Monthly Archives: June 2011

FL Shark Victim Released from Hospital

When Tyler McConnell and his family came to Pensacola, Florida to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico, they never expected to spend the bulk of their time at Baptist Health Care.  McConnell, his mother, and his sister were riding their rented Jet Skis approximately 250 meters off shore when Tyler was thrown to the water.  His mother looked up and panicked when she saw her son in a pool of blood.

Most would expect an animal to come back and finish what it started, but Tyler was able to climb back onto his ski and follow his family members back to the shoreline where rescue teams and worried observers were standing by.  Initially, officials called it a barracuda bite, but upon further examination, doctors confirmed that he had been attacked by a shark.  Upon discharge from the hospital just a few days later, only his ankle and foot were bandaged while he rode out of the building in a wheelchair.

Tyler says that he doesn’t remember much of how it happened because the event took place so quickly, but officials near the Gulf State Park Pier have been noting an ‘abundance’ of spinner sharks  swimming freely in the waters just a few hundred feet from the location of swimmers and area onlookers.  Mike Guinn, superintendent of the park, claims to see sharks quite often, citing that ‘they’re not so bad that I would have a problem with it.’  But stories that come from young men like Tyler McConnell are enough to give most thrill seekers a little bit of pause before jet cruising out into the territory of a dangerous species.

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Bolt Unphased by Rival Injury

When Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, became the world’s greatest track sensation in 2002, everyone knew his turn at the Olympics would be right around the corner.  That chance came in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics where he ran the 100 meter dash in 9.72 seconds, the 200 meter in 19.3 seconds, and the 4×100 relay race in 37.10 seconds.  The 100 and 200 meter races earned him world records, but within just a year at the 2009 World Championships, he lowered his time on both.  Along the way, only one man has really stood a chance at defeating Bolt in the 2012 London Olympics: Tyson Gay.

Unfortunately, Gay had to admit last week that a nagging hip deserved more attention than he had been giving it.  With the 2011 World Championships scheduled to begin in August, experts are fairly sure that Gay is out.  That means Bolt’s next best competitor, or so it seems, is Walter Dix.

“I want [Bolt] to be at his best, so when I beat him there will be no excuses,” said Dix.  His statement was a reference to last year’s competition when Bolt lost to Gay and claimed that it was simply an ‘off’ year.  Walter Dix, a graduate of Florida State University, wants no whining from Bolt when the clock stops.  His confidence is obvious, but commentators and experts aren’t so sure.  Gay, they argue, was the last runner Bolt had to worry about.

But even in the absence of Gay, Bolt is fully aware of the other competitors and how big they talk.  He has expressed no intentions of slowing down practice or limiting his regiment just because Gay is out.  Probably a good idea.

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Owens, 37, Hurt by Reality

To call Terrell Owens dramatic would be an understatement.  He is unquestionably the NFL’s most storied wide receiver of the last 15 years, having been kicked off of not one, not two, but three teams in his professional resume (San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Dallas).  The other two, Buffalo and Cincinnati, have simply been footnotes on a fading career.  And after all that he’s been through as a football player, fans will find it somewhat humorous that Owens, also known as T.O., may have physically ended his future in the NFL from an ACL injury he obtained while shooting an episode of reality television for VH1.

T.O. had intended to come out of the lockout as a free agent, where he could toss his hat in the ring for one or two more attempts at a Super Bowl ring with the team of his choice.  But physicians are saying that the ACL surgery will prevent him from returning until at least November.  What organization on its way to the playoffs would take a risk in signing a recently injured, controversial player who tends to create havoc in every path he travels?  Well, this is the NFL we’re talking about.  And Owens may be one of the best wide receivers to have ever played the game.  So fresh off an injury or not, nearing age 38 or not, there are bound to be a few teams who consider taking a gamble on his personal problems just to have his hands in the field of play when it counts.  That is, if the fans even get their football season.

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Happy Birthday, Derek Jeter

Sunday marked a 37th birthday for Derek Jeter, the Yankees’ most well known icon of the 21st century.  But right now all-star is sitting on the disabled list with a strained right calf that put the brakes on his pursuit of 3,000 hits (he’s only six hits away).

Coupled with the team that every baseball fan loves to hate, Jeter has been making history since he first came onto the national scene in 1995.  From Rookie of the Year in 1996 to World Series MVP, the all-star shortstop has even passed Lou Gehrig as the all time hits leader for New York, a record he toppled in 2009.  Of course, a look at Jeter also includes his playboy lifestyle, which has included relationships with everyone from Mariah Carey and Jordana Brewster to Jessica Biel and Minka Kelly.  Let’s just say he’s the consumate professional that players admire and fans envy.

On June 15, however, there was a pitch to the inside of the plate, a swing, and then a limp.  Physicians called it a Grade 1 strain, which is the least severe calf strain Jeter could struggle to overcome, but anything that removes a team legend from the game is enough to make fans hold their breath.   Best estimates have the famed player back within just a couple of weeks of the injury itself.

On Saturday, perhaps as a birthday gift to himself, Jeter swung a bat for the first time since the strain.  Taking 27 swings off a tee and another 30 swings with a soft toss as part of his rehab, the star shortstop is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday and shows no signs of needing to remain in the dugout.  So yes, fans can breathe a sigh of relief.  And everyone else can go back to being jealous.

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Illinois Prison Staff Claim CTS Compensation

Since January of 2008, workers’ compensation has given almost $10 million to guards and staff from the Menard Prison in Illinois.  The facility currently houses more than 3,000 inmates at an approximate annual cost of $21,000 per resident.  The number of cells that need to be opened and closed each day would seem staggering and easily overlooked by the average citizen who never visits the inside of a prison.  And as a result of this repetitive need to lock and unlock doors over and over, guards have been claiming that they suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Most Americans associate CTS with computer usage and accidents related to the wrist, but Menard staff argue otherwise that their duties are no less susceptible.  According to Illinois state law, employees are not required to show that a conditional working environment caused an injury, but they must demonstrate that conditions were capable of causing injury.  From 2008 to the present, the compensation case has worked in favor of the guards.  But recently, an examination of the facility suggested that their problematic conditions may have been embellished.

Last March, Dr. Anthony Sudekum, a hand surgeon from St. Louis, concluded that locking and unlocking doors does not constitute repetitive trauma.  On the contrary, moving from one door to the next at different intervals allows the wrist a time to rest without consistent aggravation.  Much of their wrist activity, said Sudekum, consisted of duties that could be performed at a ‘leisurely and unhurried pace’ with few doors requiring much more than a slight force of hand.  If anything, he argued, the locking and unlocking of doors may have contributed to an already growing problem from other reasons.

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Children in the Carpal Tunnel

The New York Times recently suggested that nearly 70 percent of elementary students in the United States use computers in the classroom, at home, or both.  Some are contending that the remaining 30 percent aren’t too far behind.  With computers serving an unavoidable reality for adults, educators have accepted the need for training children on their usage at younger and younger ages.  The trouble is, teachers and parents focus on technology navigation (how to maneuver the windows and functions of a computer) moreso than technology ergonomics (how to position one’s body while using a computer).  As a result, more and more children are making visits to their pediatricians citing ‘repetitive motion’ injuries and the like.

Among the more common injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, which can be caused by poor posture, overuse, or just plain bad habits.  So here are just a few suggestions for children to minimize the potential for both early-onset carpal tunnel and any other condition that might otherwise plague them for years to come.

First, as a parent, ensure that your computer workstation at home has a seat that can be raised to the level of your child.  A smaller person who has to reach his/her hand above the heart in order to place their fingers on the keyboard or mouse is at risk of doing serious damage quickly.  Second, try to find an ergonomic cushion that can support a child’s back while they work at the computer, thereby minimizing their tendency to slouch.  Lastly, set time limits for both yourself and your children who use the computer.  Teach them to spend no more than 30 minute blocks at the desk at a given time and then take outdoor breaks for fresh air and muscle relaxation.

We offer a series of affordable braces for those who battle with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome including the Ossur Exoform Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace, and the McDavid Carpal Tunnel Support.  Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you.  No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

One Dollar Robbery for Man with CTS

On June 9, Richard James Verone walked into an RBC Bank in Gastonia, North Carolina, handed the teller a note demanding $1.00 with claims that he was holding a gun, then walked over to the lobby couch and sat down.  His objective:  to get arrested for robbing a bank so that he could receive prison health care.  Verone suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, ruptured discs, and a collection of other problems that have made his life incredibly difficult.  Without health insurance or sufficient money for medical care, he came to believe that prison was the ‘best’ option for acquiring free services in order to stay alive.

Mr. Verone, 59, worked 17 years for Coca-Cola before losing his job during the economic slide in 2008.  Eventually, he found work as a truck driver and when that didn’t work out, he began working part time for a convenience store.  Each position was taking its toll on his body, giving him aches and pains in his back from bending and lifting, foot problems that made it difficult to walk, and carpal tunnel syndrome along with arthritis that made it almost impossible for him to work on a cash register for any length of time.

Without steady employment, Verone was in need of health care he couldn’t afford, so by robbing a bank (a federal offense), he proceeded to calmly and rationally assume the consequences of a criminal action in the hope of receiving secure medical attention on the inside of the big house.  His decision, although controversial, has already sparked a national conversation about the alternatives for a broken system that currently takes better care of its criminals than its law-abiding citizens.

We offer a series of affordable braces for those who battle with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome including the Ossur Exoform Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace, and the McDavid Carpal Tunnel Support.  Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you.  No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

Chad Pennington Rethinks Career

Whether fans get their NFL season or not, Chad Pennington appears to have quietly retired from the game, admitting that even a two time Comeback Player of the Year has to know his limits.  Pennington, who celebrates his 35th birthday on sunday, has decided to work as an analyst for Fox Sports.  Word has it that he’s also not opposed to becoming a coach at some point in the future.

To be an NFL ‘Comeback Player’, an athlete has to demonstrate that he has battled back through some kind of adversity that caused him to be out for the majority of a prior season.  Reasons for that absence might range from poor playing to serious injuries.  The award has been going out since 1972 and Pennington has received it for two very different reasons. 

In 2006, he won as the Jets quarterback after tearing his rotator cuff only a year before.  In 2008, he won as the Dolphins quarterback, having become an embarrasment in New York just a few months earlier.  But in March 2011, Pennington made a foolish gamble when he played a game of pick-up basketball and ultimately tore his ACL, bringing an end to yet another season with the potential of yet another ‘comeback’ written all over it.  Not to mention, he had already suffered a potentially ‘career-ending’ shoulder injury against Tennessee last November. 

The point is, no athlete has an invincible body and almost every NFL player begins to weigh their alternatives after a certain point.  Between the rotator cuff, the ACL, and the additional shoulder injury, Pennington may fit better in the booth for a little while.  Fans who once enjoyed his play on the field will now have to ask themselves whether they care for his opinions behind a desk.

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Rory McIlroy, 22, Wins U.S. Open

Freckles.  Frizzy hair.  Warm smile.  Rory McIlroy, 22, charmed the audience from hole to hole, often stopping to shake hands or sign an autograph.  And somehow, emerging from the shadows of Tiger Woods, who was once the youngest player to win the U.S. Open at age 25 with 12 under par, McIlroy came away from the Congressional Country Club on Sunday Night with a win at the 2011 Open Championship. 

Look out, Tiger.  Not only did Rory walk out with a trophy, but he did it with 16 under par, making your record look like nothing.

Commentators were quick to note the strong differences between Woods and McIlroy, since they are both now etched in golfing stone.  Yes, they are both young.  Yes, they are both incredible golfers.  And yes, they both have stunning records at the U.S. Open (we should remind readers that Woods has won the U.S. Open three times).   But where they differ is in that sort of Machiavellian love-hate contrast. 

Tiger Woods, regardless of his infidelity, has been a feared icon at the green, making him the golfer everyone loves to hate.  Little Rory McIlroy, on the other hand, loves to be loved, causing fans and mothers to flutter.  And if that weren’t enough, Woods, whose last Open win came in 2008, was missing from the 2011 competition because of a continued problem with his Achilles tendon, which means that Rory won in his absence.  The last two winners, Lucas Glover (2009) and Graeme McDowell (2010) were able to claim victory with Tiger breathing down their neck at the end, but McIlroy was free of the Tiger pressure.

For now, we can only await the day when Rory and Tiger go head-to-head on a course meant for champions of the finest ilk. 

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Driver Wants to Run Again

1999 was the year when technology scaredy-cats were afraid the world would end because their computers weren’t ready for the clock and date transition.  We learned.  It was also the year Prince had predicted, all the way back in 1982, that he would ‘dance’ his life away.  Funny.  Yes, 1999 was a learning year.  In the NFL, fans learned quickly that a ‘first round draft pick’ doesn’t necessarily mean much either.  The 1999 Draft included first rounders Tim Couch, a quarterback who went to Cleveland, and Cade McNown, a quarterback who went to Chicago.  Neither one amounted to anything in the league, which points to the ultimate lesson for fans.  Seventh round draft picks included Donald Driver (still thriving with the Packers) and kicker Kris Brown (who led the Steelers in points that year).

Today, Driver has pretty much done it all.  He’s been to three Pro Bowls, exceeded team records, and now, with last year’s Super Bowl, become a member of an elite squad of champions in Green Bay.  Due to an ankle injury that frightened his teammates, Driver had to miss the second half of the big game, so he feels slightly robbed of a complete championship.  Not to mention, the receiver insists that his accomplishments thus far are nothing if he doesn’t leave a lasting legacy.  Driver has used most of the lockout offseason to rest his ankle and prepare for another year.  When he comes back, expect him to come back with a vengeance, having tasted the glory of Super moments.

Our Ankle Shop is filled with braces and supports for those who suffer almost any kind of ankle injury.  Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you.  No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!