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Latest Posts

Bike Helmet Makes A Stink

k2gnego1.jpgResearch scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, have developed a helmet that will make you think twice about continuing to cycle with a damaged helmet.

For maximum protection, safety helmets need to be damage-free, but it’s often impossible to know if a helmet is actually flawed after it’s been dropped or hit by something. The researchers have used polymers that start to smell if there are any small cracks, and will really stink in the case of any large cracks. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Sports Injuries In Kids On The Rise

Several studies presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that in spite of a dramatic rise in pediatric sports injuries, there is still a lack of education, awareness and early treatment.

More adolescents are participating in year-round sports without seasonal breaks and are playing on multiple teams simultaneously, leading to a growing number of musculoskeletal injuries – both traumatic and from chronic overuse.

Kids’ bodies are still growing and they are just as susceptible to overuse and traumatic joint and extremity injuries as adults. The rate of injury suggests that we might be pushing kids too hard and the damage could last a lifetime. Read more »

This post, Sports Injuries In Kids On The Rise, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Ski Season, Knee Injuries, And Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

We’re in ski season and so a few unfortunate individuals will suffer few knee injuries. A while back, a reader asked me to describe an uncommon injury, which is a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

This injury usually occurs during a fall. As you can see from the drawing, the PCL keeps the lower leg bone (tibia) from moving too far back in relation to the upper leg bone (femur). If a sudden unnatural force is applied, usually a direct blow to the front of the lower leg near the knee while the knee is bent, the tibia is jammed backwards and the PCL may be torn. In the skiing situation, this usually happens during a fall and a tumble, when someone strikes an immovable object, or when the knee is bent or “twisted” and struck forcefully from the side.

The immediate sensation is pain, and there may be a feeling of instability to the knee, particularly when trying to walk or change levels (e.g., walk over the snowpack or on stairs). When the injury occurs, there usually is not the “pop” sensation noted with an anterior cruciate ligament tear. However, the knee will almost always swell, because there is bleeding into the knee joint and/or soft tissue swelling. Read more »

This post, Ski Season, Knee Injuries, And Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tears, was originally published on by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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