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Learning 3 Things with Dr. DiPaolo, MD, FACS

Recently, I had the chance to ask our friend Dr. Daneca “Donna” DiPaolo, MD, FACS, three questions. She had some interesting things to share with me from ways to prevent injuries, the beauty of telehealth services, and her favorite Netflix shows to binge. Check out our conversation below.

  1. Recently, you shared an article about repetitive stress injuries that shared tips for reducing your risk of suffering an RSI. Are there any RSI’s that you see most often? Typical activities do not lead to injuries because your body position is moving throughout the day. Someone who sits at a keyboard all day, or someone who works at an assembly line would be more at risk. That’s why there’s a push for standing desks. Movement is life. During the workday, movement is valuable.” Are there any that you face yourself in your line of work? “I do a lot of repetitive tasks, fine motor and heavy. I manage it with yoga and stretching, particularly since I am small of stature. It is not so much about how much you exert, but how your body is positioned.”

  2. Everyone has aches, pains, and discomfort at some point in life, but most are not reason for seeing an orthopaedic surgeon. Where do you draw the line when it comes to when it is time for patients to visit? “I would say if injury pain persists more than 1 - 2 weeks in typical patients. Most minor aches and pains resolve in 7 - 10 days; however, I always say to err on the side of seeking help. No evaluation is a bad evaluation.” Right! I think sometimes we want to avoid doctor’s offices because we don’t want to waste time or deal with it if the injury is not severe. I know I am that way! In the times we face, telehealth services are valuable. I have noticed with telehealth medicine, patients seem more verbal. Something about being in their own environment cancels out nervousness of doctor’s office visits. Having a relationship with a medical provider like a doctor or physical therapist is also valuable because if you’re our patient, we are even more able to give you advice, especially if you have underlying or pre-existing conditions.”

  3. While I am sure COVID-19 has you busier than ever, the rest of us are spending a lot of time at home! What’s your go to for entertainment, choosing from books, movies, TV, or podcasts? “NETFLIX. I am Netflix binging Chicago PD, Blue Bloods, and NCIS. Everyone wants to see the heroes.” 

I then proceeded to recommend many true crime podcasts and mystery novels. I definitely learned more than 3 things from Dr. DiPaolo, but there were a few big takeaways that truly surprised me. 

  1. A lack of motion can cause injuries. I always imagined pipeline workers or delivery workers to be more at risk of injury than me, typing away at stories all day. I was surprised to learn that RSI is more about the position of the body than sheer force. Knowing this makes me want to reposition my chair and remember to take my breaks!

  2. Telehealth can be personal. I would have assumed using telehealth services would be awkward since you’re not in the same place as your doctor or therapist. Dr. DiPaolo has had exactly the opposite experience! This makes me wonder if we will continue to utilize telehealth services more regularly, regardless of the status of COVID-19. 

  3. Dr. DiPaolo and I have very similar taste in television. I find it ironic that she watches heroes on television, when I am sure her patients would call her the same. 

To learn more about how Dr. DiPaolo uses orthopaedics to help patients just like you find relief from pain and increase mobility, visit

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