Category: Dr Paul McDonough MD

Book Readers Enjoy Longer Lives


Book Readers pic
Book Readers

As a spine surgeon specialist at Orthopedic Associates of Abilene, Texas, Dr. Paul W. McDonough performs operations on various neck and back deformity and injuries. At home, Paul McDonough, MD, spends his time reading biographies, medical journals, and books about British history.

Researchers at Yale University conducted a recent study which showed that book readers are likely to live longer than the average person. The results of the study were published in the Social Science & Medicine journal.

The research was done by looking into 12 years’ worth of information from 3,635 citizens, who are at least 50 years old. There were three groups, each with a specific reading duration. One group did not read books, another read books on an average of 3.5 hours a week, while the last group read books for a longer period. The ones who read up to 3.5 hours per week have a 17 percent chance of living longer than those who did not read books. The ones who read for more than three hours a week are 23 percent more likely to live longer.

Even before the study, book readers have already been regarded to live longer than non-readers by two years. Other benefits of reading books include getting better sleep, enjoying a more relaxed life, and warding off Alzheimer’s disease.

Choosing a Spine Surgeon

Dr Paul McDonough MD pic
Dr Paul McDonough MD

Dr. Paul W. McDonough earned his MD at UCLA School of Medicine, where he graduated number one in his class in surgery. Paul McDonough, MD, uses his specific training in spine surgery to treat patients at Orthopedic Associates of Abilene in Abilene, Texas.

If you are experiencing chronic neck or back pain especially with radiating pain down your arm or leg, you may want to consider spine surgery as a treatment option. As with any surgery, it is a good idea to ask questions to eliminate any uncertainty prior to undergoing treatment. One important question that should be asked is who is the best surgeon to be doing my spine surgery?

As a spine surgeon only provides spine surgery, they are likely to be more adept and up-to-date with current surgical techniques. A surgeon who only occasionally performs spine surgery may not be as knowledgeable or practiced with the newest techniques. The possibility of receiving minimally-invasive spinal surgery also may be more likely with a surgeon who focuses specifically on spine surgery.

Once you have chosen the surgeon you believe to be the best to treat your particular condition, you should raise any questions or concerns regarding possible treatments or procedures. Your surgeon’s responsibility is to assist and educate you during this information-gathering process. Your options should be discussed, along with the benefits and risks involved with each option. It is crucial to choose a surgeon you feel is knowledgeable and experienced.

More information about Dr. Paul McDonough, and his training can be found on his website, ““.

A Look Inside the History of Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle pic
Edinburgh Castle

Paul W McDonough, MD completed his spine surgery fellowship at the University of Wisconsin in 2001. As a spine surgeon at Orthopedic Associates of Abilene, Dr. Paul McDonough performs surgery of the thoracic, lumbar, and cervical spine. Previously, Paul McDonough, MD lived in Scotland, where he served as a missionary for two years. He enjoys bringing his family there to visit old friends and of course to golf.

One of Dr. McDonough’s hobbies is reading and studying British history. He lived in Edinburgh for a while and found the following information to be interesting. Edinburgh Castle in Scotland has witnessed many defining moments. Royalty has lived and died in the walls of the castle; Sieges were fought among the mighty stronghold. The oldest building of the castle stands on the site. St. Margaret’s Chapel, built by David I around the year 1130 as a tribute to his mother.

Edinburgh Castle has been besieged over and above other castles in the UK. The English and Scots struggled over maintaining control of the castle while the Wars of Independence took place. In 1314, there was a daring night raid set in place to try and reclaim the castle from the English, which was started by Thomas Randolph.

Edinburgh Castle has been labeled a national icon over a 200-year time span. Currently, the castle is the leading tourist attraction in Scotland.

Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement

Dr Paul McDonough MD pic
Dr Paul McDonough MD

Paul W. McDonough, MD, performs surgeries of the spine as a member of Orthopaedic Associates of Abilene, Texas. In his free time, Dr. Paul McDonough enjoys reading about new spine surgery techniques that may help him to better treat his patients.

Traditionally, patients with pain caused by cervical degenerative disc disease have found their surgical treatments limited to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). This procedure enables the surgeon to remove the herniated disc and introduce a graft that joins the surrounding bones. It is generally successful in relieving pain, but it may limit the patient’s range of motion.

An artificial cervical disc replacement also involves the removal of the diseased disc. Unlike an ACDF procedure, however, this surgery places a specially designed device in the space where the removed disc was located.

The disc replacement device allows the patient to move his or her neck normally and often results in earlier cervical motion following surgery. It also reduces the degeneration of adjacent spinal segments that would have been involved in the fusion procedure, while removing any risks associated with bone grafting or related hardware.

Everyday Causes of Neck Pain

Neck Pain pic
Neck Pain

Surgeon and spine specialist Paul McDonough, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. After completing a residency and fellowship in orthopedic and spinal surgery, Dr. Paul McDonough devoted his practice completely to the treatment of neck and spine pain. Conditions treated by Dr. McDonough include degenerative arthritis, pain radiating into the arms, and neck pain.

At some point in their lives, most people will experience neck pain, typically characterized by stiffness and soreness of the neck muscles and difficulty in turning the head from side to side. While there are many serious causes of neck pain, such as herniated discs, stenosis (a narrowing of the opening in the vertebrae), and degenerative arthritis, there are many everyday causes of neck pain that a healthy person can watch for and avoid.

Sleeping with the neck in an awkward position is one of the most common causes of neck strain, which can be helped or avoided by carefully choosing the proper size and firmness of the pillow one sleeps on.

Poor posture while sitting at a computer for prolonged periods is another cause of neck pain. Slouching and leaning one’s head down and toward a monitor or any other device should be avoided. Keep the head balanced over the shoulders, allowing the neck muscles to maintain the head upright with minimal effort. Try to raise the top of the computer screen nearly to eye level, and if you must look down, do so by lowering your eyes, not your head.

Holding the head in an unnatural position, such as cradling a phone between the ear and the shoulder, is another common cause of neck strain. If one’s hands need to be free while talking, use a computer or cell phone headset so that you can maintain a healthy posture while talking.

An Innovation in Lighting for Surgeons

Waveguide XT System pic
Waveguide XT System

Dr. Paul McDonough received his MD from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he graduated first in his class in surgery. At his practice in Abilene, Texas, Dr. Paul McDonough has performed more than 5,000 neck and spine surgeries. He is always searching for innovative procedures or technologies that can assist him in helping his patients, such as the Waveguide XT System.

Invuity, Inc., created the Waveguide XT System surgical site illuminator to enable surgeons to have a light source within inches of the tissue they are working on. Designed to be attached to retractors (devices used to hold open surgical incisions), the illuminator shines a broad, diffused, all-encompassing light while the device itself remains cool to the touch. The light is shaped such that it can even be brought inside the surgical cavity in larger procedures, generating for surgeons a quality and quantity of illumination not possible using standard overhead operating room lighting systems.

The patented drop-in light source uses Invuity’s patented Photonic technology, with the light traveling through fiber optic cables to a solid-core, optimal polymer, which then diffuses the light.

“Text Neck” Related to Looking Down and Texting on Devices

Text Neck
Text Neck

A fellowship-trained spinal surgeon, Dr. Paul W. McDonough assists patients throughout the Abilene, Texas, community. A strong believer in preventive health care, Paul McDonough, MD, engages closely with patients in emphasizing ways of maintaining proper spine and back health.

Within a highly connected world, people are increasingly tied to their devices wherever they go, and they can experience previously rare posture issues that are now linked to habitual texting or otherwise looking at a smartphone. “Text neck” can occur in a number of ways, and it is commonly caused by dropping your head in a forward direction to focus on a small screen.

When in a proper upright position, the neck muscles can comfortably support a weight of up to 12 pounds. Each inch that your head drops results in a doubling of the load on the neck muscles. When looking down at your smartphone, with your chin close to your chest, this load increases to the equivalent of about 60 pounds. This type of posture is responsible for muscle and back strain and also impairs the ability of the lungs to expand, which makes the heart work harder to supply needed oxygen throughout the body. “Text neck” can be avoided by holding the phone higher, at or near eye level, and limiting the time spent on mobile devices.

Visiting Scotland

Scotland pic

UCLA School of Medicine Alumni Paul McDonough, MD is a spine surgeon in Abilene, Texas. Prior to his work in Abilene, Dr. Paul McDonough worked as a missionary in Scotland for two years. Dr. McDonough enjoys going on trips with his family, and especially enjoyed the chance to take them to Scotland and show them sights that were familiar to him. Even for those who have never been to Scotland before, there are many sights and adventures, which make it a unique and rewarding vacation spot.

Scotland has a variety of outdoor activities, ranging from cycling to hiking to golf. For active visitors, a bike tour may be the best way to see and experience the Scottish countryside. The mild climate coupled with a large offering of cycle-friendly accommodations make it relatively easy to bring or rent a bike and cycle the trails and roads, many of which are family friendly.

For those who don’t wish to bike, but still want to actively explore the country, hiking is another alternative. Scotland’s Great Trails are a network of trails, which combined form more than 1,700 miles worth of walking! Each trail in the network is at least 25 miles long, and can range up to 200 miles long. Of course, casual hikers do not need to be discouraged, as there are also sections of trail that are perfect for a day’s hike. All paths are well-maintained and managed to ensure each hiker’s safety.

In addition to Scotland’s beautiful countryside, the city of Edinburgh is particularly interesting. Edinburgh is considered the biggest tourist stop in Scotland, and with good reason. The city and surrounding area offer a mix of old and new attractions, from castles to museums and historical sites.

No matter how a visitor chooses to tour Scotland, and there are a wide range of options. Visitors will find Scotland to be an out of the ordinary, fascinating vacation.

The Battle of Hastings

British Isles
British Isles


A spine surgeon by profession, Paul W. McDonough, MD, enjoys listening to lectures and reading about history in his free time. Dr. Paul McDonough pursues a particular personal interest in the history of the British Isles.

On October 14, 1066, William the Conqueror faced off against King Harold of England and his Saxon armies. William, the duke of Normandy, had come to England to claim the throne that he believed to be rightfully his.

William’s cousin, Edward the Confessor, had been ruler of England. Being childless, he had promised to leave the throne to William, but on his deathbed he named English nobleman Harold Godwine as his successor. William waited only eight months to bring 7,000 cavalry and troops on 1,000 ships across the Channel to England.

At the time, King Harold and his troops had traveled to Yorkshire to face a challenge from the king’s brother, Tostig. William landed in England facing no opposition and immediately traveled to Hastings. The king’s troops returned south and arrived west of Hastings on the 13th of October.

William and his troops attacked the following day. The victor remained uncertain until late afternoon, when the Normans broke the Saxon line. Legend has it that the battle ended when a member of the Norman armies pierced King Harold’s eye with an arrow, thus ending his life and bringing about the end of Anglo-Saxon rule in England.

Relieving Back Pain through Exercise and Alignment

Dr Paul McDonough MD pic
Dr Paul McDonough MD

As fellowship-trained spine surgeon, Paul W. McDonough, MD, treats a variety of conditions that cause back and neck pain through Orthopaedic Associates of Abilene. Dr. Paul McDonough upholds a commitment to helping his patients minimize their discomfort through healthy body mechanics.

Approximately 80 percent of people living in the United States will experience back pain at least once in their lives. Such pain may arise as a result of injury or simply from the stresses of daily living. In either case, good alignment habits can play a role in minimizing discomfort and promoting long-term back health. Individuals both with and without back pain should take care to stand or sit with the shoulders over the hips, as any curving forward or leaning back can affect spinal curvature.

Exercise also plays a key role in minimizing back pain, even for those with injuries. Experts recommend activities that are not overly strenuous, but that mobilize the spine without causing pain. Working on the core muscles can help to strengthen the torso and reduce pressure on the back, while increasing flexibility can serve to reduce tightness and balance the way the body carries weight.