UVA Health System Blog

Stories about the patients, staff and services of UVA


Treating Hip Injuries (Podcast Tuesday)

On August 25, 2015 | At 10:42 am

If it seems like you’re always injuring your hip or your groin, bad news: You might just be built that way.

According to orthopedic surgeon Winston Gwathmey, there are two factors to hip injuries: You can inherit a hip joint that just doesn’t fit together that well and is more prone to injury. Or you can put your hips at risk through activities like soccer that require a lot of high-speed movements, pivoting and changing direction.

You can treat minor discomfort with:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

While even younger adults are getting hip replacements to treat more severe and chronic problems, Gwathmey tries to avoid those. Instead he recommends orthotics and physical therapy and, if those don’t work, minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery.

In this week’s podcast, Gwathmey offers hip injury recovery tips and explains diagnosis and treatment.

Filed under : Orthopedics,Podcast Tuesday | By
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7 Quick Questions: Meet Hand Surgeon Dr. Nicole Deal

On August 20, 2015 | At 9:26 am

Ever wonder what your doctor or health provider does outside the exam room? Our 7 Quick Questions series gives you a personal glimpse into the people of UVA.

Nicole Deal, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at UVA. She specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery at the Hand Center.

1. Why did you become a doctor?

UVA Hand Surgeon, Nicole Deal, MD.

UVA Hand Surgeon, Nicole Deal, MD.

I love helping people!

2. Why did you choose your specialty?

I chose orthopedics because I enjoy being able to get people back to doing the things they love.

3. What’s your favorite thing about Charlottesville?

My favorite things about Charlottesville are the weather, all of the outdoor activities and the downtown mall.

4. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Southwest Virginia.

5. What’s the most exciting thing/research happening in your field right now?

Right now, in our lab we are studying ways to improve recovery from nerve injuries.

6. Who is your inspiration/hero?

My inspiration or hero is my grandfather. He was an extremely talented surgeon and wonderful man.

7. What’s your favorite thing about working at UVA?

My favorite thing about working at UVA is the people I work with!

Learn more about Dr. Deal.

Filed under : Orthopedics,The People of UVA | By
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Tendon Injuries (Podcast Tuesday)

On August 18, 2015 | At 11:40 am

Nothing motivates me to stretch as much as that burning pain in my achilles tendon. It usually kicks in when I’m running, or maybe when I get out of bed the morning after a run. I’ve heard enough horror stories about ruptured achilles tendons — and the ensuing pain, rest and possibly surgery — to know I need to do whatever stretching it takes to avoid one.

Think you’ve injured a tendon? Figure out the next steps — make an appointment with a primary care doctor.

Chances are, you’ve dealt with tendon pain, including tendinosis or tendinitis. It takes many forms, including:

  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Plantar fasciitis

Don’t live with the pain: Listen to musculoskeletal radiologist Jennifer Pierce, MD, discuss the latest treatments for tendon injuries, including steroid injections and Tenex.

Filed under : Exercise,Healthy Living,Podcast Tuesday | By
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Sun Safety: 8 Myths About Skin Cancer Debunked

On August 13, 2015 | At 9:06 am

With UVA dermatologist Mark Russell, MD

Mark Russell, MD

Mark Russell, MD
UVA Dermatologist

Myth #1: Skin cancer only affects people with light or fair skin.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Although more common in those with a fair complexion, it does not discriminate against skin color, race, age or any other demographics.

Myth #2: You can’t get skin cancer where the sun doesn’t shine.
Although skin cancer usually occurs in sun-exposed areas of the skin, it can appear anywhere on the body including the scalp, palms, soles, and under toenails and fingernails.

Myth #3: You can wait until you’re outside to apply sunscreen.
Actually, it takes at least 30 minutes for sunscreen to start working. It’s best to apply it ahead of time.

Myth #4: Skin heals quickly, so childhood sunburns won’t impact you later in life. 
Believe it or not, sunburns add up and lead to skin damage, cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions and wrinkles, and it can take years for you to notice the impact on your skin. However, you can slow the damage by starting to take care of your skin now and preventing future burns. You can also be proactive and attend regular screenings so you can catch skin cancer early, if it does present itself.

Myth #5: All skin cancer looks the same.
Skin Cancer PreventionSkin cancer may appear as a changing mole, bleeding spot, recurring sore, red patch, firm spot, new “scar” or a combination of these.

Myth #6: DIY (or Do it Yourself) sunscreen works just as well as over the counter brands.
Homemade sunscreen is not a viable method for sun protection because regardless of the ingredients used, there is not an official way to guarantee its effectiveness or determine the exact SPF.

Myth #7: The higher the SPF, the less frequently sunscreen needs to be applied.
Because sunscreen breaks down over time and can be removed with water and sweat, it needs to be reapplied at least every two hours.

Myth #8: Cancer screening is only for people who have had skin cancer or have a family history of cancer.
Skin cancer screening is important for everyone, especially those who have a fair complexion, family history of skin cancer, work outdoors or spend leisure time in the sun. Anyone with repeat sunburns or excessive sun exposure can be at risk and should attend regular screenings.

Did you know?

UVA offers a free skin cancer screening for the community each May. This year’s screening, led by Mark Russell, MD and Kenny Greer, MD, resulted in 60 referrals to dermatology for suspected skin cancer out of the 225 patients who were seen.

Concerned about skin cancer?

Make an appointment with a UVA dermatologist by calling 434.924.5115 or use the online appointment form.

Best ways to reduce sun exposure:

  • Use sunscreen (apply correctly and reapply at least every two hours while in the sun)
  • Wear lip balm with sunscreen
  • Wear protective clothing and accessories (broad-brimmed hats, long sleeve shirts and sunglasses)
  • Avoiding the sun from the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade whenever possible
  • Avoid tanning beds

Diagnosing and Treating Tremors (Podcast Tuesday)

On August 11, 2015 | At 9:56 am

When people experience tremors, or uncontrollable shaking, they tend to think of Parkinson’s disease. But other things can cause this involuntary rhythmic movement, including:

  • Essential tremor, another condition with fewer symptoms than Parkinson’s
  • Stress
  • Consuming too much caffeine

In this week’s podcast, Matthew Barrett, MD, discusses the causes behind tremors and how doctors diagnose and treat them.

Find out more about deep brain stimulation and other tremor treatments.

Filed under : Neurosciences,Podcast Tuesday | By
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Jillian Michaels and Simple Weight-Loss Tips: Fall Vim & Vigor

On August 10, 2015 | At 9:08 am

Most of us associate Jillian Michaels with her “The Biggest Loser” tough-trainer persona. But she’s struggled with her weight, body image and self-esteem.

physical therapy UVA Culpeper Hospital

After a car accident, Patty Grimm (left) learned to walk again with the help of UVA Culpeper Hospital physical therapist Jennifer Norrod. Read her story in Vim & Vigor.

Check out the current issue of Vim & Vigor for tips on setting goals and getting healthier. Did you know cutting just 10 calories a day — one Lifesaver candy — can help you lose more than a pound a year?

You’ll also get the scoop on:

  • Scoliosis in adults — one 57-year-old man had such a severe case he had to quit construction, take a desk job and have surgery
  • Skin care myths and facts
  • How sitting at your desk all day is hurting your health
  • Helping your child get ready for surgery

Read the fall 2015 Vim & Vigor.


Stroke Symptoms and Treatment: July 2015 Roundup

On August 7, 2015 | At 10:41 am

Maternity Monday wrapped up this July with information on what to expect after bringing your newborn home from the hospital.

conception, pregnancy, postpartum

We recently covered pregnancy and babies, from conception to infant care. Read the Maternity Monday series.

We also continued our podcasts:

UVA in the News

Filed under : Monthly Roundup | By
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Recipe Review: Healthy Chicken Pad Thai

On August 6, 2015 | At 8:32 am

We’re trying new heart-healthy recipes and will share the results with you. All recipes are from Club Red, UVA’s heart health club for women.

chicken pad thai

Get the recipe: chicken pad thai

Chicken Pad Thai

We eat a lot of chicken in my house. It’s a relatively easy and inexpensive source of protein, especially now that egg prices are increasing. But let’s be honest: Making chicken breasts taste better than cardboard takes some work, and ideally, a sweet or salty sauce, cheese or some butter.

The best side dish with chicken? Pasta or noodles, of course. You will never catch me advocating for anything low-carb.

So when I saw this chicken pad thai recipe, I immediately wanted to try it. I love pad thai but have never tried to make it at home. It turned out to be pretty easy, inexpensive and healthy.

A word of warning: The noodle package instructed me to soak them for five times longer than this recipe. With some trepidation, I followed the recipe’s instruction, and I’m glad I did. The noodles were a little too firm after the soaking, but they were perfect once they got soaked in hot oil and sauce.

I tossed a little napa cabbage in with the noodles, which wilted and cooked by the time everything was combined.

I’m not going to promise this dish tastes exactly like the pad thai at your favorite restaurant; it probably doesn’t. But it was savory, had more than enough noodles for me to get my fix, and the cabbage and peanuts on top added nice texture. I had seconds.

And unlike my favorite Thai restaurant, this satisfied my requirement for a quick and inexpensive weeknight meal. I cut the chicken breasts in half so they’d bake faster at 375 degrees and prepared everything else while the chicken was in the oven. The whole meal was ready in 20 minutes.

You could also substitute sautéed tofu to satisfy vegetarians. My mom’s a vegetarian and is visiting next month. I think I know what we’ll be eating.

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Get the recipe: Chicken pad thai

Filed under : Heart,Nutrition,Recipes | By
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Treating Critical Limb Ischemia (Podcast Tuesday)

On August 4, 2015 | At 10:55 am

Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is an obstruction of the arteries so severe it can greatly reduce blood flow to the arms and legs. This critical condition, which most often affects smokers and diabetics, can have dire consequences if left untreated, including skin ulcers, sores, and even amputation.

In this week’s podcast, Kanwar P. Singh, MD discusses the symptoms of the onset of CLI and treatments currently available.

Filed under : Heart,Podcast Tuesday | By
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Living Liver Donation: A Father and Daughter’s Story

On July 30, 2015 | At 9:30 am

When Michael Cox was diagnosed with cryptogenic liver failure in the fall of 2010, his family was told he needed to be put on the waiting list — without a transplant, his life expectancy was less than five years.

His daughter, Shana, was immediately tested to become a living liver donor. She was a match.

Shana and her husband were trying to get pregnant, but when she was told she was able to give a portion of her liver to her father, she immediately went on birth control. If she had gotten pregnant, she no longer could donate.

After a successful surgery, both Michael and Shana recovered quickly. A few months later, Shana received more news – but this time, it was the happy kind.

Watch their story:


Learn more about organ donation on UVAHealth.com.

Filed under : Patient Stories,Transplant | By
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