2020 has been a rough year, but there is still good news out there!
Our doctors and staff at Tulsa Bone & Joint are as committed as we’ve ever been to helping relieve your orthopedic pain. Recently, Dr. William Clark performed 4-hour surgery on a 12-year-old with scoliosis, and it has drastically changed her life.
Ryleigh’s mom, Laura, shared that her daughter had severe scoliosis with a curvature more than 70°. Before surgery, her lungs were functioning only at 60%, and her pain and discomfort were growing worse by the day. If left undone, the curvature would have increased and continued to affect her lungs and also potentially her heart. After talking to a few doctors and enduring many X-rays, MRI’s, and a pulmonary test, Laura, Ryleigh and family decided that the best treatment was to have a rod put in her back to straighten her spine.
Laura said she was relieved to find Dr. Clark and heard wonderful things about him from other medical professionals. “Everyone we ran into – other doctors, etc. – kept saying, ‘Dr. Clark is the best.’ That made me feel good that everyone we talked to had nothing but good things to say about him. We are new to town, so that made me feel good about choosing him.”
Dr. Clark, the premiere scoliosis specialist in the Tulsa area, performed a Thoracic 2 to Lumbar 1 Posterior Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation on Ryleigh on May 26, 2020.
After surgery with a straight spine, Ryleigh is standing 2″ taller. She is back to doing all the things she loves – playing at The Gathering Place, dancing, running … she probably shouldn’t be doing all of these so soon after surgery, so shhhhh! Don’t tell Dr. Clark;)
Thanks for entrusting us with your care, Ryleigh!
If you or someone you know has questions about scoliosis, give us a call at 918-392-1400, or Request an Appointment online.
Hometown parades and backyard barbeques are a couple of festive ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, but fireworks seem to be the most popular ritual. While taking part in the celebratory traditions, it’s important to take precaution when near fireworks to avoid injuries to the fingers, hands, arms and even face.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) encourages children and adults to consider safety tips to help reduce their risk of injury.
“Taking part in fireworks may seem like a harmless Fourth of July tradition, but the injuries that can result from one night of fun can be debilitating,” says orthopaedic trauma surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Michael Suk, MD. “Consider leaving fireworks to the professionals and attend a professional firework display instead of handling fireworks yourself. If you do decide to use them, exercise caution to reduce your risk for serious injury.”
Follow these simple tips to ensure safety this Independence Day:
- Check with your local police department to determine if fireworks are legal in your area. If so, find out which types, and verify that there is not a burn ban in effect in your community for fire hazard conditions.
- Never purchase or use illegal fireworks. Their quality cannot be assured.
- Only adults should light fireworks.
- Always have water handy in case of a fire, such as a hose hooked to a faucet or a nearby bucket of water.
- Wear safety eyewear when using fireworks.
- Soak used fireworks in water before discarding to prevent unintentional fires.
- Never try to relight a firework.
- If you are injured using fireworks, seek immediate medical attention.
- Never allow young children to play with or go near fireworks, including sparklers. They seem harmless but sparklers can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees.
- Never handle fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
All of us at Tulsa Bone & Joint hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July! Our Orthopedic Urgent Care in Tulsa will be open on July 3 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. if you should need us. Our campus is closed Saturday and Sunday, July 4 and 5.
Tulsa Bone and Joint has been very cautiously navigating the uncharted waters regarding COVID-19. We have implemented many precautions to safely provide care for our patients while keeping you and our staff safe.
Through our online and tent check-in process, we are able to limit the number of patients in our buildings to easily provide for social distancing. We appreciate our patients being understanding and providing your positive cooperation during these times! We have worked hard to ensure your health while continuing to provide excellent orthopedic care.
When you check in for your appointment, you will receive an Outpatient Screening for COVID-19 questionnaire, and your temperature will be checked. We require masks or face coverings that cover the nose and mouth at all times during your visit to our clinics.
We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to caring for your musculoskeletal needs in a safe manner.
By Mindy Ewert, PA-C, DC
May is National Osteoporosis Month, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share the basics on osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a common bone disease where the bone becomes too thin due to too much bone loss or too little bone building, increasing the risk of fracture. The numbers may surprise you: 50% of women over 50 years old and 25% of men over 50 years will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
Fractures caused by osteoporosis affect both quality and quantity of life. Half of those people who fracture a hip will never regain full function, which can affect one’s ability to walk and remain independent, and 25% of those who fracture a hip die within one year of the fracture. Spinal fractures can cause permanent deformities of the back, reduce lung function, and lead to chronic pain and disability.
Osteoporosis is an issue that becomes more common as we age. Due to loss of estrogen and testosterone, there is an acceleration of bone loss that contributes to a steady decline of bone density over time. This bone loss is heightened during the time of menopause for women. Osteoporosis can occur in middle-aged adults and occasionally teens due to other medical conditions that contribute to excessive bone loss. Most commonly, these include early menopause (before 45 years old), diabetes, hyper or hypothyroidism, eating disorders, chronic kidney or liver disease, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Medical procedures that contribute to osteoporosis include weight loss surgeries like gastric bypass, hormone-blocking treatments for breast and prostate cancer, and complete hysterectomies at a young age. Medications that commonly contribute to osteoporosis include steroids, antidepressants, and heartburn medications. We diagnose osteoporosis traditionally with a bone density scan (also called a DXA scan). This is a non-invasive, 10-minute test where the patient lies on a table and has their hips and back scanned. This generates a report indicating the bone density in these areas and calculates the likelihood of a fracture based on bone density.
We utilize the bone density test, along with the patient’s fracture history, to determine the level of bone loss, the risk of fracture, and the need for treatment. This test is traditionally done on women starting at 65 years old and men starting at 70 years old as part of a health screening to check for the degree of bone loss that occurs with aging. It is common to have this test done at a younger age if there is a history of a fracture or there is a concern for bone loss based on a patient’s medical history.
It is very important to consider getting a DXA scan if you are over 50 years old and have broken a bone, especially if the break occurred with a fall, a minor injury, or without a clear injury. When patients have osteoporosis, we repeat this scan every 1-2 years to monitor bone loss and treatment efficacy. When patients have osteoporosis, we utilize medication to either slow the bone thinning or boost the bone building in order to stabilize the bone and prevent future fractures. The medications come as pills, shots, or infusions and are chosen based on what is safe and appropriate for each patient. The medications are generally well-tolerated, and with follow-up visits and repeat scans, we ensure that whichever treatment is chosen is both safe and effective.
In addition to the medication, we also encourage patients to take adequate amounts of calcium and Vitamin D eat a diet includes foods that are rich in bone-building vitamins and minerals such as dairy and dark leafy green vegetables, exercise regularly with weight-bearing or resistance exercise, avoid smoking, avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine intake, keep thyroid disorders and diabetes under good control, and make efforts to reduce falls.
Osteoporosis is a disease that is significantly under diagnosed and under treated. I encourage you to inquire with your healthcare provider if a bone density scan is appropriate for you. The Healthy Bones Center at Tulsa Bone and Joint is a dedicated osteoporosis clinic that can conveniently schedule a bone density scan and follow-up consultation with a healthcare professional immediately following the scan. Call 918-392-1489 to schedule or for further inquiries.
By the Tulsa Bone & Joint Occupational Therapy Team
“Occupational Therapy is where science, creativity, and compassion collide.” -Jessica Kensky (2016, AOTA Welcome Ceremony)
April is Occupational Therapy Month, so we’d like to help our audience understand our role as occupational therapists a little better. Occupational therapy is a unique discipline that serves to enhance a patient’s ability to participate in the activities that “occupy” their time and give meaning to their lives following injury, illness, or disability. As occupational therapists, we strive to maximize our patients’ potential through use of functional activities.
Occupational therapists (OTs) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) are located in numerous settings, including but not limited to outpatient clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, home healthcare, mental health facilities, and community outreach facilities. Occupational therapists are experts in activity analysis. We address a client’s performance skills, patterns, personal factors, activity demands, environments, and contexts in efforts to make our patients successful with their desired activities.
Here at Tulsa Bone and Joint, we have a passionate team of both occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants specializing in hand therapy. This specialized practice area focuses on treating complex injuries from the shoulder to the tips of the fingers. Hands are arguably one of the most functional parts of our bodies, as they allow us to interact with our environment. Injury, illness, or disability involving the upper extremity often affects a person’s ability to perform activities such as dressing, grooming, medication management, household management, work/school tasks (writing, typing, lifting), and leisure participation.
Occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants may incorporate activity modifications, adaptive devices, and assistive technology into the patient’s care plan in order to maximize the patient’s function. Modifications can include custom orthotics to stabilize structures, increase movement, preserve movement, or enhance function. Through education and activity modifications, therapists are able to help patients to return to their desired roles and responsibilities, while following the post-surgical restrictions set by the physician.
Our occupational therapists take a client-centered and occupation-based approach to treating various diagnoses such as: fractures, arthritis, rheumatic diseases, crush injuries, amputations, dislocations, congenital abnormalities, soft tissue injuries, hand trauma, nerve injuries, and pain. At Tulsa Bone and Joint, our therapists work closely with the physicians on campus to provide the upmost care to our patients through conservative treatment or post-operative care.
Each of our occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants have more than 4,000 hours of experience treating upper extremity specific diagnoses. Our evaluating therapists have a Master’s level degree of Occupational Therapy and attend continuing education courses each year to maximize their skills to serve you best.
Our staff will be happy to assist you with any of your upper extremity rehabilitation needs. Please join us in celebrating throughout the month of April for Occupational Therapy Month!