All posts by Kirsten

Proud Sponsor of Team #9 in the 2016 Iron Dog


Dr. McNamara poses with Team #9 at the Iron Dog Safety Expo at Cabela’s on Wednesday.

We are proud to sponsor Team #9, Jordan Starr and Joshua Plumb, in the 2016 Iron Dog Pro Class Race. The Iron Dog is the world’s longest, toughest snowmachine race, with 2,031 rugged Alaska miles to cover and 41 teams competing for the Iron Dog cash payouts, totaling $145,000 this year, as well as other contingency prizes. The ceremonial start will take place in downtown Anchorage this Saturday (2/20), and the official race start will be at Big Lake on Sunday (2/21).

Jordan Starr moved to Alaska when he was 4. He works as an A&P aircraft mechanic, and has his pilot’s license. Jordan enjoys everything that Alaska has to offer including flying, camping, snowmachining, hunting, fishing, and spending time with friends and family.

Joshua Plumb is a lifelong Alaskan from Eagle River. He is enrolled at the University of Alaska, Anchorage seeking a business degree, and works as a heavy equipment operator. When Josh is not working he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, taking trips to the cabin, snowmobiling, and traveling. Josh and his wife Kateland have a 3 year old daughter named Elodie.

We wish Jordan & Joshua all the best in the 2016 Iron Dog Pro Class Race this weekend! GO TEAM #9!


Congratulations to our 2015 Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to all who participated in our 3nd Annual Alaska Photo Contest. This year our participants collectively submitted 89 beautiful photos of Alaska! We are happy to announce our favorite captures in each of the 3 Alaska categories:

1ST PLACE – Alaska Wildlife
“1, 2, 3 – Ready or not here I come!” by Channcie B.

Channcie Bean 4

1ST PLACE – Alaska Scenery
by Roger N.

Roger Nordlund 2

1ST PLACE – Alaska Outdoor Activities
“A Puppy’s Eyes” by Corbin H.

Corbin Hiett 1

Since we had such AMAZING photos, we would also like to recognize the runner-up in each category. Here are the 3 honorable mention winners:

“Kung Fu Bear” by Channcie B.

Channcie Bean 1

“Volcano Redoubt” by Jeff B.

Jeff Bonin 1

HONORABLE MENTION – Alaska Outdoor Activities
“Autumn Float to Skilak Lake” by Barbara S.

Barbara Seward 3

Thanks again to all our participants. Keep an eye out for our 4th Annual Alaska Photo Contest coming in Fall 2016!


Should you drive in an arm sling?

Should you drive in an arm sling?

“When can I drive?” and “can I drive in a sling?” are common questions we hear from patients after shoulder surgery or treatment of other upper extremity injuries and conditions. The better question is should you drive in an arm sling.

A recent study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery sought to answer whether sling immobilization of the dominant driving arm had an effect on driving performance and safety. The researchers hypothesized that sling immobilization of the dominant driving arm would impede a driver’s ability to drive. Utilizing a simulated driving circuit, the researchers created a mock driving experience for study participants. The control group was made up of non-immobilized drivers, while the experimental group was made up of drivers immobilized in a simple shoulder sling. Driving performance was evaluated by the number of “collisions” (or the number of simulated on-road hazards that were struck by the driver) such as an oncoming car or pedestrian.

While there was no difference between immobilized drivers and non-immobilized drivers in routine driving scenarios, their results showed that in hazardous driving scenarios that required evasive driving maneuvers, non-immobilized drivers performed significantly better than immobilized drivers. The non-immobilized drivers had 1.7 collisions while the immobilized participants had 3.7 collisions. This is a statistically significant increase with the number of collisions more than doubling in immobilized drivers! Thus, it was shown through this study that sling immobilization of the dominant arm does impede a driver’s ability to effectively perform evasive maneuvers when faced with a driving hazard.

While only sling immobilization of the dominant driving arm was reviewed in this study, it is our opinion that driving with either arm immobilized in a sling is unsafe for you, your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Instead, we encourage you to utilize the help of a friend or family member to get you where you need to go. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our trained medical staff.

Atanda, A., Chay, E., Hasan, S., Jazrawi, L. M., McGee, A. W., and Zuckerman, J. D. (2015). The effect of shoulder immobilization on driving performance. J Shoulder Elbow Surg, 24(2), 273-279.