Category: Pediatrics

When to See a Specialist for Your Child’s Knee Pain

With the warm weather on its way, parents are likely to be faced with kids complaining of knee pain. They fall, overdo it playing sports, combined with bending, climbing and stretching the wrong way. Sometimes they may complain about it, and then never mention it again. But other times the pain becomes severe and doesn’t go away. It is important to know when to see a specialist for your child’s knee pain.

Continue reading “When to See a Specialist for Your Child’s Knee Pain”

Putting Patients First

Rana Crisostomo, Patient Advocate

Practice features full-time advocate

Because our patients are what keep us growing and succeeding, we understand the value of having a seamless line of communication between all parties. As the only orthopedic practice in Southern Nevada with a dedicated patient advocate, we at Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center have placed emphasis on this area of our business to ensure satisfaction. With Rana Crisostomo leading the way as our Patient Advocate, we are more than certain that our patients are getting the best service possible day in and day out.

Born and raised in Guam, Rana came to Las Vegas in 2002. In 2009 she found herself working with Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center in Medical Assisting, Front Desk Registration, and in the Diagnostic Department. As the years passed, Rana was learning every aspect of the practice from beginning to end in order to help her perfect the practice’s internal “language.” In January of 2012, Rana took over the Patient Advocate role, and hasn’t looked back since.

On a normal day, Rana says the part she enjoys the most is “making the human connection with patients in (her) attempt to help them with their care.” She typically will assist 20 or more patients per week, but volume has never been an issue. As always, Rana puts the patient first, stating “there have been certain patients that stick in my memory, but I look at every patient’s circumstance and ask myself ‘if the person was family–especially my dear grandmother–how best could I help them to a level that I would be satisfied?’”

While there are taxing parts to the job, such as explaining that there may be a substantial wait time before the next available appointment, Rana says that it’s all about learning how to resolve the issues and explain them to patients in a way they understand. “Many patients misunderstand the perceived lack of time that a doctor may spend with them during an appointment is not a personal slight, but rather the doctor’s efficiency gained through their varied experience and training,” she says. With an interest in social work and counseling, it’s no wonder that Rana has perfected the art of patient communication, and we can’t thank her enough for that!

After spending a number of years with the practice, Rana says there are a few things that people should absolutely know about her company. “We are dedicated to our patients’ care and positive outcomes,” she states. “We have treated virtually every kind of orthopedic case, and you are in the best hands possible. Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center is truly an interdependent and interwoven practice that puts patients first.”

Thank you, Rana, for your continued dedication to our patients!

NOSC winter newsletter is here!

The winter 2016 edition of On The Move, Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center’s newsletter, is now available and linked below. This newsletter offers referring practices updates, insights and tips to make their patients’ experiences with NOSC as stress-free and satisfying as possible.


Summerlin expo a big hit

Representatives of Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center recently attended a health and wellness expo at Downtown Summerlin. Several hundred people visited the practice’s information booth. Events such as this are just one of the many ways that the practice educates the community about the expertise and capabilities of its physicians.
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Meet Our Providers: Thomas C. Kim, M.D.

At Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, all of our Orthopedic Surgeons are board certified and fellowship trained in their respective specialties.  We offer quality health care you can trust.  As a patient, it is important to learn about the orthopedic surgeon that you are visiting at our office.

Join us for our new blog series, “Meet Our Providers” to learn more about our providers and their specialties.


Thomas C. Kim, M.D.

Request an appointment with Thomas C. Kim, M.D. here or call 702-258-3773

Thomas Kim, M.D. joined Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center in 2002.  Dr. Kim is fellowship trained in the surgical treatment of athletic injuries focusing on disorders of the shoulder, hip, and knee with an emphasis on arthroscopic surgery of these joints.

Dr. Thomas C. Kim received his undergraduate education at the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences in Washington, D.C. where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and was nominated into Sigma Xi for research in Organic Chemistry.  As an undergraduate student, Dr. Kim also received a Minor in Theology.  While attending Georgetown University, Dr. Kim was accepted via the Early Assurance Program into the Georgetown University School of Medicine where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree.

Dr. Kim completed a year of general surgical residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and completed his orthopedic training with the San Francisco Orthopaedic Residency Program.  In 2000, following residency, Dr. Kim completed his Sports Medicine Fellowship at Harvard University under Lyle Micheli, M.D. in Boston, Massachusetts.  During his fellowship, he provided medical coverage to the Boston Ballet, Boston Marathon, Eastern College Athletic Conference Track Championship, Bay State Games, and several local college and high school hockey and football teams.  His fellowship also involved training at the Boston Children’s Hospital.  The

Boston Children’s Hospital division of Sports Medicine was the first facility in the nation devoted to the treatment of sports injuries in pediatric and adolescent athletes.

Thomas Kim, M.D. was raised in Los Angeles, California.

Request an appointment with Thomas C. Kim, M.D. here or call 702-258-3773.

What is Pain?


Pain is often the trigger to seek medical care and many patients experiencing pain seek treatment with an orthopedic surgeon.   At Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, our board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons will identify why you are experiencing pain.  After the reason for pain and discomfort is diagnosed, our orthopedic surgeons will create an individualized treatment strategy for you.

There are two categories to describe pain, Acute and Chronic.  The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons describes pain as “a sensory and emotional reaction precipitated by actual or anticipated injury; results from damage to tissue or nerves and is made worse by pressure or inflammation.” 1  In Orthopedics, you may experience acute pain, after an injury like a sprain, strain or broken bone.  You may have chronic pain is more likely when you have a condition called osteoarthritis.

Chronic vs. Acute

Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than twelve weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists, often for months or even longer.2

Your Next Step

If you are experiencing pain or injury, first seek an appointment with your primary care physician if your insurance plan requires this step.  If your insurance company does not require a referral from your primary care physician, contact Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center to request and appointment with one of our board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons.  Our mission is to provide quality health care you can trust and Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center is setting the standard for care in Southern Nevada.

Request an appointment with Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, call 702.258.3773.

Michael D. Thomas, M.D. Voted Best in Orthopedic Surgery

Vegas Seven Magazine has named Michael D. Thomas, M.D. as Top Doc 2015, Best in Orthopedic Surgery.  Dr. Thomas specialties include Pediatric Orthopedics, Scoliosis and Spine Deformities in Children and Adolescents.  He is fellowship trained in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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For the past five years, Vegas Seven has produced a comprehensive guide to the Las Vegas Valley’s best doctors.

The annual Top Doctors guide is one of our most popular issues of the year, it’s also arguably the most important. Vegas Seven recognizes that, outside of family, there’s probably no more important relationship in your life than the one you have with your physician. We also recognize that in today’s complicated system of health care, it’s become increasingly difficult (especially in Southern Nevada) to find a quality physician whom you can depend on and trust.

How are the doctors chosen, you ask? Vegas Seven sent surveys to all Clark County hospitals and members of the county medical society to participate. The survey form asked those medical professionals to recognize and reward quality physicians with their selections.  All of the physicians who made this year’s list received multiple votes, and all are licensed and in good standing. Moreover, as is always the case with our Top Doctors feature, no doctor paid to be included in this list.

Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center is so proud of Dr. Michael Thomas for his recognition of this highly regarded Top Docs honor.

To read the Vegas Seven article, click here


Thomas C. Kim, M.D. Advises on Female Soccer ACL Injuries in Las Vegas

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“Free Kicks and Safer Knees”


What Coach Danny Stone tells them to do — his British accent makes it sound like actor Jude Law is barking out orders — they do.

They jog and run forward, backward, laterally. They stretch their calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, groins, hips.

It is 6:30 p.m. as members of the Las Vegas 99s girls club soccer team begins its practice in Summerlin’s Crossing Park, where the temperature has “cooled” to 97 degrees.

For the next half-hour, Stone conducts what he calls his injury prevention warm-up, much of it aimed at keeping these young female athletes, none of them are older than 15, from experiencing their first, or another, torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, one of the knee’s key stabilizing ligaments.

Two 15-year-old girls, Avery Jacobsen and Jadyn Nogues, participate while wearing black knee braces, reminders of ACL reconstruction surgeries that kept them out of practice and games for more than six months.

Avery’s mother, Krista Jacobsen watches: “The injury was devastating. Eight months of physical therapy. It’s been tough.”

The exercises keep coming: walking lunges, single-leg squats, controlled bounding, lateral and forward/backward jumps over a cone, single leg hops over a cone, vertical jumps while heading a soccer ball.

“Bend your knees when you land,” Stone reminds his charges as they go through an exercise program formally known as neuromuscular training, where a series of exercises teaches athletes how to land, cut, stop, turn and otherwise move during competition so they are less likely to injure themselves.

There’s good reason to emphasize knee injury prevention for these female teens.

A study presented at the April meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed teenage girls are as much as six times likelier to suffer an ACL injury compared with boys participating in similar sports, including soccer and basketball. (Because more boys engage in competition, however, they still suffer the majority of an estimated 150,000 ACL tears yearly.)

The ACL injury rate for a female soccer player is 11.7 injuries per 100,000 practices or games, compared to 4.7 for a male.

Timothy Hewett, co-author of the Academy report, “Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention,” says the reason teenage girls have more injuries can be explained by their having a “machine motor mismatch” after puberty, in which neuromuscular strength and coordination lags behind growth.

“In contrast, boys get even more powerful relative to their body size after their growth spurt. The good news is that we’ve shown that with neuromuscular training we can boost the power of girls’ neuromuscular engine, and reduce their ACL injuries,” Hewett says.

According to the report, appropriate neuromuscular training can reduce ACL injury risk by as much as 72 percent.

Las Vegas orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Nielson, who completed a pediatric and adolescent sports medicine fellowship at Harvard’s Children’s Hospital, applauds Stone’s injury prevention program.

“We need to see every coach doing this in the Las Vegas Valley,” says Nielson, who adds that the number of young female athletes suffering ACL injuries is “exploding” not only here but across the country as more girls participate in athletics.

Since the 1972 passage of Title IX, which guaranteed that no one could be excluded based on sex from an educational program or activity receiving federal assistance, research shows girls’ participation in high school sports has increased by as much as 900 percent.

Both Nielson, and Dr. Thomas Kim, who also specializes in sports medicine in Southern Nevada, say two key factors put girls at higher risk for knee injuries: anatomical risk factors and mechanics.

Girls’ hips widen after puberty, which sometimes results in what’s known as a larger “Q angle” at the knee — commonly known as knock-knees. Compared with males, females also have a narrower notch where the ACL attaches to the femur, limiting the space for ACL movement.

Girls generally run more upright, land with their knees buckled inward, too often place weight on a single leg while moving and frequently tilt their torso away from their center of mass, according to a report in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Although anatomical risk factors can’t be changed, how girls move and land and place their weight can, says Nielson, who notes that there seems to be a never-ending stream of female soccer and basketball players who need ACL surgery.

“That’s why we have to have all the schools getting into proper neuromuscular training,” he says. “Right now most of the high schools aren’t stressing it and they’re probably playing too many games. The body needs time to recuperate.”

Avery Jacobsen, who was injured while playing soccer for Palo Verde High School, says injury prevention needs to be a higher priority.

But her injury — Kim did her reconstruction surgery — may have been caused because of an irregularity in how her knee formed after birth, she says.

“At first, it really got to me emotionally, but then I realized I could come back and play again,” she says. “But you can’t believe how hard it is to just watch.”

Jacobsen is still trying to decide whether to play for her high school team next year.

“You play so many games, sometimes I think girls get worn down and have injuries,” she says.

But her club team offers her the opportunity to play regionally and nationally.

“We also have college showcases where college coaches scout us,” she says.

Richard Nogues, Jadyn’s father, says he appreciates how Stone stresses injury prevention. But even with Stone’s attention to prevention, his daughter hurt her knee while playing for his club team.

Jadyn Nogues was just cleared to play again by Nielson, who did her surgery. She says she’s doing all she can to keep her 6-foot-1-inch body “in balance so I don’t have to go through this again.”

Richard Nogues, a Las Vegas police officer, says girls are fighting an “uphill battle” because of how they’re built.

“There’s only so much Danny can do,” he says. “Their body structure is just different and there’s a lot of strengthening that must be done.”

Stone, a former professional soccer player in England, has been the coaching director for several top soccer clubs in Las Vegas and works as a coaching consultant with the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, the United States’ professional soccer league. He frequently confers with Nielson.

He says he continues to try to find the best ways to strengthen the legs of teenage girls. After a 90-minute practice that sees the girls work at finding the best ways to shoot on goal and how best to defend an opponent’s attack, he has them do 20 minutes of “cool-down” exercises.

“Stretching muscles that you’ve used is important,” he says. “I see that as a good way of getting the body ready for what’s coming next. … I want to be careful with weight training at their age. When they’re older, of course, but not when they’re developing.”

Stone is keenly aware of how much soccer matters to his players.

“Avery and Jadyn never missed a practice or a game, even if they were on crutches,” he says.

Nielson says the surgery and rehab for an ACL injury — which can cost well more than $20,000 — isn’t the only thing to worry about.

“The emotional toll is great, too,” he says. “For some of these girls, their entire social scene is soccer. We’ve had a couple of girls try and commit suicide after they got injured. … We’ve got to get this ACL injury epidemic under control.”

Click Here to Read the article on the Las Vegas Review-Journal website


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