OSS Provider Spotlight – Dr. Mark Reed

Dr. Mark Reed

Dr. Mark Reed is one of the many talented surgeons at Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle.

We had an opportunity to catch him from his busy schedule and find out some interesting and fun information about him.

1) Why did you choose Orthopedics with a specialty in foot and ankle?

I worked as a mechanical engineer and have always had a fascination for how complex mechanisms work. It doesn’t get much more complex than the foot and ankle.

Many bones, joints, tendons and ligaments all work in concert to support the foot and create motion. It’s simultaneously challenging and rewarding to treat foot and ankle conditions.

2) Why did you decided to move and settle in Seattle?

My family and I selected Seattle to put down roots for several reasons. Although my wife (an emergency physician) did our residency on the East Coast, we wanted to relocate to the West Coast so that we could be closer to her home state of Hawaii, which is not a bad place to visit during Seattle winters.

We love the healthy and active nature of the Pacific Northwest and the access to hiking, skiing, and all other sorts of endeavors.

3) Are you involved in the community?

With a one and three-year old, we don’t have a lot of free time, but when we do, we think it’s important to give back to the community. One of the things we do on a regular basis is to cook for and deliver meals to a homeless shelter in Seattle.

We also get involved in clean-up and beautification projects in our local community of west Seattle.

4) Have you been published, made any medical advances or studied new procedures?

Most of the research work I have done has been foot and ankle-related with a focus on biomechanics. I’ve looked at novel ways to perform ankle fusions and done studies comparing the strength and rigidity of various subtalar fusions.

I continue to stay active in the foot and ankle community to stay abreast of the latest technologies. Ankle replacement surgery and joint-sparing procedures for great toe arthritis are two areas that come to mind.

5) Who are you outside of work?

Outside of work I spend every minute I can with my wife and our two boys. I enjoy the outdoors; we try to get out and about a couple of times a month to experience the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I’m a big supporter of the Seattle professional sports teams.

Read more about Dr. Reed

MLB World Series Injuries

Rounding the Bases to Catching Fly Balls

MLB World SeriesThe 2014 Major League World Series begins this week with a frenzy of predictions from the sports experts and fans from both the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals predicting that their respective team will win.

Baseball, a game routed in tradition, history, superstition and sometimes, injuries.

Common Injuries

baseball_gloveMore than 627,000 baseball injuries each year are treated by medical professionals, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. Baseball is not a contact sport, but contact with a ball, bat, or another player results in the most serious injuries.

The most common injuries include repetitive use injuries to the shoulder and elbow, muscle pulls, contusions, ligament injuries, black eyes, concussions and lacerations. Knee injuries also are relatively common.

Some of these injuries can be career ending if severe enough, as joint replacement sometimes does not work well for athletes.

Your feet also take a beating when playing baseball. Baseball players are at risk from various injuries, including:

1. Ankle sprains may occur while running, fielding balls, stepping on or sliding into bases. Sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to determine the extent of injury, including possible peroneal tendon injuries or fractures. The foot and ankle surgeon will develop a treatment plan: failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains.

2. Overuse or excessive training may sideline some athletes with Achilles tendinopathy or heel pain (often plantar fasiciitis, or calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents).

3. Contusions may occur from impact with the ball or contact with other players.

4. Cleats may pose challenges in the forefoot and aggravation of neuromas, sesamoids, bunions, and hammertoes. To stay at the top of your game, ensure that cleats are fitted properly and have injuries evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.

According to Dr. Reed, “While baseball is a less violent sport than football, athletes can be prone to foot and ankle injuries often due to the quick bursts of required running or sliding. Orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons are uniquely trained to provide expert care of baseball-related injuries, including turf toe, osteochondral defects, ankle instability and Achilles tendinitis or rupture.”

Good luck to both the Giants and the Royals! Here’s hoping no one gets put on the DL list during the series!

If you believe you are suffering from a sports-related injury and need specialized care, the physicians at Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle provide excellent treatment options available for you. Please feel free to contact OSS at (206) 633-8100 to schedule an appointment.

Rules to Get Fit for Runners

Spring-RunnerAs we thaw from this winter’s frost, our bodies will need to acclimate to warmer weather once again.

The warmth of spring is upon us, and once again it’s time to start gearing up for a refreshing change to the winter routines that have kept us cooped up with muscles creaking.

Even if you managed to remain active through trips to the gym; the prospect of getting outside and in the sun offers a range of new exercises that require preparation and training.

Prone to Injury

You may ask, “if I have maintained my exercises, why would I need any extra preparation?” The answer is that it’s specifically at the start of these new exercises that your body is most prone to injury.

As runners, think about the varied terrain and urban obstacles of jogging outdoors versus the treadmill’s regularity; now apply that same comparison to every gym exercise and the variables of its outdoor equivalent, from biking in the park to soccer on the grass.

Getting Back into Shape

The following are three important steps you should take to ensure that getting back into shape leaves you free from injury while offering the most beneficial takeaway of getting back into shape for spring.

  1. Take a moment to set a goal. Setting a goal helps propel yourself towards a specific aim, a simple enough idea which cannot be understated in its power to focus yourself on a reasonable achievement.
  2. Renew one of your new year’s resolutions or challenge yourself to meet or beat a pace that you haven’t quite kept up with over the past few years.
  3. More importantly, set up a log book to keep track of your times and achievements. Having a physical record of where you started with a means to your ends is paramount to meeting your goal.

Speaking of physical reminders, the change in season is the perfect opportunity to change your sneakers! Most dedicated running stores offer in-depth analyses of your feet and gait to make sure that you get the proper equipment. Think about marking your shoes with the date of purchase so you can keep tabs on when you got them so that you don’t keep using them after their time is up.

Dr. Mark Reed states, “With so many different running styles gaining popularity; selecting the shoe that fits your style is important. A properly fitted shoe will help protect against injury and may also enhance performance.”

You should also set up an appointment with your OSS physician to go over all the requisites, making sure to get the OK for the goals you’ve set for yourself before the start of new routines.

The simple act of updating your equipment and evaluating your physiology are powerful motivators for getting back in shape and keeping you injury free.

If you believe you are suffering from a running-related injury and need specialized orthopedic care, Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle provide excellent treatment options available for you.

Save the Dates for OSS Physicians Speaker Series!

Save the Dates! OSS physicians will be speaking about several orthopedic health and information topics from October – December 2013 at Swedish Ballard. Below is a list of dates and times for you to choose from:

October 2, 2013
Dr. Peterson: Joint Replacement: The Right Choice for You? 6-8 p.m. at the Swedish Ballard Campus. Free hip- and knee-replacement seminar. If you have arthritic joint pain and are considering joint replacement, you’ll want to attend this important class. If you have arthritic joint pain and are considering joint replacement, you’ll want to attend this important class. Dr. Peterson will discuss hip- and knee-replacement surgery, as well as the latest in robotic-assisted surgery for those who have advanced arthritis in part of their knee. There will also be a question and answer session with Dr. Peterson.

Find out more and register here!

October 9, 2013
Dr. Weil: Relief from Your Hand and Wrist Pain. 6-8 p.m. at the Swedish Ballard Campus. Learn about treatments for different types of fractures; ways to treat arthritis in the wrist, thumbs and fingers; and how to prevent and treat carpal tunnel syndrome and other overuse conditions.

Find out more and register here!

November 13, 2013
Dr. Reed: Relief from Your Foot and Ankle Pain. 6-8 p.m. at the Swedish Ballard Campus. The foot and ankle are two of the most often under-treated structures of the body. Dr. Reed, who specializes in the care of the foot and ankle will discuss the anatomy and common injuries and disorders of the foot and ankle, and treatment options for the conditions. There will be a question-and-answer session with the surgeon included in the class.

Find out more and register here!

December 4, 2013
Dr. Ruhlman: Relief from Your Hand and Wrist Pain. 6-8 p.m. at the Swedish Ballard Campus. Learn about treatments for different types of fractures; ways to treat arthritis in the wrist, thumbs and fingers; and how to prevent and treat carpal tunnel syndrome and other overuse conditions.

Find out more and register here!

Barefoot Running

Who doesn’t want to run like a Kenyan? The speed, endurance, and efficiency of these elite distance runners is the stuff of legend, and those in the running community have tried to glean some insight as to what makes these African runners such a powerful force in marathon running. One of the obvious starting points is to analyze the biomechanics of the running stride and see if there are efficiencies inherent to the Kenyan athlete.

Of course, this has been done with more than one researcher noting one glaring observation: Kenyan runners do not wear shoes. They grow up, play, and often train barefoot. Could this be the secret to running faster? Certainly, some people think that it is. The barefoot running trend has gained a steady following over the past few years. But as the barefoot running contingent has grown, so have its detractors. Let’s take a closer look.

Barefoot Running

Advantages of Barefoot Running

First of all, most barefoot runners do not run in their bare feet. Even the fanatics realize that the roads and trails contain many hazards such as broken glass, nails and rocks that could cause potential injury or discomfort to the feet.

Instead, they use minimalist running shoes, a type of sneaker designed to mimic the barefoot condition in terms of biomechanics. Typically, these shoes are lightweight and feature a thin sole without the large heel cushion found in traditional running shoes.

Biomechanically, the research has shown that barefoot running eliminates or minimizes the heel strike during running. The runner attempts to absorb the impact of body weight by landing with the foot flat or slightly on the ball of the foot. This allows the lower leg and foot to distribute the body weight over a larger surface area. The heel strike found in those wearing traditional running shoes, called shod runners, creates a condition where the full force of impact is driven through the heel, and ultimately the heel cushion of the shoe.

Proponents of barefoot running claim reduced injuries as a result of this change, although there is not much research available to support this claim. One claim that does seem to be supported in the medical literature however, is that of reduced energy consumption while running barefoot.

Simply put, barefoot runners should not fatigue as quickly as shod runners. This would be a great advantage to distance runners and racers who want to attain peak performance or even achieve a personal best during local road races.

The finding is interesting as stride frequency and mechanical work were higher in barefoot runners, indicators which would lead one to believe that the runner would consume more energy. However, the cushioning material in a running shoe absorbs a considerable amount of energy in the shod runner. Energy that would otherwise be used to propel the runner forward is lost in the sneaker. Think of the traditional running shoe like a Cadillac. It gives a smooth ride, but not too efficient.

Disadvantages of Barefoot Running

The obvious risks associated with barefoot running such as puncture wounds can be mitigated with the use of a minimalist running shoe. With this type of footwear, much of the biomechanical adaptations which proponents claim as advantageous are maintained, i.e. reduced heel strike and improved efficiency.

However, there are other reasons why someone may not want to run barefoot. Without a traditional running shoe, the runner lands with a flat foot instead of the traditional heel strike seen in shod runners. This increases the pressure on the bones of the forefoot, which are quite a bit more fragile than the heel.

Over time and with high mileage, a runner could develop a stress fracture, a small break in one of the forefoot bones. This would sideline a runner for several weeks at best, and could become more severe if ignored. Proponents claim that barefoot running is more natural and that we as humans evolved in a way that makes the barefoot method more efficient. But cavemen rarely put in thirty plus miles per week.

The bottom line is that there has not been enough research performed to advocate one method or the other. More studies need to be conducted, and we need to be open-minded about the results. With the barefoot trend steadily gaining a following, the research is sure to follow.

In the meantime, let’s go back to our elite Kenyan marathoners. In an environment where every conceivable advantage is sought and analyzed, these athletes all wear running shoes in competition. Maybe shod running is biomechanically advantageous, or maybe the cumulative effect of pavement on flesh for 26.2 miles eliminates the inherent advantage of running barefoot.

Dr. Mark Reed is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle surgery in the Seattle metro area. He can address all of your questions regarding barefoot running as well as any other foot and ankle conditions.

barefoot running photo