to put some swim in your life?

Coloradans continue to be captivated by Franklin Fever as Centennial’s own Missy Franklin has made swimming waves from London to this weeks final‬ world championships‬.

But beyond the local pride and admiration of ability and medal count, do you truly appreciate the value of swimming in your daily exercise and training routine? Temperatures average 87 degrees in Colorado in July and August (but let’s be honest, we hope its only 87 degrees!), so there’s no better time to cool off and hit the pool.

Swimming can have an extraordinary impact on your health. Its unique blend of high cardiovascular results and its minimal impact on your body’s joints puts swimming atop the exercise podium for active athletes of all ages and ability. Why is swimming such a great way to Be Active? Here are five benefits to consider:

1.     Variety is the spice of life: Not only is swimming a great change from walking, running or biking, swimming offers its own variety of how, how fast and how long you spice up your aerobic activity. From leisure and beginner-friendly back strokes and side strokes to the challenge of butterfly, freestyle or medley, swimming offers something for everyone.

2.     Have a heart: Did you know that in addition to being one of the top cardiovascular exercises, swimming can boost your endurance, reduce your blood pressure and lower your cholesterol? Now there’s a clean sweep of fitness awards!

3.     Get beach body fit: It’s not just about cardio…swimming is also a great muscle toner and can help define your beach body – arms, legs, back, chest and stomach.

4.     Just add water: You sweat when you exercise – even in the pool – so don’t forget to hydrate. Keep your water bottle handy and take breaks if you plan to be in the water a long time.

5.     Swimming is for everyone. It’s a great activity for all ages, especially those with arthritis and people recovering from injury or surgery. According to Web MD, water “cushions stiff joints or fragile bones that might be injured by the impact of land exercises. When immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50 percent of its weight; immersed to the chest, it’s 25-35 percent; and to the neck, 10 percent.”

So make a splash this month and be active in the water.

Health & Wellness Magazine

Youth Athletes Gear Up for Spring Sports.Tips to Prevent Spring Injuries.

More than 100,000 Colorado students participate in interscholastic activities each year, making Colorado’s participation rate one of the highest in the nation, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA). Spring sports are now in full swing across the state, and many student-athletes are eager to jump into the spring sports season.

But according to Dr. Keith Jacobson, foot and ankle expert at Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists, without proper spring conditioning and a few preventative measures, the spring season is prime time for sports-related injuries. “Statistics show that among the most common types of sport-related injuries in children are ankle sprains, muscle strains, and repetitive motion injuries,” says Dr. Jacobson.