calcific tendonitisWhat a week this has been! Last Sunday I went swimming (my usual routine) and when I woke up Monday my right shoulder and arm were killing me. I thought maybe it was a metastatic tumor or maybe I had torn a rotator cuff. You know us nurses, always thinking the worst possible scenario. Anyway I decided I probably slept on it wrong and waited for another couple of days before I decided something was really wrong. I literally could not lift up my arm. I went to Continue reading


A perforated ulcer is a condition where an untreated ulcer can burn through the wall of perforated ulcerthe stomach (or other areas of the gastrointestinal tract), allowing digestive juices, food and/or blood to leak into the abdominal cavity. The severe inflammation and infection inside of the abdomen is called peritonitis and this is a very serious condition. The ulcer is known initially as a peptic ulcer before the ulcer burns through the full thickness of the stomach or duodenal wall. This is, in fact, one of the very few occasions in modern times Continue reading



Osteomyelitis is a medical word used for a bone infection. Infections may reach the bone by migrating through the blood system or distributed from tissues which are nearby. Osteomyelitis may also start in the bone if there has been an injury that leaves the bone open to germs. With children, osteomyelitis normally disturbs the longer bones of the upper arm or legs, although adults are likely to have osteomyelitis in Continue reading


A tremor is an unintentional and uncontrollable rhythmic movement of one part of your tremorsbody. A tremor can occur in any part of the body at any time. It is usually the result of a problem in the part of the brain that controls your muscles. Although tremors are not always serious, in some cases they may indicate a serious disorder. Most tremors cannot be treated, but will often go away on their own. It’s important to note that muscle spasms, muscle twitches, and tremors are not the Continue reading


oat cell cancerI just had a high school friend diagnosed with small cell carcinoma of the lung. This particular kind of cancer is also known as oat-cell carcinoma. He had no signs or warnings other than he developed a large nodule in the neck and went to an ENT specialist. The ENT physician aspirated some fluid and found it to be non-differentiated carcinoma. The next step brought him to an oncologist for a PET scan which luckily revealed it was not found elsewhere in the body. Apparently there was just a small spot in the lung that traveled to the lymph system. Cancer of the lung is really quite common and it is the number one cause of Continue reading


There seems to be a lot of confusion with CT (computed tomography) versus MRI (magnetic resonance mri machineimaging) testing. What is the difference, what are they used for and which one is better? The machines look quite a bit alike, but what happens inside of them is very different. MRI and CT testing are used for different needs and reasons; both are valuable and both have specific applications; they are not interchangeable and one is not a better test than the other for all things. The decision whether to use Continue reading


rotator cuff tearIt seems as though the older we get, everything starts to fall apart! I know I did not really have many issues until the double nickel era (55) and things just started to happen. One very common problem that occurs with aging is called a rotator cuff injury. It can be an acute or chronic problem that may involve an actual tear in the rotator cuff. Extensive tears may require surgical intervention, transfer of alternative tendons or joint replacement. To start with some anatomy, the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. A rotator cuff injury can cause a dull ache Continue reading


Erysipelas is a rare type of bacterial infection. Usually this disease only affects the legs or the face, and iserysipelas similar to cellulitis. However, cellulitis may develop on any part of the body and may be infected by many different bacteria. Erysipelas, on the other hand, is normally caused by one bacteria known as streptococcus pyogenes. Before antibiotics, farmers had pigs that would develop the disease and they would die from it. In humans erysipelas is rare, but if one is to contact erysipelas, immediate treatment is needed. If left untreated, it often can damage the heart as well as the joints. When anyone looks at the biography of interesting people from the past or in past family histories, you can find the deaths of many people by erysipelas. Anybody living before the time in which antibiotics were developed Continue reading


neck pain Neck pain and neck injuries are quite common – most of us will experience neck pain (cervicalgia) at some point in our lives. Neck pain does not just happen to a particular group of individuals, but can happen to an infant, toddler, teen-ager, young adult, adult or the elderly. A neck injury is any trauma or injury involving the neck. Because it is a relatively exposed and unprotected area of the body, the neck is particularly vulnerable to potentially serious injuries caused by blunt trauma, compression injury, and sudden extreme movement of the head due to hyperextension (severe bending back of the neck) and hyperflexion (severe bending forward of the neck). Nearly all neck pain fades Continue reading


whiplashI was in Denver all week and it seems like people drive SO crazy anymore! Of course I did not see anything quite like I did in LA or New York City, but people were going so fast and switching lanes without using blinkers, tail-gaiting every minute, etc. It is no wonder that rear-end collisions are on the rise. One of the most common injuries when a person is hit with a sudden acceleration-deceleration force that causes rapid forward movement of the head and neck, is referred to as “whiplash”. The term was first used in 1928 when it described a similar condition that was common in persons involved in train accidents. A “whiplash injury” involves damage to both the bone structures and soft tissue. Most commonly these injuries occur from motor vehicle accidents, usually rear-ended Continue reading