this page we will try to describe different ways to control and
protest your health.
Early diagnostic is a key, and you can do some part of this job
yourself. Help your doctor.
Description of many diseases will be published here along with ways
how to diagnost it.
For Arthritic Hands
may be familiar with surgery to replace aching knees and hips, but
did you know that arthritic joints in your knuckles, thumbs and
wrists can also be replaced? At Warminster Hospital’s Orthopedic
Institute, surgeons use an outpatient procedure called soft tissue
arthroplasty to treat arthritic hands.
"Arthroplasty may be effective for arthritis pain at the base
of the thumb," says David Zelouf, MD, a board-certified hand
surgeon at the Warminster Hospital Orthopedic Institute.
Joint fusion is another surgical procedure performed at the Orthopedic
Institute that may relieve advanced pain and discomfort. "Joint
fusion literally melds two bones into one. It stiffens the problem
joint and is often used in the end joint near your fingertip,"
Dr. Zelouf explains.
"Arthroplasty and joint fusion can be effective in selected
patients, but we only recommend surgery for advanced-stage osteoarthritis,
when other treatments have failed to provide relief," adds
Stephanie Sweet, MD, a board certified orthopedic surgeon at the
Warminster Hospital Orthopedic Institute. "The first step in
treating arthritic hands is a clinical evaluation and X-rays."
Osteoarthritis, the result of "wear and tear" to the cartilage
between your joints, is the most common form of arthritis, affecting
more than 20 million Americans. The second most common type of arthritis,
rheumatoid, is characterized by inflammation and swelling in the
joints. More than two million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
"Treatment for both types of arthritis is intended to alleviate
your pain and help you regain use of your hands," explains
Dr. Sweet. For osteoarthritis, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory
medication or steroid injections, and recommend a period of rest.
You may also be asked to wear finger or wrist splints at bedtime
or while performing your daily activities. Rheumatoid arthritis
is managed medically by an internist or rheumatologist.
"Arthritis is a chronic disease you may experience for the
rest of your life," adds Dr. Sweet. "Treatment is based
on the type of arthritis you have, the stage of the disease and
the severity of your symptoms. Managing your pain over the long
term is an important factor in restoring function and increasing
your quality of life."
Don’t let arthritis pain interfere with your hobbies and activities.
Institute Offers Advanced Care for Low Back Pain
back pain is one of the main reasons people miss work," says
Neil Kahanovitz, MD, a board-certified spine specialist at the Warminster
Hospital Orthopedic Institute. "Your low back bears most of
the stress of day-to-day living. All those years of bending, twisting,
carrying heavy objects and improper lifting can take their toll
on your low back. You may also experience pain due to disc herniations
or bony pressure on the nerves."
Discs are cartilage that lies between the vertebrae in the spine.
As you grow older, the discs in your spine lose water and slowly
begin to shrink. At the same time, the outer lining of the disc
may tear, which can be quite painful. With a herniated disc, activity
stress or a mechanical problem may cause the deteriorated disc to
bulge or rupture. This creates pressure on the spinal nerve, producing
pain, numbness or tingling. Coughing, sitting, driving and even
bending forward may aggravate the symptoms.
Patients should stay active to keep their muscles from contracting
and causing even more pain. We may also suggest anti-inflammatory
medication or localized heat to alleviate the pain. From there,
we move up to physical therapy, then pain management. If all else
fails, surgery may be suggested.
If you low back pain is becoming unbearable, call our physician
referral line for a referral to a spine specialist at Warminster
Dealing with Back Pain
• Exercise regularly.
• Build strength and flexibility. The next time you skip doing
those sit-ups, remember this: Strong stomach and back muscles provide
important support for your spine.
• Stand up straight, and sit smart. Choose chairs with good
low back support, or place a pillow behind the small of your back
to help provide necessary support.
• Learn to lift. Never pick up an object by bending straight
from your waist with your arms fully extended. Instead, keep your
back straight, bend at your knees and hold the object close to your
body. Also, avoid lifting and twisting at the same time.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
Detection Is Key to Surviving Prostate Cancer
all men age 50 and over: A simple blood test could save your life!
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is a widely used
screening tool for prostate cancer, the leading form of cancer and
the number two cause of cancer deaths among American men.
"Doctors will diagnose more than 220,000 new cases of prostate
cancer in the U.S. this year," says Richard Charney, MD, a
board-certified urologist at Warminster Hospital. "The good
news is, the earlier it is detected, the better your chance of successful
treatment and survival may be."
Screening and Diagnosis
Early detection is key, but getting men to the doctor for proper
screening can pose a problem. By the time a man notices signs of
trouble, the cancer might have spread beyond the prostate, making
it harder to treat and decreasing his chances for survival. It’s
crucial that men get a complete physical exam every year and start
being screened for prostate cancer at age 50.
"Warminster Hospital offers a wide range of sophisticated prostate
cancer treatments," says Albert Ruenes, MD a board-certified
urologist on staff at Warminster Hospital. "Sometimes these
treatments are used in combination, but the ultimate course of action
depends on the characteristics of your cancer, and whether it has
spread to other parts of your body or the lymph nodes."
• Prostate Removal — Prostatectomy is the surgical removal
of the prostate gland and adjacent tissue. Doctors typically recommend
prostatectomy if the cancer appears contained within the prostate.
• Hormone Therapy — If the cancer has spread beyond
the prostate, or a patient is not a good candidate for surgery or
radiation therapy, his doctor may suggest hormone therapy. Hormone
therapy, which is designed to stop the production of male hormones
such as testosterone, will not cure the cancer, but it can provide
symptom relief and help slow the disease progression.
• Radiation — High-powered X-rays can kill cancer cells.
• Chemotherapy — Often a treatment for advanced prostate
cancer, chemotherapy is also used when hormone therapy fails.
Each of these therapies has side effects and risks. Decisions regarding
treatment options are best discussed with your doctor.
Call your doctor today and make an appointment for a PSA blood test.
For a referral to urologist at Warminster Hospital, please call
Are You at Risk for Prostate Cancer?
According to Dr. Albert Ruenes at Warminster Hospital, risk factors
for prostate cancer include:
• Age—As a man ages, the likelihood of developing prostate
cancer also rises.
• Race—African-American men are more prone to prostate
cancer than Caucasian men. Prostate cancer screenings are recommended
for African-American men beginning at age 45.
• Nationality—Prostate cancer is most common in North
America and northwestern Europe. It is less common in Asia, Africa,
Central America and South America.
• Family History—Men with close relatives who have had
prostate cancer are more likely to get it themselves.
Signs & Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
When prostate cancer symptoms become noticeable, they may include:
• Dull pain in your lower pelvic area
• Urgency of urination
• Difficulty starting urination
• Pain during urination
• Weak urine flow and dribbling
• Intermittent urine flow
• A sensation that your bladder isn’t empty
• Frequent nighttime urination
• Blood in your urine
• Painful ejaculation
• General pain in your lower back, hips or upper thighs
• Loss of appetite and weight
• Persistent bone pain
Disorders in the Elderly
a good night’s sleep can become more challenging as we grow
older. "Lifestyle changes, stress and medical conditions can
all interfere with sleep. Yet we need the same amount of sleep we
required when we were younger," notes John Yardumian, DO, a
board-certified specialist in geriatric psychiatry and medical director
of the Senior Adult Behavioral Health Unit at Warminster Hospital.
Without enough sleep, you may experience less energy, moodiness,
difficulty concentrating and a greater risk of accidents. "If
you are having trouble sleeping, it is important to see a physician
to identify factors causing the problem and ways to make it better,"
says Dr. Yardumian.
Here are some common medical causes of sleep disturbance, and ways
they may be alleviated:
Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Physician evaluation can determine
if depression, undiagnosed apnea, drug interactions or excessive
drug use are playing a role in sleep difficulties for people with
Pain: Arthritis pain, headaches, muscular aches and leg pain can
make it difficult to fall asleep and can wake you during the night.
Behavioral approaches and medication may help.
Sleep Apnea: During the night, people with this condition stop breathing,
then wake briefly to gasp for breath. Twenty-eight percent of men
and 24 percent of women over 65 suffer from sleep apnea. Weight
loss, use of pillows, changes in sleep position and avoidance of
alcohol can help with mild cases. For moderate to severe apnea,
a continuous positive airway pressure device may help.
Hot Flashes: These can cause awakenings throughout the night. Breathing
strategies, hormonal treatment and naps may provide some relief.
Gastroesophageal Reflux: Heartburn and other symptoms, such as wheezing
and chronic cough, can cause repeated awakenings. If raising the
head of the bed does not provide relief, talk to your doctor about
Movement Disorders: Repeated jerking of the leg caused by periodic
limb movement disorder or the uncomfortable sensations associated
with restless leg syndrome can disturb sleep. Both may be helped
with drug treatments.
Sleep Phase Syndromes: The sleep cycle occurs much earlier or later
than normal for those who experience advanced or delayed sleep phase
syndrome. Treatment involves one or a combination of techniques:
bright light exposure, medication or resetting the biological clock
by progressively adjusting bed times.
Care for Vascular Disease
walking has become a painful experience, or if you notice that a
sore on your foot seems to be taking a long time to heal, you could
be showing signs of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
"Arteriosclerosis or peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a
condition in which fatty deposits called plaque build up along the
walls of the arteries that carry blood to the arms and legs,"
notes Patrick Pellecchia, MD, vascular surgeon at Warminster Hospital.
"When this buildup interferes with blood flow, serious health
complications can result."
PVD is associated with a sixfold increase in death rates for cardiovascular
problems. In addition, Dr. Pellecchia notes that vascular conditions
and coronary disease tend to feed on one another. "If you have
PVD," he says, "you are more likely to have heart disease."
Through the Vascular Institute, Warminster Hospital provides a multidisciplinary
approach to the diagnosis and treatment of PVD. The first step is
a physical examination and screenings for various conditions —
such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension — that impact
PVD. "We assess the vascular status, not just where the blockage
is," notes Robert Schiowitz, MD, chairman of the Department
of Surgery. Patients of the Vascular Institute have access to a
wide range of diagnostic tools, including angiograms, CT angiography,
MR angiography and Doppler ultrasound.
"Treatments for vascular disease work in two ways," explains
Gregory Lynch, DO, vascular surgeon at Warminster Hospital. "One
option is to clear out blockages via angioplasty or stents, which
are inserted into the affected artery to reopen it. The other option
involves building a path around the obstruction using a graft."
"Changes in medicine and evolving technology allow for increased
use of minimally invasive techniques and treatments," notes
The Vascular Institute comprises the vascular services provided
by Warminster Hospital and independent community physicians on the
hospital’s medical staff specializing in neurology, vascular
surgery, cardiology and wound care. The Vascular Institute includes
a facility conveniently located on Warminster Hospital’s campus
that houses some of these physicians and the hospital’s wound
care services. Patients of the Vascular Institute can obtain a continuum
of care for the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of vascular
diseases, including non-invasive diagnostic testing, interventional
procedures and vascular surgery.
Signs of PVD
The following symptoms may indicate peripheral vascular disease:
• Leg pain with exercise (such as walking), which is relieved
• Numbness of the legs or feet at rest
• Cold legs or feet
• Loss of hair on the lower extremities
• Change of leg color
• Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting
• Sore on leg or foot that won’t heal
* This month healthcare materials we
used from Warminster, PA Medical Hospital.