Why You Need to Know About Tools and Equipment Used in Orthopedic Surgery

Bone and joint surgeries are very common in the U.S. That’s not surprising given that there are over 200 bones and around 360 joints in the body. They are part of the musculoskeletal system, which supports and enables body movement.

A number of things can damage components of the musculoskeletal system. Even simple exercise mistakes can damage bones and joints. Age is another factor. Over time our joints can wear thin and osteoporosis makes bones more prone to breaks.

Bone or joint surgery is typically performed for one of two reasons: to alleviate pain or to repair an injury. Orthopedic surgeons are trained to carry out these surgeries using specialized tools. If you find that you need surgery here are some of the tools your doctor will rely on to get you back on your feet

Operating Room Equipment

All surgeries require a properly equipped, sterile environment. Operating rooms in hospitals and clinics are outfitted with bright surgical lights, an operating table, monitors and a stand to hold surgical tools. The room is large so that a number of medical staff necessary for the operation can move around with ease.

Operating rooms are fairly sparse with a lot of hard surfaces for good reason. They must be completely clean or there’s a risk of infection. Operating rooms are thoroughly cleaned after every surgery. There’s also an adjacent room where medical professionals can washing their hands before putting on sterile gowns, caps, masks, and gloves.


Today, the goal is to make surgery as less invasive as possible. This helps reduce the risk of infection and improves recovery time. One way that orthopedic surgeons do this is by using an endoscope.

An endoscope is a long, slim tube with a very small camera on the end that sends a signal to an adjacent screen. The tube is flexible so that it can snake through the body and produce an image of internal parts. The procedure is known as endoscopy. It allows surgeons to see the affected area from the inside before opening a patient up. The information gathered using an endoscope allows the surgeon to plan for the surgery so that it’s more effective while minimizing potential damage to the surrounding area.

Some endoscopes are also used to do surgery. These endoscopes have forceps and scissors that allow the surgeon to perform surgical procedures without making a large incision.


The small incisions that the endoscope enters are made with a scalpel. Most people are familiar with this surgical knife that is designed for precision. A scalpel has a small extremely sharp blade at one end and a slim handle. The design makes it easy for the surgeon to control. In many cases, scalpels are much larger than a pen.


When the orthopedic surgeon is operating on a bone, osteotomies may be needed. These instruments resemble a small chisel and are used to cut into bone. The tip of the osteotome is beveled on both sides.

Osteotomes are commonly used during joint replacement surgery when implants are being inserted into the bone. That is preferable to drills because they allow for precision and don’t generate heat, which can weaken bones.

Staples and Sutures

All surgeons that cut into the body must have a way to close the incision once they’re done. Typically, either sutures or staples are using depending on the location and tissue.

Sutures are most commonly used. They are a thread-like material, and some types of sutures dissolve on their own. Traditional sutures must be removed once the wound heals shut.

Staples aren’t the type you’d find in an office. They are many different types of surgical staples, some of which are barbed. Some staples are specifically designed to be used in the bone. A specialty stapling device is needed to apply them. Some surgeons prefer staples to stitches because they are faster and tend to produce less skin trauma.

If you have to have orthopedic surgery it’s important to discuss the procedure with your surgeon and understand what types of instruments will be used. The procedure and instruments will have a significant impact on your recovery and the effectiveness of the surgery so make sure you understand what’s involved.

3 Exercise Mistakes That Damage Joints and Bones

It’s only too easy not to exercise as much as you know you should. There are so many things to get done in a day that it’s often hard to fit in some healthy physical activity.

But, at some point, you may decide to be proactive about healthy aging, coming to the realization that bad health habits will quicken the rate your telomeres begin to shrink. Attached to the end of our chromosomes like the bindings at the end of shoestrings, your telomeres determine the rate at which you age. The faster they shrink, the more you show noticeable signs of aging.

Some ways to reduce your biological rate of aging include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, and, of course, getting enough exercise.

When it comes to exercise, you may only focus on a few benefits, like how to exercise in a way that improves cardiovascular health, builds muscle, and burns fat. But it’s important to pause to think about what you also need to do to also keep your bones and joints healthy.

When you don’t take care of your joints and bones, you risk all sorts of medical problems. For instance, if you have a degenerative joint disease that affects the shoulder joint, you may need shoulder replacement surgery. While this type of surgery has been proven to be extremely successful, why not obviate the need to have it in the first place?

One excellent way to take care of your bones and joints is through exercise-but you have to exercise in the right way, otherwise, exercise will make your health worse, not better.

How to Exercise

When you build muscle and burn fat, you reduce the strain on your joints. Exercise helps you protect your joints. For instance, when you do squats, you build your quadriceps, and this reduces the pressure on your knees from the subtle impact of gravity on your body.

Exercise also strengthens your bones, because when you exercise, you maintain bone density. If you walk every day, you are doing far more than improving your cardiovascular system and strengthening your legs. You are also stimulating bone density.

For bone health, exercise in a moderate way and practice a wide variety of exercises. While you may find some forms of exercises exciting and others boring–say, preferring kickboxing over yoga–you need variety, interweaving slow-paced, relaxing exercises with more exciting, high-intensity exercises.

How Not to Exercise

Despite all the benefits of exercise on healthy bones and joints, you must exercise in a way that helps them rather than ways that cause damage.

Here are three ways that you should not exercise from the perspective of joint and bone health:

  1. Relentlessly pursuing high-intensity exercises. Running, squatting with heavy weights, or other types of high-intensity exercises can lead to inflammation. If this warning sign is ignored, it can lead to increased pain over time. If you continue to exercise for a long time despite the pain, you risk getting arthritis.
  2. Skipping warm up prior to exercise. Before exercising, you need to warm up the body. Stretching allows tendons to become much more flexible and supple. Loosen up tight muscles and improve blood circulation before you exercise.
  3. Failing to give yourself enough time to recover between workouts. When you set up your exercise routine, you plan to be consistent. But it may be necessary to take a day or two off if you have not fully recovered from your previous workout. If you jump into your next exercise routine before you’ve fully recovered from your previous workout, you are not giving your ligaments, tendons, and muscles, the time they need to repair. Instead of exercise making you stronger and healthier, it is having just the opposite effect. The idea of “toughing it out” or “working out the pain and stiffness” are common mistakes made by people with strong wills.

In conclusion, exercise is good for you, and if you follow these tips on how to exercise and how not to exercise, you’ll take optimum care of muscle, ligament, joint, and bone health.

Are You Too Old To Exercise?

As you get older and your knees stiffen up, you may wonder if you have missed your chance to exercise properly. Maybe only young people can be in good shape? We’re here to tell you that whether you are over 40 or over 60, it is never too late to start an exercise program.

Once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, the only person stopping you, is you. We’ve all seen 70 year olds who complete marathons and triathlons. Our bodies were built to be used. So, stop second guessing yourself and get moving.

Get Motivated!

Inactivity breeds more inactivity so the first step towards your new active lifestyle will be the hardest. Rest assured, this is the most difficult part. Push yourself to get through so you can reap the benefits of your new exercise routine.

Here are some ways to raise your motivation:

  • Step away from the screen – It’s too easy to get stuck reading an interesting article or catching up on social media. Take away the temptation by putting your phone away until you’ve completed your exercise.
  • Get a natural boost – Get a boost from a natural supplement to help keep your energy up.
    Check out Consumer Advisors for reviews on supplements that will suit your needs.
  • Attractive workout clothing – Feel your best by purchasing a new article of workout clothing. You’ll be able to get yourself out of the door much faster if you like what you’re wearing.
  • Get a buddy – Being accountable to a friend is key. It’s much harder to cancel on someone else than it is to cancel on yourself.

Benefits to exercising as you age

Here are just a few examples of why exercising is good for you, especially as you get older:

  • Cognitive Effects – After studying the effects of HIIT on older people over 65 years old, scientists at the Mayo Clinic and found that exercise positively reversed damage to older muscle cells.
  • Independence – Be as physically independent as you can by keeping your body is top condition.
  • Mood Elevator – Physical activity releases endorphins which helps to elevate your mood. As we age, there may be a tendency towards depression which can be combated with regular exercise.

Do Something Enjoyable

Exercising doesn’t have to be a drag. Combine it with a hobby to make it exciting for yourself. Here are some ideas that may appeal to you. Obviously, before you start any exercise program, review it with your doctor.

  • Swimming – Swimming is easy on your joints and offers a great workout.
  • Dance classes – In addition to getting your heart rate up, dance classes are a great way to bond with your partner or to meet someone new.
  • Sex – You’re never too old to learn a new position!
  • Get a dog – If you’ve always wanted a dog, now’s the time to take the plunge. Enjoy heart healthy walks with your loyal companion.
  • Yoga – For a lower intensity workout, try yoga. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never done it before. The more practice yoga, the more flexible your body will become.

Kick the Sugar Habit with These New and Natural Sweeteners

Too Much Sugar

It’s not news that consumption of refined sugar in the US has skyrocketed—the average American now consumes an incredible 23.5 teaspoons a day, almost double what the average American consumed 100 years ago! But why are we doing this to ourselves? Refined sugar not only contributes to weight gain but also has been linked to increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, depression and other health conditions. What’s more, the desire for sugar can be addictive, making it extremely difficult to cut back.

Luckily, there’s an ever-growing number of natural sugar alternatives that can be a big help if you’d rather not use an artificial sweetener or go cold turkey, which is very difficult to do. All can satisfy the craving for sugar and provide lower calories than table sugar. Some of the newest and best natural sweeteners on the market…

Lite & Sweet

• Lite &  Sweet is a blend of xylitol and erythritol, sugar alcohols derived from berries and other fruits. It comes in bulk and packet form—one teaspoon has four calories (there’s 16 calories in a teaspoon of table sugar). Lite & Sweet looks like regular sugar—and when using it for baking and cooking, it can be substituted for regular sugar teaspoon for teaspoon.

Both xylitol and erythritol are considered safe for human consumption if consumed in small doses. However, if you have too much of them, they can have a laxative effect.

Whole Earth Nature Sweet  
• Nature Sweet is a combination erythritol, fructose, chicory root fiber and two plant-derived sweeteners. The first is stevia, which comes from the leaves of the stevia plant and has up to 200 times the sweetness of table sugar. The second plant-derived sweetener comes from monk fruit, a subtropical melonlike gourd, and is about 150 to 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. The new kid on the block at Starbucks, one packet of Nature Sweet (it comes in a green packet) has zero calories. In addition to using it in beverages, Nature Sweet can be used in recipes where the primary role of sugar is to sweeten, not to add bulk or tenderness, such as in sauces, salad dressings, fruit pies and cheesecake


Just Like Sugar • Just Like Sugar is made primarily from chicory root fiber. Chicory root offers a high concentration of the prebiotic inulin, which supports the growth of “friendly” bacteria that are associated with improved bowel function and better general health. Sold in bulk form, it has zero calories per serving. It can be used like table sugar to sweeten beverages, etc. Plus, there is a version that can be used specifically for baking.

Caution: Some people experience bloating, gas, stomach cramping and/or diarrhea when consuming excess fiber, and individuals sensitive to pollen and other related plants may have an allergic reaction to the chicory in this product.

Substituting a natural sweetener in your favorite daily beverage, instead of using refined sugar or drinking a presweetened beverage, can be a great first step in cutting back on sugar and put you on the road to better health!


Source: Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RDN, FAND, a registered dietitian nutritionist, a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a nationally recognized nutrition, health and fitness expert who specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention. Based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Dr. Brill is the author of Blood Pressure DOWN, Cholesterol DOWN and Prevent a Second Heart AttackDrJanet.com Date: October 1, 2017 Publication: Bottom Line Health