Category Archives: Rehab

Getting a Handle on Hand Therapy

Posted on: August 25, 2015

Getting a Handle on Hand Therapy

By Michele Comen

When you lose the full function of your hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder, whether through injury, surgery, arthritis, or a progressive disorder like Dupuytren’s contracture, your doctor may recommend that you see a hand therapist. Here I explain what hand therapy is, whom it’s for and why it is so important.

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Ready to Run

Posted on: July 22, 2015

Ready to Run: Simple Stretches to Stave Off Injury

By Dennis McGovern

Each year, more and more people are inspired to start their own running program. Running provides both physical and mental benefits, the only equipment required is a pair of Runningrunning shoes and you can do it anywhere. I’m a big fan of setting fitness goals, and recommend taking a few precautions to help avoid injury.

A thorough warm up before running is a must. When you do any type of vigorous exercise, you get microtears in your muscles. That’s natural—when your body repairs your muscles, they become stronger. But if you aren’t properly warmed up, you’ll experience many more of these tears and you’ll be much sorer afterward.

While most people think the proper warm up begins with stretching, few know that you need an active warm up to loosen your muscles and get blood flowing before you stretch. Otherwise you won’t get the full benefit of stretching. Try jogging-in-place, jumping jacks, and high-knee stepping for five to 10 minutes. Since running involves your full body, do some arm circles as well: Hold your arms out to your sides and start with small rotations forward and then backward; make progressively larger circles.

Once your muscles are sufficiently warm, the following leg stretches will complete your pre-run regimen and you’ll be ready to go. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, and repeat it two to three times. Despite what you may have heard, stretching should not be painful. You want to feel the stretch but it should be tolerable.

“Exercise doesn’t take as much effort when your
muscles are loose and ready for action.”

Hamstring stretch: Stand facing stairs and place the heel of your right leg on a step in front of you. Keeping your right knee straight, lean forward and reach toward your toe. Switch legs and repeat.

Quad stretch: Facing a wall, place your left hand on the wall for balance and then lift your right heel up behind you, bending your leg at the knee. Grasp your right ankle with your right hand and pull your heel toward your rear. You should feel a mild stretch in the front of your leg. Be sure not to lock the knee in the leg you are standing on. Switch legs and repeat.

Calf stretch: Stand about arm’s length from a wall, place your hands against the wall and step forward with your left foot. Now lean toward the wall keeping your body straight and your right heel on the ground. Push back through your right heel as you feel the stretch. Switch legs and repeat.

Forward lunge: Keeping your head up and trunk straight, step forward with your right leg into a lunge position. Sink your hips toward the ground. Lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle. Your other knee should not touch the floor. Then return to the starting position. (You may want to hold onto a chair or wall for balance.) Switch legs and repeat.

Piriformis stretch: This is especially important for women whose wider hips increase the angle to their knees and leave them susceptible to pain and tightness in this small muscle deep in the buttocks. Sitting in a chair, place your right ankle over your left knee and push down on your right knee while leaning forward. Switch legs and repeat.

IT Band stretch: This is the long flat ligament that runs along the outside of your thigh from your hip to the knee, and it can become very tight in runners. Stand in front of a wall and place your right foot behind and to the left of your left foot. Bend your upper body to the left, pushing your hips gently to the right until you feel the stretch in your right hip and outside of your thigh. Switch legs and repeat.

Exercise doesn’t take as much effort when your muscles are loose and ready for action, and by taking the time for a proper warm up, you’ll not only lessen your chances of injury, you’ll improve your running times.

Editor’s Note: Dennis McGovern, DPT, is a physical therapist at Northern Westchester Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at Chappaqua Crossing. Visit to learn more about Northern Westchester Hospital’s rehabilitation services.

Northern Westchester Hosptial is a proud sponsor of the Kisco 5K. Join us on september 20th for the 2nd Annual Mt. Kisco Race. Register today!



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,


Likely treatment and rehab that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will Face

Posted on: June 2, 2015

The Road Ahead: What Treatment and Rehab Options Might Look Like for Secretary Kerry

Dr. Victor Khabie, Chief of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Sports Medicine at

new york orthopedist, orthopedic surgeon westchester

Dr. Victor Khabie, Co-Chief of Orthopedic Surgery,  Orthopedic and Spine Institute, Northern Westchester Hospitl

Northern Westchester Hospital in Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY explains the likely treatment and physical rehabilitation that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will receive after breaking his right femur in a bicycling accident.

Dr. Khabie says, “While it might take a full year for Secretary Kerry to completely heal, with advances in surgical procedures, he should be up and walking with crutches the same day as the surgery to repair his broken leg.”

Options to fix the femur
“While there are two options, it really only comes down to one option, and that is surgery. The other option would be to remain bedridden for six weeks as the broken bone heals, but that is not a good idea. People can develop bed sores, blood clots, and even pneumonia if they stay in bed that long. This should be fixed surgically by stabilizing the bone with a rod, plates, or screws, depending on the pattern of the fracture,” says Dr. Khabie.

How long will it take to heal?
Dr. Khabie says, “Typically, the broken bone will take six to eight weeks to heal, and a year for a full recovery.”

What is to be expected when it is time for physical rehabilitation?
“This injury will require months of physical rehabilitation,” says Dr. Khabie. “The muscles in the leg will atrophy, meaning they will wither and shrink in size. When the bone is healed, he will begin a more aggressive rehabilitation to include strength training. It’s a good thing he likes bicycling. He will start rehab using a stationary bike in about six weeks.”

Are there added concerns since Secretary Kerry had hip surgery on his right side as well?
“That previous surgery on his right hip makes this surgery more delicate,” says Dr. Khabie. “Care must be taken that the rods and screws used to fix his femur fracture do not interfere with his prior procedure. It is wise that he is having the same team of doctors perform both surgeries.”

Editor’s Note:
Dr. Victor Khabie, MD, FAAOS, FACS is a member of the Somers Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Group. Dr. Khabie received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his fellowship in sports medicine at the world-renowned Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California, where he served as assistant team physician to professional sports teams including the LA Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, Mighty Ducks, LA Sparks, and the USC Trojan football team.

Pulmonary Rehab and Quality of Life

Posted on: April 1, 2015

Pulmonary Rehab Can Improve Quality of Life

By Harlan R. Weinberg

Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is increasingly recognized as a significant part of treatment for Human respiratory system, artworkpeople with chronic respiratory illnesses and other lung conditions. Even for those with very impaired lung function, this specialized rehab can improve quality of life and the ability to live independently. Here, I explain how PR offers new hope to people with breathing difficulties.

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