The Benefits of Yoga

Benefits of Yoga

Since September is National Yoga Month, we talked with a couple of local instructors to learn more about the many benefits of yoga.

Some of the most commonly talked about benefits are the physical ones, like improved flexibility, increased strength, and better balance. These are why many people have started to include yoga in their fitness regimens. But beyond being a good workout, yoga has other physical benefits.

“Practicing yoga can help increase respiratory capacity, improve circulation, and enhance digestion,”‘ says Jackie Schechinger, a Green Bay yoga instructor and wife of OSMS physician Dr. Steve Schechinger.

Yoga also has a positive effect on a person’s mental health.

“The increased awareness to mindfully breath helps calm the nervous system and increase oxygen flow in the blood, which causes this wonderful duality of feeling calm yet energized,” says Jen Berres, owner of and instructor at Jenstar Yoga and Dance in De Pere.

While everyone can benefit from the strengthening and stress-reducing outcomes of yoga, it can be especially beneficial for two types of OSMS patients – athletes and those living with arthritis.

Yoga and Athletes

Competitive athletes are always looking to improve athletic skills and reduce the risk of injury. Yoga can help with both!

“Athletes tend to have a ‘go hard’ mentality about training, and a yoga practice brings balance to this mindset by teaching athletes to slow down and be in the moment,” says Jen. “It also creates better body awareness, which allows athletes to gain more range of motion, fluidity of movement, strength, stamina, and coordination. It is definitely a game changer, and many of the best athletes in the world are incorporating yoga into their routines.”

Yoga can also help with injury prevention and recovery.

“The improved body mechanics, balance, stability, and flexibility that an athlete can experience from yoga all work together to reduce the risk of injury,” says Jackie. “But perhaps the most important benefit for athletes is the increased mental awareness and focus to overcome an injury and elevate training and performance to the next level.”

Yoga and Arthritis

Despite the pictures of headstands, arm balances, and intricate twists that you may see on social media, yoga can be gentle enough for people living with arthritis.

“Yoga helps those with arthritis see better overall physical functioning, in particular increased joint range of motion, flexibility, and balance,” says Jackie.

Together, these outcomes can help reduce joint stiffness and pain so that people can continue to live actively.

“Joint pain is uncomfortable, but if you stop being active it can only get worse,” says Jen. “I have seen clients with arthritis feel a world of difference after only a few yoga classes.”

Learn more about yoga and arthritis from the Arthritis Foundation.

If you are new to yoga – no matter your age or activity level – it’s important to find a style and instructor that fits your needs and allows for appropriate modifications for individual restrictions, limitations, or injuries.

3 Myths about Physician-Owned Clinics

Myths about Physician-Owned Clinics

First, let’s define what a physician-owned clinic is. You may have heard of “independent practices,” “private practices,” or “doctor-owned clinics.” All of these terms describe a healthcare organization where the physicians not only provide the care, but they are also the owners of the business.

OSMS is an example of a physician-owned clinic. OSMS doctors make up the board of directors along with the CEO, and they make the business decisions that ultimately affect the patient experience.

Many perceptions exist about the cost and quality of “independent” or “physician-owned” medical practices. We are going to show you the truth behind three of of the most common myths about this type of clinic.

Myth 1: Doctor-owned clinics are small and outdated.

The Truth: Doctor-owned clinics can vary in size and specialty. While some may only have one or a few providers, many others feature larger groups of physicians. For example, as of this September, OSMS will have 14 physicians who specialize in a variety of orthopedic and rheumatologic services, including:

  • Sports medicine
  • Joint replacements
  • Arthritis care
  • Fracture care
  • Hand-to-shoulder care
  • Foot and ankle care
  • Pediatric rheumatology
  • Adult rheumatology

See all of our physicians here.

Plus, they often provide other supporting services such as X-ray, MRI, and lab services onsite to ensure the most convenient experience for their patients.

Many doctor-owned specialty clinics also own, or partially own, freestanding surgery centers where they can perform outpatient surgeries outside of the hospital setting. These types of facilities are called ambulatory surgery centers, and they are known for their high quality, high patient satisfaction rates, and lower costs. OSMS is a a co-owner of the Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center (BOSC), located onsite at the OSMS Green Bay clinic.

As both the care providers and the business owners, physicians at independent clinics are motivated to make business decisions that will ensure the best possible patient experience. For example, if updating the onsite MRI machine is going to provide better patient care, then the physicians have the authority to make that purchase decision.

Myth 2: Doctor-owned clinics are more expensive.

The Truth: Many times the cost of your overall care will be less expensive at a doctor-owned clinic than seeing the same type of specialist at a larger healthcare system. One reason for this is that physician-owned clinics typically focus on one or a only a few areas of medicine like orthopedics, gastroenterology, or OB/GYN. This allows for a more efficient, lower-overhead environment that can help keep overall costs down.

Another benefit that OSMS provides patients as a doctor-owned clinic is the ability to see a physician without a referral (unless required by your specific insurance). This cuts down on the number of appointments you need to get a diagnosis for an orthopedic or rheumatologic condition; ultimately, reducing the cost of your care. It also helps patients get to a diagnosis more quickly and be on the path to treatment or recovery more quickly. So patients can see cost and time savings.

Plus, if you need surgery and the physician-owned clinic has an outpatient surgery center, your surgery may actually cost less too. For example, surgeries performed at BOSC cost on average 40% less than the same procedure performed in a hospital setting.

Myth 3: Doctor-owned clinics won’t accept my insurance.

The Truth: Just like a larger health system, doctor-owned clinics can negotiate contracts with all different types of insurance plans and companies. In most cases, they will have contracts with many plans to ensure they are accessible to patients with primary care providers at multiple health systems.

OSMS accepts most insurance plans. You can see a list of the major ones here.

Understanding Anterior Hip Replacement: A Q&A with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Walker Flannery

We are proud to introduce orthopedic surgeon Dr. Walker Flannery! He’s a Wisconsin native who will be joining our physician team in September.

Flannery-bio page

One of his areas of interest is anterior hip replacement. During his residency training, Dr. Flannery worked with four different orthopedic surgeons who performed anterior hip replacement. After seeing how well patients did with this approach, it became a special interest of his. We asked Dr. Flannery a couple of questions to help explain this approach to hip replacement.

Q: How is the anterior approach different than other hip replacement methods?

A: There are several approaches for hip replacement that have been used over the last half-century with good success. While the anterior approach is relatively new compared to other methods, it has been used for hip replacement with a strong track record for over 15 years. The anterior approach is increasing in popularity for several reasons:

  • It uses an “inter-nervous plan,”allowing a path between muscle groups to insert the implants, preventing injury to the buttock muscles. This can help aid in a quicker recovery, such as earlier walking without a cane and less pain medication use. There also can be a lower risk of “limp gait” or “foot drop” in comparison to other approaches.
  • Surgeons use a specialized Hana Table that allows the patients to remain in a flat position on their back, instead of on their side. This enables the surgeon to check key criteria – like leg lengths and implant positions – using a real time X-ray machine called fluoroscopy. The table can also change positions during surgery to aid in the surgeon’s visibility.
  • Due to the nature of the anterior approach, the risk of the hip “popping out” or dislocating after the procedure is lower. Patients are allowed to go about their activities after surgery without many of the hip precautions that are typically needed, such as not bending past 90 degrees at the the hip.

Q: Who is a candidate for anterior hip replacement?

A: Many patients who need a hip replacement are good candidates for the anterior method. However, just like with any surgery, it’s important for patients to understand the risks and benefits of each approach to hip replacement and for patients and their surgeons to discuss which approach will be the best option for their individual needs.

Characteristics that could make anterior hip replacement technically challenging include:

  • Women who are short statured with a wide pelvis bone.
  • Patients who are large statured and muscular, i.e. former football lineman.
  • Patients who carry most of their weight in the abdomen with a high body mass index.
  • If the surgery is a revision surgery that would involve replacing the implant inside the upper leg bone (the femoral component).

These criteria will not exclude you from the anterior approach to hip replacement. They will be considered in the decision making process with your surgeon following a physical examination of the hip.

“Anterior hip replacement is a technically challenging procedure and requires a specific skill set for the surgeon. It is currently offered by less than 25% of orthopedic surgeons,” says Dr. Flannery. “By being proficient in the other approaches to hip replacement, I can help provide guidance on which method would be the best fit for each individual I care for.”

Learn more about Dr. Walker Flannery here.

How much will my surgery cost?

It’s a question we all ask (or at least think) when we are told we need a surgery. Unfortunately, getting an answer isn’t always that easy. Here are two reason why it’s hard to put a standard price sticker on your surgery.

Surgery Costs-

1. What you pay can depend on your individual health insurance.

One thing that makes pricing more complicated in healthcare is the role of insurance. Private insurance providers (think Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare) negotiate their coverage fees directly with individual healthcare providers and facilities. That means if a surgery costs $2,000, one insurer may cover $1,000 while another only covers $800.

Now add in all of the individual health plans that people have. Do you have a co-pay? Have you already met some – or all – of your deductible? What is your maximum out-of-pocket? Is the facility in-network or out-of-network? With all of these other factors, how much you will end up paying for a surgery is truly unique to you.

At OSMS, our patient advocates are a great resource to help people who need surgery understand how much it will cost. They look at a patient’s insurance plan and determine if any out-of-pocket costs will remain after insurance benefits are applied. They also meet with patients to help them understand their insurance coverage, the out-of-pocket expenses they will be responsible for, and any financial resources that may be available.

Ultimately, the patient advocates want to help patients put together a plan for paying for their surgery in advance so that there isn’t “sticker shock” after it’s all done.

Learn more about the OSMS patient advocates here.

2. Sometimes a physician goes into surgery to do one thing and he ends up needing to repair something else too.

Let’s say you are having a knee scope. When the surgeon is performing this procedure, he discovers that you also have a torn meniscus that wasn’t detected prior to surgery. The surgeon isn’t going to ignore this new diagnosis. He’s going to fix the torn meniscus while you are already in surgery. Doing this may change the original cost of your surgery, but it will be significantly less expensive than having a completely separate surgery to repair the torn meniscus.

If you have questions or concerns about the cost of an upcoming or past surgery, please contact the business office at 920-430-8120.


Ultrasound-Guided Injections: A Q&A with rheumatologist Dr. Michael Avery

Rheumatology may not be a word you hear or use often. But when you or a loved one is living with a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, or any other type of rheumatic disease, “rheumatologist” becomes a frequently used term. These are the physicians who diagnosis and help patients manage the long-term treatments these conditions require.

This is why OSMS is proud to welcome our fourth rheumatologist, Dr. Michael Avery. He joins Dr. Debbie Lim, Dr. Paul Tuttle, and Dr. Paul Utrie in the OSMS rheumatology clinic, helping to increase the community’s access to the rheumatological care many need. (Learn more about what a rheumatologist does here.)

Meet Dr. Michael Avery

Avery_Michael-C2.5x3Dr. Michael Avery is an adult rheumatologist who will start seeing patients at OSMS on July 31st.

“I believe that to be an effective physician, it is important to thoroughly educate patients on their diagnosis and treatment options, which empowers them to engage in critical decisions regarding their care,” Dr. Avery says. “Rheumatology is a challenging field as a diagnosis or treatment is not always easily obtained; however, the research and development of new therapies have radically improved outcomes for many people.”

One of the ways that Dr. Avery helps his patients improve their quality of life is through the use of ultrasound as a way to diagnose conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and treat them.

Dr. Avery answered a few questions to help us better understand the benefits of using ultrasound.

Q: Are there advantages to using ultrasound as a diagnostic tool for rheumatology patients?

A: Ultrasound lets a physician look inside a joint to see changes in the bones and soft tissues caused by arthritis inflammation. Ultrasound can sometimes help identify arthritis inflammation before it is even noticeable in a physical exam of the joint. This is because ultrasound has a higher sensitivity and is able to produce images that show small changes and minor damage in the joint from inflammation.

Another advantage of using ultrasound as a diagnostic tool is the cost. The types of images a physician gets from ultrasound are similar to MRI, but ultrasound is a less expensive option.

Q: What are the benefits of ultrasound-guided injections?

A: Injections are used to help reduce inflammation in a joint with the goal of also relieving other symptoms like pain. Using ultrasound to guide the placement of an injection helps ensure the most precise and accurate placement, which allows the treatment to be as effective as possible.

Other imaging methods can also be used to guide injection placement. Two common ones are fluoroscopy, which produces moving X-ray images, and CT scans. However, these options are typically more expensive and both require the use of radiation to create the images of the joints. Ultrasound is usually less expensive and does not expose patients to radiation.

Q: What conditions can you treat using ultrasound-guided injections?

A: Ultrasound can be used for the precise and accurate placement of injections into most joints – from the very small ones in the hands to the large joints of the hip, knee, and shoulder.

Ultrasound-guided injections are used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Bursitis
  • Tendon inflammation


Learn more about Dr. Michael Avery here. Call 920-430-8113 to schedule an appointment.

“Do I have arthritis?”

Only a physician can give you a definite “yes” or “no” to the question, “Do I have arthritis?” However, it’s important to understand what arthritis is and what the symptoms are so you know when it’s time to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Recently, Dr. William Enright and Dr.Paul Utrie were on Living with Amy for National Arthritis Month. Check out the video to learn more about arthritis and its symptoms.

May 2017 Living with Amy

Arthritis Symptoms

  • Joint pain
    • Pain that has lasted several weeks
    • Pain that comes and goes multiple times a month
    • Pain can be felt in one or multiple joints
  • Stiffness and soreness
    • Joint stiffness in the morning or after periods of rest/inactivity
    • Soreness after activity or toward the end of the day
    • Joint stiffness that results in loss of mobility or difficulty with movement
  • Swelling
    • Skin around the joint looks swollen or red
    • The joint feels warm
  • Clicking, cracking, or grinding sensations when bending a joint

Why an Early Diagnosis is Important

Overtime, arthritis damages the joint’s cartilage, leading to increased pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility. If arthritis is diagnosed early, orthopedic or rheumatology physicians can provide treatments and management techniques that relieve symptoms and help reduce the amount of joint damage over your lifetime.

Download our early signs of arthritis checklist!


The One Resource for All Your Arthritis Care Needs

We’ve all heard of arthritis and probably know someone who has it. But how do we know if we have it? When does an achy knee become an arthritic knee? When do we go see a physician for a diagnosis? Do we just live with the symptoms?

The Joint Journey at OSMS provides people with access to physicians and resources that will help answer these questions and more. It encompasses four stops that people may have on their journeys with arthritis, from the initial diagnosis to living an active life with a new joint.


Let’s walk through the Joint Journey to see how it can help you on your arthritis journey.

Stop 1: Early Arthritis Clinic

The early arthritis clinic is an education stop with the goal of teaching people how to recognize the early signs of arthritis. This is an important stop on the Joint Journey because overtime, the symptoms of arthritis can damage the joint’s cartilage and lead to increased pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility. If arthritis is diagnosed early, a physician can provide treatments and management techniques that not only relieve symptoms but that can also reduce the amount of joint damage over a person’s lifetime.

What to look for:

  • You hear a grinding or cracking when you bend a joint.
  • Your joints feel stiff after waking up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Your joints look swollen and feel warm to the touch.

These are only a few examples of arthritis symptoms. You can learn more by downloading our early signs of arthritis checklist. 

After identifying your symptoms, the next step is to talk to a physician. Bringing the checklist mentioned above can be a good way to start the conversation. When you come to OSMS, the physicians ask you to describe your symptoms, and they’ll perform a physical exam of the joints. You will probably also have X-rays taken. If rheumatoid arthritis (or another arthritis-related autoimmune disease) is suspected, lab work will be done.

Stop 2: Nonsurgical Treatments

Once an arthritis diagnosis is made, your orthopedic or rheumatology physician will put together a treatment plan. When arthritis is caught in its earlier stages, oftentimes the treatment plan will begin with nonsurgical options.

For wear-and-tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) options may include:

  • Activity modifications
  • Physical therapy
  • Joint injections


For rheumatoid arthritis, nonsurgical treatments could be:

  • Medications
  • Infusion therapy

Stop 3: Joint Replacement

Arthritis is a progressive disease. If or when nonsurgical treatments no longer relieve symptoms, joint replacement may be an option.

The OSMS orthopedic surgeons perform total hip, knee, and shoulder replacements in the hosptial setting and right at our onsite surgery center. With advancements in technology and surgical techniques, joint replacements are expected to last 20 plus years, and many people only require an overnight stay in the hospital or surgery center.

total knee replacementTotal Hip Replacement

Stop 4: Education and Support

Even after a joint replacement surgery, the Joint Journey at OSMS continues to provide access to arthritis care resources, including:

  • Educational events where people can ask questions about their recovery and living with their new joint.
  • The Joint Journey Walking Club, which helps people stay active after an arthritis diagnosis or joint replacement.
  • The Joint Journey Network, which connects people who’ve had joint replacement surgery with those who are considering it.

Learn more about the entire Joint Journey at OSMS.