The Doctors talk with a caller about spinal fusion, stenosis
You get your money’s worth this episode as Dr. Scott Blumenthal and Dr. Brad Bellard join Dr. T.O. Souryal for an entire episode of your favorite sports medicine radio show for the same price! Free, that is. Of course, they don’t keep strictly to sports and medicine… they might talk about date night, or p’s and q’s, news from the CDC, chronic pain management, black swans and white swans, skiing and skating, locker room talk and so on. They may digress, but in a completely informative and entertaining way.
Our first caller has continued back pain and asks whether it may be connected to his already-diagnosed degenerative disc disease. A 64 year old wonders what to do about sciatica that keeps him awake too much. The popular, and uncomfortable, Business of Medicine segment covers some disturbing trends. Then a hockey player has a deep contusion on one thigh, but the other knee swelled up. Another caller asks about the difference between anabolic steroids and cortisone shots in a joint, and a weekend warrior pulled a hamstring. How fast can he get back in the game and will compression shorts or sleeves really do the trick? An umpire took a fastball to his knuckle and remains bruised and swollen. Three docs, expert advice. ‘Nuf said.
Dr. Brad Bellard joins Dr. Souryal for this day-before-Super-Bowl episode. Chris Hall – former head athletic trainer and director of sports medicine at Texas Christian University, weighs in on a ruling about who can clear an injured athlete to get back in the game and explains an initiative to put an athletic trainer in every school nation-wide.
The doctors dole out their usual entertaining mix of sports medicine information and advice. A caller from Fort Worth wonders if his current burning elbow is related to his ruptured biceps injury suffered two years earlier. A former hockey referee hyper-extended his knees at 18 and has trouble 25 years later in his knees and back and neck. Where does he start to solve his current aches and pains?
The $64 million question is…what exercises might help to prevent ACL injuries? If only we knew! Callers continue with the ACL theme. A golfer damaged his knee last year and added a toe injury recently which affects his balance and mechanics. A concerned husband describes his wife’s ACL repair and patellar graft 16 months ago and is worried about her confidence in activities. A torn ACL was repaired and now has more damage- is that bad luck or added stress? The Doctors wind down with a discussion of HGH and CTE.
Though not always his favorite subject, Dr. Souryal has a lot to say on the Business of Medicine throughout this show – from the Insurance Game and how it affects patient care, to trust between doctors and patients and whether competitive practice can bring down costs. Visits to the doctor may well be the cheapest part of healthcare, while required equipment and hospital costs are wicked pricy. There’s no question modern medicine is expensive, but how, as a society, are we going to pay for it?
Questions are volleyed back and forth. What makes pioneer Dr. Andrews stand out in the sports medicine field? How safe is it to get a cortisone shot while on Coumadin? Do recent knee replacements last longer than they used to? Ortho or neuro? Car or home? LSU or Alabama? What’s your level of pain and function? Dr. Souryal and Dr. Bellard weigh in on the best low-impact cardio exercises for a caller with knee problems, the need for multiple opinions on multiple issues for a neck fusion patient, and give a spiel on adhesive capsulitis
Episode 551 wraps up with three calls about shoulders. The last caller, interestingly, has a very complicated story about several unexpected procedures and the issue of trust. Doctors and patients- please do your homework!
Shall we dance, or digress? We have about 15 million topics to get to today, give or take, on this bonus live Inside Sports Medicine episode. MRI’s are featured but there is talk of arch supports, pinched nerves, spine procedures, repetitive motion injuries, and so on. Top spine specialists Dr. Scott Blumenthal and Dr. Mel Manning, as well as PT specialist Dr. Craig Garrison join Dr. Souryal for this unscripted and freewheeling show.
Sports Medicine 101 is about the value of first, second, and even third opinions. Elbow injuries are on the rise and Dr. Garrison explains the mechanics of protecting the shoulder at the expense of the elbow, and changes in movement patterns that affect young players, especially. There are advantages to mixing it up.
Callers’ questions start with a young pitcher’s knee pain, then an inconclusive MRI reading on a bicep bump leads to a discussion on how not all MRI’s are the same. Questions keep rolling in in by voice and text: a woman with numbness in legs after lumbar fusion surgery may have transition syndrome, an active 60 year old with multiple shoulder and knee surgeries behind him keeps going despite cartilage loss, a patient considering a three-level disc replacement calls for advice, a soccer player’s quad injury is discussed, and a “gripping” injury might be tennis elbow, or golf elbow.
We could use at least another hour for a show like this!