Dr Martin's Blog

Monday, November 26, 2012

Errington Associates partners up with Pure Gym

Errington Associates are pleased to announce a partnership with Pure Gym, the UK’s fastest growing gym network.

Pure Gym provide no contract, no nonsense, 24-hour gym facilities across the UK. They were recently triple winners at the 2012 Health Club Awards.

Errington Associates have teamed up with the three Edinburgh-based gyms – Edinburgh City Centre, Ocean Terminal and the new Edinburgh West – offering their members a 10% discount on diagnostic imaging services.

We are also working with the gym to provide Continuing Professional Development for the Personal Trainers. Each Personal Trainer will be familiarised with the most commonly diagnosed sporting injuries. They will also receive a familiarisation visit to our state-of-the-art imaging suite to get a better understanding of which imaging procedure is used for each diagnosis.


Posted by Martin Errington on 11/26 at 02:20 PM

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Errington Associates achieves new Olympic medal table high

Olympic medal tableErrington Associates are celebrating their highest ever position on the Olympic medal table. With 3 gold medals and 2 silvers.

Errington Associates are proud to have scanned members of Team GB as part of their preparations for London 2012. Our diagnostic imaging was vital to them achieving full fitness and their ambitions in winning the ultimate prize in sport.

The medals were won in cycling, tennis and judo.

If Errington Associates were an independent country, we would currently be lying 19th in the overall table, above countries such as South Africa, Spain and Usain Bolt’s Jamaica.


Posted by Martin Errington on 08/09 at 10:04 AM

Friday, June 01, 2012

Hundreds of Olympic Torch bearers are suffering from tennis elbow

Tennis elbowThe Olympic Torch relay is leaving a trail of injured torch-bearers in its wake.


Many of the lucky members of the public who have been selected to carry the torch across Britain are now suffering from tennis elbow - an inflammation of the forearm muscles and tendons, caused by prolonged gripping.


“It’s not the one-mile run with the torch that is causing these injuries,” explains a spokesman. “It is the running around with the replica torch for hours and hours afterwards, showing it off to family and friends. One gentleman was parading his torch around his local pub until the early hours of the morning.”


On a serious note, tennis elbow is thought to affect nearly two million people a year in the UK. And it is not just confined to tennis. There are many sports that involve gripping an object for long periods of time; other racquet sports, cricket, weightlifting (holding the bar), canoeing (holding the paddle) as well as being an occupational hazard of construction (holding tools).


As mentioned earlier, tennis elbow is due to inflammation of the forearm muscles and tendons as they attach to the outer side of the upper arm bone (humerus). Its formal name is lateral epicondylitis. A similar condition affecting the inner aspect of the elbow is medial epicondylitis, more commonly known as golfers elbow.


Treatments include rest, physiotherapy, medication (painkillers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), injection of steroid and local anaesthetic, injection of platelet rich plasma (from patient’s own blood), shock wave therapy and surgery (extensor origin release). Perhaps the most successful batsmen in history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, battled with tennis elbow for years, until he underwent successful surgery. The success of these operations is generally that 85-95% patients get excellent relief from the pain.


Posted by Martin Errington on 06/01 at 09:08 AM

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What do Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Sharon Osbourne have in common?

They're all long-term survivors of bowel cancer. Sadly, two of them are no longer with us, but this is due to unrelated causes.


Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1985, had surgery and lived another 19 years, until Alzheimers took its toll. Pope John Paul II, the second longest serving pope in history and survivor of two assassination attempts, had surgery for bowel cancer in 1992 and went on to live another 13 years, until his death - a result of a urinary tract infection - aged 84. And Sharon, publically diagnosed with bowel cancer on MTV’s hit show The Osbournes in 2002, is still going strong today.


April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Bowell cancer (technically known as Colorectal cancer, and often described as colon cancer) is the UK's second biggest cancer killer, but it shouldn't be. It is in fact very treatable, particularly when diagnosed early.


There is now a screening programme in Scotland for all men and women between 50 and 74. The examination, which is done at home, looks for blood hidden in bowel motion, which can be an early sign of a cancer or a small growth called a polyp. If any is found, the patient is invited to undergo a test to look closely at the inside of the bowel for cancers or polyps - this can be done by a flexible camera (colonoscopy) or by a special scan (CT colonoscopy). Fortunately, most blood in bowel motions is due to polyps and not cancer.


According to a recent report by MacMillan Cancer Support, the greatest improvement in average cancer survival time in the past 40 years has been for bowel cancer - from 7 months in 1970's, to 10 years today - thanks to new treatment advances in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.


So the message is get involved in screening, and see your doctor if:
you notice blood;
how often you go to the toilet changes;
you start having stomach pains:
you don't feel your bowels have emptied completely when you go to the toilet.


Early diagnosis is really important, as Sharon Osbourne explains "It's not painful and what is more important to you: Your life and your loved ones or a little bit of discomfort for an hour? It's an hour of your life, for your life."


Posted by Martin Errington on 04/10 at 01:16 PM

Friday, March 16, 2012

iPad 3 puts radiologists in the picture

by Sam Docherty, Errington Associates’ IT Manager


Ever been seemingly out of reach on holiday or at a seminar in some far-flung exotic place (that IT managers never get invited to!), when someone really needs a report clarification or second read in an emergency? Well, help is now at hand!


With the launch of the iPad 3, Apple has provided a very reliable option for the ultimate in portable viewing and reporting. Because, arguably the biggest upgrade to the new iPad is its screen resolution.


As predicted by many, the third-generation iPad features a Retina Display that offers double the resolution and four times as many pixels as the iPad 2. Worldwide marketing vice-president Phil Schiller contends that the iPad 3, delivers enough pixel density that you can't pick out the pixels with the naked eye.


Some hospitals have already adopted the iPad to help doctors keep medical information and patient records on hand, rather than using a clipboard. But now, with a million more pixels than an HDTV, Apple claim “everything looks and feels incredibly lifelike and perfectly detailed” - making reviewing x-rays, ultrasounds and scans a real possibility.


I would be really interested to hear if any of you ‘early adopters’ have feedback on how it works in the real world.


In the meantime, click here for 20 must-have Apps all radiologists should have on their iPads.


Posted by Martin Errington on 03/16 at 09:28 AM

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Day, affairs of the heart and blocked arteries

As today is Valentine’s Day and February is National Heart Month, this blog entry concentrates on the romance of the moment – the courtship between the FA and Harry Redknapp.


It’s no secret that Harry recently had heart surgery to open blocked arteries. He’s also just spent the most stressful three weeks of his life in the dock at Southwark Crown Court. Is the stress of taking on ‘football’s impossible job’ really the best thing for his health?


Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men and women in the UK, with over 100,000 people dying each year. The good news is that this number is falling, as more and more excellent treatments become available.


A heart needs its own blood supply. This comes through the coronary arteries. When these arteries get blocked the heart muscle is starved of oxygen and begins to die, resulting in a ‘heart attack’, also known as a ‘coronary’, or in medical parlance; acute myocardial infarction.


The common symptoms are pains in the centre or left side of the chest which don’t go away, aching feeling in the arms, neck, jaw or upper stomach; sometimes accompanied by breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness and cold sweats.

The diagnosis is confirmed by looking for tell tale signs on an electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests looking for higher levels than normal of certain proteins in the blood, called troponins.


Detailed pictures of the coronary arteries are then taken, using special x-rays and dye injections via thin tubes passed from the groin back up the arteries to the heart (coronary angiography).   Once the blockage is found, it may be reopened by angioplasty, when the cardiologist inflates a fine balloon inside the artery to widen it back out and restore the blood flow to the injured heart muscle. The cardiologist may then put a wire mesh tube (stent) into the artery to keep it open for hopefully years to come.


If you’ve had a heart attack you are at risk of another one. However, with successful rehabilitation and sensible lifestyle changes (stopping smoking, being physically active and keeping a healthy weight) you should be able to return to an active, fulfilling life, with no restrictions on stressful activities.


So Harry, when they call, you can say yes!

Posted by Martin Errington on 02/14 at 07:33 AM

Friday, February 03, 2012

Matthew Rees and Luke Narraway to miss 6 Nations openers due to calf strain

Wales hooker Matthew Rees and England flanker Luke Narraway are set to miss the opening matches of the RBS 6 Nations this weekend, due to calf strains picked up in training.


Calf strainA calf strain injury - also known as a 'pulled calf', 'pulled muscle' or even ‘tennis leg’ - is common in many sports. It is caused when the muscle is stretched beyond its limits and the muscle tissue is torn.

There are three main muscles at the back of the calf: the medial gastrocnemius, the lateral gastrocnemius and the soleus, and a further small muscle called the plantaris. All of which come together above the back of the ankle to form the Achilles tendon.

Gastrocnemius strains are most common, thought to be due to the muscle crossing two joints (knee and ankle) and because the muscle contains a particular type of fast twitch muscle fibre. It is difficult to distinguish this from the less common plantaris strain, unless diagnostic imaging is used. The soleus muscle only crosses the ankle joint, and is mostly made up of slow twitch fibres, so is considered low risk for strain injury.

Depending on its severity, a calf injury is classified as a first, second or third degree strain. The grading can be done by medical examination and by diagnostic imaging, most commonly diagnostic ultrasound and MRI scanning.

It sounds like Matthew and Luke are suffering from a first or second degree strain. They will initially be prescribed ‘RICE’: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Followed by gentle muscle stretching, through to muscle strengthening exercises, for about 10 days. Massage and ultrasound are often added at this stage.

We wish them both a speedy recovery.


For more in-depth information: Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2009 June; 2(2): 74–77. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries


Posted by Martin Errington on 02/03 at 04:17 PM

Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome to our brand new website and our first ever blog post!


2012 marks the arrival of a very exciting time for the Errington Associates team. We have recently launched our all-new branding, new website and - for the first time in our history - a blog.

This blog will give you an insight into the musings of our consultants and our team, as well as business updates.

So, pop back for regular insights into high-profile sporting injuries, popular and professional events and, some very entertaining guest blog entries.

I look forward to connecting with you all and will be posting again very soon.

Till then,


Posted by Martin Errington on 01/23 at 01:47 PM