Osteoarthritis is an all-encompassing joint disease as well as one of the most common forms of arthritis which can cause chronic pain and disability.Continue reading “Knee Osteoarthritis: When To Consider Knee Surgery”
For some Clear Lake, Texas, patients, the onset of osteoarthritis is inevitable. However, an orthopedic doctor can help manage pain, relieve symptoms, and help you get back to your normal routine. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know the importance of managing bone conditions like osteoarthritis, so we’ve listed some signs that mean it’s time to visit a medical professional for a treatment plan:
- You Experience Joint Pain
Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis, and it is typically the primary reason that prompts patients to seek medical attention . Joint pain that is severe enough to restrict daily activities and movement indicate that an orthopedic specialist is needed. Ignoring the problem without a treatment plan can cause more pain over time, as the cartilage wears down and causes bones to rub together.
- You Have Trouble with Movement
As osteoarthritis progresses, movement becomes more difficult. In fact, the strong association of pain intensity and severity of functional limitation has been well-documented  in patients with osteoarthritis. When daily tasks as simple as climbing stairs and bending the knees become extremely painful, it is best to seek the help of an orthopedic specialist.
- Re-occurring Joint Problems
Joint pain, stiffness, instability and joint space narrowing are major clinical symptoms of osteoarthritis . However, there are symptoms that, when frequent, specifically indicate worsening osteoarthritis. These signs include:
- Bumps or bony spurs in the joint
- Locking or buckling of joint
- Hearing the joint pop or crack while moving
If the associated symptoms last for more than three days and joint problems occur several times during the month, it’s a good sign that you need to schedule an appointment with a medical professional.
Joint pain caused by osteoarthrosis can cause difficulty for many patients. However, with the help of an orthopedic doctor, we can help get you back to a pain-free life. Don’t let osteoarthritis hold you back. Call us at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/contact-us/.
Many Clear Lake, Texas, residents experience issues with their feet from time to time. A simple pain in the foot can be an indicator of an underlying podiatry issue, and it can be difficult to determine whether a foot problem is severe enough to see a podiatrist. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that patients want to take care of their feet, so we’ve listed a few conditions that may require you to consult a Clear Lake foot specialist.
- Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs when the corners of your nail (often the nail on your big toe) grow into the skin of the toe. It is the most commonly encountered toenail problem in general practice . Some early symptoms a patient may notice include:
- Pain when exerting pressure on the toe
- Build up of fluid around the toe
- Tender, hard, swollen skin around the nail
If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected. Some signs that an ingrown toenail has become infected include a red, swollen, tender toenail that oozes blood.
If you experience any of these symptoms, especially the symptoms of infection, you should see a podiatrist immediately for proper treatment.
- Flat Feet
Pes Planus, fallen arches, or flat feet are all terms used to describe a foot that doesn’t have an arch on its medial aspect. Typically, this condition is seen in toddlers around 2 or 3 years of age but dissipates as muscles and ligaments tighten. However, some patients find that this condition develops during adulthood.
Flat feet rarely lead to a serious medical issue, but they may create problems with walking, running, or prolonged standing. Genetic predisposition and increased physical activity are some factors that can increase your susceptibility to develop the condition in adulthood.
For many patients with flat feet, the main question is when to see a podiatrist. You should consult a Clear Lake foot doctor as soon as you notice even slight pain when walking, because research has proved that early detection and management tend to minimize complications of flat feet . Some of these complications can include:
- Poor postural stability
After investigating and diagnosing the exact type of condition, your podiatrist will suggest an appropriate treatment plan.
A bunion is a bony, painful hump composed of extra tissue that appears at the base of the big toe over a period of time. It is one of the most common reasons for pain while walking. Bunions tend to form at the joints gradually, causing pain when walking due to the amount of body weight placed on the area with each step.
While bunions often have a genetic link, poor foot structure may contribute to their formation as well. Additionally, weak muscles may also be one of the factors responsible for its formation . Females are more likely to develop this condition, with 35% of women above 65 years of age affected .
An obvious change in shape of the big toe and pain while walking should prompt one to see a podiatrist. Depending on the cause of the bunion, a podiatrist will formulate a proper treatment plan. While surgery is commonly done to alleviate the discomfort associated with a bunion, more conservative options include:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Shoe inserts
- Heating pads
- Soaking the foot in warm water
If you believe your feet are suffering from any of the above-mentioned conditions, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. The specialized podiatrists at Houston Physicians’ Hospital, will help you identify, as well as correct, the problem in no time. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/podiatry/.
Every year, 1.5 million individuals suffer a fracture due to bone disease . Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest problems associated with bone disease, and it often becomes a chronic burden on residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know that bone diseases can seriously limit the ability of a patient to stick to their daily routine, so we’ve laid out a few tips to help improve the health of your bones:
- Practice Healthy Nutritional Habits
Healthy nutritional habits should be encouraged in order to maintain bone health . Nutrients essential for bone health that patients should add to their diet include vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Without all these nutrients, bones can become brittle, weak, and vulnerable to diseases.
If a patient’s diet lacks calcium, the body begins removing it from bones in a process called bone resorption. This, in turn, drastically weakens the bones. In fact, low calcium levels correlate with increased risk of hip fracture .
Similarly, vitamin D is important to absorb the calcium from your diet. Foods that can be added to improve bone health include:
- Milk and other dairy products
- Green, leafy vegetables
If you are unable to maintain an adequate supply of these nutrients through your diet, it is good to consult a Clear Lake orthopedic doctor for additional supplements that can protect your bones.
- Exercise Regularly
Modest exercise is vital for those wanting to keep their bones healthy. Just 20 minutes of modest-impact activity and resistance training three times per week can improve bone mineral density .
Exercises that work your bones and muscles against gravity, also called “weight-bearing exercises,” stimulate the cells that are responsible for forming bone and increasing bone strength. A regular exercise routine can greatly reduce the risk of falls and fall-related fractures by improving body’s balance, coordination, and muscle tone .
- Change Certain Lifestyle Factors
While you cannot control every lifestyle factor, there are some that you can change to improve the health of your bones. A good place to start is by examining your posture. Do you slouch or sit up straight? Proper posture distributes your weight evenly, keeping your back straight and pulling the shoulders back.
Additionally, you should check your mattress. Is it lumpy and uncomfortable? Choosing a proper mattress that complements the natural curvature of your spine helps keep your bones supported, thus keeping them in better shape.
Finally, one of the most important lifestyle factors you can change for your bone health is to stop smoking. This is especially important because smoking results in a reduction in bone mass, and nicotine tends to cause inflammation of chondrocytes (cells of cartilage) . To avoid the negative effects of smoking on your bones, it’s best to kick the habit.
Our bone health is determined by hormonal, genetic, and nutritional factors. While not much can be done when it comes to genes, you can certainly zero-in on the modifiable factors to help keep your bones healthy. For the leading orthopedic doctors in the Clear Lake, Texas, area, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/orthopedics/.
Those in the Clear Lake, Texas, area know the effects that chronic pain or just general wear and tear can have on the body. In many cases, physical therapy is used as a treatment for patients that wish to reduce pain and increase their mobility. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know that physical therapy can be an excellent treatment method for many patients, so we’ve laid out some signs that can help you determine if it’s time for physical therapy from a Clear Lake specialist:
- Medication has not Worked
Prescription medication designed to reduce pain may be one of the first courses of action your physician recommends. However, medication does not work in every situation. If medication is not working, it may be time for physical therapy. In fact, physical therapy may be the first recommended treatment option for some cases, as there may be patients who are averse to or unable to take pain medication. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association showed that 59.5% of participants refused pain medication due to concerns about side effects and negative reactions (1). If medication has not worked, or you would rather not take a prescription medicine, your physician may recommend physical therapy.
- Pain Lingers After Activity
In some cases, it’s normal to experience slight lingering pain after completing an activity, especially one that is physically strenuous. Oftentimes, rest and hot/cold therapy helps reduce this pain within a day or two. However, if lingering pain seems to be constant, it may be time to speak to a physician about physical therapy. A medical study conducted between 1994 to 1997 over the effectiveness of physical therapy reported a more than 50% improvement in study participants following physical therapy (2). While physical therapy results vary from patient to patient, it can be determined that, overall, physical therapy is an effective treatment method for those with chronic, lingering pain.
- You Have a Strained Muscle
Sharp, sudden pain can be an indicator that a muscle strain has occurred. When a muscle strain occurs, physical therapy is often a recommended treatment method. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, physical therapy for strained muscles is typically utilized as the pain and swelling subside (3). Speak with a physician to determine the severity of your muscle strain, and whether physical therapy may be able to help increase the muscle’s range of motion.
- You Have Recently Been Injured
Those who have recently suffered an injury may benefit from physical therapy as a treatment method. According to South University’s Physical Therapy Assisting program, physical therapy can help rebuild strength and movement following an injury (4). Treatment following an injury is crucial to avoid permanent damage and restore full mobility, so it is important to speak to a physician about the possibility of using physical therapy as a treatment method.
For many patients in Clear Lake, Texas, physical therapy can provide a variety of benefits. Houston Physicians’ Hospital offers physical therapy from industry leaders to provide patients with effective pain relief. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/physical-therapy/.
Our spine bears quite a bit of wear and tear throughout our life. It helps us move, supports our weight, and helps us stretch and bend. Over time, the spine can become achy if it’s not properly taken care of. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know that no one wants to deal with a stiff, sore spine, so we’ve listed some ways to show your back some love and prevent pain:
- Be Mindful of Posture
How you hold your body while you move (dynamic posture) and while stationary (static posture) is the single most important aspect you can zero-in on to help prevent spine pain. Poor standing posture is a known cause of pain within the back . Proper posture is key to prevent an aching feeling within the muscles that support the spine. Improving posture often requires re-training the body to sit and stand in positions that place the muscles and ligaments under the lowest amount of stress.
For patients who must sit for long periods of time, such as office workers, being mindful of posture is especially important. To help ensure proper posture:
- Change your position every 30 minutes.
- Adjust your chair and desk height so your elbows are on the desk and your shoulders are relaxed.
- Distribute your weight uniformly on both of the hips.
- Sit up with your back straight.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Reach a Healthy Weight
Weight loss in overweight individuals has many benefits, including assuaging back pain. Overweight people tend to be at a greater risk for joint pain, back pain, and muscle strain, when compared to non-overweight individuals . Excess weight places extra burden on the spine, which may cause pain, misalignment of vertebrae, or even osteoarthritis. Overall, excessive weight induces abnormal joint loads, resulting in changes in the composition, properties, and structure of the articular cartilage . Weight loss dramatically reduces the compressive forces through the load-bearing joints. As a result, it reduces joint pain and improves physical function .
- Drink Plenty of Water
While it may sound cliché, drinking plenty of water is extremely important to maintain the fluidity and elasticity of joints. There is a particularly strong relationship between inadequate water intake and intervertebral disc pain. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers and protect our back from the damage of daily wear and tear. Enclosed in each disc is a jelly-like substance, which is mainly made of water and collagen fibers. A dehydrated disc loses this jelly-like substance and is not capable of supporting the back. This leads to inflammation, soreness, pain, or even herniated discs. In simple words, the cushioning ability of your spine is greatly dependent on your water intake. Additionally, staying hydrated is especially important for those suffering from any form of arthritis. According to a study, intake of water with increased concentration of molecular hydrogen reduced oxidative stress and caused a significant improvement in the disease activity .
While these tips can help prevent back pain, it’s important to seek a medical professional if intense stiffness, soreness, or pain occur along your spine. For the leading spine specialists in the Clear Lake, Texas, area, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/spine-solutions-center/.
Whether it’s a seasonal cold or a bit of lightheadedness, all of us at some point have had issues related to the ear, nose, and throat. Many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area label it as a “stubborn cold” or “exhaustion.” But, some of these common problems can have serious consequences if not addressed. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know how serious an ENT problem can be, so we’ve laid out some signs that let you know it’s time to visit an ENT specialist as soon as possible:
- Sinus Pain
Hollow spaces in the facial bones that connect to the nose through narrow pathways are known as sinuses. Inflammation of these spaces can lead to sinusitis that can either be acute (lasting less than four weeks) or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks). It is characterized by cloudy nose drainage, along with any one of the following:
- Nose congestion
- Heaviness in the head or specifically face
- A headache
- Loss of smell (chronic)
- Thick drainage (chronic)
Sinus pain can spread to the face, ear, teeth, and nose. While acute cases resolve with at-home treatments, chronic ones require referral to ENT specialists . Furthermore, urgent referral becomes an absolute necessity in the presence of the following complications:
- Orbital sepsis
- Intracranial sepsis
If your symptoms persist for 10 days or more or improve for a short period of time before worsening, it is time to visit an ENT specialist. They will not only identify the exact cause of sinus pain, but also create a treatment plan.
A clinical study researching the efficacy of management strategies concluded that 50% of patients with sinus-headache pain can be benefited from otolaryngic management .
- Tinnitus/ Ringing in Ears
Hearing “phantom noises” like ringing, buzzing, hissing, or clicking in the absence of any external sound is known as tinnitus. While tinnitus isn’t very serious in most cases, it requires immediate attention if it is acquired after an upper respiratory tract infection, doesn’t improve within 10 days, or is accompanied by hearing loss.
If tinnitus becomes severe, it can even lead to disability. According to The College of Family physicians of Canada, tinnitus-related disability claims form the largest fraction of claims submitted to the Workplace Safety and Insurance board . Visiting a Clear Lake ENT specialist when symptoms first occur can help prevent a case of tinnitus from becoming severe.
According to American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, bouts of hoarseness are frequently reported, and almost one-third of the population experiences them at some point in their life .
While hoarseness is typically seen as a consequence of common cold, one should not forget that it could be an indication of a serious underlying issue. Typically, it is recommended to manage it conservatively for 4 weeks before referring to an ENT specialist. However, if symptoms become severe, it’s important to seek medical help as quickly as possible.
It can be hard to determine whether something is just the common cold or an ENT problem. If you notice severe cases of any of these signs, it’s time to schedule an appoint with one of Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s leading ENT doctors. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620, or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/ear-nose-and-throat/.
The holiday season has come to a close, and many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area are ready to begin the task of taking down their holiday decorations. As you begin taking the lights and decorations down, be sure to keep your spine in mind. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand the importance of avoiding a spine injury, so we’ve laid out some tips to help you keep your spine safe when taking down your holiday decorations.
Removing decorations can be physically enervating and dangerous if not done with caution in mind. According to data from CPSC, 2012 alone saw 15,000 injuries as a result of holiday decorations all over the country . That is roughly about 250 injuries a day. Here’s how you can ensure your spine’s safety:
- Keep Ladder Safety in Mind
According to a study published in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, falls from ladders account for 9% of all fall-induced spinal cord injuries. Also, vertebral injuries are more often found to be associated with falls from ladders and buildings .
When removing decorations that require a ladder to reach, make sure you have someone around to help keep your stability, especially if you’re outdoors. Something else to mention, always use a ladder to stand for prolonged periods of time, not a chair or desk. Avoid using damaged or worn out ladders.
Furthermore, it’s better to reposition the ladder if something’s out of reach, instead of over-extending the arms and reaching for it. This prevents falls and sprains resulting from hyperextension of the back.
- Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Lifting heavy boxes becomes a routine when putting away holiday decorations, but an improper lifting technique can easily result in a spinal injury . Remember two rules, first lift boxes one at a time, taking care to not “bite off more than you can chew.” Essentially, you should keep a check on the weight of boxes and avoid burdening your body with excessive weight.
Secondly, instead of exerting weight on the spine by bending to lift boxes, flex your knees and hips into a squat position to prevent an injury. Additionally, avoid leaning forward or backward when carrying a heavy load.
It’s always advisable to have the weight as close to the body as possible, to keep it stable. Yet another way of protecting your spine is to tighten the stomach muscles, which ensures the spine is in a safe lifting position.
- Be Vigilant When Removing Electrical Decorations
When removing holiday decorations, make sure you’re well aware of how to handle electrical components because not only can they lead to electrocution, but loose cords can also cause falls that lead to severe spine injuries. Slipping, tripping, and stumbling are the most common causes of fall-induced spinal injuries . Always check for loose wires that could lead to a potentially dangerous fall.
Extension cords should be used with great caution and should be taped to the floor with duct tape or concealed with a cord cover to avoid tripping accidents. Remember to unplug them when not in use and fix them against the wall where they’re clearly visible while you’re working on removing any additional decorations.
Spinal injuries shouldn’t be under-estimated. Whether it’s a minor fall or a trip that results in severe back pain, it’s essential to get it investigated by a physician. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, our doctors are here to provide excellent, effective spinal care for residents in the Clear Lake, Texas area. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620.
Houston Physicians’ Hospital is the first and only facility in Houston and the 18th in the country to be certified as a Hip & Knee Replacement Center recognized by DNV GL Healthcare.
The Hip and Knee Replacement Certification recognizes program excellence in patient care and outcomes, and is based on standards set forth by DNV GL Healthcare and guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
The team at the Joint Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital “utilizes evidence-based protocols that were developed collaboratively with surgeons, anesthesia, nurses and physical therapists,” said Nicholas Crafts, CEO of Houston Physicians’ Hospital. “We continually enhance our program with a patient-centric approach. We invite patients back and incorporate their feedback to help us improve the program. As a result, Houston Physicians’ Hospital is now performing the most joint replacements in the Clear Lake area.”
Certification as a Hip & Knee Replacement Center validates the hospital’s excellence across the spectrum of hip and knee replacement care, from diagnosis to treatment, rehabilitation, education and outcomes.
“This certification tells our community that we are committed to provide the best possible care for patients requiring a hip or knee replacement with our Joint Solutions Center,” said Dr. Anthony Melillo, Orthopedic Surgeon at Houston Physicians’ Hospital. “It’s a combination of the right equipment, personnel and training to exhibit excellence in orthopedic surgery. Achieving certification validates the effort we have put into our Joint Solutions Center to ensure the health, safety and satisfaction of our patients.”
“Achieving certification shows commitment to excellence,” says Patrick Horine, CEO of DNV GL Healthcare. “It helps demonstrate to your community that you are performing at the highest level.”
Houston Physicians’ Hospital also recently earned a 5-star rating for patient experience from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and is one of only two in the Houston area to achieve such designation.
Also in 2018, Houston Physicians’ Hospital obtained ISO-9001 certification, which is based on a number of quality management principles, including strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.
Robotics is also a demonstration of “our commitment to superior orthopedic outcomes. Several orthopedic physicians utilize the Mako Robot at Houston Physicians’ Hospital, which provides precision planning, rapid recovery and a shorter hospital stay for patients,” said Crafts. “Our surgeons recognized that removing clinical variability was essential to a superior program. It is the most accurate and personalized approach possible to hip and knee replacement surgery, and we are the only hospital in Southeast Houston with a Mako robot.”
The Joint Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital is “truly a one-of-a-kind program that provides an individualized plan with a patient navigator, pre-operative classes and a space-theme competition between patients post-operatively. The program is evidence based and provides some of the best outcomes in the country,” said Crafts.
About Houston Physicians’ Hospital
Located in the Clear Lake area, Houston Physicians’ Hospital is a physician-owned hospital specializing in surgical services, including joint, spine, sports medicine and robotic surgery with a vision to be the healthcare provider where physicians choose to practice, patients want to receive care, and employees prefer to work. Houston Physicians’ Hospital is one of only two 5-star patient experience facilities in Houston rated by CMS, the first and only facility in Houston to earn Hip and Knee Replacement Certification from DNV, recognized as a Center of Distinction by Stryker and recognized in the top 75th percentile for Joint Replacement, has the only Mako Robot in Southeast Houston for hip and knee surgery, and has the only “Caring Suite” MRI in Southeast Houston for an immersive experience with video, sound and mood lighting. To find a physician or learn more, visit www.houstonphysicianshospital.com.
About DNV GL Healthcare
DNV GL is a world-leading certification body that helps businesses assure the performance of their organizations, products, people, facilities and supply chains through certification, verification, assessment, and training services. Within healthcare, DNV GL helps its customers achieve excellence by improving quality and patient safety through hospital accreditation, disease-specific certifications and quality-management training. The DNV GL operates in more than 100 countries. Our 15,000 professionals are dedicated to helping its customers make the world safer, smarter and greener. For more information about DNV GL Healthcare, visit www.dnvglhealthcare.com.
Winter is a wonderful time of the year, with the holiday season and spending time with friends and family. However, it can also pose certain risks that can lead to a fall that causes an orthopedic injury. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that no one wants to deal with an orthopedic injury during the holiday season, so we’ve laid out some tips to help you prevent them this winter:
- Stick to Your Exercise Routine
With the stress that often comes along with the holiday season, many people tend to ignore their usual exercise routine during the winter. However, this can weaken your muscles and increase the risk for an orthopedic injury. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, muscle weakness can cause instability in the knees, hips, and ankles, therefore increasing the risk for a fall. Keep your muscles strong by making sure to get at least 30 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercise into your day.
- Wear the Correct Shoes
Wearing shoes that provide stability and traction is important, especially during the winter when ice may have formed on the ground. Wearing the correct shoes can help prevent a fall that leads to an orthopedic injury. A study published in the journal “Applied Ergonomics” indicated a relationship between lower shoe traction and a higher risk of slipping (2). When purchasing winter footwear, check the sole for tread that can safely grip the ground, even if ice has formed.
- Watch Out for Black Ice
While it is typically thought of as only a roadway problem, black ice can pose a threat for walkers, too. According to the US Forest Service, black ice is not actually black, but rather a clear layer of ice that can easily blend in with pavement and sidewalks. This makes it incredibly difficult to see and avoid. While it’s difficult to see, it is not impossible – keep an eye out for glossy patches when you’re walking and avoid these areas to prevent slipping.
- Wait Until the Afternoon to Go Outside
If at all possible, it’s best to wait to run errands or go outside until the later hours of the morning. This allows any ice that has accumulated to melt and not pose as much of a risk for slipping and falling. According to the journal “Ergonomics,” three-quarters of falls occur between 7 AM and 9 AM (4). Stay safe and avoid an orthopedic injury this winter by waiting until after 9 AM to go outside when possible.
No one wants to deal with an orthopedic injury, especially during the holiday season. These tips can help you prevent a potentially dangerous fall. For expert orthopedic services, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620. We have the leading orthopedic doctors in Clear Lake, Texas, and the surrounding areas.