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October 02, 2020
From RehabRVNAhealth NewsSpotlight

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The decision to have elective surgery is rarely an easy one and joint replacement surgeries are no exception.  

To help individuals make informed decisions about surgery, experts Dr. John Dunleavy, M.D, Total Joint Specialist, Hip & Knee Surgeon, OrthoConnecticut, and Gigi Weiss, MSPT, RVNAhealth Director of Rehabilitative Services, recently led a virtual panel discussion co-hosted by the Ridgefield Library: “When to Say When: Am I Ready for a Joint Replacement?”

In the presentation, Dr. Dunleavy and Gigi Weiss covered such important information as:

  • Decision-making surgery checklist including such criteria as pain level; comfort level; health status, and more.

  • Non-surgical alternatives for foregoing or postponing surgery.

  • A primer on surgery and joint replacements today:

    • Advances in anesthesia and surgical technologies that have vastly improved the experience, recovery and outcomes for joint replacement candidates.

    • Partnerships between orthopedic practices (like OrthoConnecticut) and PT practices (like RVNAhealth Rehabilitation Services) that create a seamless and safe process before, during and after surgery.

  • Pre- and post-surgery strategies for going in your strongest and enhancing your recovery.  For example, a recent study shows that pre-surgery physical therapy reduces post-operative care by as much as 29% in patients with total knee or hip replacements.

We invite you to view the presentation here.

August 27, 2020

Sports Medicine & Shoulder Surgeon, Theodore S. Wolfson, M.D., Joins OrthoConnecticut


OrthoConnecticut has announced that Sports Medicine Specialist and Orthopedic Knee, Hip & Shoulder Surgeon, Theodore S. Wolfson, M.D., will join the practice on September 1st. He will have office hours in both the Danbury and Southbury office locations.

Theodore Wolfson looking at X RayTheodore S. Wolfson, M.D., OrthoConnecticut, reviewing an X-ray.

"I am honored and excited to be joining the outstanding team at OrthoConnecticut,” says Dr. Wolfson. “ With family throughout Western Connecticut, this is an incredible opportunity for me to return to my roots and take care of an active, healthy community.  I look forward to working alongside leaders in the field to provide specialized orthopedic surgery and sports medicine care to our patients."

Dr. Wolfson is fellowship-trained in sports medicine as well as knee and shoulder surgery and will care for all complex pediatric and adult shoulder, knee and sports issues. He joins OrthoConnecticut after completing his sports medicine fellowship at the acclaimed Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. His exceptional training includes orthopedic surgery training at New York University Langone Orthopedic Hospital (Hospital for Joint Diseases), a medical degree from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Princeton University.

Dr. Wolfson has provided medical coverage for several professional sports teams including the NBA Chicago Bulls, MLB Chicago White Sox, and MLS Chicago Fire. He has provided medical coverage for a broad range of high school and college sports teams, as well as for the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Marathon, Ironman U.S. Championship, triathlons, cycling races, and the National Women's Hockey League's Metropolitan Riveters.

He is a member of J. Robert Gladden Orthopedic Society, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the American Association of Orthopedic Medicine.

“Dr. Wolfson brings deep and strong expertise in caring for the complexity of knee, shoulder and sports injuries, and we are thrilled to welcome him to OrthoConnecticut. The addition of his expertise to the practice demonstrates our loyalty and commitment to patients, to provide the highest level of specialized and comprehensive care,” states Dr. Michael Brand, President of OrthoConnecticut.

To arrange an appointment with Dr. Wolfson, contact the office at  (203) 797-1500 ext. 6627, or go to www.myorthoct.com.

About OrthoConnecticut

OrthoConnecticut is the region’s premier, multi-specialty orthopedic practice, helping patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. It is the combined practice of Danbury Orthopedics, New Milford Orthopedics, Coastal Orthopedics and CT Pain Care. 27 fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians offer patient care at 9 offices in Danbury, Darien, Litchfield, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Sharon, Southbury and Westport. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk. To make an appointment with Dr. Wolfson or any of the practice’s specialists, or to learn more visit http://www.myorthoct.com/ or call 1.833.ORTHOCT (1.833.678.4628).

August 24, 2020

Good Sports: Preventing and Treating Injuries in Young Athletes

as seen in Back to School, August 2020
Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Dr. Edmund Ganal examines a patient.Above, Dr. Edmund Ganal, a Ridgefield resident and sports medicine specialist with OrthoConnecticut, with locations throughout Fairfield and Litchfield counties, examines a young athlete’s knee. Sports are a big part of many students’ lives: Alessandro Sulpizi (at left), for example, is an avid athlete and former member of the New Canaan High School varsity boys tennis team under Coach Ben Young; he graduated from New Canaan High School in 2019 and currently attends Northeastern University.

Whether or not students return to school this fall, odds are many of them will be participating in some type of athletic activity, whether that includes training for a sport, going for a run in their neighborhood, kicking the soccer ball around with their family at home, or preparing for a spring league. When kids are involved in sports — no matter what the scenario — athletic-related injuries are always a possibility.

As student sports enthusiasts increasingly become year-round athletes, playing either one sport all year long or multiple sports, experts are reporting that the number of sports injuries is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half are preventable.

While acute injuries can happen anytime — a hard tackle or a misstep leading to a torn ACL or a dislocated knee — more commonly, it’s overuse and repetitive strain that cause most sports injuries.

“Unfortunately, most kids, mine included, play sports all year round. Overspecialization, I think, is a problem when kids do one specific sport 12 months a year. They develop certain habits that stress only certain parts of the body and when those get overworked too much, they start developing chronic problems like tendon degeneration and a lot of overuse injuries,” explains Ridgefield resident Dr. Edmund Ganal, a sports medicine specialist with OrthoConnecticut, with locations throughout Fairfield and Litchfield counties. Experts differ on whether it’s better to play one sport or a variety. Some say playing one sport reduces the number of athletic injuries and the type of injuries to those specific to that particular sport while others say playing different sports can be beneficial as a form of cross-training and to not repeatedly tax the same set of muscles the same way again.

Read More

August 14, 2020

Handshakes are not a thing of the past for surgeon, Dr. Joseph DiGiovanni

As seen in Ridgefield's HamletHub

OrthoConnecticut surgeon, Dr. Joseph DiGiovanni OrthoConnecticut's Dr. Joseph DiGiovanni

I was fortunate enough to be assigned Dr. DiGiovanni's team for repair of a broken wrist. - Marcia

This year, we have all come to discover the simple things in life we take for granted; smiles, hugs, and a handshake to name a few. Handshakes have been the life-long focus of hand surgeon, Joseph DiGiovanni, M.D.

Dr. DiGi, as he is affectionately referred to, is a fellowship-trained, board-certified hand and upper extremity surgeon who has been in practice for 20 years and is a member of the subspecialty team at the Hand Center at OrthoConnecticut.

Dr. DiGiovanni has an interest and expertise in treating wrist injuries and fractures. Injuries to the hand are unique because of the complex interplay between the bones, tendons, and nerves, and Dr. DiGiovanni's training makes him uniquely qualified to care for patients with these problems. 

Recently, Dr. DiGiovanni’s patient, Marcia, thanked him, for helping her recover from a broken wrist. From the first moment she entered OrthoConnecticut, to her eventual surgery, she says she was treated with “compassion and professionalism”. 

I was fortunate enough to be assigned Dr. DiGiovanni's team for repair of a broken wrist. From reception to exams to surgery to post-op, I was treated with compassion and professionalism at all times. Wait times were minimal, I never felt rushed during any procedure, and my questions were answered thoroughly. The surgical team members were also patient, helpful, and efficient at all times. It's obvious that these staff members enjoy what they do! - Marcia

In addition to concentrating on hand, elbow, and shoulder issues, Dr. DiGiovanni also specializes in pediatric hand and elbow surgery. He received his hand training at NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases, where he obtained vast experience in complicated hand reconstruction.

Chronic conditions and injuries treated by Dr. DiGiovanni include fractures, nerve problems (including carpal tunnel syndrome), cubital tunnel syndrome, tumors, arthritis, and tendinopathies (tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and trigger finger). Dr. DiGiovanni's training makes him uniquely qualified to care for patients with these problems. DiGiovanni counts athletes, musicians, and workers with hand injuries specific to their career among the numerous patients he has treated.

For now, if you see Dr. DiGiovanni on the street you’ll have to settle for an elbow bump. But hopefully one day soon we can go back to giving a firm handshake as a thank you to a physician who has worked tirelessly to ensure his patients can use their hands to the best of their ability.

OrthoConnecticut is the area’s leading multispecialty orthopedic practice, Led by surgeons who are recognized experts in their fields, the practice’s highly trained team of medical professionals are dedicated to helping patients return to healthy, active lives. With offices in Danbury, New Milford, Litchfield, Ridgefield, Sharon and Southbury, the practice offers unparalleled experience and leading-edge diagnostic tools and treatments, conveniently located near where you live and work. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express offers emergency care, 7 days a week, in Danbury and New Milford.

To arrange an appointment with Dr. DiGiovanni, contact the office at 203-797-1500 or go to www.myorthoct.com

July 31, 2020

Runners Take Heed! OrthoConnecticut Specialists Offer Solutions for Foot and Ankle Pain

As seen in Southbury's HamletHub

Last week, The New York Times published an article about the uptick in solitary leisure focusing on Ridgefield and Darien Running Company and founder, Megan Searfoss.

With gyms closed for several months, running has picked up even more fans and exercise enthusiasts. If you’re one of them, take note of some common foot and ankle problems that may result from lacing up your sneakers and pounding the pavement for several miles.

woman running in the park with a mask on

Concerned about the impact a new running regimen may have? OrthoConnecticut’s Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Dr. Randolph Sealey, who is well versed in nonoperative as well as surgical management for foot and ankle problems, and OrthoConnecticut’s Podiatrist, Dr. Thomas Guglielmo answer some common questions posed by runners.

Dr Sealey ped LR 1002 72dpi 640x512Dr. Randolph Sealey with patient.Q:  I run through my pain? How do I know if I need to see a doctor?

A: Dr. Sealey:  As long as your running or walking mechanics are normal, and you can complete your usual distances, then you can continue running or walking through some pain. Another indication that running or walking through pain may not be problematic is that you are able to return to your next scheduled run at your normal timeline. Warning signs that you may need to see a doctor include abnormal running mechanics, limping, not being able to accomplish usual running distances, swelling and not being able to return to running despite rest, ice, compression and elevation. Do seek an evaluation by a specialty trained foot and ankle specialist should pain persist.

Q: Can orthotics help with my foot pain? 

A:  Dr. Guglielmo: Once the cause of the pain is diagnosed, then an orthotic can be utilized to protect or support the injured area. I use a multitude of different materials to make orthotics depending on what condition we are trying to correct or accommodate. Softer materials are used to reduce pressure and absorb shock while more rigid materials help to stabilize and provide support. 

Q:  Can I buy orthotics over the counter?

A: Dr. Sealey: As long as the foot alignment is not severe, then an over-the-counter orthotic is always my first recommendation.  If the runner over supinates, it may be difficult to obtain an appropriate orthotic because most over-the-counter orthotics are made for pronators. If you have tried over-the-counter orthotics and your pain continues, this is an indication that you may need to see a doctor for a custom orthotic insert. 

Q: Will a cortisone shot work?

A:  Dr. Sealey: Cortisone can play a role in the resolution of foot pain, however, it is important that it is not the first option used to solve the problem.  It is important to realize that cortisone readily treats an inflammatory problem and not a structural problem. Sometimes cortisone injections can cause more damage when they are used to treat a structural problem in a foot and ankle.

Q: Do you recommend any certain brand of sneaker?

A: Dr. Guglielmo: Most of the popular well-known brands of sneakers make different styles of shoes depending on your particular foot type. An individual with a high arch usually does best with a wider, softer shoe versus the individual with a flexible flatfoot --they do best in a motion control supportive shoe. I recommend they go to a running specialty store to be fitted with the proper shoe for their particular foot type. The brand is less important than the style. There are many excellent OTC arch supports available for under $75; the Powerstep and Superfeet brands are two that I often recommend. 

Q: What about braces? 

A: Dr. Guglielmo: I use off the shelf braces to stabilize the foot and ankle and limit motion. These devices reduce strain on the ligaments, tendons and joints to facilitate healing from acute injuries. Chronic long standing conditions often benefit from custom-made braces especially when surgery is not an option or when significant deformity is present. Custom braces are sometimes needed to correct foot and ankle deformities. An off-the-shelf brace is often not strong enough to address certain problems (ankle instability, posterior tibial tendon insufficiency). 

Q: When is surgery recommended? 

A: Dr. Sealey: Surgery is recommended when there is major structural injury to the bones, ligaments or tendons of the foot and ankle that will not heal on their own with rest. When an individual has significant functional disability, surgery may be the only option to correct the problem. If your pain does not significantly improve despite rest, ice, compression and elevation after a period of 4 to 6 weeks, then a specialty focused foot and ankle evaluation is recommended.

Dr. Randolph Sealey, is a board-certified, fellowship trained Foot & Ankle surgeon specializing in surgical and non-surgical care of the foot and ankle. Dr. Sealey has extensive training, ranging from simple hammer toe and bunion correction, to complex tendon and deformity correction. He sees patients in OrthoConnecticut’s Danbury and Southbury locations. More information on Dr. Sealey is available at https://myorthoct.com/randolph-sealey-m-d.

Dr. Thomas Guglielmo, is a board-certified Podiatrist specializing in medical and surgical foot care for adults and children. He sees patients in OrthoConnecticut’s New Milford and Litchfield offices. For more information on Dr. Guglielmo, visit https://myorthoct.com/thomas-g-guglielmo-d-p-m.

To learn more about foot and ankle care or to schedule an appointment for an evaluation, please call the OrthoConnecticut office at 1-833-ORTHOCT (1.833.678.4628) or visit the website myorthoct.com.