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ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON OR NEUROSURGEON?
Who to see for your back surgery
FROM EVERYDAY ATHLETES TO OLYMPIC
How Simone Biles Discovered Another Winning Team
TIPS FOR LOSING WEIGHT IN 2017
YOUR LINK TO HEALTH INNOVATIONS, NEWS AND TIPS IN THE WOODLANDS AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY
ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON OR NEUROSURGEON? Who to see for your back surgery
ost adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. It’s one of the most common reasons people miss work and visit a doctor. According to Dr. Kenneth Palmer, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine conditions at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, the causes of back pain vary. “Degenerative changes that occur with age as well as lifestyle factors, such as not maintaining a healthy weight, are two of the most common causes,” he said. “In younger individuals, back pain tends to be sports related.” The good news, Palmer said, is that a majority of back problems can be managed with nonsurgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication, ice, heat, spinal injections or physical therapy. But what if you’ve tried these treatments and still have pain? When conservative options don’t provide relief, it may be time to explore back surgery.
SIGNS YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM BACK SURGERY “Spinal surgery can reduce back pain caused by progressive degenerative conditions and can correct painful spinal deformities,” Palmer said. You may be a candidate for back surgery if you have: Persistent pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatment
The orthopedic spine specialists and neurosurgeons at Houston Methodist The Woodlands work collaboratively to treat a wide range of spinal injuries and conditions. While there is some overlap, according to Dr. Andrew Marky, a neurosurgeon at Houston Methodist The Woodlands, the question of who to see depends on your diagnosis. “It’s tough if you just have back pain or leg pain to know who to see up front,” he said. According to Marky, here are some general guidelines. Neurosurgeons: Specialize in neurological disorders affecting the spinal cord and nervous system, including tumors, and typically perform more pain-related procedures such as spinal cord stimulation and pain pumps. Orthopedic Surgeons: Treat structural abnormalities such as scoliosis and injuries such as fractures. They also perform total joint replacement surgery. Both specialists treat pinched nerves, herniated discs and spinal stenosis. Recovery times range from a day for minor procedures to several weeks or months for more invasive procedures involving spinal reconstruction or tumor treatment. Physical therapy is usually recommended to speed up the recovery process.
A tumor or infection in the spine A spinal fracture Bulging or ruptured discs Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine, that creates pressure on spinal cord and nerves)
Get Relief from Your Back Pain
Visit houstonmethodist.org/thewoodlands to learn more about treatment options at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital.
Dr. Kenneth Palmer Orthopedic Surgeon 936.321.8000
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Dr. Andrew Marky Neurosurgeon 936.270.3905
THE 5 RULES OF
RUNNING to Prevent Injury
unning is beneficial for many reasons — it helps you maintain a healthy body weight, lowers your risk of certain diseases, reduces stress and improves your mood. But if you push yourself too hard, you could end up sidelined by pain. And it’s not only the novice runner who’s susceptible — even an Dr. Marc Labbé experienced runner can suffer an injury. Dr. Marc Labbé is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. He’s also a runner. “The majority of patients I see with running-related injuries are just starting out or maybe they’ve run a marathon in the past, but haven’t trained in a while,” he said. “They tend to ramp up their activity too quickly, train too hard and end up with knee pain or a stress fracture.” Good news! You can prevent most running injuries by following a few simple precautions. Labbé recommends starting out slowly, working your way up from walking to jogging, and gradually increasing your speed and distance. He offers these five tips for staying on your feet and out of rehab: TAKE YOUR TIME. Avoid the “terrible toos” of running: Don’t run too hard, too fast or too often with no rest days. Labbé suggests one or two rest days a week. TUNE IN. If you’re feeling tight or sore, your body may be signaling that you need to rest. Don’t alter your stride to compensate for pain. Take a break. If the pain persists or becomes too intense, see your doctor. WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES. Buy a good pair of running shoes before you start training. Change them every 300 miles, even if they don’t look worn. BUILD UP YOUR STRENGTH. Incorporate weight training two or three times a week on your rest days to strengthen leg muscles. STAY HEALTHY. Drink water to keep hydrated. Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains to maintain a healthy weight, boost your energy and fuel your muscles.
REGISTER FOR THE WOODLANDS MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON Houston Methodist is proud to be the title sponsor of the Health & Fitness Expo at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott on March 3 and The Woodlands Half Marathon on March 4. Visit thewoodlandsmarathon.com to register.
Elevate Your Performance with Complete Care
To schedule a physical, visit houstonmethodist.org/orthopedics or call 713.790.3333.
CHECK OUT OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE AT HOUSTONMETHODIST.ORG/PUBLICATIONS 3
FROM EVERYDAY ATHLETES
TO OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS How Simone Biles Discovered Another Winning Team
hether you’re shooting hoops in the neighborhood with friends or training for a marathon, physical activity provides many benefits, both short and long-term. But as Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles discovered, pushing your body can also occasionally mean dealing with injuries. Getting the right care can help you get back into the game faster and more safely. Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine offers unparalleled care thanks to a diverse team of doctors and health care professionals that works together to ensure you are able to safely participate in the activities you enjoy. Our all-star team includes P rimary care sports medicine doctors who combine orthopedic knowledge with holistic primary care F oot and ankle specialists who expertly treat ankle sprains and other injuries
Taking Care of Houston’s Best By studying elite athletes and helping them stay at the top of their game, we’re improving the quality of care for all athletes. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Houston Methodist The Woodlands, call 713.790.3333.
O rthopedic surgeons who perform precise surgeries to relieve pain and increase mobility N eurologists who ensure a safe return to play after a concussion H and and wrist specialists who provide relief for arthritis and nerve injuries P hysical and occupational therapists who create customized rehabilitation plans specially tailored for each patient Our team is trusted as the official health care provider for the Houston Texans, Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash, Rice University Athletics, RodeoHouston® and Houston Ballet, among others. Just as we help those elite athletes, our team ensures that every patient receives the same standard of excellent care, so they can cross their own finish line, whatever it may be.
CARING FOR AN OLYMPIAN
Among the most recognizable athletes whom Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine has treated is 19-year-old Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. As a world-class competitor, Biles is no stranger to the ailments that can accompany rigorous training. Shortly before she was to compete in the 2013 World Gymnastics Championships, Biles “landed short,” damaging the neck of the talus, one of the bones in the ankle. As a result, she sought care from her primary care sports medicine physician,
4 LEADING MEDICINE FROM HOUSTON METHODIST THE WOODLANDS HOSPITAL
Dr. Scott Rand, who has been Biles’ doctor since 2012. With World Championships looming, Rand knew that a surgical option was out of the question for Biles. Instead, Rand was able to administer ultrasound-guided injections to reduce inflammation and provide her with pain relief. With her pain in check, Biles went on to win an individual all-around gold medal that year.
PREPARING BILES FOR GOLD
After the competition, Rand enlisted the help of Houston Methodist foot
PREVENTING COMMON SPORTS INJURIES You don’t have to be an elite athlete like Simone Biles to suffer an injury. Playing a sport or getting in shape is a worthwhile fitness goal, as long as inadequate stretching, poor training Dr. Eric Price habits, outdated gear or accidents don’t trip you up on the way to good health. Sprains, strains and stress fractures are all common. They’re also, in many cases, preventable. Dr. Eric Price, Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, whose office is located in The Woodlands, offers these tips for avoiding common sports related injuries. Get the go-ahead from your doctor. Schedule a physical to make sure you’re in good health before starting a new sport. Wear the right gear. Make sure you have the proper protective equipment, clothing and well-fitting shoes designed for the sport you are doing. Protective eye wear is important for impact sports. Helmets are a must for bicyclists. Play by the rules. Know and follow the basic rules of the sport to avoid accidents. Simone Biles pictured with Dr. Travis Hanson (l) and Dr. Scott Rand (r).
and ankle specialist Dr. Travis Hanson to remove the bone spur. For an elite gymnast like Biles, the surgery had to be as minimally invasive as possible to minimize scar tissue and achieve better range of motion. After surgery and rehabilitation at Houston Methodist Willowbrook, Biles went on to make the cut to become one of the “Final Five” on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, competing in and earning gold medals in the team and individual all-around, vault and floor exercise
as well as earning a bronze medal for balance beam. “As athletes, we’re always going to have aches and pains, but when your teammates cheer you on, you don’t think about it,” Biles said recently. “The Houston Methodist team really helped me as well. They kept me focused on my goals and I trusted them — they really care and are an amazing team to work with. I had complete confidence in them and just didn’t worry about the injury.”
Warm up and stretch. Warming up gradually increases the heart rate and can prevent muscle strain and joint injury. Stay hydrated. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water before, during and after your activity. Tune in to your body. Be aware of any aches or pains you’re experiencing. Avoid playing when you’re too tired or in pain. Strengthen your muscles. Resistance training using weights can make you stronger and less prone to injury.
on Digestive DISORDERS I
t’s not a subject most people like to talk about, but gastrointestinal problems are common. While a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or colitis may be scary Dr. Diego and confusing, these Marines diseases are highly treatable with lifestyle changes and medication. Here are some myths about these common disorders. MYTH: A DIAGNOSIS OF CROHN’S OR COLITIS MEANS I’LL DEVELOP COLON CANCER. FACT: According to Dr. Diego Marines, a Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery — Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and ulcerative and ischemic colitis are benign diseases, meaning they aren’t life threatening. “They’re all forms of colitis, which means inflammation of the intestines. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s are referred to as inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD.” MYTH: IBD IS THE SAME AS IBS (IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME). FACT: While both IBD and IBS can cause similar symptoms, IBS is
a functional disorder of the GI tract and does not cause the inflammation, ulcers or other bowel damage associated with IBD. MYTH: IBD IS RARE AND ONLY OCCURS IN OLD AGE. FACT: IBD affects roughly 1.6 million Americans and tends to run in families. Diverticulitis and ischemic colitis usually affect people in their 60s or 70s, according to Marines, but can occur at any age. While Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and ulcerative colitis impacts the colon, symptoms can mirror each other and may include Abdominal pain Diarrhea Rectal bleeding Severe constipation Symptoms of diverticulitis may include Constipation Fever Nausea and vomiting Persistent pain, usually on the left side of the abdomen
RELIEF THROUGH TREATMENT
Although there’s no cure for IBD, treatment may offer symptom relief. “I always recommend nonsurgical options when possible,” Marines said. “For autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s, there are great options, including steroids and newer classes of medications. For diverticulitis, antibiotics usually help.” However, for those who can’t tolerate the side effects of medication or have complications such as colon perforation, surgery may be needed.
PROVEN METHODS ENHANCE RECOVERY
If surgery is necessary, you’ll be in good hands at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. With enhanced recovery after surgery, patients benefit from less pain and fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and a faster return to daily activities. The program combines best practices for minimally invasive surgery, pain and IV fluid management, food intake, anesthesia and pre- and postoperative care to reduce complications and speed recovery.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit houstonmethodist.org/appointments to schedule an appointment at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital or call 936.270.3821.
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Are you ready for a change?
Tips for LOSING WEIGHT in 2017
f you’re like most people who are overweight, you’ve tried shedding pounds through diet and exercise programs, but nothing has stuck. Or maybe you haven’t made an effort to lose weight because it never seems to be the right time. Let’s face it, losing weight is hard. But with the right plan and support, you can make changes to improve your health. The question for most people, according to Dr. Peter Howard Jones, medical director at Houston Methodist Weight Management Center at The Woodlands, isn’t whether or not they want to lose weight, but whether or not they’re ready to lose weight. “It’s very much a psychological issue,” he said. “You have to get to a point where you’re not doing it for your husband or your wife or your kids. You have to want to lose weight for yourself before you can move forward.” If you’re ready, Jones offers these tips: Eat more plant-based foods. Jones recommends filling the majority of your plate with plant-based foods including fruits and vegetables. Then add whole grains and lean protein.
Incorporate activity slowly. Physical activity burns calories and boosts your mood. If you’ve never exercised before, start slow. Try swimming, brisk walking or biking. Work up to 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days. Drink plenty of water. It’s calorie-free and helps you feel full so you’ll eat less. Practice mindfulness. Jones recommends slowing down and paying attention to each bite. “When you sit down to eat, turn off the TV, put down the phone and really be mindful of what you’re eating.” Don’t go it alone. Relying on friends, family members or social groups can keep you
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motivated. If you need help exercising, create a walking group with co-workers or neighbors. Join a program. The Houston Methodist Weight Management Center at The Woodlands offers personalized care for lifelong weight loss, including one-on-one nutritional counseling with licensed dietitians, meal replacement, group classes and behavioral therapy. Jones explained the program has a 90 percent success rate. “A structured program with weekly meetings supports people on their weight-loss journey and helps them stay focused. We’ve seen a lot of lives changed on this program.”
Get Ready for a New You
To learn more about your weight loss options or to sign up for a free orientation class, visit houstonmethodist.org/ weight-management or call 832.667.LOSE (5673).
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LEADING MEDICINE IN GREATER HOUSTON
WHAT IF ONE DOCTOR COULD CONNECT YOU WITH THE EXPERTISE OF MANY?
HOSPITALS EMERGENCY CARE CENTERS SPECIALTY HOSPITALS IMAGING CENTERS COMPREHENSIVE CARE CENTER
Just around the corner Houston Methodist has locations throughout the Greater Houston area to best serve you near your home or workplace. Our locations include hospitals, emergency care and imaging centers.
HOSPITALS 1. Houston Methodist Hospital 2. Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital 3. Houston Methodist St. John Hospital 4. Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital 5. Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital Opening July 2017 6. Houston Methodist West Hospital 7. Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
SPECIALTY HOSPITAL 8. Houston Methodist St. Catherine Hospital
IMAGING CENTERS 5. Houston Methodist Breast Care Center at The Woodlands
At Houston Methodist, your primary care doctor collaborates with world-renowned specialists every day, bringing you wideranging medical expertise, personalized for you, with convenient locations and same-day appointments you can schedule online. Your health, your way — that’s how the highest ranked hospital in Texas puts you first. Accepting most major insurance plans. Choose your doctor or schedule online at houstonmethodist.org/primarycare or call 713.394.6638.
EMERGENCY CARE CENTERS 713.441.ER24 (3724) 9. Houston Methodist Emergency Care Center at Kirby 10. Houston Methodist Emergency Care Center at Voss 11. Houston Methodist Emergency Care Center in Cinco Ranch 12. Houston Methodist Emergency Care Center in Cypress 13. Houston Methodist Emergency Care Center in Pearland 14. Houston Methodist Emergency Care Center in Sienna Plantation 15. Houston Methodist Emergency Care Center in Spring
9. Houston Methodist Breast Care Center
COMPREHENSIVE CARE CENTER
16. Houston Methodist Imaging Center
17. Houston Methodist Comprehensive Care Center at Pearland