Dark Color Changes To Toenails: Potential Causes and Treatment

Dark-colored streaks in toenails are common in the United States, especially amongst people with darker skin toes, particularly in African-Americans. For the most part, these streaks usually represent non-serious conditions. However, especially in fair-skinned people, the presence of these streaks could represent a deadly cancer. This article will discuss the common causes or dark streaks in toenails, and what condition is cause for alarm.

Before beginning, the reader should be aware while reading this article that the information contained is not meant to provide tailored medical advice specific for one’s own medical condition, but is meant as a general discussion on this health topic. Any specific questions or concerns for the conditions described in this article should be directed to one’s own general physician or specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The toenail is a dense tissue made of compressed keratin. The nail plate itself begins in the nail matrix, which is essentially the root of the nail. The outer edge of the matrix is seen externally as the lunula, or the white semi-circular shaped area at the base of the nail just beyond the cuticle. The nail slowly grows outward, sliding semi-loosely along the skin. The color of the nail itself is a kind of opaque white or cream, with some clearness in it to see the skin below it. Discolorations in the nail plate, be they solid white, yellow, blue, brown, or black, are abnormal and represent a disease process. The most common sources of toe nail discoloration are due to keratin debris built up under the nail from natural nail thickening and aging, as well as discoloration from a fungus infection. These typically create a white, yellow, or yellow-brown discoloration. Since both of these lengthy topics have been covered by this author in other articles, the causes of darker shades of discoloration will be presented here.

Dark toenail discoloration has several causes, and properly diagnosing the cause is key to a successful treatment. The most common reason nails become darkly colored is because of bruising under the nail. Bruising is essentially blood left behind by bleeding. It can occur under the skin, and can also occur under and over the top of the skin located directly under the toenail. Bleeding under a toenail can be caused by dropping a heavy object onto the toe, by pressure from tight fitting shoes, by toes jamming into the end of the shoe as seen often in runners, and by stubbing injuries that cause blood vessels to burst. Spontaneous rarely if ever occurs, and often if one does not remember injuring the toe it usually means the injury was minor enough not to cause initial, memorable pain. The bruising under the nail stays in the nail plate until it grows out with the nail.

Bruises that do not grow out as the nail continues to grow are cause for concern, and a podiatrist should be contacted. The potential cause for this will be discussed later. When the bruising takes up less than a quarter or a third of the nail, it can likely be left alone and the nail can be allowed to grow out. If the bruising is more extensive, covering the entire area of the nail, the nail plate should be removed. This is done for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the blood to properly drain, and limit’s the amount of damage the bleeding caused to the nail root when it slightly lifted the nail plate during the time of active bleeding. Secondly, the bleeding may have been caused by a deep cut to the skin underneath the nail plate during the initial injury, and this skin needs to be evaluated for any cuts that need to be stitched. Another concern, especially if a fracture has occurred to the bone under the nail, is pieces of bone sticking out into the skin externally. If these are not removed and the skin cleaned and treated properly, infection can develop which may spread to the underlying bone.

Another cause of dark discoloration is infection. As discussed before, fungus can enter the skin under the nail and cause discoloration, thickening, brittleness, and debris. This fungus is the same in the same group of organisms that causes Athlete’s foot, and from a color perspective can change the nail from opaque to solid white, yellow, grey, brown, or even black in some cases. Treatment is somewhat complex, as only certain medications have any scientifically proven effectiveness, and there are many home-spun treatments still used that simply fail to show any real worth. Another source of infection is from bacteria, specifically bacteria from a family of organisms called Pseudomonas. This bacteria is prone to invade skin that has been kept moist for awhile, and is commonly spread in whirlpools and hot tubs. The bacteria creates a green color change in the skin and nail tissue, presumably from iron pigment. The so-called green nail syndrome is common, and is treated with a special diluted vinegar solution (acetic acid) soak, or with specific antibiotics targeted against pseudomonas. This infection rarely progresses to a more serious condition in otherwise healthy people, and is usually easily treated.

Nail discoloration that moves across the width of the nail in a thin line from one side to the other side has many different causes to numerous to discuss in detail. The causes can include disorders of the kidney, deficiencies of certain minerals, toxic metal poisoning, heart disease, chemotherapy for cancer, certain chronic medications, and major injury to the body. Due to the wide variety of causes, a visit to one’s primary care doctor, dermatologist, or podiatrist is recommended. There is generally no immediate treatment for these lines, but one’s physician may be able to diagnose another condition that needs treatment through examining the nail, especially if something like metal poisoning or mineral deficiency is undiagnosed.

Nail discoloration that travels in a streak from the beginning of the nail to the end is the one symptom that is cause for the most concern. This streak is typically brown, dark blue, or black, and can be found on one side of the nail or in the center. Usually, this streak takes up less than one quarter of the width of the nail itself, although in some cases it can be wider. The usual cause of this streak is the overproduction of the cells that produce skin pigmentation, otherwise called the melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, which gives darker-skinned people their skin tone, and Caucasians their skin tan. It naturally protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, although overexposure to sun can lead to a mutation in the production of melanocytes. This is technically a cancerous growth. In most instances of nail streaking and skin conditions such as moles, this is a benign growth. However, malignant cancer can develop which has the potential to spread to other organs, leading to death. This cancer is called melanoma, and it is deadly. Dark streaks beginning at the cuticle and traveling along the length of the nail are very common in those with darker skin tones, particularly African-Americans.

In fact, many people have streaks on nearly all their toenails, and have had them since birth. These do not generally represent melanoma of the nail, and are usually benign. When these streaks are newly developed in caucasians, or if there is a new growth or change in a preexisting streak in someone with darker skin, the nail and skin surrounding the nail needs to be assessed by a physician. This is especially true if a discoloration of the skin next to the nail is developing, no matter what the original tone of the skin. A biopsy of the streaked part of the nail, the nail root, and the surrounding area of skin needs to be performed to ensure there is no malignant cancer. This is a simple procedure, done usually in an office by a podiatrist, dermatologist, or sometimes a general surgeon or family doctor, and it heals quickly. The nail usually grows back healthy if the condition was benign. If melanoma is present, immediate attention must be made to the toe to prevent further spread. This usually includes amputation of the tip of the toe, or the toe in its entirety depending on the size of the melanoma. This is absolutely necessary to save one’s life and prevent spread of the cancer.

As one can see, dark discoloration of the toenails can have numerous different causes. Most are benign, and resolve with simple treatment. Some are simply genetic, such as the common nail streaks in darker-skinned individuals. Others are dangerous cancers that need immediate treatment. Due to the potential for cancer, this author recommends that all areas of dark discoloration in one’s nails be assessed by a physician to ensure the condition is benign. The least one wastes is a little time in the doctor’s office, and at best one can save their own life.

Smoking Meat – The Basics

The first smoker I ever bought was a shoebox smoker at the Ideal Home Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. I got it home, managed to smoke some sausage (reasonably successfully) and some duck breast (less successfully) and then for some reason that was that.

I think part of the problem was that my shoebox smoker was a bit primitive, didn’t really have a recognised recommended heat source (I used a camp stove burner) and to some extent I didn’t know what I was doing.

That said I’ve been a barbecue grill enthusiast all my life and love cooking outdoors so when I started to read more about barbecue and understand the differences between what Americans call barbecue (hot smoking) and us Europeans call BBQ (basically grilling) I became captivated not only with learning how to smoke but also about building my own smoker – something somewhat larger than a shoebox I hasten to add.

So what is the basic principle of smoking?

Consider a kitchen oven running at 225 Fahrenheit with meat on the top shelf and water bath underneath – essentially slow roasting in a humid environment. That’s all there is to it plus a bit of smoke, the challenge of course is to use the same heat source to create the smoke as to provide the heat and to make sure that there is a continuous supply of both.

That is the traditional way, in more modern hot smokers you may find that the energy (heat) supply for the food chamber is independent of the energy supply for making the smoke. Arguably this will make everything easier to control and so your results will be that much more consistent but you might be humbled by the purist.

What is needed to create smoke?

Either smouldering wood shavings on a hot plate or wood smoke (this can be direct from burning logs or wood chips on a charcoal fire). It’s nothing more simple than that other than you need to keep the smoke flowing as there’s nothing worse than cooking in stale smoke.

It’s here that we get to the absolute basic principle of the smoker, a vent by the fire and a chimney vent above the food chamber. Hot air rises, so creating a draft that allows the smoke to continually pass over the meat. The clever bit is that this draft also provides air to the fire making it hotter, as it gets hotter the air draft flows faster and the fire gets even hotter. So careful control of these two vents controls the supply of smoke and the amount of heat.

That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter what your smoker is made out of, whether you’ve made it yourself or it is “top dollar” manufactured, the basic principle of how a smoker works is exactly the same. Of course there’s a lot more to smoking meat for competitions etc but if you can hold a humid food chamber at a constant 225 Fahrenheit and pass smoke through it then you have the basic skills required for smoking meat.

What Is Tri Ply Cookware?

Tri Ply displays one of the worlds most popular and functional cookware concepts. Tri Ply is basically two or three different metals that are laminated or bonded together to obtain the advantages of the two metals in one piece of cookware.

The metals most often used to create this high quality cookware are stainless steel, aluminum and copper. This type of cookware is often more expensive but is very durable and conducts heat faster and more evenly. The two main types are with just a base or disc inserted in the bottom and on your top quality cookware the inside layer goes up the side as well as at the base.

The most popular type of tri ply is stainless steel with aluminum. This type has an aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. The construction of this type of cookware starts in the raw material stage, with sheets and blanks. The aluminum is laminated between two sheets of stainless steel and then molded into the desired shape.The highest quality of this type is when 18/10 stainless steel is used to cover the aluminum core with 18/8 and 18/0 being of slightly lesser quality due to the different amount of nickel and chromium used to make the stainless steel. This type of cookware, because of how it is constructed is expensive but worth the money since it lasts so long. It is great for all types of cooking and most brands can go from the stove top to the oven.

One thing to keep in mind when buying this type of cookware is that you can get the same high quality product without having to spend your life savings. There are quality cookware companies out there that can give you the same great product, made with the same materials as the top brands. Just be sure that you read up on the materials used and how it is made. The big companies know they are popular and will charge you more for their name so be careful.

Another type of tri ply cookware is made with copper, aluminum and stainless steel. It starts the same way as the stainless steel/aluminum kind but has copper laminated on the outside instead of stainless steel. It has three layers with copper on the outside, aluminum in the middle and a stainless steel interior. Copper is used for it’s conductivity as well as the aluminum since stainless steel alone is not a good conductor of heat. The process of making this type of cookware is also expensive, a little more so than the stainless steel and aluminum type. It is better for the stove top because of the insulation properties of the copper. Copper does react with food and will discolor it and can even be toxic with some foods which is why most copper cookware is lined with tin, nickel or stainless steel. Despite this fact it is still a top quality product. Having copper cookware will also make a statement in your kitchen with it’s classy look and mirrored finish.

As with all cookware products, as stated earlier, you want to do a little homework. Sometimes the big name brands are not the best buy for the money. You can look at what they offer for the price and compare. With a little knowledge you will most likely find a quality cookware set for about 30 to 50 percent cheaper than the big guys without compromising on quality.

Reduce Power Fluctuations Through An Industrial Voltage Stabilizer

Are you too irritated with the continuous fluctuations? Do you know that these regular fluctuations are the main caused by your electrical devices? Every time when power breaks down, then your device suddenly stops working that mean a sudden down in the level of voltage, which in result damages your property and person or both. To avoid such situations you need to install an industrial voltage stabilizer that helps to set the voltage level before it reaches to your device. This will help to increase its working life.

These industrial voltage stabilizers help to reduce the fluctuations, so, that your device performs its function properly without creating any trouble. The demand for electricity in every industry is different because of their different process. Therefore, the size, power load, volt-ampere and many other specifications of a stabilizer may vary as per the need of current required in your industrial applications. So, you should check all these things before making any decision. Generally, industrial voltage stabilizer manufacturers design and develop its complete range by using cutting-edge technology, so, that they are very efficient, safe and control the level of voltage fluctuations in a better way.

These are totally based on advanced technology, so, that your device will get the exact output voltage level, which is required for its smooth performance. Its inbuilt motor helps it to detect the change in the voltage and control the same, so, that your device will never get affected due to this. A number of servo voltage stabilizer manufacturers offer it at the cheapest rates, but just because of low price don’t make a wrong decision and always go for a quality product. Because it is a big investment for your industry and a wrong decision will give a big hole in your pocket.

Their design is very user-friendly and therefore, these are very easy to install and handle. You can easily install it by yourself and also take the help of professionals. Due to its advanced technology, these stabilizers require less maintenance and less manpower to complete its task in an effective and efficient manner. These can perform their function automatically; you just need to set it once at the time of installation as per the need of your industry. In simple words, one can say that their running cost is not so high and easily fixed in your budget and never give a big hole in your pockets. Why are you still thinking of your decision whether to buy it or not? Don’t give much stress to your brain, this investment in industrial voltage stabilizer is a must for your industry and you will surely appreciate it in the future.

Top 10 Must Have Home Decor

Home decoration concept is revolutionizing! The beauty of home may be accentuated with pretty add-ons. Your preferences plays vital role in choosing home decorator collection for your house, the practical approach is always to look out for the living space available and how you would like to make use of it. Space in your home should need to be taken into account while selecting décor. Use the available space wisely and creatively…With a modest amount of creative imagination and novelty it is possible to completely change the look and feel of your house. Just a little deviation from common colorings and textured walls bring amazing changes to interiors. This could also allow you to show off your spirits geared up to any special occasion.

As soon as you’ve selected a design and style, home decorating stores, traditional outlets or local flea markets will be a fantastic starting point for home decoration items. Home decoration stores are flooded with variety of high end house hold goods. With the ease of internet, everything you need to do is to browse through a number of products offered and pick one which suits your needs. In the following paragraphs we will discover the top ten home decor:

1. Photoframes – Everyone wants to keep their most memorable moment’s picture clicked and adorned in a beautiful picture frame. Hunt for exclusive photo frames with beveled glass, unconventional patterns, or clay fruity one for kid’s room.

2. Flower vase – This can be very important part of your drawing room or living room or even terracotta vase for the garden.

3. Wall clocks – Wall clocks do more than telling time to your décor. Pendulum clock and Cuckoo watches gives antique feel to the room.

4. Wall hangings – Wide range of wall hangings, made of natural fiber- jute; rugs or wall carpets to quilts to tapestry wall hangings and wooden quotation planks.

5. Metal figurines – Brass or white metal idols of gods, statue of Venus too are nice decorative items.

6. Religious symbols – Spiritual symbols owe due reverence. Om and Swastik are the common hangings.

7. Decorative mirrors – Jumbo mughal painting mirror gives traditional Indian touch to your dressing room.

8. Lighting fixtures – Lights are vital in decoration. It may hide flaws or highlight them if not used aesthetically.

9. Carpet and Rugs – Colorful silk wall carpets or a neutral color rug increase the beauty of wall.

10. Furnishings – Furniture need not necessarily be of wood…Against this trend now get a wrought iron, pipe, cane furniture to save space.

Many home decorating stores or home décor boutiques have mushroomed across the country and qualified interior decorator there readily assist you in turning your abode into a godly place. They understand mechanics of designing, thus are of great help.

Many retail stores have gone online; their round the customer helpline will be available any time of the day. Online shopping lets you browse the every detail of the product and then compare prices on other websites too before buying. Look out for bargains and save some bucks…on home decor stores online.

Market America Unfranchise – Compensation Plan Business Review

They call it the “unfranchise”. Meaning it is likened to a franchise offering all the benefits of a franchise without the traditional overhead expenses and fees that are associated with a franchise. Market America is a product brokerage and one to one marketing company specializing in Mass Customization. Founded in 1992 by James Ridinger, Market America makes its headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Business Model

Market America is part of the network marketing industry. Each unfranchise owner is encouraged to recruit others into the network of unfranchise owners. By doing so they will create leverage for themselves and their unfranchise business. The requirements to activate and qualify your unfranchise to begin receiving profits is as follows. You must recruit two people one on your left and one on your right side of your business. You must qualify your business by purchasing 200BV worth of product and then remain on an “transfer buy” of 50bv to 150bv each month. (BV is approx. 80% per $1 spent. Example, $100 = 80 BV) Once your network begins to grow your points start accumulating. Upon reaching certain points or bv on your left and right you will start to receive commission checks.

Here are some specific details regarding the binomial compensation plan that Market America uses. First, as stated before you have two sides of your business. To qualify your business you will need to purchase 200 – 600 BV of product, this equates to $350-$1000 worth of product. After that you will be encouraged to spend an additional several hundred dollars in business support materials. Once you qualify your center with your initial purchase you are required to purchase 50BV – 150BV of product per month, depending on your position within the pay plan. We will use an average monthly order of 100bv as we get further into the plan.

Now that you are qualified you must activate your business by sponsoring or recruiting two people one person on the left side and the other on the right. To do this your sponsor will help teach you how to introduce the business and products to people who may have an interest.  Upon activating your center with your two new people you are now able to collect commissions based on the volume created within your two lines or legs.

For this example we are going to talk about the part of the business that matters the most. The residual income that can be generated. To generate an income of $300 you will need 1200 points on your left and 1200 points on your right. The next level is 2400/2400 = $300, 3600/3600 = $300, 5000/5000= $600 for a total payout per cycle of $1500 at that time your volume resets to 0 and this can happen every week.

To make that residual we will use a month as an example. You will need 100 people in your group 50 on the right and 50 on the left each ordering 100 bv worth of product .  This is accomplished by new retail transactions, current distributors buying products they already use from themselves rather than the store and new qualifying orders.   There are several other ways to calculate increased commissions, this includes purchases from partner stores on your web portal as well as bonuses for helping others on your team make money.

In conclusion this compensation plan is better than most MLM or binary compensation plans out there. Market America’s compensation plan is not a scam and is set up in such a way that the average person who applies some effort can create substantial success within this organization.

Don’t Stain Your Deck And Reasons Why

I’ve been staining decks for more years than I want to admit. I remember when there were only just a handful of deck sealing products on the market. There were no stains to color your deck and there were no UV (ultra-violet) products available. There was only clear and semi-transparent products to choose from. I was there when the Environmental Protection Agency made all the companies that develop stains to reformulate their products so they would be environmentally friendly. The trade off for having environmentally safe products is they don’t last as long as the old products.

So now you have safer products but you have to stain and seal your deck more often which will cost you more. The very first question I get from someone is how long will my stain last. That’s a great question but it has a lot of variables.

You have to consider if you want your deck to look natural,which is a clear or semi-transparent product or if you want to colorize your deck by covering the wood with a stain that has color.

Here is were the problems begin when choosing a natural look or should I colorize my deck. First where is my deck located on my home in relation to the sun. If you have a deck that gets sun all day and it faces south or southwest and you want to use a dark color stain,guess what,you just turn your deck into a solar collector.

Have you ever got into your car on a hot summer day and said OUCH. That is the same with your deck when you put a dark color stain on it when it has a southern exposure. It’s not uncommon for a deck to reach 140 degrees temperature in the summer. Next I hear,but if I can’t use a solid color stain and I use a semi-transparent stain it won’t last as long because the ultra-violet light rays from the sun will will cause it to break it down. Yes that’s true but at least you can enjoy your deck during the day time.

What if I use a lighter color stain on the south side,O.K. that’s fine but do you have pets or children that track mud. Look I’m giving you options to think about before you decide because I have (just about) seen it all. There is a lot to consider when you stain a deck.

Even if you are using a light stain on top of a dark stain. Sometimes (not always) the dark stain will show through the lighter color stain. To correct this just applied a second coat or better yet do a small test in a area that is not so conspicuous location to see what you are trying to achieve will work in the first place.

Important note for people who are do not know how to use a semi-solid stain product. A semi-solid stain when applied will still show the grain of the wood,you can see through the stain slightly. Some people choose a semi-solid when they meant to ask for or use a solid product which is totally opaque,you can’t see through it at all. Don’t ask someone you hire to use a semi-solid stain and say you did not like it after it was applied. Oh, by the way I wanted a solid stain to hide everything. If you do change your mind expect to pay twice for the job,because that’s what you are getting is a second stain job

Even deciding on the proper color is a big under taking, pick up a couple home and garden magazines and/or drive around your neighborhood and see what you like. This will eliminate a lot of pain by planning ahead of time.

Please consider the following. Think twice about using the bold colors,something that doesn’t look natural or just stands out and shouts at you. Do not stain your deck all the same color by this I mean stain you should stain your floor boards different from you pickets or railings. The prefer color for pickets is white and your line of vision is straight and not at your feet and you will get this nice clean look of white pickets.

This is why people like homeowner associations today,its because some people are color blind or just don’t know how to choose colors. They throw a color color on their deck and there goes the neighborhood. Try to make your stain project blend in with your neighborhood. You will maintain home values and get a much quicker sale on your property if you do decide to sell your property.

In the next article I’ll cover when and how to use clear deck sealers.

Randall George Lynch Box MTS Series Tube Amplifier Review and Features

Randall Lynch Box

Randall MTS Lynch Box is based on the Randall RM100 Tube Series Technology, Randall’s powerful MTS Module tube amplifier. George Lynch and Randall have come up with one of the best Randall amplifiers that was introduced over and over again in many advertisements, websites, positive reviews and comments about the Lynch Box. I am simply raving about the George Lynch MTS Signature Series “Lynch Box”. This might be news to your ears but do not get bored with my introduction for I am just starting to warm up your knowledge about this powerful machine and what it can do in this music gear review. Production of this Randall Lynch Box started in the year 2006. The head and matching 4×12 cabinet is covered in simulated green reptilian lizard skin tolex, matching the head and cab together. Inside the beast is a monstrous 100-watt poweramp that is all tube with adjustable pre amps. It is considered to be outrageously versatile because its settings are created to be biasing from classical melodies to modern musical rock. This amplifier consists of three channels of modules that are independent to one another.

The amp head has switches at the head and also including a remote foot switch via midi that is perfectly quiet. On the front portion are the parallel effects loops with level dial effects. This amplifier is only created for a powerful and loud sound music play so you will not see any headphone jack. Another interesting feature about this amp and one which you will truly love is its module which contains controls in adjusting the mid, bass, gain, treble, bright switch and level that controls the general output signal. From a range of 0 to 100 percent of is master volume, break up of its power amp tube can occur. Doing some mixing combinations for each of the three channel modules is also eminent, adjusting the sound settings to how you want it. And simply use the heavy constructed footswitch channel selector to choose your poison.

The front portion of the head consists of more options such as the master presence, master volume, level of effects and master density. The latter one is a very amazing feature because it is capable of thickening any thin sound of your guitar or even brightens any dull sound that comes out of your guitar strumming and plucking. When it comes to sound production quality, just name any music genre and it all perfectly goes out of the box smoothly. George has came up with a huge cabinet design with the exact specifications to produce a thick smooth sounding, mid-range and highly defined.

This extremely huge and over sized cabinet is constructed manually combining a birch plywood that is void-free and a fiberboard (of high density) for a firm tone projection. Still looking for something more than this one? Well, I tell you there is no more much greater than the power of this one. If you always go for a loud sound anywhere, if your choice always go for hard rocking guitar riffing or metal jamming, then there is no need for hesitation. Always choose what is best for your taste and lifestyle. You can and you will never go wrong with this one. George Lynch’s Randall Lynch Box Guitar amplifier will boost the music power with in you so what are you waiting for? Check out the perfect online music traders where you can purchase right away this magnificent power amp. They will make delivery easier for you and for sure you will enjoy it throughout your lifetime.

George Lynch MTS Series Preamps:

Super V: Clean module with low bottom end

Mr. Scary: Classic Lynch heavy rhythm lead tone

Grail: Thick lower mid-range for modern lead tone

Brahma: Hi-gain tone for Lynch’s classic rhythm sound

Scoliosis Surgery – Risks of Refusing Fusion Surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Overstated

Severe scoliosis can present problems with cardiopulmonary function. The definition of severe scoliosis varies depending on sources. Most authors consider 60 degrees the benchmark for a scoliosis to be called severe. As far as crushing internal organs most of the current literature states that it is very rare less than 1% and only in cases over 100 degrees. There are two main factors that go into deciding whether or not to have your child undergo a major spinal fusion surgery. The first is the cosmetic appearance which most orthopedic surgeons say is the number one concern of the patients and parents prior to learning of the potential cardiopulmonary effect. The second is the fear of health problems not only in the immediate future but also down the road.

This fear is most likely based on the discussion with their orthopedic doctor regarding scoliosis and its harmful affect on the cardiopulmonary system. Most often from my experience in consultations with parents of kids that have progressing scoliosis is that their understanding of “risk” is that if they don’t have surgery they are placing their child at a significant risk of health problems and potentially death. I think it is extremely important to discuss this particular mindset before entering into something that will alter your child’s life forever.

There are several parameters that are often not discussed with parents that would indicate a higher risk versus almost no risk. The studies conclusively show that increased risk of pulmonary function loss stems from thoracic structural scoliosis with a cobb measurement greater than 60 degrees in the frontal plane and a significant loss normal kyphosis in the sagital plane of 50% or more. According to Lenke classification this would be a subcategory of about 18% of AIS patients that reach surgical threshold of 50 degrees.

Curves with apexes below T9 generally do not have any restrictive pulmonary issues because there is no rib cage deformity and much less spinal rigidity. Thoracic curves with apexes higher than T7 are also excluded. Thoracic primary structural scoliosis with normal to slightly reduced kyphosis are also questionable. So it would be highly unlikely that we could say that “all” kids with big curves will have any form of damaging pulmonary function loss.

Therefore any child not showing measurable decline in pulmonary function should not be subjected to scoliosis surgery using medical necessity rationale and should be thoroughly aware that the procedure is for cosmetic appearance only since the procedure is not correcting an existing loss of function but rather a medical assumption that they are correcting a potential problem. So I should have my kidney removed because it looks abnormal on ultrasound and MRI but all my kidney function tests are normal hmmm.

The other question that is currently being debated is whether or not scoliosis surgery actually improves pulmonary function in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. They have agreed conclusively that short term effects significantly decreases pulmonary function but the long term studies are most definitely inconclusive.

Conclusions. Pulmonary function following thoracotomy with ASF with instrumentation demonstrated a significant decline of 3-month postoperative PFT values, but returned to preoperative baseline absolute values by the 2-year follow-up visit. The percent predicted values returned to within 95% of baseline 2 years postoperatively. Scoliosis surgeons should be aware of these findings when deciding upon the approach. Spine 2000;25:2319-2325

Notice the pulmonary function returned to preoperative levels after two years but the scoliosis surgery did not improve pulmonary function.

Conclusions – Forced vital capacity is reduced at long term follow up in adult patients with idiopathic scoliosis who undergo anterior spinal surgery. The fall in FVC is small and is unlikely to be of clinical significance in patients with reasonable lung function in whom surgery is planned for prevention of curve progression or improvement of cosmetic appearance and pain. However, surgical intervention should not be undertaken in an attempt to improve pulmonary function. (Thorax 1996;51:534-536)

If the only medical reason to perform scoliosis fusion surgery is for pulmonary function then the patient should have measurable dysfunction at the time of surgery and increased pulmonary function post surgery for the surgery to be considered necessary from a medical procedural standpoint, NO?

This isn’t a matter of trusting a doctor’s opinion but rather a message to all patients and parents to learn all the facts, study the research, and get informed before agreeing to highly invasive procedures that alter the body structurally and can never be undone.

Dr. Brian T. Dovorany

Can Jigsaw Puzzles Help in Boosting Your Intelligence?

If you have ever been informed about the proverb, ‘Your brain is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets,’ then you should be memorable with the thought following a puzzle to enhance your intelligence.

By solving the jigsaw puzzle you are forcing your intelligence to retain information of what evident sections look like in order to choose pieces that will fit mutually. You will be searching for pieces to pack unfilled spaces, too. This entire hunt for pieces denotes that your brain will need to memorize what each piece looks like and what kinds of pieces you are searching for. Doing this repeatedly reinforces the memory.

You can use the ‘blind’ technique in locating your jigsaw puzzles to help your memory even more. With this approach you can only stare at the image on the face of the jigsaw puzzle box when you initially start running your puzzle. After that you have to work from memory. It can be very tricky and there is a highly-flavored enticement to steal a glance at the image when the going gets tough, but if you stand firm you’ll have the fulfillment of awareness that you are assisting your memory. In addition you’ll feel even more content when you’ve accomplished the jigsaw puzzle ‘blind.’

Resolving jigsaw puzzles to recover your memory services the ‘working’ memory or short term memory to keep the representation of the puzzle pieces unmarked in your mind. It still triggers the long term memory to boot in when you are attempting to finish a puzzle from recollection of what the puzzle picture appeared like on the facade of the box. This reasons the links to develop stronger in your mind and makes it easier for you to memorize things in supplementary regions of your life, such as trying to recall where you left your home keys.

Improving your remembrance isn’t the single advantage of cracking jigsaw puzzles. You will also get better with your spatial association and form detection ability. These are expressions we frequently listen to when conversing about our children’s psychological expansion, but they nevertheless are relevant to adults. Good spatial business can help you in systematizing that messy cupboard or stuffing the baggage for a long trip. Figure identification talent can be as uncomplicated as understanding that a quadrangle hook doesn’t fit into a round hole.

You will discover that your recollection and other psychological ability are significantly enhanced with usual puzzle functioning. What better way than to solve puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles are the some of best puzzles that can be solved because they permit people to work in assembly on a project.

Siberian Husky Health Problems

There isn’t any dog breed that is completely free from inheritable genetic defects, but the Siberian Husky has the fewest health problems of all breeds. The Husky enjoys generally good health and temperament, but there are still health problems that you should look out for.

The good news is that the Siberian Husky Club of America or SHCA has kept an eye on potential genetic problems and taken positive action for the general health and well being of the breed. Since 1965 this organization has been tasked with being aware of genetic problems and alert breeders before the defects can spread. Because of the SHCA the two greatest areas of concern that have been found for the Siberian Husky is canine hip dysplasia and inheritable eye disease. However, with proper care and monitoring you can attempt to avoid these conditions in your dog and help them to live a long, healthy life.

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the head of the thighbone or hip joint doesn’t fit into the joint socket properly. When a puppy is born the condition isn’t typically present, most of the time it only develops within a dog’s first two years of life. The affected hip will suffer from inflammation, pain and arthritis as the condition progresses. Strenuous exercise such as sitting up, lying down or climbing stairs can make the condition worse. Males and females are equally affected by the condition and either a single hip or both can be affected. It is an inherited health condition, which means hip dysplasia is passed on from the parent dogs.

The Siberian Husky is one of the least affected dog breeds despite the high occurrence of hip dysplasia in dogs. The condition affects about one hundred fourteen dog breeds and the Siberian Husky is ranked one hundred eleventh for risk. This condition can easily be avoided in the breed by buying from breeders who can provide proof that both parents have passed the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals standards for breeding.

There are many eye defects that affect dogs, but only three of them are considered a concern in the few Siberian Husky health problems today. Hereditary or juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy and progressive retinal atrophy are the three eye conditions of the Siberian Husky that you should be aware of. Any eye color can have an eye condition and each disorder affects a different portion of the eye. Even though eye problems don’t occur often in the Siberian Husky they are serious and should never be overlooked or underestimated. The Siberian Husky can develop hereditary or juvenile cataracts as early as three months of age.

If there is a mild case there will be a decrease in eyesight, but severe cases can cause complete blindness. Corneal dystrophy is a condition that affects the outer transparent portion of the eyeball. This condition is more common in females and is typically found in young adult dogs. This condition has no current treatment, but is seldom affects vision. A more serious condition is progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause a devastating loss of vision in dogs as early as five months of age and is most common in males.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Deals Opening Up the Competition in the Computer Tablet Market

Numerous Samsung Galaxy Tab contract deals are expected to sell this tablet cheaply here. Samsung’s head of mobile communications JK Shin observed, “Samsung recognises the tremendous growth potential in this newly-created market and we believe that the Samsung Galaxy Tab brings a unique and open proposition to market.” By introducing the Tab into the market, the South Korean mobile phone major has opened the doors for a far more competitive and dynamic environment to prevail in the computer tablet market.

This, for sure ends, the largely monopolistic hold that Apple enjoyed thus far. Add to the Samsung tablet, the Dell Streak and the about to be launched Blackberry Playbook, the scene is most certainly hotting up.Samsung has already stated that it sees huge potential in this particular market is working on upgrades of the tablet. Samsung also realises that with more than a couple of players fighting it out, prices will be a key factor in deciding the winner.

Hence, Samsung has tied up with Vodafone and soon the market place here will be witnessing the Samsung Galaxy Tab Vodafone getting released here through umpteen Galaxy Tab Deals and SIM free plans. On first look the Samsung Galaxy does fare more than favourably when pitted against the much fancied Apple iPads.

While the iPads with a much wider touchscreen of 9.3 inches score better against the Samsung Tablet’s seven inches wide touchscreen, Samsung has a far better storage space, two camera devices (3 mega pixel and 1.3 mega pixel) against none in the Apple iPads. Now, combine this with the cheaper prices obtained because of the Samsung Galaxy contract deals, you are sure looking at a potential threat to the iPad stronghold of the market. Following Samsung Galaxy Tab Vodafone, other network service provider are also likely to join in the fray and let out a good number of Samsung Monte Deals and other such lucrative offers.

Understanding Vitreoretinal Surgery

Vitreoretinal surgery is actually a relatively common surgery and while it may not be one of the most major treatments on offer, it can leave you a little concerned, until you understand what is involved, recovery times and more.

Vitreoretinal surgery is when the qualified and experienced eye surgeon removes the vitreous gel which is found in the middle of the eye to help improve your vision. This is often used if you have experienced a retinal detachment or you have blood which has made its way into the gel, in turn affecting your eye sight.

The surgery requires a small instrument that is inserted into eye which cuts the vitreous gel sack and sections out the gel. From here any further treatment can be carried out, whether it’s to treat the retina with a laser or repair a macular hole. When the surgery has been completed, the eye surgeon will use a silicone oil or gas bubble to replace the gel which has been removed and protect the eye.

Your vitreoretinal surgery may be treated as a day case, where you spend the day in hospital only to go home at the end of the day with strict after-care instructions or you may need to spend one night in hospital and go home the following morning, either way it is a quite stay in hospital and recovery is completed in the comfort of your own home, which is always a benefit.

The surgery itself takes around two to three hours. When you are discharged, your surgeon will give you a list of instructions and signs to watch for. It is imperative that you follow these instructions to the letter. This may include sitting or lying in a certain place for a set time to make sure the oil or gas bubble doesn’t move and giving your eye time to heal. During these first times, need to that someone stays with you to give you a helping hand.

There are certain complications and warning signs you must be aware of before you elect to go ahead with vitreoretinal surgery. This includes a decrease in your vision, an increase in the after-surgery pain, increased redness, increased swelling and discharge coming from your eye. Further signs to be aware of includes more floating or new floaters appearing to impair your vision.

The reasons your eye surgeon may choose vitreoretinal surgery is to repair a retina detachment, maybe to repair a retina tear or help reduce the risk of vision loss moving forward. Further they often use this form of surgery to help retain vision in patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy which is an unwelcome side effect of diabetes which impacts your vision.

The good news is that when you choose this form of eye surgery you find that your surgery can help improve or at least restore some of your vision. It is not going to vastly improve your vision, but it can help improve your sight by removing floaters you have experienced or even cut the risk of your eye sight getting worse than it is.

Some of the risks of vitreoretinal surgery you should be made aware of includes retinal detachment, bleeding and infection.

What Is an Abbe Refractometer?

In physics, there is a phenomenon known as refraction. Refraction is the change in the direction of a wave passing from one medium to another caused by its change in speed. This is why a stick will appear bent when put in water. The device that is used to measure refraction is simply known as a refractometer. A refractometer contains an illuminating prism, light source and a refracting prism. Ernst Abbe of Germany was the first scientist to develop one. To honor him, Refractometers now bear his name. It is important however, to mention that the refractometer has undergone a series of evolution in its processing and manufacture although the underlying mechanism by which it functions remains essentially the same. Modern Refractometers are fitted with a liquid crystal display and this facilitates the reading of the measurements on the device.

It is possible for one to wonder why the refractometer is so important to us. By the time you finish reading the following lines, you will not but agree that it is a very important tool. Refractometers have found wide uses and applications in medical laboratories, histological laboratories, chemical laboratories and physics centers. It is also used by microbiologists, astrophysicists and engineers. This is apart from the fact that it is used in various industries, companies (especially bottling companies), hospitals, processing plants and factories. Refractometers are very important because the measurement of the refractive index has a lot of uses. For example, by using an Abbe Refractometer, it is easy to detect if honey is good or spoilt. Apart from this, the refractometer is indispensable in agriculture, clinical research, wildlife management, pharmacology, food processing, hydrology and advanced physics.

The refractometer also comes with other benefits and advantages. For example, you may want to measure the salinity of that lovely saltwater aquarium that you just bought. In such a case, a refractometer comes in handy. Also, you may want to measure the salt and electrolyte composition of the bottled spring water that you just drank. Perhaps you may want to know whether it contains enough sodium, calcium or potassium, once again you make use of your refractometer. The good thing is that you do not have to carry bulky devices around anytime you want to drink spring water! There are portable, pocket-sized and hand-held Refractometers for personal use. It is very clear that this device is quite useful.

Although it was Abbe that started the production of the Refractometers, some other companies have also taken part in the production of this wonderful tool of science. Some of them are: ATAGO, Reichert, Brix, ERMA, Bellingham & Stanley, American Optical and Schmidt-Haensch of Germany. Oh, I almost forgot, I am thinking of buying a saltwater aquarium, don’t you think I need a refractometer?

Outdoor String Lights and the Things You Need to Know

If you have a dull backyard, gate, front porch, or patio, then chances are you need outdoor string lights. This is one way to make any outdoor setting look magnificent. The good thing about these lights is that they not only serve a practical purpose, but they also serve as wonderful decorations. And since outdoor string lights are quite popular in any event the number of designs you can pick from is endless. Whatever motif you have in mind, rest assured that any major hardware store or home depot has what you need.

First Things First

Always remember the first thing when it comes to buying any kind of electrical device: Safety! It is very important that you choose the right kind of outdoor string lights to avoid unnecessary injury. Talking about first things, we first check out the label on the box if it indicates that the lights can be used outdoors. If it says otherwise then don’t risk it. Outdoor and indoor lights are made differently. Outdoor lights are made with a much resilient material than that of the indoor ones. Outdoor lights are also resistant to rain and moisture, which makes it ideal for any location outside your house. As I said a while ago, outdoor lights are made of resilient material, but in some cases low quality material is used. This often happens to unbranded lights, or fake brands that are made by companies who use the cheapest resources to gain a higher profit. If you buy these kinds of outdoor string lights then you’ll never know when a faulty wire might show up, a light bulb might go out, or a plug might burst into flames (Usually these things happen in less than a month when buying fake or low quality lights.)

The Battle: Incandescent Versus LED

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock these past decade or so then the chances are you already know about LED lights. There are three main differences that you need to know when it comes to these lights; Color, power consumption, durability, and cost.

When it comes to colors to choose from then hands down the winner would be incandescent lights. In terms of power, LED lights consume less energy than that of incandescent. LED’s are also much more durable, with a bulb lasting for more than five years. On the cost department, though, LED’s cost higher than that of an incandescent. However, if you take into account the amount of money you’ll save from electricity bills then LED would be the best option in the long run. It’s important that you take these things into account when shopping for your outdoor string lights. It will save you a lot of money and hours of frustration when you have to go back to the store and have your purchase replaced.

There you go, that’s about all you need to know regarding outdoor string lights. Just remember to keep it simple and not fill your place with a thousand lights. If you do that then you’ll have a wonderful outdoor view from inside your house that will be the envy of the next door neighbors.