Penn Orthopaedics

Penn Orthopaedics

Monday, December 1, 2014

2015 Cartilage Repair Symposium: Translational Strategies for Osteochondral Repair

Penn Orthopaedics is hosting the 2015 Cartilage Repair Symposium: Translational Strategies for Osteochondral Repair. The program will create a true clinical and scientific gathering focused on the cutting edge of osteochondral and cartilage repair.

Engineered Cartilage Segments
Engineered Cartilage Segments

When:

Friday, April 24-Saturday, April 25, 2015

Where:

Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA

Course Directors: James L. Carey, MD and Robert L. Mauck, Ph.D.

Featuring International Keynote Speaker Elisaveta Kon, M.D., Rizzoli Orthopedics Institute and additional Keynote Speakers including Rocky Tuan, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, Scott Rodeo, M.D., Hospital for Special Surgery, and Wayne McIlwraith, Ph.D., D.Sc., Colorado State University.

The symposium will include invited talks by key thought leaders in the field of osteochondral repair, biomaterials, stem cells, tissue engineering, animal models, and imaging, as well as clinical methods for the treatment of cartilage, osteochondral, and fibrocartilage damage in the knee. Speakers will also discuss rehabilitative protocols that promote successful recovery.

Human Tissue Lab
Human Tissue Lab
Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in hands on training in the most advanced repair techniques in the Human Tissue Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. The intent of this meeting is to build consensus, informed by clinical practice and basic and translational research, to define new directions in the field that will drive the treatment of osteochondral injuries in the knee from the current status of repair towards the promise of regeneration.

The symposium has been designed for health care professionals, including:
  • Orthopaedic surgeons
  • Scientists and engineers
  • Non-operative sports medicine physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Athletic trainers
  • Nurses
  • Physician assistants
  • Residents and medical students
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows
The general sessions will include presentations, discussion and question segments, and interactive case studies. On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, there will be a hands-on workshop in the Human Tissue Laboratory. Conference participants that are registered for this portion will have an opportunity to practice skills on a cadaver.

Register for the 2015 Cartilage Repair Symposium


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Serving Wounded Warriors

In 1918, in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the armistice ended and World War I began. This infamous day in history also marked the origin of Veteran’s Day.

While Memorial Day honors those who died in active military service, Veteran’s Day honors all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, living and dead.

John L. Esterhai, MD
It is estimated that one in ten Americans is an armed forces veteran, with around 1.6 million living in the tri-state area. The Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC) now cares many of those who proudly served. This acute referral center for VA health care facilities administers over 400,000 visits per year, for the city of Philadelphia and its six surrounding counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. It is staffed by nearly 2,000 employees and is an critical part of the VA Healthcare Network.

Many of these wounded warriors cared for through the PVAMC suffer from injuries that result in significantly impaired musculoskeletal structures, limb amputations or other types of traumatic orthopaedic injury. Penn Orthopaedics and the extended care team help these individuals cope with and overcome the physical, emotional and neurological trauma they've experienced.

Residents care for veterans in an intensive, general orthopaedic practice setting under the direct supervision of the department’s top doctors, many of whom volunteer their time out of respect and appreciation for the sacrifice they have made. Over 5,200 patients are seen and more than 450 major procedures are performed each year. For each patient, the goal is simple: provide state of the art, complication-free compassionate care.

“Our four-fold mission is to honor America’s veterans with world-class health care, advance medical knowledge through research, train healthcare professionals and be prepared to serve in the event of a crisis,” says John L. Esterhai, MD, Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

While there are two nationally observed days that recognize those who have worn the country’s uniforms, the PVAMC treats every day as an opportunity to restore the honor, dignity and health of these proud, wounded warriors.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Men Get Osteoporosis, Too, But are Rarely Screened

Today.com reports on the results of a new study showing that even though one in four men over age 50 will sustain a fracture because of osteoporosis, few are getting screened and treated for the disease.

Penn Orthopaedics Discusses Osteoporosis“Quite often there is a higher suspicion in women,” said David Bozentka, MD, chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. “We forget that men get it as well. It’s important that we make sure we assess them.”

For men who want to stave off osteoporosis, "stay active with weight-bearing exercise and make sure vitamin D and calcium intake is appropriate," said Bozentka.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When to Seek a Spinal Evaluation

The spine is an interesting and unique structure, one of the most important parts of your body. It is instrumental to the support, strength, flexibility and range of motion our bodies have. The spine also protects the spinal cord, which carries signals from the brain to other parts of the body.

Harvey E. Smith, MD
Arthritis and degenerative wear-and-tear problems can significantly affect the spine and can lead to back or neck pain, numbness and weakness. Issues with your spine can also impact your hands, arms legs and feet.

So, how do we know when that pain in the back or neck is something that needs to be checked out?

Warning Signs

Trauma. If you’ve had any type of traumatic injury, such as a fall or were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you want to have your back or neck pain checked out by a doctor.

Fever. If you are dealing with back or neck pain, it is important to keep an eye on any type of fever you have. When a fever doesn’t break and is accompanied by pain in the back or neck area, it may be a sign of an infection.

Numbness or Tingling. If you’ve dealt with numbness or tingling for some time and traditional over-the-counter medication has not worked, you could have nerve irritation or damage caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or other disc diseases.

What Type of Doctor Should I See?

When dealing with chronic pain of the spine or the aftermath of an injury, many types of physicians can help you manage pain, repair damage and, in many cases, regain a comfortable range of motion.

The Penn Orthopaedic Spine Service treats patients suffering from arthritis, degenerative wear and tear problems affecting an individual’s joints and disks, as well as abnormalities that cause pain, numbness and weakness in the back or neck area.

Harvey E. Smith, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, sees patients with a range of spine and back conditions. When asked about his philosophy of care, Dr. Smith offered the following: “Our role is to help patients understand their diagnosis and the treatment options available, which usually include – both - operative and non-operative. We will never push patients one way or another. We simply try to educate them as much as possible and work with them to decide which option is best for them. The patient really needs to comfortable and confident with their decision.”

The Region’s First Musculoskeletal Center

The Penn Musculoskeletal Center, the first of its kind in Philadelphia, is revolutionizing the way musculoskeletal care is delivered. The Center provides the latest diagnostic techniques and the most advanced surgical and non-surgical options for a range of musculoskeletal disorders, injuries and pain found in muscles, ligaments and tendons, and bones – including spine.

The Center brings clinicians together from numerous specialties, including orthopaedics, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine and musculoskeletal radiology. This team-based model of care creates a seamless, integrated patient experience and the most efficient process of diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

“I truly believe that Penn Medicine provides the highest level of care for those suffering from spine and neck injuries or disorders,” said Dr. Smith. “That care has elevated even more with the opening of the Penn Musculoskeletal Center at Penn Medicine University City. We now have this tremendous situation where multiple services have been brought together under one roof.”

Learn more about how the expert specialists at
the Penn Musculoskeletal Center can help get you back to living pain-free.

Question and Answer with Dr. Plastaras

Christopher T. Plastaras, MD, is the Director of the Penn Spine Center. Dr. Plastaras is a physiatrist who specializes in the non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Dr. Plastaras practices at Penn Medicine Rittenhouse. Below is a recent Q&A with Dr. Plastaras.

Dr. Plastaras

For those of us who are not familiar with the specialty, please tell us the role of a physiatrist?

Physiatrists specialize in non-surgical physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) for patients who have been disabled as a result of a disease, condition, disorder, or injury. We diagnose conditions, treat injuries using non-surgical methods and lead the patient’s expanded treatment team.

Our focus is to work with patients to develop a comprehensive program that enables them to get back to the life they want to live after injury or disease – without surgery. And a majority of the time, we are extremely successful.

What is the physiatrist's role in providing medical diagnosis and treatment?

We work with a comprehensive team all focused on rehabbing the patient. This team includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, psychologists, social workers, and others.

There are also a number of diagnostic tests and treatments that we perform and prescribe. Those include: therapeutic exercise, prosthetics/orthotics, pain medications, EMG (electromyography), NCS (nerve conduction studies), soft tissue injections, joint injections, spine injections, musculoskeletal ultrasound, interventional spinal therapeutics and spasticity management.

If surgery is required, Penn Orthopaedics has a host of fantastic surgeons to treat the patient.

What is your philosophy of care?

We focus on conservative treatment measures whenever possible.

Our practice’s philosophy centers on a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We take the time needed to accurately pinpoint the source of the ailment and then work with the patient to design an aggressive non-operative management plan.

The Penn Musculoskeletal Center recently opened at 3737 Market Street. Can you explain the benefits of this new Center to patients?

The beauty of the Penn Musculoskeletal Center is that it brings clinicians together from numerous specialties, including orthopaedics, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine, spine surgery and musculoskeletal radiology. This team-based model of care creates a great patient experience.

 Everyone is really pleased with this new space and both patient and care providers are already seeing the benefits.

Today is World Spine Day, any tips to prevent back pain?

Although I treat all types of patients, I do see a large number of individuals dealing with spine related problems including neck pain and low back pain.

There are many steps individuals can take to prevent back pain -- and all focus around general health and wellness. It is important to regularly take part in moderate exercise. Not only is it great to keep your body moving, it helps to keep your weight under control.

Making sure you get restful, regular sleep is also a good way to prevent injury. An example I often share is around an individual that stays up late a few nights in a row. One night, this person is so exhausted that they fall asleep in their recliner. This unnatural sleeping position puts their neck and back in awkward positions and can lead to much pain and discomfort.

Another tip that seems so simple, but can really help an individual avoid neck and back pain has to do with how you use your smartphone. Hold your device at eye level or as close to eye level as you can. Looking down for long periods may cause postural problems and neck pain.

The Region’s First Musculoskeletal Center

The Penn Musculoskeletal Center, the first of its kind in Philadelphia, is revolutionizing the way musculoskeletal care is delivered. The Center provides the latest diagnostic techniques and the most advanced surgical and non-surgical options for a range of musculoskeletal disorders, injuries and pain found in muscles, ligaments and tendons, and bones.

The Center also brings clinicians together from numerous specialties, including orthopaedics, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine, spine surgery and musculoskeletal radiology. This team-based model of care creates a seamless, integrated patient experience and the most efficient process of diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Learn more about how the expert specialists at
the Penn Musculoskeletal Center can help get you back to living pain-free.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Best Exercises for Knee Pain

It’s a dilemma many face: You want to exercise, but your knees or other joints hurt too much to do anything strenuous.

Rather than get caught in cycle of not exercising because your knees hurt  and your knees hurt because you are not exercising, here are some exercise ideas for your aching knees.

Spinning®/Bike Riding

Arthritis Awareness
Click to enlarge
Any type of activity that removes pressure from your knees and back is a great exercise.

If fitted properly for a bike, this is a great activity that gets you moving and keeps your knees protected. That’s because most of the weight falls on your seat – not on your knees like in walking or running. Properly fitting shoes also helps center the pressure on the ball of your foot and takes the pressure off of your knees.

Swimming/Water Aerobics

Water exercises are extremely beneficial because the water acts as natural resistance to your body. When you work out in the water, your body is tasked to push against that resistance and build muscle. At the same time, the water makes you buoyant and takes pressure off of your joints. This is why so many fitness experts refer to swimming as the perfect aerobic exercise.

Walking

Most experts agree that walking is one of the best forms of exercise. You can do it anywhere, it costs nothing but a good pair of shoes and you can do it in any climate. When beginning a walking program, start slowly – walk only 20 to 30 minutes at a time, three to five times a week. Gradually build up endurance by walking longer and more frequently.

It is also suggested that you visit a shoe store that offers shoe-fitting consultation. Finding the right support and cushion can help minimize your knee pain.

Learn more helpful tips for living with bone and joint pain.

The Region’s First Musculoskeletal Center

The Penn Musculoskeletal Center, the first of its kind in Philadelphia, is revolutionizing the way musculoskeletal care is delivered. The Center provides the latest diagnostic techniques and the most advanced surgical and non-surgical options for a range of musculoskeletal disorders, injuries and pain found in muscles, ligaments and tendons, and bones.

The Center also brings clinicians together from numerous specialties, including orthopaedics, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine, spine surgery and musculoskeletal radiology. This team-based model of care creates a seamless, integrated patient experience and the most efficient process of diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Learn more about how expert specialists can help
get you back to living pain-free.

Exercising with Arthritis

Exercise is crucial for everyone, especially those suffering from arthritis.

“Sometimes, my patients think that the only way to relieve pain is to stop all physical activity,” said Craig Israelite, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and Co-director of the Knee Service at Penn Medicine. “Keeping active is actually very good for individuals suffering from joint pain or arthritis. Exercises that work the muscles and tendons provide stability and strength around the joint.”

You don’t need to run a marathon or lift weights for hours to increase strength, improve flexibility and reduce joint pain. There are many non-weight-bearing activities you can do to keep in shape, including:

Arthritis Tips
Click to enlarge
Range-of-motion exercises: These exercises (also known as stretching or flexibility exercises) help to relieve stiffness and increase joint mobility. The goal is to get your joints moving in their normal range of movement. Examples include raising your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders back and forth. It is recommended that these exercises be done daily or at least every other day.
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • T'ai chi
Strengthening exercises: Strong muscles help support and protect joints. A workout program that includes weight or resistance training can help to maintain current muscle strength or increase it. These type of exercises should be done every other day, but allow an extra day in between if joints become painful or swollen.
  • Wrist curls
  • Overhead arm raises
  • Seated rows
Aerobic or endurance exercises: These types of activities can improve your cardiovascular health, give you more energy and help to maintain or reduce weight. Having control of your weight reduces the pressure on affected joints. Try to include 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.
  • Walking
  • Bike-riding
  • Swimming
Learn more helpful tips for living with bone and joint pain.

The Region’s First Musculoskeletal Center

The Penn Musculoskeletal Center, the first of its kind in Philadelphia, is revolutionizing the way musculoskeletal care is delivered. The Center provides the latest diagnostic techniques and the most advanced surgical and non-surgical options for a range of musculoskeletal disorders, injuries and pain found in muscles, ligaments and tendons, and bones.

The Center also brings clinicians together from numerous specialties, including orthopaedics, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine, spine surgery and musculoskeletal radiology. This team-based model of care creates a seamless, integrated patient experience and the most efficient process of diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Learn more about how expert specialists can help
get you back to living pain-free.