Category Archives: Expert Health Advice

Elbow Pain: It’s Not-So-Funny

Posted on: July 15, 2015

Elbow Pain: It’s Not-So-Funny

By Dr. Michael Gott

Elbows can be surprisingly problematic—pain can plague tennis players, golfers, and even Elbowgardeners. Although elbow pain can limit your activities, plenty of solutions exist for resolving the pain.

If you experience elbow pain after a fall, an accident, or the pain comes on suddenly, you should head to the emergency room right away. You could have a fracture or dislocation. Other signs that you should see a doctor are numbness, tingling, sudden swelling, or difficulty moving your arm.

Patients often end up in my office due to more chronic concerns. Arthritis, bursitis (inflammation of a fluid cushioning sac in the joint), and pinched nerves (especially the ulnar nerve—your “funny bone”) can all create the kind of persistent pain that will lead patients to seek medical help. The most common complaints I see are tennis or golfer’s elbow. The pain is usually a form of tendonitis—inflammation in the tendons that connect forearm muscles to bone.

The first step for patients to try is RICE: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Resting your arm and applying ice for 15 to 20 minutes, three times a day will help reduce inflammation and ease the pain. You can achieve compression with elbow braces and wraps easily found at the drugstore; these will help take pressure off the tendon. Finally, keeping your elbow elevated above your heart will also help reduce swelling.

To help manage pain, I recommend starting with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. However, if you don’t find relief with these measures, your doctor may suggest a cortisone (steroid) injection, especially for tennis or golfer’s elbow. This can provide immediate pain relief and, with physical therapy, allow patients to gradually return to play. If the pain persists, surgical solutions also exist. A surgeon can perform arthroscopic surgery to address structural problems like bone spurs.

An exciting new option is platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a therapy used by athletes such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal. Blood is drawn from the patient and platelets—which contain proteins called growth factors—are separated, concentrated, and then re-injected into the problem elbow. The concentrated growth factor seems to speed healing. We’ve had some excellent success in treating chronic tennis and golfer’s elbow with PRP.

Editor’s Note: Michael Gott, MD is the Medical Director of Northern Westchester Hospital’s Orthopedic and Spine Institute at Yorktown. Dr. Gott specializes in conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle including traumatic and sports related injuries as well as arthritic conditions.

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The Patriotic Plate – Red, White and Blue Superfoods

Posted on: June 22, 2015

The Patriotic Plate – Red, White and Blue Superfoods

Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN

This 4th of July, celebrate our country’s independence with good health and a patriotic plate. American flagRed, white, and blue foods are superfoods: nutrition powerhouses packed full of rich antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Red fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tomatoes, and pomegranate, are full of phytonutrients, anthocyanins, flavonoid compounds; nutrients that reduce cancer by fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative damage to cells. Red fruits and veggies are particularly high in the phytochemical lycopene, shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

White foods often get a bad reputation but fresh white foods, such as daikon radish, turnips, jicama or pears, are packed with nutrients. The anthoxanthins in white foods can reduce inflammation of all kinds.  One of the most common anthoxanthins, quercetin, is linked with lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer, easing the symptoms of allergies, and helping with pain from arthritis.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables like blueberries, beets, and eggplant, have rich doses of phytonutrients and flavonoids that lower your risk of heart disease. Flavonoids may also help improve memory with aging and prevent many cancers.

Try out these easy recipes for your 4th of July this year. These recipes are perfect for a party, cookout or relaxing picnic.
Grilled Chicken with Red & Blueberry Salsa 

(Adapted from All Through The Year Cheer)
(Yield:  4 servings)

4 (6 oz) chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 tbsp olive oil (for grilling the chicken)
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 c fresh blueberries, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seed and diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 TB fresh minced parsley
2 TB fresh minced mint
1 TB lemon juice

1) In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use (you can make this up to 1 day in advance but if you do so, I recommend waiting until right before you serve it to add the fresh minced herbs).
2) Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken breast, then season both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken until fully cooked (there should not be any pink).
3) Serve the grilled chicken topped with salsa.

Nutrition Facts: 278 calories, 12.2 g fat, 2.8 g saturated fat, 393 mg sodium, 7.7 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 33.6 g protein
Cous-Cous & Fruit Salad

(Courtesy of
(serves 4)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
1 cup chopped nectarine
1 cup mixed fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

1. Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked couscous, nectarines, berries and almonds; gently toss to combine.

Nutrition Facts: 259 calories; 9 g fat; 1 g sat; 40 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 7 g fiber; 146 mg sodium


Red, White and Blue Yogurt Popsicles

(Adapted from The View from Great Island)
Yield: 10 popsicles

1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt

1. Using a small food processor, or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside. Repeat for the blueberries.
2. Put your popsicle mold in the freezer and freeze till firm, at least an hour, or more.
3. Layer a little bit of the blueberry puree into the mold. Put in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until solid. Alternate with layers, putting in the freezer for 10 minutes in between each layer.
4. When done layering, insert the popsicle sticks. Make sure to get the stick a little bit into the frozen layer so they will stand straight. Put back into the freezer until solid.
5. Once filled and completely frozen solid, you can un-mold your pops. If the pops don’t come out of the mold easily, run the outside of the mold under hot water for a few seconds.

Nutrition Facts: 31 calories, 0.1 g fat, 8 mg sodium, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 2.3 g protein



Get More Fruits and Veggies into Your Diet

Posted on: June 19, 2015

The Clever Cook:
How to Pack More Fruits and Veggies into Your Cooking

Fruit & Vegetable PlatterHave a picky eater at home? Or maybe you just don’t like fruits and veggies? Here are some “eat the rainbow” ways of sneaking fruits and veggies into your diet, making sure you get all your daily vitamins and minerals.


• Add fresh chopped tomatoes into your jarred tomato sauce.
• Bake with applesauce into your baked goods, pancakes, and waffles instead of butter or oil.
• Add red grapes, sliced radishes, pomegranate seeds, or sliced strawberries onto your salads.
• Make a smoothie with beets.
• Puree red peppers and add them to your tomato soup or sauce.
• Make a salad dressing using pink grapefruit.
• Add red chilies into your cooking for spice.


• Add sweet potato or butternut squash puree into cheese sauces such as for mac and cheese or morning oatmeal.
• Add carrot puree into tomato sauces.
• Add pumpkin puree or mashed bananas into your baked goods, French toast, pancakes, and waffles instead of butter or oil.
• Have spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Here is how to cook a spaghetti squash:
• Make a smoothie with carrots or pumpkin puree.
• Make homemade salad dressing with orange or lemon juice.
• Grill pineapple and peaches on the barbeque for dessert.


• Add a handful of chopped greens into your eggs or on top of your pizza.
• Puree a handful of spinach leaves and mix into your tomato sauce. Just a little won’t change the color!
• Use butter or romaine lettuce instead of bread for sandwiches.
• Add chopped greens or herbs into chopped meat for burgers and meatballs.
• Make low-fat zucchini muffins or pancakes, try this recipe:
• Bake with avocado instead of butter or oil.
• Add some zucchini puree into your cheesy pasta dishes (such as lasagna).
• Make a green smoothie with kale or spinach and citrus fruits.


• Mix in purple cabbage into your salad, tacos or stir-fry.
• Switch to purple potatoes for your mashed and add in pureed purple cauliflower.
• Grill plums on the barbeque for a sweet dessert or side dish.
• Cook with red onion instead of white or yellow.
• Add blackberries, blueberries or figs to your salads.
• Add pureed eggplant into tomato sauce or soup.
• Try sautéing purple kale or make kale chips.

Leg Injury After Hip Replacement Surgery

Posted on: June 19, 2015

Impact of Leg Injury After Hip Replacement Surgery

Dr. Eric Grossman details the impact of a leg injury following hip replacement surgery, in light of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent broken femur and subsequent surgery.

Eric L. Grossman, MD, FAAOS; Co-Director, Joint Replacement Surgery, Orthopedic and Spine Institute Northern Westchester Hospital

Eric L. Grossman, MD, FAAOS; Co-Director, Joint Replacement Surgery, Orthopedic and Spine Institute, Northern Westchester Hospital

As we’ve seen in the case of Secretary Kerry, if you fall or sustain a major accident, individuals can break the bone around a hip implant. Typically the implants of a hip replacement reside in the patient’s bone without compromising the bone’s strength. However when a fall or traumas strike the leg, the bone can still be vulnerable to breaking.

The location of the break also determines the impact on the hip implant. A fracture in the femur below or above the implant typically does not jeopardize the implant. Yet a fracture closer to or occurring around the implant could disrupt the implant’s fixation and therefore its stability. This will result in the need for a “re-do” or revision surgery where a new hip implant is placed. These procedures are typically performed by a Joint Replacement Specialist as they are more complex than first time hip replacements.

“Hip replacement patients should feel
optimistic about their future physical abilities.”

Secretary Kerry is a great example of how most hip replacement patients return to a high level of physical functionality. Whether it is a “normal” return to physical activity, or rigorous exercise, hip replacement patients should feel optimistic about their future physical abilities.

Editors Note: Eric L. Grossman, MD, FAAOS is Co-Director of Joint Replacement Surgery at tge Orthopedic and Spine Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital. Dr. Grossman specializes in all aspects of hip and knee joint replacement surgery including primary and revision total joint replacement, with a focus on the Anterior Approach to Total Hip Replacement.  

Watch Dr. Grossman discuss the Anterior Approach to Total Hip Replacment and hear what several patients have to say about Dr. Grossman, the anterior approach and their experience at Northern Westchester Hospital,


Kidneys: What do they do and How to keep them healthy

Posted on: June 5, 2015

Kidneys: Your Built-in Detox System

By Dr. Martin Saltzman

Your kidneys are easy to ignore. They purr away filtering your blood, eliminating toxins and impurities, and they rarely complain. However, you don’t want to take these vital Kidneyorgans for granted. When a kidney infection or chronic disease progresses too far, your kidneys can sustain permanent damage. Should something go wrong with your kidneys, your life can change dramatically for the worse. In fact, 90,000 Americans die each year from kidney disease.

Among the many duties of these unassuming organs, topmost is removing waste from your bloodstream for elimination from the body. Each day they filter up to 150 quarts of blood, producing about one to two quarts of urine. They also help maintain the balance of water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium in your body. On top of that important work, the kidneys also generate hormones that help regulate blood pressure and make red blood cells.

Kidneys accomplish this valuable work through the use of roughly a million filtering units per kidney known as nephrons. This is why kidney specialists are known as nephrologists, and the field of kidney medicine is called nephrology. A number of systemic, or underlying, conditions such as diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease can damage nephrons. A family history of kidney disease, autoimmune diseases – which can cause nephritis or vasculitis – allergic reactions to drugs and kidney stones can also damage your kidneys and place them at higher risk of failure. Behaviors that can damage kidneys include smoking or relying too much on over-the-counter NSAID pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. When kidneys begin to fail, waste products build up in the body leading to very serious health issues.

Unfortunately, early kidney disease is difficult to spot. There are rarely obvious symptoms, so it’s important to check with your primary care physician if you notice any small changes such as discoloration of—or a decrease in—urine, or any swelling that may be due to the retention of fluids. If you’re under doctor’s orders to take large doses of NSAIDs, your kidney function should be closely monitored. When kidney disease is suspected, your primary care physician will refer you to a nephrologist for consultation and evaluation. A thorough examination, blood tests, imaging studies, and occasionally a biopsy are tools used to help uncover the underlying cause, which will guide treatment. It is also necessary to determine the stage of kidney disease if it is present.

Many people with CKD (chronic kidney disease) remain stable or progress slowly if their underlying condition is caught early enough and treated. However, in some instances kidney disease does progress, for those cases, renal replacement therapy (RRT) is available in the form of dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis) or a transplant.

Preventing Kidney Disease
You can avoid trouble by making sure you control high blood pressure, or if you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar by being careful to take your medications. People at elevated risk due to chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes should get blood tests and urine tests to screen for early kidney disease. Have a chat with your doctor about the health of your kidneys and whether it makes sense to have them tested. This organ is critical for life. You won’t regret it, especially if you’re able to catch any kidney damage early.

If you have chronic kidney disease, I strongly urge you to visit and find a FREE Kidney Smart® Class near you.

Be Kind to your Kidney’s
Maintaining a healthy weight, working with a renal dietitian and following a renal diet of kidney-friendly foods is vital for people with kidney disease. Try adding some of these to your diet each day and be sure to keep it colorful.*
Fruits & Vegetables
Red bell peppers
Red cabbage
Red leaf lettuce
Herbs & Spices
Curry powder

Editor’s Note: Martin Saltzman, MD is Chief of the Division of Nephrology at Northern Westchester Hospital.