Learning To Appreciate The Simple Things

By Jeff Hall, Executive Editor

   As a lifelong East Coast guy entering my mid-thirties, I find that I have more appreciation for the simple things that come with the emergence of spring. I relish sleeping with the windows open. I notice the hostas springing back to life in the garden. Even my cynicism softens (albeit temporarily). Of course, no spring would be complete without a couple of delusional resolutions, whether they are grandiose home improvement plans or a renewed commitment to develop more of a regular exercise routine.    Sure enough, it seems like every corner you turn, there are more people (far more committed than myself) running or jogging.    With this in mind, this month's issue leads off with the cover story, “How To Detect And Treat Running Injuries,” by Brian Fullem, DPM (see page 44). Dr. Fullem discusses a variety of common injuries ranging from Achilles tendon injuries to medial tibial stress syndrome. He offers salient pointers for diagnosing stress fractures, details the role of physical therapy and proprioception exercises in treating iliotibial band syndrome, and outlines the array of conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis.    Given that chronic plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions that podiatrists see in practice, Lawrence Fallat, DPM, takes a closer look at the use of cryosurgery to provide relief for this nagging problem. (See Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: Is Cryosurgery The Answer?” on page 64.)    Dr. Fallat, who has been performing this minimally invasive procedure for three years, says approximately 90 percent of the patients he has treated “had complete resolution of pain or had only minor residual pain that required no treatment.”    He proceeds to discuss the scientific principles behind cryosurgery, a step-by-step guide for performing the procedure, key points for the postoperative protocol and offers a couple of case studies for good measure.    Another intriguing article is “Exploring New Advances In Internal Fixation,” which is penned by Gerard Yu, DPM, Theresa L. Schinke, DPM, Amanda Meszaros, DPM, and Naohiro Shibuya, DPM (see page 56). While external fixation seems to grab the lion's share of the attention in podiatric surgery lectures, the authors offer a revealing review of new designs and modifications that have emerged with newer compression screws, locking plates and compression staples to help facilitate improved outcomes.    Many have strongly suggested that overprescribing of antibiotics has contributed to the continuing problems with antibiotic resistant organisms such as methicillin resistant Staph aureus (MRSA).    Accordingly, in what may be one of our most timely continuing education (CE) articles, Ann C. Anderson, DPM, and John S. Steinberg, DPM, offer a compelling review of the current literature on appropriate antibiotic prescriptions (see “Are Your Antibiotic Prescriptions In Line With Evidence-Based Medicine?” on page 75).    A haphazard approach to staff training can lead to increased mistakes, increased costs and low morale. However, providing appropriate training for employees or staff isn't exactly a top priority in many medical practices, according to John V. Guiliana, DPM, who penned “Expert Insights On Mastering Staff Training” (see page 70).    On the other hand, as Dr. Guiliana points out, having a defined training program goes a long way toward facilitating expanded skill sets for employees, a better understanding of priorities and improved efficiency.    The article closes out the issue with a healthy dose of common sense. It also reminds us to pay attention to the seemingly simple things that we take for granted.

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