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Achilles Tendonitis: Moderation and Stretching can Keep it at Bay

If you are active in sports, you may have experienced discomfort or soreness in your Achilles (uh-KIL-eez) tendon at one time or another, or you may have heard one of your friends complain about Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon connects the large calf muscles to the back of your heel. If you trace your finger along the back of your leg staring at the heel and moving upward toward the knee, you will appreciate both the Achilles tendon as well as the calf muscles, which pull on it from above.
illustration of Achilles Tendon posted by Arun Shanbhag Continue reading

Good As New: Guide to Total Hip Replacements

Here at Mass General, we are creating these patient guides for many of our top surgical procedures and services. This particular guide for a total hip replacement summarizes the entire joint replacement process at Massachusetts General Hospital. Includes: introduction to our care team, an explanation of treatment options, surgical preparation information, expectations after surgery and recovery at home. These Patient Guides also provide valuable information for patients’ family members.

Download PDF here:

Daniel Lieberman, PhD: What we can Learn about Running from Barefoot Running

Daniel Lieberman at the Mass General Orthopaedic Surgery Grand Rounds Barefoot RunningWhat we can Learn about Running from Barefoot Running
Daniel E Lieberman, PhD
Department of Human Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Grand Rounds presented on March 15, 2012 at the O’Keefe Auditorium, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
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Hands-Only CPR: No Training Necessary

How To:

  1. Call 911
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest, without interrupting
  3. Push deeply, about 100 times per minute. That’s faster than three times every two seconds
  4. Do NOT be afraid, your actions can only help
  5. Look around and invite your friends or other onlookers to help
  6. Continue until trained Emergency Personnel arrive

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Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants

Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants: Integral members of your healthcare team.

Nurse Practitioner Anne Fiore educates a patient about his upcoming surgery; Mass General Hospital Orthopedics Arun Shanbhag
Nurse Practitioner Anne Fiore educates a patient about his upcoming surgery.

During a visit to our doctor’s offices, patients will likely be treated by several members of our professional staff, including Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). Patients often ask how NPs and PAs are involved in their care and what training they have.

NPs and PAs are highly skilled, licensed professionals, who practice medicine with physician supervision. They are an integral part of every medical and surgical practice and coordinate peri-operative and inpatient care of our patients.
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The Plank: Strengthening the Core

The core is commonly thought of as only your abs, but consists of multiple muscle groups in your abdomen, back and pelvis. Core muscles are engaged during all activities requiring a coordinated movement of the upper and lower body. They generate the force and power required for many activities, while simultaneously playing a foundational role in stabilizing the torso.

Our modern sedentary lifestyle does nothing to working these important core muscles and over time result in their weakening, and the consequent injuries from seemingly simple tasks.

There are various ways to strengthen these core muscles. The PLANK, for instance, is easy to perform, effective and appropriate for any age and fitness level. With no special equipment, the plank can be performed on a carpeted floor or mat in your living room, in the gym between sets of other exercises, or at the end of a workout. Also, the plank literally only takes a minute!

In performing the plank, you hold a steady position by isometrically contracting the deep stabilizing abdominal muscles (transverse abdominus), while keeping the lower back (erector spinae and multifidi) stable, fighting fatigue and simultaneously building endurance. This exercise is not appropriate if you have any shoulder weakness or injury.


Step by Step: How to perform and hold the Plank
Plank Strengthening the Core Aches & Joints

  • Have a wrist watch or clock nearby to track time
  • Place forearms on floor, shoulder distance apart (see above) and elbows directly below the shoulders as demonstrated below
  • Extend legs back, one at a time, straightening the knees and balancing on your toes
  • Keep your body straight as a plank (see below)
  • Relax your neck and look down at the floor
  • As you fatigue, there will be a tendency for your hips to sag. Squeeze your deep abdominal muscles and glutes, and hold your hips in line with the rest of the body
  • For starters, hold the position for 30 seconds and work up to 60 seconds or longer
  • Rest on your knees; when ready, repeat plank for two additional sets

Plank Strengthening the Core Aches & Joints


For a more challenging workout: In the plank position, alternately lift and move each leg outwards (see demonstration below)
Plank Strengthening the Core Aches & Joints


Julie Schlenkerman, Personal Trainer, Clubs at Charles River ParkThe Plank was demonstrated by Julie Schlenkerman, certified personal trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park, Boston, MA. Julie is an avid runner and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon in 3:16:14!


From our Archives: Simple exercises & Related articles

Understanding Total Shoulder Replacement: A Patient Guide

Patients with severe shoulder arthritis are unable to move their arms through the full range of motion and consequently are unable to perform many activities of daily living. For these patients, total shoulder replacement is a proven surgical procedure relieving their pain, recovering their range of motion and allowing them to return to their active lifestyles.

In this video, Dr JP Warner from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, goes through the necessary examination and the surgical technique. He also points out that in 98% of the patients this is a very successful, proven procedure.