Safe Snow Shoveling to Avoid Injuries

It’s January 2019 and fortunately, we can still see the grass.  Do you remember January 2018? Snowmaggedon met Snowpocalypse during our Polar Vortex. Handling that kind of snow can actually be a life or death experience.

Whether you are dusting off the dusting or knee deep in cold and white, keep in mind that there are some safety measures you need to take to avoid the ER. Seriously!

 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2015:

  • More than 158,000 people were treated in emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and clinics for injuries that happened while shoveling or removing ice and snow manually
  • More than 15,000 people were injured using snowblowers

 

Those are numbers to take seriously. Additionally, snow removal is responsible for 100 deaths per year for a variety of reasons.

 

Part of the reason can be what type of physical shape you are in.  Someone who is used to a vigorous workout and lifting weights is not is as much danger as a couch spud moving a foot of snow with a shovel after no physical exercise in prior months. It strains every muscle in your body, especially your heart. Snow blowers take a bit of the strain off…but not enough.

 

Cold weather can increase your heartrate and blood pressure before you exert yourself. Blood can clot more easily, and your arteries constrict. This can decrease your blood supply, even in healthy people. Those over the age of 40, especially inactive ones need to show caution.  If you suffer from heart disease, DO NOT TOUCH THAT SHOVEL!

Tips to shovel safely:

  • Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength
  • Do not shovel after eating, digesting uses needed energy
  • Do not shovel while smoking for obvious reasons
  • Stretch out before you begin
  • Take it slow and pace yourself
  • Fresh, powdery snow is lighter than wet, heavy snow.
  • It is best to push the snow rather than lifting it
  • Use a small shovel to lift or a partially fill the shovel to reduce the weight
  • Squat with your legs apart, knees bent, and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist.
  • Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.
  • Take frequent breaks and prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion

 

Snow Blower Safety

Be safe with these tips from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:

  • If the blower jams, turn it off
  • Keep your hands away from the moving parts
  • Do not drink alcohol and use the snow blower
  • Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space
  • Refuel your snow blower when it is off, never when it is running

Rumson’s Allegra family boasts three generations of orthopedic surgeons

RUMSON — (August 3, 2018) – “He goes above and beyond!” “He’s amazing!” “A man of few words with an abundance of skill.”
Those are just some of the comments patients of Rumson resident Dr. Marshall Allegra make when talking about the orthopedic surgeon with an office on Poole Avenue in Hazlet. The remarks give an indication into both the cutting edge of his surgical technology and his old-fashioned practice of taking the time to sit down and talk with his patients to ensure he answers all their questions.

He comes to both from education and experience and plans on passing the home spun lessons on to another generation. The son of the late Dr. Edward C. Allegra — who was also an orthopedic surgeon with a practice in Red Bank — Dr. Marshall Allegra, 62, is also the father of an orthopedic surgeon. His son, Paul, 27, also a medical doctor, is currently completing his residency in orthopedic surgery in Miami and will one day take over the Poole Avenue office, making him the third generation of Allegras offering orthopedic care to Monmouth County residents.

Dr. Marshall Allegra has been in the field for 30 years and estimates he has done about 10,000 surgeries in his career to date, averaging roughly 300-plus a year. Like his father, he chose to come back to Monmouth County after completing his studies and now has his office in Hazlet, with surgical privileges in several local hospitals and surgical centers.

Although he has treated patients of all ages with all varieties of injuries, sprains, fractures, hip replacements, hand surgeries, arthritis and more, Dr. Allegra said his patients now seem to be adults with a variety of problems, including sports issues requiring joint replacements or ligament reconstruction. Knees and shoulders seem to be areas most people come to an orthopedic surgeon for, he said, with dislocations and rotator tears fairly common.

Sports injuries can come from any number of sources, he said, ranging from trauma to repetitive use which results in wear and tear on a particular bone or joint. “Runner’s Knee” is a common overuse injury, he said, and can result from cartilage wearing down, creating serious pain. Ligament damage is also fairly common, he said, explaining that surgery is sometimes the best solution when those bands of connective tissue around a joint limit the movement of a joint, especially the knee, making it impossible or difficult to turn or twist the leg.

The surgeon, who earned his undergraduate degree at Bucknell University before studying at the University Autonomous at Guadalajara and completing his residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, said it is important to take care of problem joints and bones at early and middle age since ignoring it then only leads to arthritis and other problems in later years.

Patient knees and shoulders make up most of the surgeries and medical cures Allegra sees on a regular basis, with dislocations and rotator tears high on the list of serious injuries he has had to treat. He prefers to take the time to sit and talk with his patients, gather all their medical history and get to know them before recommending the best type of treatment. He tends to be conservative in his choices, preferring to try all medical measures before the more intense surgical procedures that can be used.
The physician and surgeon said he opted to specialize in orthopedic surgery after seeing how satisfying it was for his father, and learning he could make a difference in someone’s life through his ability as a surgeon.
“It’s rewarding and gives you a great sense of being able to help someone when you see how you can do something life-changing.”

He said he likes to talk with his patients and “explain things to make sure they know what’s going on.” As for the patient who said he’s a man of few words, Dr. Allegra laughed and said, “I like to listen, then I like to cut to the chase.”
Married for 30 years, Dr. and Maryanne Allegra have four sons and one daughter: Marshall, 29; twins Andrew and Dr. Paul, 27; Edward, 24 and Helena, 19, who works part-time in the Hazlet office.

The family lives in Rumson, the same town where Dr. Allegra was raised after his parents moved from Brooklyn when he was a child. Proximity to the water also enables him to pursue his two favorite hobbies — boating and fishing. He concedes that he, too has been the patient of an orthopedic doctor, once when he had knee orthoscopy six years ago.
He is on the staff of both Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Hospital and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Original Article: http://themonmouthjournal.com/rumsons-allegra-family-boasts-three-generations-of-orthopedic-surgeons-p7696-73.htm

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

‘Tis the season to start decorating your homes for the holidays! Did you know that ladder-related injuries are on the rise this time of year? The following information can help you avoid ladder injuries this season.

Each year, more and more people are treated in  emergency rooms because of injuries directly related to improper ladder use. A large chunk of these occurred in the fall. Most injuries are cuts, bruises, and fractured bones, but some are far more serious like neck and head injuries.

If you plan to use your ladder for any reason, take extra precaution and take your time! Other tips include:

• Inspect the ladder. Check for any loose screws, hinges, or rungs that may need adjusting or replacing. Also, clean off any mud or other liquids that might have accumulated on the rungs.
• Place the ladder on level ground. Then open it completely, making sure all locks are engaged.
• Always face the ladder when climbing. Be sure to wear slip-resistant shoes, such as those with rubber soles.
• Always position the ladder close to the work. Overreaching or leaning far to one side could cause you to lose your balance and fall.
• Be careful when climbing. Ask someone to hold the ladder while you climb. Stay in the center of the ladder, and always hold the side rails with both hands.
• Do not stand on the top step or the bucket shelf. The higher you climb on the ladder, the greater the instability.
• Select the right ladder. Use a step stool or utility ladder for low or medium heights. For higher areas like gutters, extension ladders are ideal and provide more stability.

Sometimes, injuries happen even when proper precautions are taken. If you are injured, call Dr Marshall Allegra  for an appointment so he can  evaluate your injury more closely. Make your appointment  calling

Call (732) 888-8388

http://www.allegraortho.com

Are you in pain? Is your body not moving the way it used to?

Many people reach for a bottle of anti-inflammatory or pain relief rather than reaching for the source of the problem.  A quick visit to Dr. Marshall Allegra, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice, will allow him to supervise each phase of your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

One option to explore with him is Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy can help you optimize your quality of your life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. With Dr. Allegra’s diagnosis and instruction, your qualified physical therapist will generate a personalized treatment plan specific to your needs.

Not all patients are of equal age, strength, or ability so it is essential to have your PT Program tailored to you and monitored for you. This is why there are various specialties in physical therapy:

  • Orthopedic Physical Therapy usually takes place in the hospital or an outpatient clinic directly following surgery.
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy is designed for early detection of health problems among infants, children, and teenagers to strengthen gross and fine motor skills, strength, balance, and even cognitive functioning.
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy is geared toward those who have trouble with the aging process.
  • Neurological Physical Therapy is one possible treatment path for patients with a neurological disorder or disease—such as Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries and Parkinson’s.
  • Heat Physical Therapy may help relax and restore your muscles and soft tissues by increasing your blood circulation. This is effective for joint stiffness but should be used with caution and a doctor’s orders as heat can also increase swelling.

PT can absolutely improve your mobility, help recover from injury, manage your pain, as well as increase your flexibility and strength to avoid future injury and build stamina.

When you experience pain, your natural response is to favor that body part.  This allows it to rest, although it can put strain on the rest of your body that is being used to compensate. Allowing too much rest can allow muscles to atrophy and stiffness to set in.  Your Physical Therapist will work with you to show you how to properly use your body to allow healing and minimize further damage.

October is National Physical Therapy Month, which was established in 1981 by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  The stated purpose of the month-long campaign is to acknowledge the physical therapy profession’s efforts to ‘transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.'”

Breaking the cycle of reaching for a pill to solve all ills is a big step in preventing Opioid overuse. Not a day goes by that this topic is on the news as epidemic proportions of use and abuse effects the population of all ages. Opioid abuse leaves you at risk for depression, overdose, addiction, plus the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you stop.

Step one to living pain free is a visit to Dr. Allegra.

Student Athlete Safety Tips

It’s here…Autumn. The footloose days of summer are behind us and families of school aged children are getting back into their school year routine. It’s the back-to-school mad rush to be sure your little student has all of the right gear to start the school year off right.

If your child loves sports, make sure they have the right gear for this too, especially if they play competitive or team sports. Injury prevention is essential, let them go out on their playing field and give it their all with the proper precautions to protect them.

Schools generally require Sports Physicals. This is a great start, being sure Jen and Joe are in good physical shape before Game Day. As a parent, it is up to you to be sure the examiner has full information of your child’s medical history and issues so they are properly addressed. Getting them on the playing field is one goal, keeping them safe and well is the primary one.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nationwide 300,000 concussions occur during sports related activities, with more than 62,000 concussions annually in high school contact sports. Athletes, coaches, and the parents or guardians should be educated about the nature and treatment of sports related concussions and other head injuries. A student who may have sustained a concussion should be immediately removed from competition or practice.

The same can be said for sprains and fractures to avoid further injury or complications.

Thinking Points for Parents of Student Athletes

S Stretching and warming up muscles before practice and games avoids injuries such as muscle tears

P Protective Gear is so important, don’t use hand-me-downs if possible. Get your child the most effective choice there is.

O Offset the calories burned with a well-balanced, nutritional diet. Lead them to healthy choices that will give them enough energy. Avoid supplements and energy boosters as they aren’t always guaranteed to be safe.

R Rest and relaxation is a good choice for downtime. Our kids tend to overextend themselves. Exhaustion leads to illness and careless errors on and off the field.

T Team spirit and the right attitude is what Sportsmanship is about. You can be an aggressive player without aggressive behavior. Using the proper rules and techniques in the game avoids injuries and bad feelings.

S Seek help if an injury occurs. Your child may want to get right back into the game but you need to be sure the situation is properly assessed. Sprains, strains, possible fractures, head injuries, concussion, heat and hydration can all lead to big problems if ignored.

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Monmouth County for over 25 years. As an experienced diagnostician, Dr. Allegra can expertly determine sports-induced injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to return your student back to the playing field, restoring functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.

Common Sports Injuries

Overuse injuries in young athletes can be overuse of the bones, muscles, and tendons. This is roughly half of the sports injuries that middle school and high school student athletes suffer from. These can possibly be prevented by significant rest periods, and appropriate training to optimally prepare the athlete for the stresses that their sport will put on their body.

Traumatic injuries happen when there is a violent collision between the athlete with another athlete, equipment or even the ground. These injuries impact bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Movements such as collisions, cutting, landing, pivoting, and over-striding can lead to a traumatic injury.

Contact Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

879 Poole Avenue, Hazlet New Jersey, 07730 Phone: (732) 888-8388

mallegra879@yahoo.com

Elbow Injury Tennis Elbow

Question:  I don’t play tennis; how can I have tennis elbow?

Answer:  Easily, lateral epicondylitis, a.k.a. tennis elbow has little to do with tennis and lots to do with constantly using your arm in a repetitive motion.

Epicondyles are the bony bumps on the inside and outside of your elbow. Epicondylitis is the inflammation of these. 95% of people suffering from this do not play tennis, but this is a common sports related injury. This can be a result of any sport where your arm is in a similar position or even work related such as carpentry, plumbing or constant use of a computer keyboard. Even musicians are vulnerable!

After repeated use, the tendons at the elbow end of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle may develop small tears. This leads to inflammation and stress on the rest of your arm. It is a form of tendonitis.  This can be a result of any activity that requires repetitive arm, wrist, or elbow movement. The extensor tendons are used when extending your wrist and fingers. The flexor tendons are needed for closing wrist and fingers. Both flexor and extensors are used in thousands of tasks, and often handle very high levels of stress.

Inflammation is a normal part of the healing process and the body’s natural response to an immediate injury. Swelling, discomfort, the sensation of heat, redness, and loss of function are the key symptoms which should warn you something is not right in your world. Tenderness and stiffness are also red flags, and when the pain is severe enough, it may radiate down the arm, into the hand and fingers.

Approximately 3% of the population experiences this injury, typically occurring in men and women between the ages of 40 and 50. Your daily activity is a big determining factor in your likeliness to be affected.  Office workers, secretaries and Health Care Workers are especially prone.

Self-diagnosis is a dangerous thing as there may be more than one potential issue with the same symptoms.

As with any injury or ailment, the first step is to visit your physician. Dr. Marshall Allegra spends quality time speaking with each patient at his Hazlet office to understand their unique condition based on symptoms and life-style. He has over 25 years’ experience diagnosing pain and prescribing the most appropriate treatment, exploring all non-surgical possibilities first. Common remedies and treatments Dr. Allegra may suggest:

  • Cold therapy treatments should be in the earliest stages of an injury only as this will actually impede the recovery because cold restricts the vessels – reducing the blood flow to the area
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may relieve the pain
  • Limit activities for a few days or possibly weeks until the inflammation subsides. If possible, avoid the repetitive movement.
  • A brace may help stabilize the area and limit movement for you
  • Supervised strengthening and stretching exercises may help, but be sure to do the correct ones in the correct position or you may further injure yourself. A physical therapist can work out a routine for you to safely improve your symptoms.
  • Acupuncture
  • Steroid injections directly into the inflamed area target the inflammation.
  • Surgery when all else fails.

It is essential to allow all injuries to heal completely before returning to your daily activities.  You want to avoid the build-up of scar tissues or having on-going issues. Be sure to follow up with Dr. Allegra before returning to your routine.

Contact Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

879 Poole Avenue, Hazlet New Jersey, 07730
Phone: (732) 888-8388

mallegra879@yahoo.com

Arthritis

QUESTION:  I have many of the symptoms of arthritis, is it okay to exercise?

ANSWER:

You must first find out if your symptoms are actually those of arthritis before I can safely answer your question.  There are several other conditions that share symptoms with arthritis such as:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Lupus
  • Post-Viral Arthritis
  • Seronegative Spondyloarthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Pseudogout
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Vasculitis

It is essential to get a firm diagnosis of whether or not you have arthritis and what type of arthritis you have and then you can act on the answer received. Do you have other medical issues that may be a problem? Dr. Allegra spends time speaking with each patient at his office in Hazlet, New Jersey to understand their unique condition. With over 25 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Allegra is an expert at diagnosing pain and prescribing the most appropriate non-surgical interventions before surgery is recommended.

Many people fear that exercise will increase pain or inflame sore joints. In most cases, exercise can help you improve your overall health because it assists in weight control, strengthens your muscles around the joints, helps maintain bone health, improves balance, helps you sleep and have more stamina during the day. These are all big bonuses in the fight for fitness and wellness. In actuality, the lack of exercise can stiffen joints, make them more painful, and reduce range of motion.

BEFORE STARTING ANY EXERCIZE PROGRAM, LET YOUR INSTRUCTOR KNOW OF YOUR CONDITION AND LIMITATIONS SO THEY CAN TAILOR THE REGIME TO YOUR NEEDS.

Check with Dr. Allegra as there may be classes specifically for arthritis patients in close proximity.

The operative words to look for if you are looking for an exercise routine that will keep you safe and benefit you are:  GLOWS

  • GENTLE movements, nothing you do should cause you pain or stress joints.
  • LOW as in low impact exercises
  • OVERALL body exercises, not just your joints
  • WARM UP before you begin with hot packs, hot showers, stretching for about 20
  • SLOW and easy movements, increase gradually and take breaks.

Always ice for 20 minutes afterward to reduce the chance of swelling.

Typically, great exercises for arthritis sufferers include range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, aerobic exercise, and other actions that get you up and moving. Gentle forms of yoga and tai chi are also known as Body Awareness Exercises. Water Aerobics are therapeutic and pool water is generally kept warmer at facilities that hold these. These are wonderful for encouraging relaxation, improving balance, fall prevention, as well as improving posture and coordination.

Need more information?  Dr. Allegra is a great source!

 

http://www.allegraortho.com/

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

879 Poole Avenue, Hazlet New Jersey, 07730
Phone: (732) 888-8388

mallegra879@yahoo.com

Request An Appointment

Symptoms and Causes of Broken ankle/broken foot

You spend every day on your feet and put them through a lot. The foot is made up of 26 delicate bones, linking together with a network of tendons and muscles that connect to your ankle joints. With this many parts to the ankles and feet, there are many places where damage can occur.

Causes of a Broken ankle or foot

Broken bones are caused by an impact or sustained pressure that is more than the bone can take. Some common causes include:

  • dropping something heavy on the foot
  • hitting your toe against a piece of furniture or door frame
  • sports injuries
  • a severe twist or sprain
  • falling from a height, especially onto a hard surface

Symptoms of a broken foot or ankle

At first it can be hard to tell the difference between a bad sprain and a broken bone. You should always visit a doctor if you suspect a break. Some symptoms include:

  • sharp pain centered on the break or radiating through the foot
  • swelling
  • deep bruising
  • a grinding sound or sensation when you move the foot
  • physical deformation, especially for broken toes
  • inability to walk on the foot

For this last point, keep in mind that broken toes may be less painful and you may be able to walk on them.

How are broken ankles and feet treated?

Your doctor will probably order an x-ray to determine exactly what happened and where the break is. For a broken ankle, a splint may be used. If it’s a severe break, you may need reconstructive surgery. In the case of broken bones in the foot, you may be given a cast, walking boot, or wheelchair to help you keep pressure off the area as it heals. For broken toes, the doctor will most likely splint one to an adjacent toe.

What are Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms? 

A shoulder dislocation occurs when an injury causes the ligaments in the shoulder to separate and the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. Since the shoulder has such high mobility, shoulder dislocations can be a common occurrence. Emergency treatment is required for shoulder dislocations.

Pain Symptoms

Intense pain is likely to be the first symptom noticed during a shoulder dislocation. Patients can often feel the shoulder as it pops out of the socket. The majority of shoulder dislocations occur from falls with the arms outstretched or a direct impact to the shoulder. If the patient has pain in other areas caused by the injury, he or she may not initially realize shoulder dislocation has occurred. Along with pain, patients may feel weakness and numbness in the area surrounding the shoulder blade.

Change in Appearance

Aside from the pain, a shoulder dislocation causes bruising and swelling to appear at the site of the injury. When a shoulder is dislocated, an evident deformity can often be seen with the bone sticking out prominently from the skin. The deformity varies based on the direction that the dislocation has occurred. The three types of dislocation include:

  • Anterior
  • Posterior
  • Inferior

For an anterior dislocation, the upper arm bone pushes forward. The posterior dislocation means the bone goes toward the back. An inferior shoulder dislocation means the bone has moved downwards. Most shoulder dislocations are anterior while only a small percentage are posterior and inferior dislocations.

Never attempt to treat a dislocated shoulder at home. Self-treatment could inadvertently worsen the injury. Contact a physician to confirm shoulder dislocation and review treatment options available. Treatment options may include shoulder relocation, slings and orthopedic surgery.

Treatment of a Broken Finger 

A broken finger, though it might sound innocuous, can be a very painful, life-altering injury. By definition, a broken finger is a fracture or break of any one of the three bones that make up the finger.

Broken Fingers Are Common Injuries

A broken finger is a common injury, but one that merits a visit to the doctor. This is because when these breaks aren’t properly treated, they can heal out of alignment. This, in turn, can cause future pain and will look odd as well.

How Broken Fingers Occur

A finger injury can happen in a variety of ways. One of the most common is when the finger is crushed between two objects. A finger being struck by a ball or other fast moving item is another common cause.

Symptoms of a Broken Finger

The most common symptom of a broken finger is pain immediately after trauma. Sometimes, patients will notice a slight or significant deformation in their finger as well. A broken finger might still have some range of motion, which is a common misconception. Swelling and bruising often occur 5-10 minutes after the injury takes place. Numbness can also occur due to nerves being cut off as a result of swelling.

Treatment of a Broken Finger

The first step after a finger injury is determining the extent of said injury. To determine if the finger is displaced, fractured or broken, the finger must be X-rayed. Most broken fingers are simple fractures, that don’t include a displacement of bone. The treatment for this type of injury is a splint that will keep the finger immobilized while it heals, a process which typically takes between three and four weeks. Finger buddy taping might also be implemented.

When a broken fragment of bone is displaced, this is considered a more complicated fracture or break. This might also include a break in the bone in more than one location. In this instance, surgery is often the only treatment to ensure the finger heals properly. This type of surgery includes a surgeon pinning the two bone fragments together so they can heal properly.

Having a broken finger treated by a specialist is the best way to ensure it heals properly and doesn’t cause additional issues down the road. Make an appointment today to learn how we can help you.