Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. We strive to deliver high quality, cost effective healthcare in the communities we serve.

How Can an Orthopedist Help in Your Arthritis Care?

Arthritis is a condition in which inflammation in the joints can cause chronic pain, stiffness, and immobility, which can have a significant effect on an individual’s quality of life. While there are many different types of arthritis with a number of causes and treatments, many patients with arthritis will benefit from the care of an orthopedist. As you will learn from Director of Orthopedics and Neuroscience at Los Robles Hospital Carrie Strafstrom, an orthopedist is a musculoskeletal specialist focusing on diseases and injuries that affect the bones, joints, muscles and connective tissues. When you work with an orthopedist to manage arthritis symptoms, he or she may offer the following services to reduce your pain and stiffness.

Diagnostic Care

In order to provide the appropriate type of care for arthritis, it is important to understand the extent of damage caused by this disease as well as the specific type of arthritis that a patient has. Therefore, your orthopedist may dedicate several initial visits to discussing your symptoms, family health history, and previous treatment. You might also need to undergo diagnostic imaging, such as MRI or X-ray testing to provide a look at the structure of the affected joints.

Patient Education

Treatments for arthritis can range from very conservative treatment with medication and physical therapy to surgical care to completely reconstruct damaged joints. That’s why it is important to have a specialist discuss all of your options and provide you with detailed information to guide your care.

Lifestyle Improvements

There is a common misconception that patients with arthritis should avoid exercise to prevent flare-ups of pain and inflammation. However, exercise can be highly beneficial when you know what type of exercise to use and when to include physical activity in your routine. This is another area where the dedicated care of an orthopedist can be helpful.

For orthopedic care in Thousand Oaks, connect with Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center by calling (877) 888-5746 for a physician referral.

Grilling Safely This Summer

Not only is grilling a healthier way to prepare food, but it presents a great opportunity to get outside to enjoy the summer sun and fresh air. However, it is important to recognize that grilling can be dangerous without the right safety precautions in your outdoor cooking setup. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year, and 16,000 patients are seen in the ER annually for grill-related injuries. To make sure that you are not the victim of injuries of this nature, follow these tips for safe grilling all summer long:

Ensure That Your Grill Is in Working Order

A number of grill fires are related to gas leaks and failure to clean grill components, so it is important to check your grill for any faulty parts or structural damage before you fire it up this summer. You should also be sure that your grill is properly cleaned before every use.

Keep Your Grill in a Clean, Safe Area

Another common contributor of grill fires is close proximity to flammable materials, such as trees, fallen leaves, overhead structures, and other landscape features. You should have a dedicated paved or stone-lined grill space without any overhead elements to ensure proper ventilation and fire prevention.

Never Leave a Grill Unattended

Thermal burns can occur without direct contact with a flame since the entire surface of the grill will get very hot. Therefore, you should never leave the grill unattended so that a child might get too close. Leaving the grill unattended can also delay your response when a flare-up or gas leak occurs.

For more emergency prevention tips and dedicated care to address summertime emergencies, contact Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. You can speak with one of our nurses in Thousand Oaks anytime by calling (877) 888-5746, or visit our website for healthcare resources and information to help you stay well.

4 Signs You Should See a Cardiologist

A cardiologist is a physician specializing in the care of the heart. For most patients, a visit to the cardiologist will take place following a recommendation from a primary care physician, but there are some signs that might cause you to take action and seek a referral to a cardiologist on your own. If any of the following statements are true for you, don’t hesitate to seek the specialized care of a cardiologist in Thousand Oaks.

You have one of the leading risk factors for heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, but it can be prevented with management of the key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and a history of cigarette smoking. If you have any of these risk factors, a cardiologist can help you regain control of your health and reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

You had preeclampsia during pregnancy.

Women often neglect cardiovascular care despite the fact that heart disease kills almost as many women as it does men each year. For women who had difficult pregnancies with preeclampsia, visiting a cardiologist is important. Women who had preeclampsia during pregnancy are much more likely to develop heart disease later in life.

You have a family history of heart disease.

Heart disease runs in families, so you might want to schedule a visit to a cardiologist to discuss your risk if you have one or more close relatives with heart problems.

You are beginning a new exercise program.

Incorporating more physical activity into your lifestyle can be an impactful way to improve your heart health, but you should know what level of exercise you can handle before starting a new exercise program. This is especially true if you have an existing health condition, are obese, or are over the age of 60.

For the cardiovascular care you need, call Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center at (877) 888-5746 to find a physician within our Cardiac and Cardiovascular Center. Our center is nationally recognized for maintaining a consistent track record of some of the best outcomes in cardiac care.

How to Get Ready for Your Joint Replacement Procedure

Well before you head over to the hospital for your joint replacement surgery, you’ll meet with your orthopedic care team and gain medical clearance. You can expect to undergo medical exams and tests to make sure it’s safe for you to have the surgery. If so, the orthopedic team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center will help you prepare for your brief hospital stay and at-home recovery.

Modify Your Home

Watch this featured video to gain some insights from the Director of Orthopedics and Neuroscience at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. She discusses some simple modifications you can make to your home to facilitate your recovery. These include setting up adequate seating with solid armrests, shifting frequently used items so that they are at waist-level, and making the bathroom safer. Be sure to remove throw rugs and any clutter from the floor to reduce your risk of falling after your surgery.

Set Up Your Recovery Area

While you rest at home, it can be helpful to have a “recovery station.” This may be in your bed or on a comfortable couch in your living room. Fill your prescriptions in advance and use a pill organizer to help you keep track of your medications. Along with your medications, place items at your recovery station that may be helpful to you, such as the TV remote control, facial tissues, phone, reading materials, and beverages.

Manage Your Physical Wellness

Another way to prepare for an orthopedic surgery is to boost your physical health. Your orthopedic surgeon may ask you to quit smoking if you currently use tobacco since this can inhibit your healing. You may also be asked to lose some weight to reduce the stress on your new joint. Consider working with a physical therapist to strengthen your muscles before the operation. Additionally, it’s important to refrain from alcohol for a minimum of 48 hours before your joint replacement procedure.

When you become a patient of the Total Joint Program at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, you’ll receive all the information you need to prepare for your joint replacement procedure. Our hospital in Thousand Oaks offers a continuum of care, from pre-operative consults to post-surgical rehabilitation. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746 to request a referral to a specialist at our hospital.

How Does Patient Education Contribute to Public Health?

National Public Health Week is the first full week in April. This observance, which was established by the American Public Health Association (APHA), is intended to raise awareness about public health issues, science-driven policies, and preventive wellness strategies. An integral component of sound public health is patient education. As a hospital-driven to serve its neighbors in the Thousand Oaks community, Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center maintains its commitment to furthering patient education and public health.

Understanding Public Health

Primary care doctors, cardiologists, and other healthcare providers work one-on-one with each patient to provide diagnostic services and treatment recommendations. In contrast, public health focuses on the wellness of the community as a whole. In public health, the primary emphasis is on preventive health—in other words, reducing the risk of illness by encouraging healthy behaviors. In fact, one might argue that public health is patient education or community education in the sense that public health providers raise awareness, inform public policies, and guide safety standards.

Exploring Patient Education

Although community-wide initiatives are important, patient education on an individual scale is also crucial. Patient education is multifaceted; it may involve informing a patient of the risks and benefits of a particular procedure, helping the patient understand a condition or illness, and explaining lifestyle modifications that can help manage or prevent a disease. Health information empowers patients to become active participants in their own wellness.

Improving Post-Operative Outcomes

Surgical intervention is typically thought of as being therapeutic, rather than preventive. However, public health and its focus on preventive wellness still come into play for patient populations affected by surgery. Some patients recovering from surgery develop post-operative infections and other complications, and may be re-hospitalized. By working closely with surgery candidates to boost awareness of prevention strategies, healthcare teams can support better outcomes. You can learn more about this when you watch this featured video. You’ll hear from an administrator at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. He describes how the team at his hospital strives toward better patient education, especially for patients who are anticipating surgery.

If you have general questions about health and wellness, you can speak with a registered nurse by calling (877) 888-5746. Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is dedicated to empowering patients to take charge of their health. At our community hospital in Thousand Oaks, you’ll find exceptional cardiology care, emergency care, and much more.

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