Looking back on my career, we all recognized the “seasons” of orthopedics. No, not like summer and winter…but instead, times of the year when we see surges in our business. I hate to put it in those terms, but let’s face it. Orthopedic surgeons get paid to treat a lot of conditions you bring on yourselves.
So, you’ve got your holidays, when we start climbing ladders to hang ornaments and lights. That used to start after Thanksgiving, but now that Halloween has become less about trick or treating and more about decorating the house, I’d have to say that season starts in October.
You’ve got winter, which refers to a colder time of the year, but to the orthopod it’s ski season, resulting in an uptick in ACL tears and other injuries, so much so that large orthopedic groups set up offices at ski resorts in order to capture those patients right at the bottom of the mountain, rather than let you get home to see your perfectly skilled local orthopedist.
You’ve got football season…for the obvious reasons.
And then you got January…the month following New Year’s Day, and therefore the first month to put into effect our New Year’s Resolutions. Along with trying to save money, reading more books and watching less TV, some of the happy consequences of our resolutions are healthier eating, more exercise and weight loss. There also comes an unfortunate surge in “repetitive strain disorders,” such as stress fractures, tendonitis, bursitis, the exacerbation of arthritic conditions, and degenerative meniscus tears, to name a few. These disorders put an end to good intent, every bit as much as the mind can.
Here’s the good news. It’s all preventable!
-Everything in moderation.
-Start slow and build up.
-Get help from a trainer.
-Wear the right shoes.
-Exercise in the right places.
-Pay heed to your limitations and liabilities.
-Don’t work through bone and joint pain.
You know these things, but many of you will ignore the warnings. January would otherwise be a slow month for the orthopod.