Greenleaf Ortho's blog

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Attitude cannot be underestimated in a patient's recovery. There is no question that orthopaedic injuries are painful and seriously interfere with various functions of life. There are those patients who react to an injury with a "why me" attitude that inevitably leads to months of tedious, depressing recovery. The cast is too tight, the injured extremity throbs, the crutches are uncomfortable, the pain medications don't work, etc. Fortunately, those patients are outnumbered by those who face their injury with an acceptance and will to recover that is inspiring for all involved.

Like the Splattering of an Uncooked Egg

Sometimes a good deed doesn't go unpunished, particularly if that good deed involves climbing a ladder and working several feet off of the ground. One of the more problematic orthopaedic injuries is a fracture of the calcaneus or heel. This injury is generally seen when an individual falls straight down from a height onto his heels. The result is usually a fracture of the calcaneus (heel bone).

Greenleaf Corner

It's a new year, marking over 50 years since Greenleaf Orthopaedics opened its doors to serve residents of Lake County. Despite significant changes in government-funded healthcare programs and expansion of competing practices, the physicians of Greenleaf continue in the tradition of providing personal, community-based care to our patients.

Doing the Watoosie

Sometimes you just have to laugh. It's those moments that help make up for the days of difficult patients, poor prognosis and surgical complications. A patient in his mid 80s came into the office complaining of low back pain that had been bothering him for several weeks. He has a history of arthritis in his lower spine and has suffered a number of painful flares. When asked whether he had fallen or done anything out of the ordinary in the weeks immediately preceding his onset of pain, the patient responds that he had attended a family wedding. "Did you fall?" the patient was asked.

To Treat or Not to Treat – That is the Question

Sometimes saying no is in the best interest of the patient. The day began with a 21-year-old patient seeking help for what he describes as his severe, chronic low back pain. He tells us that he is ready to do something about his back because it is "ruining his life," -interfering with his ability to work and to have a social life. The patient was last seen more than a year ago, sent for imaging that revealed a bulging disc in his back and referred to an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in disorders of the back.

Technology at the Bedside

The major health care reform legislation passed by Congress last year requires physicians treating Medicare patients to utilize what is known as an electronic medical record (EMR). This is a computerized charting system that incorporates all notes taken when the patient is examined in clinic along with pertinent x-rays, lab data, imaging scans, prescriptions – basically one-stop shopping for patient information. Greenleaf has been using a system for a number of years now; it is excellent in terms of accessing patient information in a concise, readable fashion.

Clues in the Fluid

Practitioners have a variety of reasons for going into medicine, but most would probably admit to having a healthy enjoyment of exercising their "inner detective." Making a diagnosis is in many ways like solving a crime. What caused the symptoms, were there contributing factors (fall or co-existing illness), has it happened before, etc. One of the more satisfying procedures, from an orthopaedic perspective, is the removal or "aspiration" of fluid from a swollen joint – such as a knee.

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