Hand and Feet - From Buttoning to Toe-tapping, they're the 'Every Day' Tools

Vol. 17, No. 2
Spring/Summer 2007

  • Hand and Feet - From Buttoning to Toe-tapping, they're the 'Every Day' Tools

  • Advanced Wound Healing Comes to Winthrop

  • Winthrop Selected as National Training Center for CyberKnife�

  • Winthrop Celebrates Survivors

  • Healthy KIDS Takes the Show on the Road

  • Precious Purls Project Knits Memories for New Moms & Babies

  • Volunteer Louise Mazzaro Saluted for 33,500 Hours of Service

  • Smiles for Scott Foundation Brings Smiles to Pediatric Patients

  • Smiles for Scott Foundation Brings Smiles to Pediatric Patients

  • Golfers Raise More than $400,000 Under Sunny Skies at Winthrop�s 22nd Annual Golf Tournament

  • 10th Annual Opera Night Hits a High Note

  • First Annual Black & White Ball Raises More than $300,000 for CCK

  • Sleep Disorders Center Achieves Fourth Reaccreditation

  • Travel Smart: Visit Winthrop's Travel Center

  • Miracle Foundation Makes Second Grant of $50,000

  • Research at Winthrop Addresses Vioxx Heart Attack Risk

  • Accolades for Winthrop

  • New Smoke-Free Campus Policy

  • Michael Magro Foundation Donates VeinViewer Imaging System

  • Annual Swim-a-Thon Makes a Splash for Pediatrics

  • New Music Therapy Program Helps Patients Cope

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  • (L.-R.) Glenn Teplitz, MD and Seth Queler, MD
    We use them virtually every minute of every day - our hands and our feet. Although we often take them for granted, our hands and feet are some of the most intricate and functional parts of the human body, susceptible to injuries and ailments that can deeply affect our quality of life.


    A range of daily activities would be impossible without the healthy functioning of the elbows, wrists and hands.

    When Joan Meehan of Floral Park realized that everyday activities had become extremely challenging and in some cases, dangerous, she knew that treatment was long overdue. "I had waited so long that it had gotten to the point where both of my hands were closed tightly like fists," said Ms. Meehan. "I wasn't able to do simple things - like clapping my hands - and driving was no longer safe."

    Ms. Meehan soon found herself in the care of Glenn Teplitz, MD, Vice Chairman of the Hospital's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of Hand Service.

    Dr. Teplitz's extensive expertise in the field of orthopaedics is focused on the diagnosis, conservative management and surgical treatment of hand and upper extremity disorders. He began his specialization in the field with an orthopaedic residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey followed by a fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

    "Using advanced techniques such as arthroscopy - a surgical procedure that involves the placement of a thin fiberoptic scope into the joint space in order to provide a clear picture of the internal structure - Winthrop's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery provides a full rage of treatments for pain and injury to the arm, forearm, wrist and hand," explained Dr. Teplitz.

    Joan Meehan
    Common ailments treated by the hand team at Winthrop include carpal tunnel syndrome - nerve damage caused by compression and irritation of the median nerve in the wrist; tennis elbow - inflammation or pain caused by overuse of arm and forearm muscles; and trigger finger - a condition in which one of the fingers locks in a bent position. Dr. Teplitz also specializes in the treatment of deformities, reimplantations, metabolic bone disease, complex fractures and sports-related injuries.

    "I see patients from all spectrums - from pediatric to geriatric, sedentary to athletic," noted Dr. Teplitz.

    Ms. Meehan was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis - an autoimmune disease that affects over two million Americans and causes chronic inflammation of the joints. After undergoing joint replacement surgery in both hands, today Ms. Meehan is enjoying life and is back to her normal, daily activities, which include volunteering in the Hospital's Emergency Room two days a week.

    "I wish I hadn't waited so long to seek treatment," she said, "but today I am able to do a lot of things that I couldn't do before the surgeries."

    Dr. Teplitz is also renowned for his expertise in treating scapholunate ligament injuries of the wrist in athletes through the use of a procedure called arthroscopic electrothermal collagen shrinkage.

    This innovative treatment involves the application of heat using a specialized probe to shrink and tighten tissues and rebuild collagen fibers, resulting in a more stable joint. The advantages include minimally invasive surgery and expedited return to physical activities.


    Feet are also remarkably complex and are generally taken for granted - that is, until something goes wrong. With each foot containing 28 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, it's no wonder many Americans experience foot problems of varying degrees at some point in their lives.

    Caitlin O�Hara gets back to dancing.
    "There are a number of different ailments that can affect the foot and ankle - ranging from bunions to chronic ankle instability," said Seth Queler, MD, Acting Chief of the Division of Foot & Ankle Surgery at Winthrop. "In many cases, these common conditions will respond well to treatment."

    Dr. Queler, who specializes in disorders of the foot and ankle, joined Winthrop's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in August 2006 following the completion of elite fellowship training in foot and ankle surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems in Philadelphia.

    Treating a range of ailments including strains and fractures, flatfoot, and Achilles tendon disorders, Dr. Queler is committed to meeting the needs of every patient through comprehensive evaluation and treatment that is designed to help individuals return to an active, painfree lifestyle. He did just that with Caitlin O'Hara.

    Ms. O'Hara, a dance major entering her junior year at Adelphi University, has been dancing her whole life. It wasn't until two years ago that she began to experience pain when flexing and pointing her foot.

    "It hurt when I walked, it even hurt to drive," explained Ms. O'Hara. "I had been to other doctors," she said, "and they diagnosed me with tendonitis." But she didn't think so - she had tendonitis in her knee in the past and this pain was very different.

    Last fall Ms. O'Hara met with Dr. Queler. Agreeing that her condition might not have been tendonitis, he ordered x-rays, an MRI and a CT-scan while treating Ms. O'Hara with therapy, rest and anti-inflammatory medication. When her condition didn't significantly improve, Dr. Queler discussed the additional treatment options.

    "My philosophy as a conservative surgeon is to discuss all possible avenues for treatment before presenting patients with surgical options," said Dr. Queler.

    For Ms. O'Hara relief was achieved via arthroscopic surgery to remove debris and a bone spur from her ankle. Following the surgery, she attended physical therapy and today she is back to doing what she enjoys most - dancing.

    "I recently went back to the dance studio," Ms. O'Hara said. "It's so nice to be able to return to what I love most� and to not be in pain while I'm doing it."

    Dr. Queler's subspecialty training includes the conservative and surgical care of both traumatic injuries to the lower extremity as well as elective reconstruction of the adult foot and ankle. His general surgical training as well as his orthopaedic surgical training was completed at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey prior to the completion of his foot and ankle training at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Queler is also highly-skilled in total ankle replacement surgery, having studied under one of its developers, Dr. Michael Castro.

    "For patients with ankle arthritis, total ankle replacement is a new surgical option that can relieve pain while maintaining motion in the joint," noted Dr. Queler. "Although the procedure is new and candidates must be carefully selected, it's an exciting development that offers a very promising alternative to ankle fusion - which relieves pain but eliminates motion in the joint."

    Winthrop-University Hospital's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery combines cutting-edge techniques with proven traditional methods to provide patients with the best orthopaedic care possible. A leader in total joint replacement, the Department continues to reach new frontiers in minimally invasive surgical procedures, total hip replacement surgery and total knee replacements. Recently, Winthrop began to offer the Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee - a unique knee replacement designed especially to fit a woman's anatomy.

    For more information about the breadth of services available within Winthrop's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, call (516) 663-4798.

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