Tag Archives: Orthopedic and spine institute

New York Spine Surgeon describes the O-Arm CAT Scanner

Posted on: December 19, 2013

Meet the O-Arm:  New technology in the OR

By John Abrahams, MD, FAANS, Chief of Neurosurgery, Co-Director of Spine Surgery, Orthopedic and Spine Institute

Dr. John Abrahams Northern Westchester HospitalThe Orthopedic & Spine Institute of Northern Westchester Hospital recently brought new technology into the operating room – the O-Arm from Medtronic.

The O-Arm is an intra-operative CAT Scanner with Image Guidance used to make placement of spinal instrumentation more accurate and safer. 

Typically, the O-Arm would be mainly used for patients undergoing spine surgery that need instrumentation placed such as rods and screws.  During these procedures, patients are put to sleep with general anesthesia and prepped for surgery.  An incision is made over the surgical site and then the O-Arm is brought in to obtain a CAT Scan with three-dimensional imaging. Continue reading

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New York Orthopedic Specialist Discusses Ankle Sprains

Posted on: June 24, 2013

The Pain of Ankle Sprains

By – Dr. Kurt Voellmicke, Director of Foot and Ankle Section for the Orthopedic and Spine Institute, Northern Westchester Hospital.

foot-swarm As a doctor I find that it is common for many to be confused over what constitutes a sprained ankle.  What is a sprain, and what should you do if you have one? You’ll be happy to know that the answers are pretty straightforward.

 The Definition

A sprain is defined as a stretched or torn ligament — the tough, fibrous tissue that connects one bone to another and supports your joints. By far the most common type of sprain is in the ankle.  Typically people roll their ankle outward and damage the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Basketball and volleyball players are the most susceptible to sprains, followed by soccer and lacrosse players. Jumping and then landing unevenly or on the side of another player’s foot is the typical cause of a sprain.  Ankle sprains can also occur sliding into a base or running on an uneven surface. Having high arches can put you at higher risk of a sprain: The foot is like a tripod. The higher one’s arch, the more the tripod tends to tilt to the side.  Other risk factors include weakness of the supporting leg muscles or poor balance.

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Common Sports Injuries: What you should know

Posted on: May 10, 2013

Although they rank among the most common sports-related injuries, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and meniscus injuries are often misdiagnosed and/or perpetuated.

To understand the issues around diagnosis, we sat down with Victor Khabie, M.D. , FAAOS, FACS, Chief of the Department of Surgery, Co-Director of the Orthopedic and Spine Institute and Chief of Sports Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital…

new york orthopedistTo achieve timely diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Khabie stresses the importance of physicians and athletic coaches recognizing the signs of each injury and knowing when it is appropriate to refer to a specialist.

According to Dr. Khabie, the signature characteristic of an ACL injury is an audible pop in the knee accompanied by swelling, difficulty walking and an inability to continue certain activities. While MCL and meniscus injuries also result in swelling and pain, athletes may still be able to move and participate, albeit in a diminished capacity. Patients may attempt to treat these injuries at home with propping and icing; however, many find their injuries do not improve. Continue reading

Westchester Pediatricians Discuss New Concussion Guidelines with Northern Westchester Hospital

Posted on: September 12, 2012

Protecting the Student Athlete

An Interview with Dr. Louis Corsaro and Dr. Elliot Barsh

Concussion Guidelines

You don’t really have to be a sports fan to have heard about the concern over concussions. Every few months, it seems, the national news carries another report about a former professional football player or boxer and their career filled with head trauma. But according to Northern Westchester Hospital pediatricians Elliot Barsh, MD, and Louis Corsaro, MD the damage these athletes suffered as professionals most likely began much earlier—when they were just youths playing in town and school sports programs.

We sat down with these leading Westchester pediatricians to understand the toll these school sports programs can take.

“I’ve seen very serious concussions in athletes as young as 12 and 13,” says Dr. Corsaro who, like Dr. Barsh, serves as a school physician for local Westchester County school districts. “We really need to educate youth coaches, trainers, parents, and athletes in all sports—football, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, hockey, baseball—on how to recognize the signs of a concussion and the steps to take to prevent lasting damage to the brain.”

The problem, says Dr. Barsh, is that the signs of a concussion can be maddeningly vague—especially when you consider that loss of consciousness is rarely one of the symptoms. “In 90% of concussions, the patient doesn’t lose consciousness,” he says. “And the other signs, such as headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, can be caused by any number of things.”

Wearing a snug helmet offers necessary protection for the skull, but it won’t prevent concussions, the doctors say. “If you think of the brain as a gelatinous-like organ,” says Dr. Corsaro, “you can picture how a sharp blow can cause a wave to pass through the brain. That wave can destroy neurons, and it will take time for the body to repair.”

The doctors both praise recently released New York State Concussion Guidelines that address concussions. The guidelines recommend that any athlete who takes a hit to the head and feels woozy immediately head for the sidelines. “Once you’ve suffered one concussion,” says Dr. Barsh, “you’re much more vulnerable to subsequent concussions, and to further cognitive consequences.”

“The guidelines help us manage the recovery process.” The athlete should rest quietly—no cell phones, video games, television, or schoolwork for 3-5 days following the injury. “Any cognitive strain or stimulation can delay the recovery,” shared Dr. Barsh. When the athlete is symptom-free for one week, he or she can begin a gradual return to play.

Dr. Corsaro also likes the idea of preseason cognitive testing of healthy athletes so that coaches and parents have a baseline measure. “If there’s an injury, we can do testing and compare it to the baseline to get a clear idea of the potential damage.” Several districts have already implemented such testing, he says.

Both doctors have met resistance to the new guidelines. “Parents, coaches, and kids really don’t like taking time off,” says Dr. Corsaro, “but that’s the only way to heal.” And the consequences of not respecting the downtime are severe: Memory loss, increased irritability, poor impulse control, increased risk of substance abuse, and depression are just a few of the potential outcomes. “Some parents can’t understand why I’m preventing their kids from playing,” says Dr. Corsaro. “I want that athlete out of play because I’m thinking about their future.”

Westchester Orthopedist Describes New Technique for Knee Replacement Implants

Posted on: August 6, 2012

3-D Computer-Aided Design: Building Better Knee Replacements

An Interview with David Yasgur, MD, FAAOS

Until recently, a surgeon’s only option for customizing knee replacements was to make adjustments during the actual surgery. Once the patient was under anesthesia and incisions were made, the surgeon would fine-tune the fit of the replacement joint. If you think that sounds like a less-than-ideal way to proceed, you won’t get any argument from Dr. David Yasgur, Director of Quality and Outcomes at the Orthopedic & Spine Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital. “During surgery we needed to have a large variety of instruments out and available for making adjustments to the size and alignment of the implants—all while the patient was undergoing the procedure. This wasted time and placed additional stress on the patients.”  Continue reading