Published 10/1/2007
Nicholas DiNubile, MD

Bionic bodies, ‘Boomeritis,’ backpacks, and bloggers

Musculoskeletal issues—and the AAOS—are featured in the news

Technology makes news—and orthopaedic technology is making news across the country. Newsweek magazine’s report on bionic bodies focused on the new materials and high-tech procedures that are driving a surge in hip, knee, and ankle replacements. The article featured AAOS Second Vice-President Joseph Zuckerman, MD, as well as AAOS fellow Claude T. Moorman, MD, and was picked up by MSNBC.com and several more publications.

The Wall Street Journal examined the use of sonic diagnosis to help detect infections in artificial hips and knees. The article included Academy statistics on the number of people undergoing joint replacement and established the AAOS as the primary source for musculoskeletal health information.

Ryan Nunley, MD, was featured in an article in the Washington (D.C.) Business Journal about nanotechnology (see the May 2007 AAOS Now for more on this topic). Dr. Nunley said, “It may take about 5 more years before the effects of nanotechnology can be measured.”

The Chicago Tribune ran a story on how doctors, including Kevin W. Luke, MD, are using global positioning software (GPS) technology during knee replacement surgery.

Dr. Luke uses GPS satellites to make more accurate cuts during knee surgery and help eliminate errors.

Growing old gracefully
Katie Couric and I discussed “Boomeritis” and how those facing the aging process can stay in the game longer for her weekly blog on
CBS.com and CBS Radio. I also provided The Denver Post with information on how an aging body can stay fit for its feature on medical marvels that enable boomers to age gracefully. United Press International quoted tips from the AAOS Web site on fighting off the effects of “Boomeritis.”

Jay D. Mabrey, MD, was featured in an AARP magazine article that addressed the issues of proper balance, the consequences of a fall for older adults, and younger people who may not break bones when they fall but who do wind up battling strains, sprains, and contusions. Dr. Mabrey also taped a segment for a new television show, “Backyard Boomers,” on the Veria network, which launched in September. It will focus on health and wellness issues.

Turning to sports
WPTZ-TV (Plattsburgh, New York) featured C. Phillip Volk, MD, who performed ACL surgery on local meteorologist Erik Heden, both on the news and on the station’s Web site. Mitchell B. Sheinkop, MD, was interviewed for Chicago’s ABC7-TV about cyclist Floyd Landis, who battled osteonecrosis in his hips while competing in the Tour de France.

The Los Angeles Times took a look at how spending time on the tennis court could lead to spine problems. Arya Nick Shamie, MD, and Robert G. Watkins, MD, provided readers with tips on enjoying tennis while keeping their spine in mind.

Returning to school
The backpack is now an absolute staple in the back-to-school student ensemble. Academy board member, Norm Otsuka, MD, discussed the topic in the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago paper. Laurel C. Blakemore, MD, was interviewed when the FOX affiliate station in Washington, D.C., did an in-depth look at how to wear a backpack. Chicago’s NBC5 news featured Hank Chambers, MD, in its story about safe backpacking.

Here’s a quote from the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel’s online health blog: “Since school started, I’ve seen quite a few children wobbling underneath giant backpacks. So, it seems like a good time to visit with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which offers some helpful safety tips.” The blog also included a link to the AAOS Web site. US News & World Report also sent readers to the AAOS Web site for more information on back packs.

The AAOS is also consulted about children’s safety when it comes to school sports like football, soccer, and baseball. Matthew Dobbs, MD, talked to Health Day News, cautioning parents and coaches that children are not just small adults. “Their bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons are still growing,” said Dr. Dobbs, “making them more susceptible to injury, especially from overuse.” That article was picked up on television stations and in magazines and newspapers nationwide. Lori Karol, MD, and Howard Epps, MD, participated in a radio media tour sponsored by the AAOS and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America on several topics relating to children and back to school safety.

Leon Benson, MD, talked to the Naperville (Ill.) Sun about a dangerous form of skateboarding called “skitching.” The skateboarder hangs on to the back of an unsuspecting car until it reaches a high speed and then lets go. Dr. Benson’s advice? “Just don’t do it.”

Finally, Jeffrey Smith, MD, appeared on the show “Inside San Diego,” to discuss all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety and the Academy’s public service advertising (PSA) on that subject. He showed both the PSA and x-rays of ATV injuries he has treated.

Nicholas DiNubile, MD, is chair of the Public Relations Oversight Group. If you would like to serve as a spokesperson for the AAOS, contact the public relations department at julitz@aaos.org