Fall Prevention Tips by Dr Marshall P. Allegra

It seems that from the moment you learn to walk, you also learn to struggle not to fall. Falls Prevention Awareness, celebrated in September, is a national health campaign observed on the first day of fall to increase awareness around falls health and injury prevention.

The reporting of falls has increased over the years.  Many falls do not cause injuries, although some falls do cause serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.  There are a significant number of falls that are severe enough to require medical attention each year.

As reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), next to the elderly, children between zero to four years old and youths between fifteen to nineteen years old are the most at risk to suffer from a head injury caused by a fall. The severity of head injuries can differ depending on the fall’s impact, but one of the most severe outcomes of hitting your head when you fall is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

We have all seen children trip on air, their own feet and general clumsiness. Many of these falls are preventable. There are strategies to protect our children from fall-related injuries which include:

  • Supervision is the key!
  • Installing safety gates on stairs and guards on windows to prevent falls by young children.
  • Providing a soft-landing surface below playground equipment.
  • Using the proper safety equipment, such as knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and helmets, while playing sports.
  • Removing fall hazards whenever possible (objects on the floor, clutter, unsecured area rugs, extension cords).

Across all age groups and regions, all genders are at risk of falls. Risk factors effecting the adult population include:

  • occupations at elevated heights or other hazardous working conditions.
  • alcohol or substance use.
  • socioeconomic factors including poverty, overcrowded housing, sole parenthood, young maternal age.
  • underlying medical conditions, such as neurological, cardiac, or other disabling conditions.
  • side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medication, physical inactivity, and loss of balance, particularly among older people.
  • poor mobility, cognition, and vision, particularly among those living in an institution, such as a nursing home or chronic care facility.
  • unsafe environments, particularly for those with poor balance and limited vision.

Older adults are very vulnerable to falls. When a senior falls, the chances of more serious injury due to their age is worrisome.   There are many risk factors which can be modified to prevent them. Just as you had to child proof your toddler’s environment, the same needs to be done for our senior citizens. Observe their home in terms of possible tripping and falling risks. Accident-proof your home; getting rid of tripping hazards, adding grab bars in vulnerable areas like the shower and toilet, improve the lighting throughout the home, use non-slip mats in the bathroom and area rugs throughout the home.

How can you prevent falls and strengthen your body against them?

  • Do exercise regularly, especially those that will improve balance.
  • Have your vision checked regularly.
  • Wear flat, wide toed shoes
  • Remain active
  • Do appropriate weight training to strengthen legs.

What should you do when a fall occurs?

First and foremost, stay calm. Take a moment to assess your situation. Do you feel pain? Is there blood? Are you able to move?

If you are not hurt, try to get up from the floor slowly and carefully. Call a friend, family member or neighbor and let them know

If you are hurt or unable to get off the floor, call for help and keep warm and moving as best you can while you wait. Fall alert pendants and bracelets are wonderful tools, as are smart speaker such as Alexa. Use your phone to call a neighbor or friend, or 911 if you feel you are injured.

Whether or not you think you are injured, you should still be checked over by your doctor for injuries and even possible causes of the fall. You should be more concerned when:

  • A person falls more than twice in a year, especially if the falls occur inside the house
  • There is loss of consciousness or difficulty in remembering the events surrounding the fall
  • A person stays on the ground for several hours

If you are unsure of the cause of the fall and whether or not you may have sustained injury, it would be our pleasure to see you for a consultation.

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 your bone health, injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to boost your normal life, restore functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoid long term implications.

Joint Replacement in Monmouth County that Avoids A Hospital Stay

It’s Spring and that is a time to get out there and revive your garden, get back to enjoying the great outdoors and renew your own spirit!

Except for that pesky pain in your hip, or is it your knee?  If you have gone from doctor to doctor in all different modalities of medicine.  Chiropractor… Physical Therapist… Pain Management… Orthopedist…they may have told you the same thing.  You need a joint replacement.

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra performs both partial and total joint replacement surgical procedures for patients from Monmouth County and surrounding areas. In many cases, Dr. Allegra can perform total joint replacement surgery in an outpatient setting, or same day surgery in a hospital or surgical center.

Partial and total joint reconstructive surgery procedures can relieve severe pain and loss of motion in joints that do not respond to more conservative treatment. Replacement surgeries are most usually performed on the hip, shoulder, or knee. Prosthetic replacement joints are made of durable materials designed to fit together smoothly and move like regular joints.

Ninety percent of people who go through hip or knee replacement have osteoarthritis. Other possible issues leading to hip replacement surgery may be to correct problems related to broken bones or other medical conditions, such as osteonecrosis.

On one hand, you are lucky to be a candidate for total replacement.  Not everyone is. You have no contraindications that would suggest potential risks outweighing the benefits of surgery. If you have an infection in the bone, severe osteoarthritis which makes for brittle bones, cannot handle follow up surgical instructions, or use tobacco in any form may make you ineligible.

Some of the indications that replacement surgery may be your future:

  • When the pain interferes with your daily life
  • Difficulty walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs
  • Pain is moderate to severe even while at rest.
  • Range of motion during normal activities is limited.
  • Limping.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, steroid injections don’t adequately relieve pain
  • Need the use of a cane or walker.

Dr. Marshall Allegra performs both partial and total joint replacement surgical procedures for patients from Monmouth County and surrounding areas. Partial joint replacement surgeries are minimally invasive procedures, most commonly performed on weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips. Hip replacement surgery can be performed traditionally or by using what is considered a minimally invasive technique. The main difference between the two procedures is the size of the incision.

 

In many cases, Dr. Allegra is even performing total joint replacement surgery in an outpatient setting, or same day surgery in a hospital or surgical center.  Overall stay in the hospital, if necessary, is reduced to one to two days for most patients rather than the typical four to six days. Speak to Dr. Allegra about whether your individual needs qualify for this. How and where you recover depends on you, and your personal health issues.

Not sure if you are a candidate for joint replacement? 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 your bone health, injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to boost your normal life, restore functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoid long term implications.

Total Joint Replacement surgeries were impacted by Covid-19

Total Joint Replacement surgeries were impacted by Covid-19. There is an estimated decline in these types of surgeries in 2020 of 12.1%, not because the need was not there. The medical world was otherwise occupied.

Technology is amazing in every field, but especially the field of orthopedic surgery. This was not an overnight occurrence, the severity of joint pain has led to many experimental surgeries to replace worn out, painful joints. First ever orthopedic prostheses and implants were found in Egyptian mummies dating back to over 3000 years ago!

Because of arthritis and injuries, our joints tend to get irreversibly damaged, leaving us with limited mobility and in pain. More than a million Americans have joint replacement surgery every year. Thanks to technology in medicine, there is no need to suffer in pain and reduced mobility. It is time to get back to enjoying life.

KNEES

The knee is the largest joint in the body and having healthy knees is required to perform most everyday activities. The most common cause of chronic knee pain and disability is arthritis. Although there are many types of arthritis, most knee pain is caused by just three types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis. Nearly 1/2 of American adults will develop knee osteoarthritis in at least one knee in their lifetime.

The production of the total knee arthroplasty began way back in the early 1860s. A German surgeon first surgically implanted a hinge joint made of iron. It was not until 1951 that an acrylic hinge joint was introduced, then switching to cobalt and chrome in 1958. In the 1960s, a metal-on-polyethylene total hip arthroplasty was introduced, which inspired elements of total knee replacement. In 1968, the first-ever total knee replacement surgery was completed.

Since then, there have been continued efforts in perfecting sizing, better instrumentation, better range, and the option of patella-femoral replacement. The degree of invasiveness has changed drastically, and the recovery time has as well. In many cases, a hospital stay is no longer necessary, and surgery can be performed in an outpatient facility. More than 90% of people who have knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction in knee pain.

HIPS

When the hip joint is exposed to injury or arthritis, the layer of protective cartilage that lines it becomes damaged, causing extreme pain. Hip joint is a ball and socket joint, which connects our legs to the body. It is a weight bearing joint, taking the entire load of our body.

The earliest recorded attempts at hip replacement occurred in Germany in 1891. Extensive research began over a century ago to explore the possibility of hip replacement.

Different versions of hip arthroplasty had advantages and disadvantages. Metal-on-metal, ceramic-on-ceramic, and metal-on-polyethylene all had their pros and cons. Hybrid hips and cementless hips were experimented with. Throughout the years, the surgery has become much less invasive and, using computer assisted surgery improves accuracy. A combination of conventional surgical technique, computerized navigation and CT scan-based customization has resulted in the latest “Robotic” technology for joint replacements.

450,000 hip replacements are performed in the United States each year. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it was estimated that over 78 million people in the U.S. who are 18 years of age or above are anticipated to be diagnosed with arthritis by 2040.

SHOULDER

Also a ball-and-socket joint, the shoulder allows your arm to move up and down, forward, and backward and in a circular motion. Ligaments connect the bones, while the tendons connect muscles to the bone. Cartilage keeps the bones apart, so they do not rub against each other.

Although less common than hip or knee replacements, more than 50,000 shoulder replacements are done in the U.S. each year.

Three types of shoulder replacement surgeries:

  • Total shoulder replacement: It replaces the ball at the top of your humerus with a metal ball, which gets attached to the remaining bone. The socket gets covered with a new plastic surface.
  • Partial shoulder replacement: Only the ball gets replaced.
  • Reverse shoulder replacement: The metal ball gets attached to your shoulder bones, and a socket is implanted at the top of your arm. Used to repair torn rotator cuffs.

Because the shoulder is not weight bearing, the recovery time is much less. Most patients go home the same day and physical therapy will be needed.

Not sure if you are a candidate for joint replacement? 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 your bone health, injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to boost your normal life, restore functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoid long term implications.

Bone Joint Health

Yes, it’s a given…regular exercise has enormous benefits for health.

Why?  Most importantly, it will diminish the risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death.

Need more reason? Consider the many studies that link physical activity to protection against diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and fractures, depression, insomnia, dementia, colon cancer, breast cancer, and possibly prostate cancer.

In actuality, only about 1/3 of American adults get the exercise they need. Lack of time seems to be the most common reason. Moderate exercise can be built into daily life.  It is important to speak with your doctor about your health before beginning any fitness program.

There is also a nasty little rumor that exercise causes arthritis. Studies show that exercise can be safe for joints, both in older, overweight folks and in athletes.

The younger you start, the better the benefits, although it is never too late to start. The best time to build bone density is during years of rapid growth. Our peak bone mass in maximum strength and density is achieved in our late twenties. Exercise can prevent or slow bone loss, maintain muscle mass to preserve and strengthen surrounding bone, and decrease the risk of falling. Both men and women also need good nutrition, calcium, and Vitamin D to preserve their bone mass.

Weight-bearing, strength training or resistance exercises are the very best for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity.  What that does is increase your bone density, your muscle strength, your flexibility, as well as boost your mood and your cognitive function.

Bone mass decreases with age naturally. Women will typically lose 30 to 50 percent and men 20 to 30 percent of their bone density over a lifetime.

What is considered a weight bearing/strength training/resistance exercise?

 

  • walking
  • hiking
  • jogging
  • climbing stairs
  • Racquet sports
  • dancing
  • lifting weights
  • Resistance Training

An effective exercise program for bone health includes 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity, four or more days a week. Start slow, take rest days, and always use proper form. The benefits of lifting weights include building muscle, burning body fat, strengthening your bones and joints, reducing injury risk, and improving heart health. 

Choose an activity that you enjoy, maybe one that combines social tine. There are many activities that will get you on your feet and moving.

Adding strength training to your workouts is a great way to improve your overall fitness, from burning body fat and strengthening your bones to preventing injury and making your heart healthier. Other exercises such as swimming and bicycling can help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits. Tai Chi and yoga provide significant flexibility and balance training benefits.  Strengthening balance is essential to prevent dangerous falls for seniors.

Keeping your joints healthy should begin with the initial goal of reducing the wear and tear on the cartilage over time. Some of the best exercises you can wrap into your routine to support your joint health.

  • Cross-training
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Stretching exercises
  • Aerobics
  • Cardiovascular exercises
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Bicycling,
  • Paddleboarding,
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Weight training

Exercise can have a colossal influence on your mood. In fact, it is thought that exercise can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild-to-moderate depression. It will increase your energy levels, help you get a good night’s sleep, improve your self-esteem, increase your confidence, and relieves the stress.

Not sure if you are a candidate to begin a workout regime? 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 your bone health, injuries, and then determine the best treatment options boost your normal life, restore functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.

Good Old Summertime is here!

Yippee, after months of hibernation and social distancing, the Good Old Summertime is here! It seems like forever since we were able to be at our normal activity level.

Increased activity means an increase in injuries, especially if you have been a sofa spud for over a year. Sports account for 2/3 of the hospitalizations that occur outside of the home. In 2019, that totaled 2.3 million injuries.

Take is slow and easy, build up to where you used to/think you should be. Do not forget to warm-up and stretch, hydrate to avoid problems, wear your sunscreen, plan your safety gear, and take breaks as you need to. An avoidable injury or issue can kill the rest of your summer.

In many sports, they advise to keep your eye on the ball.  When it comes to your family, keep your eyes on the kids.

Here are some helpful tips and facts to help you have a safe and injury-free summer.

·         AMUSEMENT PARK, STATE FAIR AND CARNIVAL RIDE INJURIES: safety rules and restrictions should be followed, and thought should be put into the appropriate clothing and shoes to wear.
·         ATV, MOPED AND MINIBIKE INJURIES: Using ATVs on paved roads is an accident waiting to happen. By all means, enforce helmet wearing and proper clothing to protect your family. Make sure the vehicle is age appropriate, if they are too young to drive then maybe they need to be a passenger.
·         BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL INJURIES: While they are non-contact sports, injuries happen less frequently. Keep the safety gear on, warm up and stretch. This can help prevent common strains and sprains.
·         BICYCLE INJURIES: Wearing a helmet will reduce the chance of a head injury by 85 percent. Be mindful of overuse injuries by starting out too aggressively. Do stretches to create flexibility. Shift your posture occasionally to avoid neck tension.
·         PLAYGROUND INJURIES: Studies indicate that roughly 7 out of 10 playground injuries happen because of a fall or an equipment failure. Choose a playground that is age appropriate for your children. Proper play clothing and shoes can help your child stay safe. Safety ground cover is so important. the best play surface is rubber or wood chips, which give some cushion for falls. Monkey bars, climbing equipment and swings are the most likely to be injured on. Supervision is key.
·         SWIMMING INJURIES: supervision is key with youngsters for obvious reasons. Swimmer’s Shoulder, neck injuries, knee issues and swimmer’s ear go hand and hand with increased water exposure. Diving boards, and diving in general, while fun, can lead to serious head and neck injuries.
·         TEAM SPORTS INJURIES: Basketball, Soccer and Football injuries are on the higher side as these are contact sports. Warmups and cool-downs are key to preventing many injuries, including the severe sprains, torn cartilage, and damaged anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs). Use all safety equipment fitted for your player.
·         TRAMPOLINE INJURIES: while great fun, trampolines cause nearly 100,000 injuries in a one-year period among children, some being life threatening and serious. Roughly 20% are injuries to the spinal cord.  Supervision cannot be stressed enough. Too many on at the same time, improper surface, trying daring stunts all lead to an increased danger level.  Sprains and fractures are the most common among them, but bruises, bumps and bloody noses are also a concern.
·         VOLLEYBALL INJURIES: Staying fit and stretch and warm up time before a game is essential. A softer playing surface has its pluses and minuses.
·         WATER SPORTS INJURIES: Many of these injuries can be prevented with preseason conditioning and a purposeful warm up before your exercise.
·         YARDWORK AND HOME IMPROVEMENTS caused 775,000 in 2019, mostly due to eye injuries and fingers.  Get the proper safety gear, please.

 

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 injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to return you back to your normal life, restoring functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.

October is Bone and Joint Health Awareness Month!

Every October, the United States Bone and Joint Initiative promotes Bone and Joint Health Awareness Week. Their focus is on educating the general public about musculoskeletal (bone and joint) conditions.

Why October?

  • October 12 – World Arthritis Day
  • October 16 – World Spine Day
  • October 17 – World Trauma Day
  • October 19 – World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day
  • October 20 – World Osteoporosis Day

Bone and joint diseases affect roughly 50% of the nation’s population. The disease presents itself in the form of arthritis in various kinds, Spondyloarthritis, osteoporosis, Metabolic bone diseases, Scoliosis, fractures, and muscle and ligament injuries and is a leading cause of chronic pain and physical disability worldwide for backs, knees, and hips. These conditions include everything from childhood conditions to advanced arthritic issues in elderly patients.

The Baby Boom generation started becoming eligible for Medicare beginning in 2011. The older we get, the more frequently we fall down and go boom while still leading increasingly healthy and active lives.  One of the keys to the outreach program is prevention as part of joint and bone health.

How can you help keep your bones and joints healthy?

  • Keep a healthy body weight – Additional weight can increase the stress on your hard-working joints.
  • Physical activity helps maintain your bone density as you age.
  • Exercise keeps your joints limber
  • Improve your balance
  • Make smart food choices rich in calcium and vitamin D which helps your body to absorb this essential nutrient.
  • Seek medical advice for bone or joint pain, don’t wait until you are at crisis level. Your pain can be something simple but possibly a sign of a major health issue. The sooner you intervene the better.
  • Live…but live cautiously

Globally, musculoskeletal conditions are the most common causes of severe long-term pain and physical disability. Thanks to improved medical care, we have a population throughout the developed world that lives longer. Along with the long life and increasing pain comes an increase in costs to treat the joint diseases which account for half of all chronic conditions in the elderly. In the United States alone, musculoskeletal conditions are a foremost source of disability, accounting for more than 130 million annual patient visits to medical professionals.

Forty percent of all women over the age of 50 years are expected to suffer at least one osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Traffic accidents account for as much as 25% of all health care expenditures in developing nations due to our increasingly mobile society.

If you are feeling symptoms indicating a musculoskeletal injury, it will save you time and money to go to an orthopedic specialist directly instead of seeing your primary care physician first, if your insurance coverage will allow this.

When to go straight to Dr. Allegra

  • If a soft tissue injury has not shown improvement in 48 hours
  • If you have chronic pain in the joints and bones, especially in the neck, knee, hips, elbows, and/or back
  • Changes in range of motion and function in joints; pain, stiffness
  • Unable to perform your everyday tasks because of your symptoms
  • Change in posture

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 injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to return you back to your normal life, restoring functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.

Think well, live well, be well.


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Shouldering Shoulder Pain

Now that the world is opening up a bit, especially for outdoor activities, certain body parts and joints may be making themselves known to you.  Most have had it very easy for the last 4-5 months and do not share your exuberance to resuming your athletic life.

One particularly cranky one can be your shoulders, especially if you play golf, tennis, baseball, volleyball or even if you swim.  You do not have to play a contact sport like football to get injured.  Repetitive motion can make joints irritable.  We rely on our shoulders to support many of our most basic motions, including pushing, pulling, lifting, and throwing. Anything you do with repetitive or strenuous motion can impair functionality, range of motion, and cause you pain.

Be on the lookout for signs of:

Shoulder Arthritis– loss of the normal cartilage (smooth surfaces) that line your shoulder joint.  This makes moving your shoulder and arm painful and inflamed. If you have trouble lifting your arm, hear a clicking when you do, or have pain, stiffness, or redness in the area…it could be a sign.

Frozen Shoulder– the capsule of connective tissue that surrounds the shoulder thickens and contracts which leads to stiffness and shoulder pain from restricted movement. This typically affects adults ages 40 to 60. It can also be caused by diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s, or cardiac disease.

Rotator Cuff – The collarbone, the upper arm bone, and the shoulder blade form the Shoulder. The group of muscles which are attached to the shoulder are known together as the Rotator Cuff, which gives you your range of motion.  This group is prone to tendonitis, bursitis, and tears.  You may experience weakness, tenderness, limited range of motion, snapping or cracking sensations and your sleep may be affected since you just cannot get comfortable.

Dislocations – The humerus bone can become partially or completely separated from the socket from a bad fall, accident, or strong contact during sports.  You may experience symptoms of swelling, numbness, weakness, bruising, pain, instability, and even muscle spasms.

Fractures– Broken bones can affect the shoulder, such as your collar bone, upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (Scapula).  The older you get, the more prone you are to fractures because of osteoporosis.

Instability- when muscles and ligaments are not strong enough to hold the bones in the socket securely, loose, or torn ligaments are comment as well as dislocations

Separation – Often confused with dislocation, this happens when the connection between the shoulder blade and collar bone are disrupted. This would cause severe pain and possible a deformed appearance.

Impingement– when you raise your arm above shoulder height, the space between your shoulder blade and rotator cuff narrows and can rub or press on the tendon and bursa.

In pain?  Need a shoulder to cry on? Don’t have a chip on your shoulder, you should not have to shoulder the burden of injury or pain.  If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described, call Dr. Marshall Allegra.  He promises not to give you the cold shoulder!

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 injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to return you back to your normal life, restoring functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.

 

Think well, live well, be well.

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

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

Coping with Quarantine- Don’t let Corona Get the Better of You and Yours

Life is not easy for anyone, anywhere right now.  You have the threat of physical illness, financial worries, shortages of necessities, children home 24/7 driving you nuts, weak and elderly loved ones you can’t get to and a sense of isolation.

Staying positive is so important. Don’t watch that sad movie, don’t dwell on the fears, continually count your blessings.

Here are some ideas to come out of this traumatic life event in one piece and maybe a little wiser, healthier, and happier.

  • Physical exercise is really important, though this may be particularly hard confined to home. Consider jump roping, Yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates from online classes or something you find on the web. 10 minutes a day makes a difference.
  • Turn up some good music and dance, dance, dance. Keep moving and your heart pumping. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.
  • Walk off your anxiety, with or without Fido and the kids. Fresh air and sunshine does wonders for the mood and the endorphins need an airing out too. Chat with your neighbors from 6 feet away.
  • Create a daily routine, it will add structure to your day. Set your alarm clock regardless, get yourself dressed to start your day, you will feel better and more purposeful.
  • If you work at home, keep your routine as close to going to work as possible including getting dressed.
  • Take breaks from the news stories in any format, including social media. You are living a pandemic, you don’t need to be hearing about it repeatedly, adding to your stress.
  • Don’t stress eat, nothing good will come of it. Try to eat healthy, balanced meals.
  • Search the web for new recipes you never had the time or energy to try before. Take the food pantry challenge, what delicious meals can you make from what you have at home already to avoid going shopping. Make it a family activity, divide into teams to see who comes up with the best meals.
  • Ease off on the caffeine and avoid alcohol. Caffeine makes many anxious and jumpy and alcohol, while it gives you that lovely buzz, is a depressant.
  • Make the most out of family time while you have this opportunity. Don’t share your anxiety with your children. Your kids are already stressed with what they hear, try alleviating their fears by making an adventure out of it as much as possible. They are stuck in with no school, no afterschool activities, no friends.
  • Take that online course you have been considering, sharpen your skill set. Learn a language or musical instrument!
  • Clean and organize your home, doing all the things you never had time to do before. If you have your family around you, make it a group effort.
  • Social isolation is a terrible thing. Connect with others. Make a list of people that you want to check in on, especially those who bring your spirits up. Reach out to people you might not have spoken with in a long time. Avoid Debby Downer and Sad Sam. Make use of facetime and Zoom to see their faces and know they are well.
  • If you love the outdoors, gardening is actually a low-impact workout.  Pulling weeds can burn 200 calories an hour, but more so it puts you in touch with nature and renews your spirit.
  • It is early spring in New Jersey, spend time on the web planning out your perennials and vegetable garden so when it is time to sow, you are in the know.

Think well, live well, be well.

Dr. Marshall P. Allegra

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

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 injuries, and then determine the best treatment options to return you back to your normal life, restoring functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.

January Was Weight Loss Awareness month…and…

Do you ever feel you were born in the wrong era? For those of us who are “less slender”, living in the late 1500’s would have been our time to be appreciated. Rubenesque was vogue rather than statuesque.

For about 300 years, between 1500s and 1800s, body weight and volume, for both men and women was considered not only beautiful but natural. Girth had some correlation with worth, after all, if you overate it must mean you had the money to do so!

Here is the kicker, from the 1500s onward, till around the year 1800, life expectancy throughout Europe hovered between 30 and 40 years of age. You may have impressed your friends with your chub but didn’t live long enough to enjoy it. Google the artwork of the Rubenesque era and see that most of the subjects in the paintings were not smiling.

Aside from your New Year’s Resolution which may have come and gone by now, try being more mindful of your lifestyle and eating habits. Everyone seems to have an opinion and a book to sell it, but there are plenty of habits and changes in routine that are easy and the best way to achieve your goals.

Excess weight puts further stress on weight-bearing joints (the knee, the ankle). Additionally, inflammatory factors associated with weight gain might contribute to trouble in other joints (for example, the hands or feet).

Common sense says: burn more calories than you consume

If you want to lose weight, you have to change your diet.

  • Avoid foods that are high in salt and sugar.
  • Eat in so you can control your calories and portions.
  • Choose wisely- something sweet can be nutritious fruit with natural sugar.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Go for leaner proteins like turkey, chicken, or fish.
  • Not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs (processed) are associated with obesity and metabolic diseases
  • Time your meals during the day, when your body has time to burn everything off.

If you want to lose weight exercise smarter, not harder

Try aerobic workouts doing things like jumping, sprinting, or lifting weights. High effort, small doses mean higher intensity which improves your metabolism compared to lower intensity workouts.

Work out with a friend for fun and support, it doesn’t have to feel like work.

Be consistent-. Make sure to work out at least 3-4 times a week for at least 45 minutes.

If you want to lose weight, rest

Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep and try to keep a consistent schedule. This will give your body the energy it needs and when you are sleeping, you are not snacking.

Use technology as a tool

Explore fitness, weight, food, and other trackers to make sure you’re getting the right balance using a food diary or one of the many apps.

Don’t stress the numbers

The scale can make you crazy, watch the changes in your body and you will be encouraged. Reducing your calories consumed and increasing your calories burned is a no fail solution.  Take weight loss one pound at a time.  If you want to lose a large amount of weight, that number may be intimidating and dooming you to fail.

Congratulations, you lost 7 pounds!  Now visualize carrying an Over Stuffer in your arms all day.  You just lost an Oven Stuffer! Every pound you lose is that must less strain, wear and tear you are putting on your joints, muscles, and organs. You will feel so much better if you lighten your load.

If you feel your weight has affected you, a visit to Dr. Marshall P. Allegra will help you isolate the problem and choose the best option for you.  He is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Monmouth County for over 25 years. As an expert diagnostician, Dr. Allegra can expertly determine the best treatment options to return you to your normal, pain-free life.

Put Knee and Hip Pain in Your Past By Dr. Allegra

As you walk through your day, how many people do you see with a limp and a pained expression on their face?  Too many people are living life with painful, worn-out knees and hips without realizing how simple the solution really is.

Your healthy joints are cushioned by a coating of cartilage that guards the bones against rubbing against each other. Time and excessive wear and tear are not friends, causing the cartilage to slowly wear down, leaving our joints unprotected. This is termed “bone-on-bone”. Speak to Dr. Allegra to determine what options are available to you to relieve your pain and potentially solve the problem that causes it. When all non-surgical options have been exhausted, don’t despair.

Surgical options have become so much simpler than in recent years and the recovery time has gotten shorter with the newer technology. Dr. Allegra performs both partial and total joint replacement surgical procedures. Partial joint replacement surgeries are minimally invasive procedures. These surgeries replace only the damaged areas while more of the natural joint is preserved. Less invasive exposure minimizes the cutting of the normal tendons around the knee and is performed through a smaller incision.

If you are experiencing joint pain, keeping your weight down is good for your joints and your overall health. Patients should begin a program of exercise as a preoperative measure. Even the simplest muscle tensing exercise will help strengthen your muscles in preparation for postoperative walking. The stronger you are going in to surgery, the shorter the recovery time to resuming your life.

The majority of total hip and knee replacement patients are over 55 years of age, most often to provide relief for severe arthritic conditions. Fractures and injuries are typical causes for the younger patients. A candidate for total replacement surgery experiences:

  • Severe discomfort that hinders everyday activities
  • Pain that can’t be managed by anti-inflammatory medications, canes or walkers
  • Considerable stiffness of the joint
  • Advanced arthritis or other problem

The success rate for the hip replacement procedure is very high, with greater than 95% of patients experiencing relief from hip pain. Long term relief; 10 years after surgery is 90- 95% and at 20 years 80-85%.

Knee replacement will correct the knee problem, leaving muscles weak.  Physical therapy will help regain range of motion and strengthen muscles. This therapy begins in the hospital with a physical therapist and continues thereafter. 85 to 90 percent of all total knee replacement operations performed are successful for roughly 10 to 15 years, depending on the patient’s level of activity.

As with any major surgery, there are potential risks that should be discussed with your doctor. Recovery time depends on age, health status, and response to rehabilitation. Two to three months is the typical recovery time. and varies with each patient.

A typical post-operative visit to our offices results in the patient commenting;

“I don’t know why I waited so long to feel so good”

A visit to Dr. Marshall P. Allegra will help you choose the best option for you.  He is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Monmouth County for over 25 years. As an expert diagnostician, Dr. Allegra can expertly determine the best treatment options to return you to your normal, pain free life.


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