Healthy & Happy
December, 2018 - Issue #171
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Sometimes, Surgery isn't the Answer
You can't lift your arm over your head without feeling shooting pain down your shoulder blade, or the weakness in your hip is growing more pronounced by the day. Maybe it's that knee? It's swollen more often than not - and you're not sure it'll stand up to the pressure of that big bike ride you have booked for spring.
Whatever your pain, you may be programmed to think that surgery is the only solution. In fact, you might be putting off an evaluation with a specialist because that's just what you don't want to hear.

In 2018, you'd be surprised.

"As an orthopedic surgeon, patients are often caught off guard when I suggest more conservative treatments before we begin considering surgery," says Dr. Alon Antebi. "But the fact is, that's often all it takes. In many cases, regardless of what the X-ray may show, an injection can help a patient be pain free and active again. That becomes the best treatment option for them at this time, versus putting them through surgery."

Orthopedic specialist Dr. Justin Sherfey agrees. "We've had great success with prescribing targeted rehabilitation, platelet-rich plasma injections or cortisone. A good surgeon will weigh all the options before jumping into a surgical theater."

Patients sometimes resist the more-conservative approach, convinced that surgery is the only option. "Surgical intervention isn't the quick fix a lot of people believe it to be," says Dr. Antebi. "Even with the most high-tech, minimally-invasive procedures, surgery should be considered the last resort. Most injuries need time, not a quick fix."

"In some cases, surgery is obviously necessary. Under those circumstances, you'll want your specialist to take their time and craft a treatment plan that includes recovery and addresses your lifestyle, wants and needs," explains Dr. Sherfey. "If you feel rushed into surgery, my advice is to get a second opinion. You don't want to use your last resort first."
Dr. Alon Antebi and Dr. Justin Sherfey of AVORS 705-5100

"Concierge Care" Bridges the Gap Between Home Health & Home Care
Do you know the difference between home health and home care? If not, you're not alone. The gap between the two services often causes confusion.

Home health is ordered by a doctor, generally on discharge from a hospital or rehab facility. Home-health agencies provide periodic short-term skilled nursing services to monitor your health status and an occupational therapist or physical therapist to provide instruction in home-safety recommendations and mobility. Home health is covered by medical insurance and Medicare.

Home care, classified as non-medical personal care, is provided by caregivers to assist with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, medication assistance and meal preparation. It is funded through private pay, long-term care insurance, veterans' benefits and, if you qualify, through Medi-Cal.

These two services can and should complement each other, in that home care can be there when home health is not. At Home Instead Senior Care, their caregivers work together with skilled health professionals to help you recover after discharge and regain your independence. The company's new "concierge" level of care is the highest offered by any home care company and features specially-trained, highly-skilled caregivers to help get you home and get you well.
Home Instead Senior Care for Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys 254-8701
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

SDF is the New "Silver Bullet"
in Dentistry & your Child could Benefit from its Protection
You may have heard about Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) treatment; after all, the use of silver in dentistry dates back to the early 20th century. In 2014, the FDA approved SDF to reduce tooth sensitivity and, since 2015, SDF has been available in the US; it's widely used in dental practices across the nation as an alternative to the conventional "drill and fill" approach.

Here's how it works - and why parents are so excited. Cavities stop growing - because cavity-causing bacteria are killed by the silver compounds, thanks to their anti-microbial properties. Colonization is reduced because pathogens are unable to form a biofilm on SDF-treated teeth surfaces. The insoluble crust, which forms after treatment, also serves as a fluoride reservoir, reducing the impact of acid and increasing dentin hardness. Based on clinical trials, SDF appears to be almost twice as effective as fluoride varnish for cavity prevention and cessation.
Countless patients can benefit from this conservative treatment, including very young infants; special-needs and medically-fragile patients who struggle with extensive restorative treatments; teens with multiple minor "between the teeth" cavities; and so many more.

SDF is incredibly safe, with no known side effects. There is black staining of the cavity area after application, but the visual impact overall is minor. The application process is so simple, too. Your pediatric dentist can apply it even on a wiggly child perched on a parent's lap. All it takes is a small brush or puffy floss - no needles, numbing or drilling necessary. "SDF has revolutionized pediatric dentistry and is a valuable non-invasive tool every parent should consider," says Shukan Kanuga, DDS, MSD, of Kidz Dental Care. "We're getting nothing but positive feedback from kids, moms and dads. It's such a quick, stress-free, effective treatment - and the benefits are outstanding." Ask your pediatric dentist about SDF for caries arrest for your child as a treatment option; it may not be viable in all instances, especially very-deep cavities.
Kidz Dental Care SCV 388-0499

The Health Checkup You've Been Ignoring
You see the dentist twice a year; your physical is scheduled annually on the dot. At the hint of a vision problem, you're in to see the ophthalmologist. Ticker trouble? You wouldn't think to miss a cardiology appointment.

But when your ability to communicate and connect at work and in your personal relationships suffer, there's a good chance you ignore the symptoms and skip out on a solution.

"It's shocking to see just how little value people place on their hearing," says Nola Aronson, of Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology. "I often joke that if people started losing their ability to speak, they'd be into the doctor's office within an hour. But when we begin to lose our ability to hear, we don't place as much value on it - though hearing is integral to quality communication, job performance and overall health."

Part of the reason hearing checks are a hurdle: There's a presumption that the solution isn't worth the trouble. "People think that they'll have to wear a big, clunky hearing aid that doesn't even work, and that's simply not true," says Aronson. "First, it could be wax or a virus that's affecting the hearing. That's why we offer a free hearing check, to determine causation. But if you do need aids, and they're properly fitted, your life is going to change for the better."

That's not permission to self diagnose or wander into a warehouse store for one-size-fits-all aids. "In California, you can sell hearing aids with a high-school diploma and state exam, but an audiologist has a minimum of eight years of education and usually a doctorate, to boot. They want to find real solutions, not to just make a sale. Last week, I spent 90 minutes with a new client who said his aids weren't working. It turned out, he had a medical problem in his ear that was, with our help, eventually diagnosed by his ENT. A box store employee isn't spending that kind of time with patients to get it right - and 'getting it right' should be everyone's goal when it comes to hearing health," says Aronson.
Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology 425-9330
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