17 Jul Paul McDonough, MD Blog Posts
A spine surgeon, Paul McDonough, MD, has served on the clinical team at Orthopedic Associates of Abilene since 2001. Dr. Paul McDonough enjoys reading historical nonfiction and is particularly fond of British historical events, such as the Battle of Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses.
The Battle of Bosworth Field took place in August of 1485. It was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, in which the houses of Lancaster and York competed for the crown.
The house of York, symbolized by the white rose, occupied the throne in the person of King Richard III. He took the throne following the death of his young nephew, Edward V, who was murdered alongside his brother Richard in the Tower of London. The blame for the boys’ deaths fell on Richard III, largely because of the deaths of so many others who had claimed the throne.
The house of Lancaster, meanwhile, had been forcibly attempting to regain the throne since the deposition of Henry VI in 1461. These efforts became known as the Wars of the Roses and significantly reduced the number of nobles in England.
The wars ended at Bosworth Field, where Richard III had brought his forces after hearing of the landing of the aspiring king, Henry Tudor, in South Wales. Henry had sailed from France and marched through Wales gathering supporters, while his stepfather Thomas, Lord Stanley, amassed a private army of 6,000.
Stanley stood aside as his army took on Richard III’s army, which numbered 10,000. The advantage shifted from one side to the other until Richard decided to take on Lord Stanley himself.
Stanley ultimately overwhelmed Richard in the one-on-one battle. A bystander removed the crown from the deceased king’s head and brought it to Henry Tudor, who was standing nearby. With this coronation, he became King Henry VII, and the rule of the Tudors began.
Epidural Steroid Injections as Part of the Spine Healing Process
Paul W. McDonough, MD, is a recipient of the UCLA School of Medicine’s Longmire Medal for achieving the highest average in his graduating class in the area of surgery. Since completing his residency at UCLA Hospital and a spine surgery fellowship at University of Wisconsin, Dr. Paul McDonough has accumulated over 15 years’ experience as a spine surgeon.
Patients who are experiencing back, neck, and leg pain may opt for epidural steroid injections over surgery first, as a form of treatment. While the injections can often work to reduce pain and flush out inflammatory proteins that cause pain around the spine’s structures, they should not be viewed as a cure for spine pain; rather, the injections should solely be used to alleviate pain in order for the patient to progress with his or her rehabilitation program.
After a day of rest and light walking, you should begin post-injection rehabilitation with simple exercises that require little effort from muscles in your back. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, for example, recommends 8 to 12 reps of wall squats and ankle pumps in the beginning stages of rehab. As you begin to feel more comfortable, try performing knee and hamstring stretches.
Physical Therapy after Spine Surgery
As spine surgeon, Dr. Paul W. McDonough MD is the only fellowship trained spine surgeon between Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and Lubbock, Texas. A graduate of UCLA Medicine School, Dr. Paul McDonough recommends physical therapy to patients who’ve had spine surgery.
After spine surgery, physical therapy is necessary to help patients maximize recovery. Many surgeons actually refer patients to physical therapy centers after surgery. This is because physical therapy strengthens the back muscles, reduces back pain, improves motion and flexibility in the hips and spine, and helps heal spine tissues. Physical therapy also helps strengthen the core muscles, removing pressure from the lower back.
A typical post-operation physical therapy rehabilitation process will start with the patient undergoing a physical evaluation to identify problem areas. Next, the therapist identifies motions that cause pain and then formulates manual exercise therapies that alleviate the pain. These exercises include body weight exercises, body ball exercises, aerobics, and resistance training. These are performed in the presence and direction of qualified physical therapists. Therapists may also recommend other treatment methods such as massage therapy, electric simulation, and ice application.
Importance of Maintaining Ideal Weight for Spine and Joint Issues
A physician who performs spine surgeries exclusively, Paul W. McDonough, MD, is a respected presence in the Abilene, Texas, medical community. He is the only practitioner in his field with fellowship training in spine surgery between Lubbock and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Maintaining a personalized approach to medicine, Dr. Paul McDonough educates patients about how weight loss and smoking cessation can improve post-surgical recovery and overall wellness.
The overweight and obese weight classifications have long been associated with elevated risk for a wide range of conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, back pain, and osteoarthritis. Characterized by stiffness and joint pain, osteoarthritis can involve tenderness, swelling, and a grating sound when moving problematic joints.
Undergoing surgery that rebuilds or strengthens affected joints will not in and of itself solve the underlying issue. For those whose weight plays a role their joint issues, staying active and moving toward an optimal body weight are important steps in recovery and health maintenance after back surgery. Regular exercise, proper footwear, and weight reduction that reduces stress on the joints are important ways of minimizing reoccurrence of osteoarthritis.
Smoking Behaviors and Spine Surgery Healing
Paul W. McDonough, MD, serves as a spine surgeon with Orthopedic Associates of Abilene in Texas.
There, Dr. Paul McDonough guides patients through the process of undergoing and recovering from neck and back surgery.
Over the years, research into recovery from spine surgery has shown improved patient healing times and experiences. One of the most recent investigations into this topic has revealed that the impact of smoking on recovery correlates directly with lifelong intensity of the habit.
A recent study, presented at the North American Spine Society’s 31st annual meeting, followed 212 patients who underwent treatment for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Researchers assessed each patient both preoperatively and postoperatively using the Nurick scale, which evaluates patients’ challenges in walking.
Although the study found no difference in preoperative scores, nonsmokers returned postoperative improvement of 1.53 Nurick scale points, while smokers demonstrated improvement of only 0.6 points. Furthermore, and perhaps more significantly, scores lowered commensurately with a patient’s packs per day and number of pack-per-day smoking years.
Because smoking habits affected postoperative rather than preoperative scores, researchers hypothesize that tobacco use has a negative effect on the body’s healing processes. For surgeons, this finding reinforces the importance of smoking cessation counseling as part of preoperative preparations.
Prevention of Lower Back Pain in Golfers
Paul W. McDonough, MD, provides surgical intervention for neck and back pain. As a spine surgeon with Texas’s Orthopedic Associates of Abilene. In his free time, Dr. Paul McDonough enjoys playing golf.
Many golfers, both professional and amateur, suffer from low back pain. It often stems from a swing technique that places undue stress on the spine, back muscles, and facet joints. Golfers can help prevent this excess stress by improving mobility in the middle back and hips, as this can relieve some of the load and torque on the lower back.
The middle back has more natural rotation ability, and maximizing rotation there can help a golfer to reduce the need to rotate the less flexible lumbar spine. Stretches such as seated twists can be extremely beneficial, and hip exercises like clamshells, lunges, and stair work can strengthen the hips and support rotation from below.
Golfers can also keep their lower backs stable by establishing a strong standing balance, in which the feet are shoulder-width apart and the knees are bent. This engages the gluteus muscles and the quadriceps, while allowing the pelvis to move forward. The golfer then bends slightly forward from the hips and stands on the balls of the feet.