Category Archives: Northern Westchester Hospital News

Dr. Peris Discusses Relief from Back Pain

Posted on: September 16, 2015

How to Treat Your Aching Back

By Dr. Marshal Peris

You’ll be happy to hear that most people recover from back pain within a few days just by taking it easy, continuing gentle activity, and using over-the-counter pain medicine such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen to ease their pain. If the pain doesn’t resolve itself within a week or so, your doctor may suggest physical therapy where you can learn stretches and ways of moving that will ease the strain on your back.

If you are still experiencing pain, prescription pain medications and possibly steroid injections to reduce swelling in your back are likely next steps. Your physician may recommend imaging to determine if abnormalities in your spine are causing your pain. If your back pain doesn’t get better using these more conservative methods, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to determine if surgery can help. Sometimes abnormalities in the vertebrae or the soft discs that cushion your spine can press on spinal nerves and cause pain or numbness in your legs and make it difficult to walk or stand. In such cases, surgery can help immensely.

Your orthopedic surgeon will explore your options with you, and the two of you can decide on the best approach. The good news is that the surgical solutions for back pain are improving all the time. One exciting development used at Northern Westchester Hospital is direct lateral fusion, which can address back abnormalities that cause chronic pain. As “lateral” implies, the surgeon works from the side of the patient. This advanced technique is much less invasive and allows us to achieve amazing results. The incision is much smaller and we don’t have to fuse as many vertebrae to get great results. It’s often a simpler, more effective treatment, and patients are usually up and moving after one day (instead of three to four) and typically leave the hospital after three to four days versus six to seven. The vast majority of patients are much happier and back to their normal activities much sooner.

Editor’s Note: Marshal D. Peris, MD FAAOS is the Co-Director of Spine Surgery at the Orthopedic & Spine Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital.


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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.

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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



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.

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.

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