Nearly half of Canadians aged 65 and over experience osteoarthritis in their knees. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time leading to pain, stiffness and decreased mobility.  It frequently occurs in the hips and knees -- and can be quite painful. To help improve mobility and treat joint pain, it has been ...

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I had a great case the other night. Around midnight on a Friday, the hospitalist physician called me to evaluate an incarcerated femoral hernia. I thought this elderly and medically ill patient would likely die no matter what I did. I spent a grim half-hour at bedside explaining the dilemma to the patient and her family. She needed surgery, but surgery would probably kill her. The patient chose surgery. And she ...

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A number of media outlets recently featured a story about a Florida general surgeon who removed a normal kidney from a woman who was undergoing spine surgery. How could this have occurred? The 51-year-old patient who had been injured in a car crash was scheduled for an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) of the fifth lumbar to the first sacral vertebra. The general surgeon’s role was to provide ...

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I recently read an article entitled “The family said, ‘Do everything.’” It described the case of an elderly patient at the end-stage of life. The article concluded that “If your loved one has reached an end-stage of life, do the right thing. Let them die peacefully.” While I agree with this author’s intent, recent experience has altered my perspective on the “right thing.” My father died after complications ...

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On a recent vacation, I went out to eat at a small, out-of-the-way restaurant we always visit on our trips to the Outer Banks. There, I spotted a poster on the wall explaining why the cafe no longer uses plastic bags or plastic straws: to keep the material out of the ocean where it never really goes away. Plastic bags, straws, eating utensils, plates, bowls, and cups are everywhere in hospitals these ...

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I walk by the closed double doors and frosty windows of the ICU. You’re lying in there, intubated. It feels weird to go to work now. I can’t see you or talk to you, don’t know the drips, don’t know the plan ... and it’s killing me. I, along with many others, desperately want to express my love. So many feelings are swirling inside: Guilt. For having a chill workday that ...

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Most urology practices in the United States do not employ male nurses or assistants, even in larger cities. This is a serious problem because approximately 75 percent of urology patients are male. Often people wrongly assume that men don't care about their modesty. In many cases, this is simply not true. Societal norms say men are not supposed to be modest that this is a sign of weakness. From childhood, males ...

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Recently, I saw a photo of a slide from the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress: “The Program Directors Guide to Implementation of Well-being Programs.” While I applaud the ongoing focus in medicine on wellness for both trainees and faculty, I am troubled by the perceived need to standardize and program wellness, creating a “checkbox” that may not improve actual well-being. As a recent graduate now living my best life ...

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A true allergic reaction is one of the most terrifying events in medicine. A child or adult who is highly allergic to bee stings or peanuts, for instance, can die within minutes without a life-saving epinephrine injection. But one of the most commonly reported allergies — to penicillin — often isn’t a true allergy at all. The urgent question that faces physicians every day in emergency rooms and operating rooms is ...

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There are moments as an anesthesiologist you can’t erase. No matter how long you go home and sleep, or how many days pass, you won’t forget it. All of these moments involve saying goodbye; while the scenarios change, the message is the same. It is sacred, like watching the exchanging of vows. They are precious, real, moments, where you want to freeze time, let the embraces, the hugs, go on and on, but the ability to say hello again ...

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