Blog Archive

What to Expect During and After Your Discectomy Dec 1st, 2021

Discs are spongy “dividers” located between each pair of vertebrae (spine bones). As part of your spine, discs play an important role, protecting your spine and the nerves it contains. They also help your spine stay flexible. Sometimes, a disc can develop a problem and wind up causing chronic back...

5 Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Nov 1st, 2021

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jocelyn Idema frequently encounters in her busy Pennsylvania practice, Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center. Dr. Idema shares information about CTS, the symptoms it causes, and an in-office surgical procedure that can resolve the pain and dysfunction...

Best Treatment Options for Your Arthritis Oct 1st, 2021

Roughly 54 million people in the United States live with arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly half of those with arthritis report their condition limits their physical abilities.  If you’re one of the millions of people in the US struggling with arthritis, you’re no doubt...

How Lumbar Fusion Surgery Can Help Your Disc Herniation Sep 12th, 2021

Back problems are a source of frustration for millions of people and a herniated disc (also called a slipped disc) is a common source of that problem. This condition makes up between 5-20 cases per 1000 adults in the U.S. who have back problems, with men experiencing it more than...

Curing Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Aug 5th, 2021

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes weakness, tingling, pain, and numbness in your hand and arm. Nearly anyone can get carpal tunnel syndrome, but you are particularly at risk if you perform physical labor or repeat the same motion over and over at work or for a hobby.  Treating carpal tunnel syndrome...

Help, My Hip Hurts! And Other Signs of Sciatica Jul 1st, 2021

You’re sitting at your desk working when you notice the dull ache in your hip. No matter how you shift in your chair, you can’t seem to get comfortable and alleviate the pain that radiates into your buttock. When you get up to walk around, you feel a burning, tingling...

The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Jun 17th, 2021

Traditional open surgery uses a large incision through which a surgeon accesses your spine or other organs for repair. The incision must be at least 5-6 inches long because your surgeon needs to cut into and pull aside muscle that’s obscuring the area they’re going to treat.  Retracting the muscle...

What's the Difference Between Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty? May 17th, 2021

The vertebrae in your spinal column are subjected to numerous forces every day. Each time you take a step — or run or jump — the shock of impact stresses your vertebrae. If your vertebrae are weak because you have osteoporosis, they could develop fractures that cause the bone to...

When You Need Surgery for Disc Herniation (21046) Apr 4th, 2021

Your vertebral discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. Shaped like spongy jelly doughnuts or hockey pucks, they rest between each vertebral bone so you can jump, run, and walk without stressing your vertebrae or forcing them to grate against one another. But over time or after an injury,...

Help! I've Been Hurt on the Job Mar 21st, 2021

In 2019, 2.8 million injuries or illnesses occurred on the job or because of a job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  When you’re injured on the job, you need to get to a doctor right away, so you can get treatment for your injuries and receive compensation for...

What Are Preop Protocols? Feb 8th, 2021

Any type of surgery has risks. When you’re scheduled for spine surgery, you want to give yourself the best chances of a good outcome, without complications.  Our founder, Jocelyn R. Idema, DO, is an expert in minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. We at Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center believe...

The Many Benefits of an Independent Medical Evaluation Jan 17th, 2021

When you’ve suffered serious injuries at work or in a car accident or other incident, your focus is probably just on getting better and rehabilitating yourself as quickly as possible.  As part of settling your case, your employer or an insurance company may require that you undergo an independent medical...

5 Tips to Manage Your Joint Health Dec 14th, 2020

A joint is an area where two or more bones come together in a hinge. You can move your body in the various ways you do because the bones in your joints work together with your muscles and other soft tissues.  As you age or if you suffer a joint...

How Artificial Disc Replacement Can Restore Your Pain-Free Movement Nov 11th, 2020

Separately or together, age and trauma conspire to deteriorate the rubbery cushions known as the vertebral discs that lie between your vertebrae. Flattened, ruptured, or herniated discs are one of the top causes of low back pain and are at the root of 90% of all cases of sciatica.  Jocelyn...

Injured at Work? Here Are Your Next Steps Oct 7th, 2020

Even if your job is in a safe and secure environment, you could still suffer an accident at work. Job-related accidents range from minor scrapes and bruises to life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Almost 3 million job-related accidents occur in the United States each year.  If you’ve suffered an accident at...

Backpacks and Back To School Sep 9th, 2020

Do you know what some of the main causes of chronic back pain are? Pregnancy, obesity, heavy lifting … and kids wearing backpacks. Yes, carrying books to school in a heavily weighted backpack is a health threat for your kid’s spine. At Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, Jocelyn R....

You Shouldn't Have to Suffer From Osteoarthritis. We Can Help! Aug 31st, 2020

About 13% of women over age 60 and 10% of men over 60 suffer from osteoarthritis (OA). Although your risk for OA increases with age, you might develop it earlier, especially if you injure a joint while playing sports or in an accident. If you’ve noticed that your spine or...

Tips for Traveling With Back Pain Jul 24th, 2020

You and your family are tired of being cooped up inside and repeating the same routine day after day. So you decide to hit the road, or the rails, or the air, and venture somewhere new. If you have back pain, though, your travel plans might be complicated by sitting...

5 Tips to Prevent a Herniated Disc Jun 8th, 2020

Roughly 5-20 out of every thousand people suffer from at least one herniated disc. Herniated discs can cause back pain, leg pain, and weakness in your legs and feet.  At Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, Jocelyn R. Idema, DO, and her team understand what a dramatic impact ruptured discs...

Changing Lives Through SCS May 2nd, 2018

I recently had the honor and privilege to take care of one of our finest veterans. Please see this most recent Press Release on Technical Sgt. Matthew Heist and how new and emerging technologies are changing our approach to medicine and making an impact on the quality of life for...

STC Hospital Chlorhexidine Bath Sequence Mar 24th, 2018

Please see this link for the pre-operative Chlorhexidine bath sequence that should be completed the night before and the morning of your surgery. St. Clair Hospital Patient Instructions PreOperative Wipes Bath Sequence

Riding the Wave Into the Future Mar 8th, 2018

Boston Scientific – Spectra WaveWriterTM SCS System Pittsburgh, PA – March 8th, 2018 Yesterday, I was able to “Ride the Wave – WaveWriter, that Is”. I wanted to give Kirk McMullen, Jesse Kalkstein, Kristin Ribelli, and the entire Boston Scientific team a big thank you for allowing me to not...

New Approach to Arm Pain Feb 9th, 2018

Please see this video from 2 months ago about how artificial disc replacement is changing our approach to arm pain.  

Facebook Nov 29th, 2017

Hi, I’ve been working hard to link my webpage to my social media accounts and wanted to let you know of the various Facebook Pages that I have available for the latest and most up-to-date information in the world of Spine care. Please check out: Facebook Dr. Jocelyn Idema World...

The Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Spine Surgeon Oct 13th, 2017

Are you considering having spine surgery in the near future? There are often many questions left unanswered prior to having any surgery and many things that need to be done in preparation before the big day. Dr. Jocelyn Idema, Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon at Advanced Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, discusses the “The...

New “meet the Doctor” Video Aug 13th, 2017

  New Video – “Meet the Practice”

Is Running Good for Your Back? Jul 15th, 2017

“People who regularly run or walk briskly appear to have healthier discs in their spines than people who do not exercise, according to one of the first studies to closely examine links between movement and disc health.” Researchers are currently investigating whether the opposite of what we have heard for...

Osteopenia & Osteoporosis Jul 13th, 2017

Osteopenia & Osteoporosis….what can I say about them in a few short sentences? Other than the fact that I drink at least 2 gallons of milk a week, is that really enough? The short answer is “no” that’s not enough. In fact, there are many factors that contribute to an...

Chiropractic Care & Spinal Manipulation Jul 11th, 2017

Chiropractors have long been recognized as professional entities that are an integral part of any spine care team, including mine. However, I was unaware of the vast differences in chiropractic theories as it relates to the approach to care. This comprehensive review by retired Chiropractor, Sam Homola, attempts to present...

Signing Out AMA Jul 10th, 2017

In healthcare, we are all working towards the team work ethic of central and common principles of healing and health promotion. However, during that process of healing patients, we also worry about the safety and well-being of each people we care for. In this regard, I just finished reading this article...

Is Emergency Acupuncture for Real? Jul 8th, 2017

I know, I know – Emergency Acupuncture? I have never heard of it or considered this an emergency treatment for ailments. What ailments can it really treat? My initial thought in my mind was that of skepticism and whether there was even a place in “Emergency Medicine” for this treatment....

Knee Pain – Appropriate Treatment? Jul 5th, 2017

The New York Times recently published an article about “What I Wish I’d Known About My Knees” The natural question to ask is… are we are being too aggressive with knee pain surgery? Or are we are being too conservative with knee pain issues? The concepts presented in the article...

First 3D Printed Spinal Implant Jun 30th, 2017

PITTSBURGH…June 27, 2017 – Advanced Orthopedics and Rehabilitation (AOR) announced today that Dr. Jocelyn Idemais now using a new medical device created with an advanced additive manufacturing technology, also known as 3D printing, as part of its lumbar spinal fusion treatment options for patients with degenerative disc disease and other spinal...

First in Pennsylvania Apr 26th, 2017

Last week, I was notified by Aesculap medical device company that I am the first in Pennsylvania to implant the new generation of lumbar disc replacement – the activL®. I am both honored and flattered to be notified of this achievement. Please see one of the articles highlighted in Becker’s...

Gender Differences With Implants? Apr 21st, 2017

Please read this article below about gender differences and the implants we choose. There is a big push in the medical device community to separate differences between the male knee versus the female knee etc. Perhaps there is some truth to this but it appears as though it is still...

Lumbar Disc Replacement Website Mar 22nd, 2017

Please see this link to the Aesculap activL® if you have any questions regarding this incredible technology. activL® Pittsburgh, PA – April 20th, 2017 Press Release activL® Press Release – Idema 4.20.2017

Cervical Disc Replacement Information Website Mar 16th, 2017

Just received the link for this incredible technology. If you have any questions about cervical disc replacement, check this link out first. Zimmer-Biomet / Mobi-C Disc Replacement

MIS Vs Open Surgery Mar 1st, 2017

As many of you may know, my surgical practice is at least 90% or more Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS or MISS) compared to the old, traditional way of spine surgery or “Open” spine surgery. Many academic institutions still train their residents and fellows with the traditional method of “Open”...

Think Flag Football is Safer Than Tackle? Feb 21st, 2017

My son wants to play football this coming fall and I keep going back and forth whether we should start him in flag football or just get him started in tackle football like my husband did at age 6. Watching movies like Concussion doesn’t help either. I just saw this...

New Location – Pennsylvania Jan 19th, 2017

Welcome, my apologies for not writing recently as I’ve been a little busy with my practice moving from Maryland to Western Pennsylvania. I recently joined Advanced Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation as their Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon and they have a number of offices throughout the Metro-Pittsburgh and Washington areas. My offices locations...

Quit Smoking Forever Oct 6th, 2016

There’s no doubt that quitting smoking at any point in your life is better for your overall health. A small study recently reported that 40% of patients after their spine surgery were able to remain non-smokers. When one considers undergoing an elective spine surgical procedure, we often try to optimize...

Parents Magazine – Sept 2016 Aug 22nd, 2016

Backpacks

"Poke’mon Go” Aug 11th, 2016

The craze continues to grow and so does the digital age! Everywhere I go, I see more and more people using their smartphones and tablets scavenging the countryside looking for different Poke’mon’s. I recently came across this article that supports an unexpected health benefit to this top rated and fastest...

A Changing Landscape Jun 13th, 2016

I just returned from the 14th Annual Becker’s Spine, Orthopaedics, and Pain Medicine conference and is there every some drastic changes expected for medicine. The shift in care to outpatient surgery centers where patients can often receive higher quality care, lower infection rates, and smooth, safe operations continues to be...

Lumbar TDR – is It Time? Apr 16th, 2016

I recently read some updates on lumbar total disc replacement (LTDR) and have to admit that I was skeptical as to the history behind the elusive lumbar disc replacement and all of the problems associated with the FDA and discs in the mid-2000’s. However, continued research is finally pointing towards...

Is Orthopedics a Changing Field? Jan 25th, 2016

Becker’s Spine Review,”Is orthopedics a changing field?Drs. Juliet DeCampos, Jocelyn Idema & Barbara Bergin tackle the gender gap in orthopedics”

Spine Surgeon’s to Know – 2016 Jan 24th, 2016

Becker’s Spine recently highlighted “Spine Surgeon’s to Know – 2016” This is a great National honor and ranks alphabetically, those spine surgeons, that continue to make a difference in the quality of life for our patients. Spine Surgeons to Know – January 4th, 2016

New Year’s Resolution Dec 31st, 2015

Happy New Year! I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Around this time of year, every year, most people when asked “What is your new year resolution(s)?” Most people will say that they would like to exercise more, lose weight, and be healthy overall....

Heterotopic Ossification and Your Cervical Spine Dec 28th, 2015

Heterotopic Ossification (HO) is one of the most common complications following hip arthroscopy. It is estimated that up to 44% of do not receive medication prophylaxis will experience some form of complication following this procedure.* In cervical spine surgery, namely total cervical disc replacement surgery, this complication is present but...

Back Pain, Pregnancy, and Childbirth Nov 5th, 2015

As a mother of two wonderful children, I can personally attest to how being pregnant, childbirth, and the postpartum recovery period can affect a woman’s body. As you are aware, many changes occur during the multiple phases of pregnancy from a mental, emotional, and physical responses. There is also an...

Halloween – Icd-10 Codes Oct 28th, 2015

Approximately 1 month ago, our medical coding system changed from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes. Essentially these codes have changed from 13,000 codes (ICD-9) to over 67,000+ codes (ICD-10). Here are some fun, halloween-themed codes for actual medical conditions. ICD-10 Halloween Codes

Cervical Disk Replacement Oct 28th, 2015

Approximately two weeks ago, I was able to attend and lecture at the AOAO Annual Conference on cervical spine pathology and symptoms – My portion of the lectures had to do with ACDF with stand-alone interbody or whether a plate for cervical fusions was most effective for this particular pathology....

National School Backpack Awareness Day – September 16th – Fnp Sep 7th, 2015

September 16th, 2015 – National School Backpack Awareness Day Frederick News Post – 9/8/2015

Fox 45 Baltimore Interview on Backpack Injuries in School Age Kids Aug 24th, 2015

Please check out my most recent TV interview on Baltimore’s – Fox 45 Morning Show: Back Packs

Healthcare Internet? Jul 29th, 2015

In the next few months and it is no surprise, the entire healthcare coding sector will be overhauled to ICD-10. Many in healthcare are concerned with the many changes for better or worse that will occur and let’s face it, the current coding system, ICD-9, is over 30 years old....

Med Technology Gadgets Jul 20th, 2015

The other day, I was using Google to help seek out some of the newer technologies that are becoming available in the world of medicine and most specifically, Orthopaedics and Spine. After I found the website I was looking for, another website stood out from the rest and essentially asked...

Becker’s Spine Article Highlight Jun 13th, 2015

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Becker’s Spine and was interviewed about the business/personal balance of my life and was honored that they posted this account. Thank you again for everyone’s support, assistance, love, and guidance along the way, you have all made me who I am...

“The Art of Medicine” Jun 12th, 2015

Thank you Shawna for the interview – this was truly an honor Gettysburg College “The art of medicine: alum shares experience as a nurse and doctor”

Space Travel and Your Back Jun 7th, 2015

I know this may sound like a bazaar subject to talk about but I recently read this in one of my journals. The Orthopaedic Research Society or ORS at their annual meeting recently highlighted how our astronauts have an increased risk for herniated disks. The article goes on to say...

Crossfit – is It the Best Series of Exercises? May 28th, 2015

CrossFit-has exploded in the past few years and unfortunately, so have the numbers of injuries related to CrossFit as well. I admit, I’ve tried some of the exercises and remember doing some of the same exercises while swimming on a collegiate level. Is every CrossFit facility that comes to a...

Should Patient’s Hit the Record Button? May 17th, 2015

I just finished reading an article posted in the Washington Post last week that discussed whether patient’s should “record” their discussions while being evaluated by their physician. Let me first start by saying that technology is a wonderful thing and I am a large proponent for asking questions and doing...

Ultrasound for Orthopaedics Apr 18th, 2015

While recently attending an Orthopaedic conference, I happened to listen to an interesting lecture on the many uses of ultrasound. Ultrasound has been around for years but with the technological advancements, ease of use, and ultimate portability for immediate point of care (POC) applications, it only makes sense to continue...

Liposomal Bupivacaine Apr 7th, 2015

With the vast number of changes that have been occurring through healthcare, it is no surprise that hospital systems are trying to limit and cut costs on certain technologies and advancements that have made an impact in healthcare. Like most Physicians, I have looked introspectively at the equipment and techniques...

Medical Students and Orthopedic Training Jan 30th, 2015

Medical schools and Orthopedic Residency programs are constantly trying to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and teaching techniques for our future practitioners. Having completed my Orthopedic surgical residency and further my spine fellowship during the transitional years, I was able to see both sides of the traditional method teaching...

Risk Factors for Poor Outcomes Dec 24th, 2014

The newest JBJS ( The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery) just arrived and as usual I started to look through the newest literature being published on the various Orthopedic specialities, in particular, Spine surgery as expected. What better time during the holiday season to talk about risk factors for...

Video Games Do Help Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons! Nov 26th, 2014

I’m not a serious video gamer by any means but do occasionally play some games with my family. This article highlights the benefits of playing video games and builds a case for surgeons to improve upon their skills or at the very least, for future surgeons to “practice” hand-eye coordination...

“36 Spine Surgeons to Know Under 40” Oct 8th, 2014

Thank you everyone for your support and congratulatory remarks about this most recent accomplishment, I truly appreciate it! It is an honor to be included as one of 36 nationally on a list of very-talented Spine Surgeons. I hope to continue to provide the highest level of care for my...

Bone Autograft Sep 30th, 2014

I know it’s been over a month since I posted a new blog but I had to write something about an article I just read in one of my Orthopedic journals talking about the trends of bone graft and what we can expect in the future. Let’s face it, as...

“9 for Spine” Aug 25th, 2014

I was surfing the web for through some of my material and came across a video – PSA that the North American Spine Society (NASS) has compiled to further educate patients on proper back mechanics. There is truth behind this video…enjoy! “9 For Spine”

First Day of School – Back Packs Aug 24th, 2014

Today – marks the first day of Kindergarten for my son. He’s been looking forward to going to the “big school” and now that day has finally arrived. I and like most parents, have not been looking forward to this day – as it reminds us of days and milestones being...

Considering Spine Surgery? Ask These Questions First Aug 12th, 2014

While looking through my email, I came upon an article title “40 questions to ask your surgeon before you have spine surgery” and often get asked many of the same questions. I encourage patients to ask and seek out as much information before any type of surgery whether it be...

Prior Authorizations for Care Jul 31st, 2014

A few times a week, I’m on the phone during office hours (and sometimes after-hours) working with insurance companies through pre-authorizations or peer-to-peer reviews advocating for the need and necessity for my patients as to why we need this test or this procedure. Often, both my patients and myself get...

The New Digital Age Jul 18th, 2014

I just read an interesting article about a new coined term called “Digital Immigrants” and “Digital Natives”. The article highlights many differences between the key date of 1985 with anyone born before 1985 being an “immigrant” and anyone after being a “native”. I like to think that I’m a digital...

Top Five Travel Tips for Your Back on Car Trips Jul 13th, 2014

Since we are at the height of travel season during these hot summer months, I thought it would be a good reminder to think about your back during long car trips,  especially if you suffer from chronic back pain or have had  previous back surgery. Below is a list of my Top Five Travel...