Orthopedic Surgery | Sports Medicine | Westwood | Hackensack Orthopedic Services | Westwood | Hackensack Orthopedic Surgeons Westwood | Dr. Michael L. Gross MD | Dr. James C. Natalicchio MD | Dr. Steven Weinfeld MD | Hackensack Specialties Physical Therapy | Sports Rehabilitation | Westwood | Hackensack Patient Information Patient Information Orthopedic Care | Westwood | Hackensack The Active Center for Health & Wellness Active Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine - Westwood Office: 390 Old Hook Rd. | Westwood, NJ 07675 | Tel: 201.358.0707

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Questions Surrounding Epidural Injections

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Whenever someone says “epidural,” they almost always think of the shot given to mothers during childbirth. However, “epidural,” actually refers to the space around the spinal chord and nerve roots. An, “epidural,” can also be used in the treatment of extreme back pain and other spinal disorders. Although often referred to by the same name, the epidural used in pregnancy varies from the epidural injection used to help relieve back pain.

  1. What is an Epidural Injection? When many treatments for back pain have failed, sometimes an epidural injection is prescribed to help alleviate pain. The injection consists of a combination of corticosteroids and a mild anesthetic. Corticosteroids are a compound of chemicals that help control inflammation in the spinal column.
  2. What conditions can benefit from Epidural Injections? Epidural injections have a positive impact on the pain associated with neurological conditions that affect nerve roots found in the epidural space. Some specific conditions treated by epidural injections are spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and degenerative disc disorders.
  3. How effective is Epidural Injection Therapy? When used in conjunction with physical therapy to increase mobility and stability and overall health, the injections are considered helpful. However it is estimated that of all patients that receive an epidural injection, only 50% of patients will find it effective. Epidural injections are only recommended after other treatment options have failed to produce results.
  4. What are the risks involved? How badly does it hurt?Epidural injections are considered generally safe, but complications from a mistake in injection site can have extreme complications varying in degree of severity from nerve damage, avascular necrosis, to most extreme instances, paralysis. When choosing epidural injections it is imperative to visit with an orthopedic surgeon who is board certified and has had many years of experience with epidural injections.

Epidural Injections in Westwood and Hackensack

If you are suffering from chronic back pain related to a neurological condition, simply would like more information about what services our practice offers, contact us today to schedule your appointment. You can reach our Westwood office at (201) 358-0707 or our Hackensack office at (201) 343-2277.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Cortisol Levels and Stress!

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Cortisol, the stress hormone, is the only hormone in the body that increases with age. High cortisol levels are associated with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Stress reduction is key; and for those who need more help, an intergrative medicine physician can measure cortisol levels and help with management. – Dr. Lynn Corrigan

For more information please visit www.theactivecenter.com or call (201)487-4600 for a consultation.

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Get the Low Down on Dietary Supplements by Michael L. Gross, M.D.

Monday, November 21st, 2011


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Read about the 10 Most Common Exercise Mistakes in BC the Magazine by Dr. Michael Gross!!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


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As seen in BC Magazine! Acupuncture and Sports Medicine by Michael L. Gross, M.D.

Monday, September 19th, 2011

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Dr. Michael L. Gross named as one of the Top 65 Outstanding Shoulder Surgeons and Specialists!

Monday, August 15th, 2011



Chicago—Becker’s Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management Review is proud to announce the release of its list, “65 Outstanding Shoulder Surgeons and Specialists.” The physicians recognized on this list were selected based on their expertise in shoulder surgery, positions of leadership in professional organizations and institutions, research and development in the field and their reputation among other physician leaders. Physicians do not pay and cannot pay for inclusion on this list.

The Becker’s editorial team devised the list after extensive research and public solicitation for outstanding candidates. The list was also vetted through shoulder specialists from around the country before finalization. Members of the list are often leaders of their groups, winners of prestigious research awards and team physicians for professional athletes. Each member of the list underwent rigorous review before inclusion as an outstanding specialist in the field of shoulder surgery.

We congratulate each physician selected for inclusion on this list. If you would like to learn more about this list or future lists slated for publication in Becker’s Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management Review, please contact assistant editor Laura Miller at laura@beckersasc.com.

Becker’s Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management Review is an online and print publication with a target audience of physicians, group leaders and industry experts. The online publication receives more than 147,000 pageviews per month and the print publication circulates four times per year. The publication also sends out free electronic newsletters twice weekly.

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Sports Nutrition: Eat to Compete & Achieve

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Follow the link to read about Sports Nutrition: Eat to Compete written by Michael L. Gross MD and featured in BC the Magazine!


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9 tips for bone health!!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans or 55 percent of the people 50 years of age and older. In the U.S. today, 10 million individuals are estimated to already have the disease and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. While osteoporosis is often thought of as an older person’s disease, it can strike at any age.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fragility fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist. The US Surgeon General has identified osteoporosis and fragility fractures as major public health problems.

Osteoporosis has no symptoms. You notice no pain or change as the bone becomes thinner, although the risk of breaking a bone increases as the bone becomes less dense. A bone mineral density (BMD) test is usually done to see whether you have osteoporosis. The most accurate test of BMD is dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), although there are other methods. DEXA is a form of X-ray that can detect as little as 2% of bone loss per year. A standard X-ray is not useful in diagnosing osteoporosis because it is not sensitive enough to detect small amounts of bone loss or minor changes in bone density.

Many men don’t think they are at risk for osteoporosis, since these are commonly considered to be conditions of older women. Because men have a higher peak bone mineral density than women at middle age, osteoporosis tends to happen at an older age in men. But aside from the hormonal change in women as they go through menopause, the risk factors are risks for men as well as women. Men are also at risk if they have low levels of the hormone testosterone.

Your bones don’t reach their greatest density until you are about 30 years old, so for children and people younger than 30, anything that helps increase bone density will have long-term benefits. If you’re older than 30, it’s still not too late to make these lifestyle changes. A balanced diet and regular exercise will help slow the loss of bone density, delay osteopenia and osteoporosis, and delay or prevent osteoporosis.

1. Maximize calcium intake. Most recommendations are for 1000 milligrams of calcium per day for both men and women. According to the NIH, after age 50, both men and women should increase their intake to 1200 milligrams. Dairy products contain calcium, so do broccoli, almonds, and sardines. Calcium supplements are also useful. Discuss these with your doctor or pharmacist before starting.

2. Increase Vitamin D intake. Once calcium is ingested, vitamin D is essential to help your body absorb it and utilize it. For both men and women, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is between 400 and 800 international units. This can usually be met with a balanced diet. However supplements are available.

3. Exercise Regularly. To improve and maintain bone density a combination of regular low impact, weight bearing exercise and resistance exercises works best. Weight bearing exercise includes walking, jogging and even dancing. If you are fit, and your doctor approves, jogging, tennis, basketball, or jumping rope are all weight bearing exercises, but are not low impact. Low impact activities include walking, elliptical or stepper routines, and cycling. Resistance exercises use weights or elastic bands to increase the work as you move against gravity. Body weight also provides resistance, so push-ups, pull-ups, and toe raises can be a good place to start. Be sure to start slowly, and increase slowly to avoid injury. A functional exercise program that increases balance and agility is your

4. Play Outside. Exposure to sunlight on the skin allows the body to manufacture vitamin D3 from cholesterol. As little as 15 minutes a day of moderate sunlight is enough to provide enough vitamin D to meet the most people’s needs. Humans make 90 percent of our vitamin D naturally from sunlight exposure to our skin – specifically, from ultraviolet B exposure to the skin, which naturally initiates the conversion of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3. It is not possible for the body to over produce Vitamin D in this manner. Excess production is metabolized away. However, exposure to ultraviolet rays to the point of burning is not advised. If one regularly avoids sunlight exposure, it may be necessary to supplement with at least 5,000 units (IU) of vitamin D daily. To obtain this amount from milk one would need to consume 50 glasses. With a multivitamin more than 10 tablets would be necessary. Neither is advisable.
The skin produces approximately 20,000 IU vitamin D in response 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure—100 times more than the US government’s recommendation of 200 IU per day!

5. Avoid excessive alcohol. Moderating alcohol intake has a direct effect on bone strength. Drinking heavily increases calcium absorption from bone and decreases bone density and strength. Excessive drinking also leads to falls which can be a cause of fragility fractures. Carbonated colas also promote absorption of calcium from bone. Excessive cola consumption should also be avoided.

6. Stop Smoking. Smoking is toxic to your bones. It appears to increase the rate of bone loss when bone density is compared in smokers versus non-smokers. In addition, the effects appear to build up over time. Quitting smoking will halt and partially erase the effects of cigarettes on the bone over time. However, it will not eliminate them completely; therefore, the best advice is not to start.

7. Speak to your doctor. Your doctor can evaluate your family history and current lifestyle to identify risk factors for osteoporosis. Current medications or other medications may increase your risk of osteoporosis. Evaluation of your diet and nutritional counseling can help to insure to the proper intake of calcium and Vitamin D necessary to maintain bone health. Bone Mineral Density testing can be arranged to identify problems and their severity, to institute the appropriate level of treatment.

8. Medications. Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, currently bisphosphonates (alendronate, ibandronate and risedronate), calcitonin, estrogens, parathyroid hormone and raloxifene are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention and/or treatment of osteoporosis. Like all medications, these drugs each have specific risks and benefits. There may also be possible interactions with drugs you are currently taking. This should be carefully discussed with your doctor and your pharmacist.

9. Start young. Since most adults do not reach their peak bone density until age thirty, early habits are the most important. The higher the bone density before it reaches its peak, the better. Children should learn early to eat a diet adequate in calcium, to maintain high levels of activity, and to get enough time outdoors in the sunshine. Needless to say, children should be taught not to smoke and to avoid excessive alcohol.

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Welcome to my blog!  Within this regularly updated feature of my website, I will provide visitors with practice news and specials, as well as information regarding the most recent technological advances and new treatments in Orthopedics.

I believe that patient education and open communication with your doctor are the keys to achieving healthy, fully functional results and patient satisfaction, which is why I strive to provide the highest quality of Orthopedic care for patients of all ages.  This is done by combining technical skill and broad experience with cutting-edge technology for impeccable medical results.

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to visit my new blog.  Please check back often to learn about the latest news, updates and additions to the practice and within the field of Orthopedics, and feel free to post comments and/or suggestions on any posts that you find of interest.

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