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By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
October 06, 2021
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Heart   Sleep Apnea  

Your sleep disorder could impact the health of your heart.

Many people who snore also have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing throughout the night. Dr. Ahmet Sayan of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in  St. Thomas, and St. Croix, want patients to be aware of the dangers that untreated and uncontrolled sleep apnea can have on their heart health.

Why is sleep apnea so dangerous?

Obstructive sleep apnea causes the tissue in the back of the throat to collapse, which results in obstructed breathing throughout the night. This means that your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can impact your energy levels, mental acuity, and work performance. It can also lead to serious issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and heart disease.

How does sleep apnea impact the heart?

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the US. Between 40-80 percent of people with heart disease in the US also have obstructive sleep apnea. Furthermore, the American Heart Association reports that OSA impacts about 30-50 percent of people with hypertension and may increase the risk for atrial fibrillation.

With this in mind, your St. Thomas, or St. Croix, doctors want people with heart disease to get tested for obstructive sleep apnea to make sure that this sleep disorder isn’t making heart disease symptoms worse.

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea so that you can turn to a sleep specialist right away. Some of the most common signs include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Extreme daytime fatigue despite getting enough sleep
  • Increased irritability and mood swings
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Falling asleep at your desk

Here at  Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, Dr. Sayan provides you with the care you need to protect the health of your heart while living with sleep apnea. We have offices in St. Thomas, or St. Croix. To schedule an appointment, call (340) 714-2845 or (340) 692-5000 today.

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
September 30, 2021
Category: Orthopaedics

It’s important to recognize when a partial knee replacement could benefit your health.

Choosing to undergo a partial knee replacement is a big decision and one that requires a lot of consideration.  Dr. Jeffrey Chase of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, helps you determine whether a partial knee replacement may be a good option for you, or if there are other ways to improve your mobility.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that causes wear and tear on the cartilage of the joints. Osteoarthritis can develop in just about any joint but is most common in the knees. The cartilage in the joint provides shock absorption, so when it starts to wear down this causes inflammation in the joint, as well as pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.

How is osteoarthritis of the knee treated?

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, which means that it will get worse over time, especially if left untreated. This is why it’s important to turn to your St. Thomas, and St. Croix, doctors to create a treatment plan that slows joint damage. Your treatment plan may include lifestyle modifications such as getting regular exercise and losing weight, along with:

  • Steroid injections to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Prescription-strength pain relievers
  • Alternative therapies such as stress management, hot and cold therapy, and acupuncture

When should I consider partial knee replacement?

There are certain signs that it might be time to consider partial knee replacement including:

  • You aren't getting pain relief through your current medications, therapies, and treatment plan
  • You have limited mobility and functionality in your knee due to osteoarthritis
  • There is extensive damage to the knee joints
  • You have trouble getting through day-to-day activities
  • You have a diminished quality of life due to your knee problems

What is the benefit of partial knee replacement?

A partial knee replacement can certainly seem less scary than undergoing a total knee replacement. One of the benefits of this procedure is that we can preserve more of the knee’s function and range of motion by preserving more of the knee’s healthy bone and tissue.

In the past, partial knee replacement was often considered a procedure performed only on older individuals who weren’t very active, we are now seeing more and more young adults undergoing partial knee replacement to get back to the activities they love.

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chase in St. Thomas, or St. Croix, about whether partial knee replacement is right for you, call Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists at (340) 714-2845 or (340) 692-5000 to schedule a consultation.

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
August 19, 2021
Category: Health Care
Tags: Whiplash  

Car accidents aren't the only cause of whiplash. In fact, any activity that "whips" your neck back and forth could cause the injury. Fortunately, the orthopaedics physicians at Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, Dr. Jeffrey Chase and Dr. Ahmet Sayan, provide treatments that relieve whiplash symptoms.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is likely to occur due to sudden movement of your neck forward and backward. The motion strains your neck injuring muscles, tendons, discs, or nerves in your neck. In addition to car accidents, whiplash can be caused by riding jerky amusement park rides or playing sports. It might also happen if someone hits or shakes you.

What are whiplash symptoms?

Whiplash symptoms don't always start right after an injury. In fact, you may not notice any symptoms for several hours to as long as a day after you hurt your neck. If you have whiplash, your neck may become stiff, which can make turning it painful. Other whiplash symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Muscle spasms
  • Back pain
  • Pain and numbness in your arm and hand
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory issues

How is whiplash treated?

Ice can help relieve pain and inflammation caused by whiplash if applied during the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, heat may be more helpful. Over-the-counter medications that decrease both pain and inflammation like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can make it easier to manage your symptoms. Muscle relaxants may be prescribed to reduce muscle tension and spasms.

In the past, people who developed whiplash were given cervical collars to reduce neck movement. Today, doctors recommend gentle exercises or physical therapy to promote healing and reduce stiffness. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend ultrasound therapy, corticosteroid injections, or massage during your visit to the St. Thomas, or St. Croix, orthopaedics office.

Could your neck pain be a symptom of whiplash? Contact your St. Thomas, and St. Croix, doctors at Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists to schedule your appointment. You can reach Dr. Chase and Dr. Sayan by calling us at (340) 714-2845 for St. Thomas, office and at (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix, office.

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
August 17, 2021
Category: Pain Management

Pain in your feet and legs could be a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that affects more than 6 million people 40 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, cardiology pain management treatments offered by your St. Thomas, and St. Croix, doctors, Dr. Ahmet Sayan and Dr. Jeffrey Chase of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, can help.

What is PAD?

PAD occurs when plaque, a waxy material made up of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances, narrows or blocks your arteries. As a result, less blood reaches your feet and legs. You may be more likely to develop PAD if you're African American, smoke, are over 60, don't exercise often, or have diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Your risk of PAD increases if someone else in your family has it or has heart disease.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

PAD symptoms vary depending on the severity of the disease but can include:

  • Cold feet and legs
  • Cramps in your legs when walking and lying down
  • Less hair on your feet and legs
  • Numbness or weakness in the lower legs

Have you noticed that sores on your feet heal very slowly? Good blood flow is essential for healing. Without it, burst blisters and small cuts may be more likely to become infected and take much longer to get better.

How is PAD treated?

Improving your health by exercising more often, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking may decrease your PAD symptoms. Cardiology pain management in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, may also be helpful. Your doctor may prescribe medications that reduce your risk of blood clots, make it easier for blood to reach your feet, and keep your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure under control. In severe cases, bypass surgery may be needed to restore normal blood flow to the feet and legs.

Do you think that you may have peripheral artery disease? Cardiology pain management can help you manage your symptoms. Call your doctors in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, Dr. Sayan, and Dr. Chase of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists. Call us at (340) 714-2845 for the St. Thomas, office, and at (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix, office.

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
August 16, 2021
Category: Rheumatology
Tags: Gout  

What is gout?

Gout is a potentially disabling form of inflammatory arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in your joints. The crystals can also accumulate in other body organs, causing organ dysfunction. The uric acid deposits will cause inflammation and pain in the accumulation area. Family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney failure can lead to elevated blood levels of uric acid and gout disease. If you have gout attacks or any other problems related to rheumatology in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, visit your physicians, Dr. Jeffrey Chase and Dr. Ahmet Sayan of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists for a consultation.

What are the symptoms of the disease?

The most common symptom of gout is severe frequent episodes of pain and swelling in one joint. The most commonly affected joint is the one that is in your big toe. The painful episodes may also involve warmth sensations and redness at the site of inflammation.

What are the triggers of gout?

Some kinds of food and medicines can increase the risk of having a gout attack. Excessive alcohol intake and excessive consumption of red meat, organ meat, and shellfish are considered gout triggers. A crash diet in which the patients depend on protein-rich meals will increase the risk of having gout. Also, the uric acid lowering medications may induce flares at the beginning of the treatment. If you are taking these medicines and the symptoms don't improve with time, consult your physician. The triggers may differ from one patient to another, so you must understand your attack's triggers to avoid them as much as possible.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment of gout is divided into two groups, one for relieving the pain and minimizing the symptoms and the other for lowering uric acid levels. For acute pain, your physician will recommend taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, or corticosteroids as soon as the attack begins.

Your rheumatologist in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, will prescribe uric acid-lowering medications for patients who suffered from several gout attacks in the same year, patients with joint damage, and patients who are suffering from kidney disease or kidney stones.
Besides the medications, lifestyle and diet modifications are helpful. Daily exercise, losing weight, limiting red meat consumption, and decreasing alcohol intake can help avoid the attacks.

Contact us

If you are looking for relief from your rheumatological problems in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, visit Dr. Chase and Dr. Sayan of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists. Call us at (340) 714-2845 for the St. Thomas, office, and at (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix, office.

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