May 2014

Learn simple tips to ensure your family's meals are a source of healthy, balanced nutrition.

Your family may be getting enough to eat, but does that mean they are well-nourished? According to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition:
•    Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat. 
•    Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products and healthy fats.
•    About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.

Some of these issues may reflect changes in the way we eat. Sitting down for a family meal isn't as common as it was a generation or so ago. This is evidenced by the fact that the number of fast food establishments has more than doubled in the past 40 years. 

If you're one of the millions of Americans with eating habits that could benefit from some balancing, the federal "Choose My Plate" initiative is a great resource for information and ideas on making healthy changes at mealtime. Here are 5 examples of small changes that can make a big difference over time:

1) Swap beverages: Instead of whole or 2% milk, use skim or 1%. Whether eating out or at home, forgo soda and sugary drinks as daily thirst quenchers.  Save money and calories, drink water instead. 

2) Limit offenders: Are high fat and high sugar foods a regular part of your diet? Cakes, cookies, pizza, fatty meats (ribs, sausage, hot dogs), ice cream and candy should be reserved for occasional treats, not daily eats. 

3) Chart your plate: Reserve half of your plate for fruits and veggies. Try to make sure at least half of your grains are whole-grains. Stick with lean meats whenever possible. 

4) Slow down: Take the "fast" out of food. If you're rushing or distracted during meals, it's easier to over-eat or miss your stomach signaling, "I've had enough."

5) Calculate your intake: Learn how many calories you need to maintain a healthy weight at myplate.gov. From grocery packaging to restaurant websites, use calorie and nutrition charts to help you to reach your goals. Keeping a daily food journal is key to staying on track.

"Many Americans are eating plenty and yet they are undernourished. We're trading quantity for quality, and the foods we're eating most often are the ones that will benefit our bodies the least," said Colette Wyttenbach, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Monroe Clinic.  

"It's time we take a conscious look at what is our plate and start viewing food as a health enhancer, not just something to fill our stomachs. Once you embrace healthier eating habits, you may be surprised at the diversity and flavor of good nutrition."

Anterior hip replacement spares muscle while restoring mobility.

Our hips are among the strongest and most durable joints in the human body. We depend on our hips every day, as they are essential to common tasks, such as tying shoes, getting out of a chair, walking or taking the stairs.
  
Despite their durability, they are not invincible. Injury and arthritis can damage hips, causing pain, stiffness and disability. And when these important joints aren't working properly, people may find simple daily activities are incredibly difficult.

Finding Relief
Hip pain may respond to a number of treatments. Medication, weight loss, physical therapy and low impact exercise are possible options, depending on the specific diagnosis or cause. 

When the problem is severe, your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery.  

An Effective Intervention
Total hip replacement is one of the "most successful operations in all of medicine," according The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The procedure was first performed in 1960, and since then, advancements in surgical techniques and technology have only enhanced the procedure's effectiveness. An increasing number of people are turning to hip replacement to find relief, as more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

A Muscle-Sparing Approach
While effective, traditional (lateral or posterior) hip replacement requires a larger incision of 10-12 inches, and the surgeon must detach muscle tissue during the procedure. Recovery can be a gradual process, and most patients typically must limit hip motion for six weeks to two months following surgery. 

The anterior hip replacement is a relatively new, "tissue-sparing" approach that has gained momentum over the past decade. With the anterior approach, the surgeon reaches the joint from the front of the hip, rather than the side or back.  By doing so, the surgeon does not have to cut through muscle tissue and operates through a much smaller incision of 4-5 inches (less than half of the traditional approach).
  
Potential benefits of anterior hip replacement include:
•    shorter recovery time 
•    less muscle damage
•    less scarring
•    fewer restrictions during recovery

"Since leg muscles are not cut during this surgery, many patients are experiencing joint stability soon after surgery.  While every patient is different, some patients are moving, bending and bearing weight on their hips immediately after anterior hip replacement," said Dr. Jonathan Swindle, a Monroe Clinic orthopaedic surgeon.  "However, as with any surgery, the key to successful outcome goes beyond surgery and continues with educated and thorough rehabilitation practices."

Looking to learn more about joint pain?
Attend one of Monroe Clinic's free seminars, "The Good News About Joint Pain."  For dates and registration, visit the "Events" section at monroeclinic.org.

Both Dr. Swindle and fellow Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Lance Sathoff are very familiar with the anterior hip replacement. For a consultation, call 608-324-2453.