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Lewes, Delaware
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August 1, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 1, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Aug. 1 - Aug. 7, 1997- 41 ]3e00 v surgeons mend "broke:rL wings" Eight months after surgery to replace her shoulder, which had deteriorated from years of overuse, Roberta Keonig of Mil- ford says she is free of "that terrible, shoot- ing pain," which had intensified for years before becoming unbearable. Rheumatoid arthritis had damaged the cartilage and muscle in her shoulder, and the resulting wear on her shoulder caused constant paifi for almost a year. Like so many people who suffer from shoulder pain, Keonig, 62, traces her prob- lem to overuse of the joint - she was an avid bowler for many years. She believes her condition was aggravated by work on a house she and her husband bought eight years ago. Tearing sheetrock, she said, was not exactly helpful to her weakening shoul- der. Her orthopaedic surgeon was Wilson Choy, M.D., who relocated to Lewes after a Thomas fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Choy, a specialist in joint replacement, came to Beebe in August, 1996, after an in- vitation from Beebe orthopaedic surgeon John Spieker, M.D. Choy said the pain comes from the wear- ing away of cartilage that normally cush- ions the shoulder bones, keeping them from rubbing against each other. "When wear and tear becomes too exces- sive, the cartilage is gone, causing intense pain," Choy said. "You can't comb your hair. You have difficulty feeding yourself. You can't sleep on that side. You can't hold more than four or five pounds." Medication and physical therapy may have failed these patients, but now total shoulder replacement gives them a second chance. "Now I can do almost anything," Koenig said. the steps we will take together to complete their diagnosis and treat their illness. I think people re- spond better to their care if they understand what the plan is, so I like to spend time working on that," he said. His usual routine, he said, is to make contact with a patient as soon as he receives test results. "It gives people a sense of control and involvement." Other diseases, disorders and conditions that Thomas often treats include Parkinson's disease; myasthenia gravis, a condition of defective movement of nerve sig- Continued from page 38 ing TIAs or seizures and should see a doctor right away." Once a diagnosis is made Thomas believes it is important to spend time with a patient. "I like to sit down with them and explain their disease in terms they can un- derstand," he said. "I like to com- municate with my patients and ed- ucate them about their disease - first and foremost. "At that point I like to outline Until a few years ago, people with shoul- der pain so severe they couldn't dress them- selves just had to put up with it. The only courses of action open to physi- cians were medication, physical therapy or fusion of the joint - an option which left the patient unable to use the shoulder at all. But today, there is an alternative - total shoulder replacement. Like replacement of hip and knee joints, this surgery is done as a last resort, when all other types of treatment have failed. But for those who suffer from unbearable pain due to arthritis, injury, infection or tu- rrmrs, the relief brought by replacement surgery is almost immediate. "It's a very satisfying surgery. You get rid of the pain, and the patient can resume a normfil life," said Hugo Davalos, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon affiliated with Beebe Continued on page 42 nals between nerve fibers to mus- cles; carpal tunnel syndrome, where pressure on a nerve for the palm and thumb side of the hand causes weakness and pain; and neck and back pain of various ori- gins. Thomas said that because of his neurology and pain management skills, he'll be assisting the others in the practice - orthopaedic sur- geons John Spieker, M.D. and Wilson Choy, M.D. - with "kind of rounding out the perspective of anyone with discomfort. They'll have a multi-specialty approach J : ii Statistics prove that the bathroom in any home, even for a normally healthy family, is the most danger- ous room in the house. If you or a loved one are convalescing at home, you may be unsteady or weak. Why take the chance of a slip or fall? A complete line of bath, shower and toilet safety aids is available according to the patient's needs at Edge Care TM. EDGEHILL PHARMACY Peddlers Village Love Creek 945-7500 COME IN FOR MORE INFORMATION OR A FREE CATALOG. Current technology allows or- thopaedic surgeons to replace the ball and socket of the shoulder joint with new plastic and titanium parts. I for treatments," he said. Thomas, 39, earned his bachelor of arts degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and his degree in medicine from Ameri- can University and spent four years in residency at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. He is a member of the American Acade- my of Neurology. Thomas is currently doing some research on injuries to the brachial plexus and cervical plexus. His research involves evaluation and treatment options for strain caused by neck and shoulder injuries. To make an appointment with Thomas, call Orthopaedic Associ- ates at 645-8126 in Lewes and 422-5242 in Milford. An early mammogram can detect breast cancer while it's still this smal00 Period! With the rising incidence of breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that all women receive a baseline mammo- gram between the ages of 35 and 40, a screening mammogram every two years between the ages of 40 and 50, and annu- ally after the age 50. Please call one of these Beebe Medical Center facilities to schedule your mammogram. Beebe Medical Center, Lewes 645-3564 Millsboro Sussex Imaging Center 934-9039 Georgetown Sussex Imaging Center 856-9111 B Beebe Medical Center .424 Savanrah Rd Lewes, DE 19958