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My Achilles Heel

In Greek mythology Achilles was known as the great warrior of the Trojan War who ultimately succumbs to an arrow that strikes him in the tendon just above his left heel.  The term “achilles heel” defines an area of weakness in something or someone that is otherwise constitutionally sound. While many of us mortals suffer metaphorically with our own achilles, others suffer physically from the actual anatomical source.

What is de Quervain’s Syndrome?


de Quervain’s tendonitis (DQT) is a common painful disorder of the wrist. It was known as Fritz-De-Quervain_200x297“wash-woman’s wrist” and now as “new mommy wrist” and “gamer’s wrist” due to the prevalence encountered in these groups.

The condition was named after a Swiss surgeon Fritz de Quervain, who incidentally, was famous for his work on thyroid disease and the public introduction of iodine into table salt decreasing the incidence of “goiters” (swollen thyroid glands) in Switzerland. The U.S. adopted this policy in the 1920s starting in the iodine deficient Midwest where goiters affected 20-30% of the population.

Trigger Finger

A trigger finger is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as “the finger that someone uses to point a gun.” Medically speaking a trigger finger refers to a condition where a finger locks, clicks, or catches. It is a very common hand disorder known as “stenosing tenosynovitis.”

A illustration of trigger finger. Credit: Shutterstock

A illustration of trigger finger. Credit: Shutterstock

Patients more frequently affected include females between the ages of 40-60, persons who work manually via their hands, and those with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The thumb, ring, and long fingers are most often involved. Unlike other finger conditions that cause stiffness, it is often associated with swelling, numbness, or redness.

The tendons in the palm of the hand “flex” or pull your finger into the palm to allow for gripping and manipulation. The muscles or muscles that flex your finger are in your forearm. These muscles are connected to semi-elastic cords known as tendons. The tendons travel up through you hand and into each digit. The tendon is tethered to the finger to prevent it from bowstringing by fibrous tunnels known as “pulleys.” The first pulley is at the very base of the finger in the palm.

Some cases of trigger finger resolve spontaneously. Others can be chronic and disabling. Treatment varies with the severity and chronicity and may include observation (also known as “benign neglect”), splinting, activity modification, and the use of a topical or oral anti-inflammatory agent.

The tendon or the pulley can be mechanically altered by swelling, scarring or inflammation. When the tendon can no longer easily transit the pulley- it clicks, catches, and locks. It can be painful and interrupt normal everyday hand function.

For many cases or trigger finger an orthopedist can provide a tendon sheath injection of a locally acting, low dose corticosteroid which works in most cases after only one or two shots. Failing that the condition can be alleviated by a minor outpatient surgical procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia.

If you suffer from a painful stiff finger that may be clicking, popping, or locking- or any painful hand condition- please come in for an evaluation as many of these conditions can be successfully treated. be sure to make an appointment with us: http://robertmoriartymd.com/contact-us/ or 631-423-BONE (2663).

US adults not consuming enough protein, study shows

These days it seems like Americans are crazed about including protein in their diets, and many of the most popular diet or weight loss tips suggest increasing protein intake. However, a recent study shows that nearly half of older Americans (age 50 and older) are not consuming enough protein. This lack of protein can lead older adults to be more susceptible to common orthopedic injuries and general health issues. As we age, it’s increasingly important to consume the recommended amount of protein in our diets because we lose muscle mass as we get older. This gradual decrease in muscle function as we get older is known as sarcopenia. Reduced strength and muscle mass makes older adults more susceptible to falls and bone fractures. The research also found that insufficient protein intake by older adults usually signals poor health and overall quality of life. The most recently published guidelines by the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 0.8 grams of protein for every 2 pounds of body weight. Put in simpler terms, the RDA or average protein intake for adults should be 46 grams for adult women; 56 grams for adult men. The article notes that older adults may not be consuming enough protein for a variety of reasons, including loss of appetite with age, lower energy needs, or simply eating less due to economic or social issues. Here are some suggested foods to increase protein intake in your diet and in turn help to maintain muscle mass:
  • Fish, Seafood
  • White meat poultry (chicken)
  • Lean beef
  • Eggs and dairy
    • Skim or low-fat milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat cheese
  • Beans and lentils
Protein-rich diets can help older adults to maintain better health overall because many protein sources are nutrient-dense with antioxidant properties, which boosts the immune system. In contrast, the study found that older adults lacking protein in their diets often had limitations when it came to mobility and other day to day tasks like kneeling, sitting and walking up stairs. If you are concerned about your muscle mass beyond diet, it’s best to see a orthopedist who can recommend treatment or physical therapy for your issues. If you have concerns about your diet, you may want to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist as well to be sure that you are getting the recommended amount of protein. If you or your loved one is concerned about their muscle mass or other orthopedic issue, be sure to make an appointment with us: http://robertmoriartymd.com/contact-us/ or 631-423-BONE (2663).

Study Shows Sex-Based Differences in Sports Injuries

A recent webcast from sports medicine experts sheds light on critical differences between sexes when it comes to sports-related injuries. Specifically, which injuries males and females are more prone to and some of the reasoning behind it. Understanding such distinctions leads to better prevention, care and outcomes of patients. soccer-1457988_640

Stand-Up Desks and Your Health

Stand-up desks have become very popular in the workplace as the answer to the unhealthy practice of sitting. Many have heard the new mantra that “sitting is the new smoking” which can lead to a variety of health risks from weight gain, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and musculoskeletal demise. Stand up desks are being marketed to workers promising better health and increased productivity.

A “stand-up desk” includes a wide variety of options from economical DIY furniture adaptations (a stack of books under your laptop) to custom free-standing furniture designs with electric motors to adjust height costing thousands of dollars. Popular versions include adjustable devices placed upon an existing desktop.

  Shot of young man standing at his desk and working on computer. businessman using computer in modern office. The popularity of the standing desk has exploded in part as “the answer” to the mental and physical detriments of sitting. However, recent studies caution the claims of this device as a workplace panacea. The reported benefits of the stand-up desk have yet to be proven and are for the most part overstated. One of the claims is that of weight loss. Standing in lieu of sitting burns a modest 8 calories per hour or 60 calories in a work day. You could skip the extra cookie and save more. Standing all day may also increase the incidence of symptomatic varicose veins and pain in the feet and back.

How to tell if your ‘ankle sprain’ isn’t just a sprain

Ouch! We’ve all been there: you trip over something and sprain your ankle. Most of the time, it heals using the RICE method (“RICE” (Rest Ice Compression Elevation), and we’re back to normal in a few weeks. But what about those ‘sprains’ that have lingering or persistent symptoms for years following the injury? It may not be just a sprain after all. Here’s how to tell the difference.



How to Recover from Exercise-Related Injuries

  Exercise plays a large part in the lives of many Americans and can improve overall well-being.  It’s no wonder so many of us are frustrated when we have to put a pause on our beloved exercise regime due to an exercise-related injury.  I see many people in my office with complaints of exercise injuries, some of which can be treated at home. This article explores tips for you to safely recover from a exercise-related injury and get back to doing what you love. 53227699 - woman hold her injured knee

Overtraining: a real issue for amateur and elite athletes alike

The new year and watching the winter Olympics has many people thinking about starting new exercise regimens to reach fitness goals. While we’re constantly reminded that exercise is beneficial for our physical and mental well-being, did you know there is such a thing as overtraining? Dr. Robert V. Moriarty, M.D, sports medicine specialist and orthopedist in Long Island, New York, explains that overtraining is when you exercise at a rate more intensely or frequently than your body can recover. Fortunately, we have some ways to prevent this type of injury, as well as the causes, diagnosis, and treatment options for it.

Meet Our Newest Team Member, Michelle Mesh!

Dr. Robert Moriarty, MD and his team are excited to introduce their newest team member:  Michelle Mesh, MS, PA-C!

Michelle joins our practice with ten years orthopedic experience. She is knowledgeable and professional, with expertise in managing routine to more complex musculoskeletal conditions. Michelle also has expertise in administering trigger point injections.

Michelle received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, her MS from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her residency at NYU- Hospital for Joint Diseases in their PA Orthopedic Residency Program.

In her free time, Michelle enjoys going for walks, working out, watching a good movie and most importantly, spending time with her husband and two adorable little girls.

Please join us as we welcome our newest team member Michelle!

© 2019 Robert Moriarty, MD FAAOS. | 755 New York Avenue, Suite 250 Huntington, NY 11743
Orthopedic doctor conveniently located near Nassau & Suffolk Counties in Long Island, NY