Thursday, 21 of September of 2017

Tag » arthritis

Do Your Knees Ache? Here’’s What You Need To Know

 

 

shutterstock_137018378If your knee pain makes you limp when you walk or you dread going up and down stairs, you might be one of the millions of people with osteoarthritic knees. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation says the knee is one of the most common spots for osteoarthritis to develop. But you don’t have to let knee pain limit your enjoyment of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “many people with OA are not being proactive because of the misconception that arthritis is an inevitable part of aging and that the aches and pains are simply something you must learn to live with.

Here are 4 things you need to know about this chronic condition:

1. What is osteoarthritis? It’s a medical condition that damages the cartilage, bones, fluid and lining of the joint. Cartilage covers the ends of the bones in the knee joint. Without this protective cushion, the bones can rub against each other, causing friction and pain. Over time, fragments of bone or cartilage may break lose and float around. Spurs may develop on the end of the bones and the joint lining may become inflamed. All of this leads to swelling, tenderness, stiffness and pain.

2. What causes it? According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis is no longer thought of as simply a “mechanical process” where the joint wears out due to age. Instead, the current view is that osteoarthritis has multiple risk factors, including a predisposition based on family history; being overweight, which can put pressure on the knee joint; traumatic injury or accident; chronic overuse and stress to the joint.

3. Is there a cure? At the present time, there isn’t a cure for osteoarthritis, but there are number of treatment options, both surgical and nonsurgical. Exercise, over the counter medications and topical creams can help early stage disease. Injections and prescription drugs may help more advance conditions. But chronic pain and disability is best relieved through joint replacement surgery.

4. How is it diagnosed? The doctor will conduct a physical exam, which includes inspecting your knee for swelling, warmth or tenderness, and evaluating how far you can extend your leg without discomfort. X-rays can identify a narrowing of spaces in the joint and other evidence of joint disease. It can also rule out other conditions, such as bone fracture. If needed, more advanced imaging techniques, such as CT scan, ultrasound or MRI may be considered.

If OA knee pain is affecting you quality of life, call us today at 239-036-6778 to schedule a consultation. For more general information on osteoarthritis, go to www.kaganortho.com.


Keep Seniors Safe By Preventing Falls

 

 

As an orthopedic specialist, I am concerned about the prevalence of falls among seniors. Falls are a leading cause of injury and disability for people age 65 and older. Seniors are especially at risk for fracturing their hip, as well as pelvis, shoulder, arm or spine. If the injury is serious enough, surgery may be required, which could require a lengthy recovery time and sometimes, loss of independence.

What causes such a high rate of falls among seniors? Medical factors such as arthritis, osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat and fluctuating blood pressure, as well as dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, vision and hearing loss and urinary dysfunction are often to blame.

But lack of exercise from a sedentary lifestyle is also a factor. Weak muscles, loss of balance and poor condition all contribute to the risk for falling. The key is to stay physically active with regular exercise you enjoy.

Other concerns include side effects from medications, such as dizziness and lethargy. Ask your doctor to periodically review all medications you may be taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies.

It’s also a good to look around your home and see if there are potential hazards that can be easily corrected. Here are several tips from the Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition’s Step Wise Lee program to make your home safer.

  • Get rid of small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs stationary and eliminate the chance of slipping on them.
  • Clear all papers, books, clothes and shoes from hallways and stairs.
  • Fix all loose or uneven floors, particularly tile so you don’t trip.
  • Rearrange furniture so you have a clear pathway through halls and rooms.
  • Improve the lighting with brighter wattage light bulbs. Put night-lights in every room.
  • Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower. Use non-slip bath mats in the tub or shower
  • Rearrange cabinets so items you use frequently are easy to reach, eliminating the need to use a step stool or chair.
  • Organize lamp, telephone and computer cords and other electrical wires so you don’t have to step over or around them.
  • Wear shoes in the house and outside – avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
  • If your home is more than one level, be sure to have handrails or banisters on all staircases.
  • Consider an alarm device that will call for help if you fall and can’t get up.

Dr. John Kagan has been treating orthopedic-related injuries for more than 30 years. For more information or to schedule a consultation, go to www.kaganortho.com or call 239-936-6778.


Arthritis of the Hand, Wrist & Fingers

 

 

 

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Think of the demands we place on our hands, wrist and fingers nearly every waking moment. From grasping, pulling, twisting, turning and bending to texting and typing, our hands are constantly busy. Over the next few weeks, we’ll talk about medical conditions like osteoarthritis, ganglion cysts and trigger finger and how they can affect our hands and interfere with quality of life. Today’s blog will be about osteoarthritis: causes, symptoms and how to live with it.

The joints in the hand, wrist and fingers, just like the knees, hips and shoulders, can be damaged by osteoarthritis. The  loss of cushioning cartilage creates pain, stiffness and swelling, making it hard to bend the fingers or turn the wrist. Did you know that swelling results from the body’s attempt to make up for the loss of cartilage by producing extra fluid in the joint lining? However, the swelling stretches the joint covering, which is uncomfortable. The swelling may also make the joint hot to the touch.

What causes all of this to happen? Age can definitely be a factor, but so can heavy usage and an injury like a fracture. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that an injured joint is seven times more likely to become arthritic, even if the injury is properly treated.

Treatment

The main goal of treatment is to relieve pain and swelling. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol and Advil and prescription drugs such as Celebrex can be helpful. So can the use of finger or wrist splints; application of hot or cold, topical creams, special therapeutic exercises and steroid injections.

Surgical treatment is less common for hand, wrist and finger osteoarthritis. However, the AAOS reports that the development of tiny instruments make arthroscopy of the small joints of the hand and wrist now possible. In addition, some orthopedic surgeons specializing in hand surgery are performing joint fusion or joint replacement of the wrist and finger knuckles.

The first step in diagnosing osteoarthritis of the hand is to schedule a consultation for a physical exam and X-rays. For more information, go to www.kaganortho.com or call 239-936-6778.


What Is MIS Joint Replacement?

The trend toward bigger is better may apply in some areas of popular culture, but definitely not in the field of medicine, especially for joint replacement surgery.

MIS joint replacement is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which the surgical incision used to open the body is very tiny, just 2.5- to 3.5 inches. In contrast, traditional joint replacement surgery calls for a much larger incision – typically 12- to 14-inches.

But here’s the interesting twist. Whether the surgeon uses traditional surgery or a minimally invasive technique, the device used to replace the arthritic hip, knee or shoulder is always a full-size, traditional plastic or metal implant.

How is that possible? Technology.

Standard operating procedure calls for the surgeon to make a large incision and then retract the tissue, giving him a large surgical field in which to operate and insert the new artificial implant.

The new MIS technique uses a completely different approach. First, miniature specialized surgical instruments have been developed that are small enough to inset through a tiny incision.

Then, to overcome the restriction of a dramatically reduced surgical field, the specialized surgical instruments are equipped with a light source and video capability. Video images of the interior structure are sent in real-time to a monitor, giving the surgeon highly magnified 3D images of the operating field.

Performing minimally invasive surgery not only requires the right surgical instruments, it also takes training and certification to learn the surgical skills and manual dexterity required to become proficient in minimally invasive techniques.

In addition, the surgeon has to have a successful practice and track record that allows him to consistently perform the technique to keep his skills up to date and his surgical outcomes good.

Not everyone is a good candidate for MIS joint replacement. But the advantages of this new advance are extensive. The benefits include less blood loss, reduced trauma to the body, fewer days of hospitalization and faster overall recovery. Minimally invasive techniques are definitely a positive trend for the future of orthopedic care.

Want to find out more about minimally invasive techniques to treat joint pain? Go to www.kaganortho.com/learn-more. If you have chronic osteoarthritis that doesn’t respond to nonsurgical treatment, ask your doctor if you a good candidate for MIS joint replacement.

The trend toward bigger is better may apply in some areas of popular culture, but definitely not in the field of medicine, especially for joint replacement surgery.

MIS joint replacement is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which the surgical incision used to open the body is very tiny, just 2.5- to 3.5 inches. In contrast, traditional joint replacement surgery calls for a much larger incision – typically 12- to 14-inches.

But here’s the interesting twist. Whether the surgeon uses traditional surgery or a minimally invasive technique, the device used to replace the arthritic hip, knee or shoulder is always a full-size, traditional plastic or metal implant.

How is that possible? Technology.

Standard operating procedure calls for the surgeon to make a large incision and then retract the tissue, giving him a large surgical field in which to operate and insert the new artificial implant.

The new MIS technique uses a completely different approach. First, miniature specialized surgical instruments have been developed that are small enough to inset through a tiny incision.

Then, to overcome the restriction of a dramatically reduced surgical field, the specialized surgical instruments are equipped with a light source and video capability. Video images of the interior structure are sent in real-time to a monitor, giving the surgeon highly magnified 3D images of the operating field.

Performing minimally invasive surgery not only requires the right surgical instruments, it also takes training and certification to learn the surgical skills and manual dexterity required to become proficient in minimally invasive techniques.

In addition, the surgeon has to have a successful practice and track record that allows him to consistently perform the technique to keep his skills up to date and his surgical outcomes good.

Not everyone is a good candidate for MIS joint replacement. But the advantages of this new advance are extensive. The benefits include less blood loss, reduced trauma to the body, fewer days of hospitalization and faster overall recovery. Minimally invasive techniques are definitely a positive trend for the future of orthopedic care.

Want to find out more about minimally invasive techniques to treat joint pain? Go to www.kaganortho.com/learn-more. If you have chronic osteoarthritis that doesn’t respond to nonsurgical treatment, ask your doctor if you a good candidate for MIS joint replacement.

 


Frequently Asked Questions About Arthritis

What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the joints, the areas in the body that make it possible for us to move, bend, twist and turn. Over time arthritis can lead to deterioration of the cartilage, bone and connective tissue of the joint. Cartilage is a vital component of a joint. This tough fibrous tissue covers and cushions the bones, preventing them from rubbing against each other.

What’s the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is sometimes called the “wear and tear” disease because it is a degeneration condition that causes the joint to break down and the cartilage to wear away. While there is no way to reverse the loss of cartilage, orthopedic surgeons can relieve pain and prevent disability with a range of surgical and nonsurgical options.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s white blood cells mistakenly attack the lining of a joint, causing inflammation and pain. RA usually is found first in the hands, fingers and feet. A rheumatoid specialist usually treats this type of arthritis.

How common is arthritis?
Some estimates show that arthritis may affect more than 46 million adults in the U.S. It is the leading cause of disability. According to the Arthritis Foundation, evidence of arthritis has been found from as early as 8,000 B.C. and has even been identified in dinosaur bones. Osteoarthritis is more common than rheumatoid arthritis.

What causes osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis can result from injury to the joint related to a work or car accident, from repetitive stress on the joint caused by sports activities or certain occupations, or it can simply be a function of age. It is more common in older people than younger people.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Typical symptoms include stiffness, swelling or tenderness in a joint, as well as limited range of motion and loss of flexibility. Some people may experience a crunching sensation or sound because the loss of cartilage causes the bones to rub together, creating pain.

 For more information about osteoarthritis and treatments to relieve pain and disability, go to www.kaganortho.com or call 239-936-6778.


Don’t Let Hands Crippled By Arthritis Get You Down

Swollen, stiff, enlarged and deformed joints of the fingers and the base of the thumb are obvious signs of osteoarthritis, a painful condition that affects millions of men and women in the U.S. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) estimates that one in five people have at least one joint affected by arthritis.

What exactly is arthritis?

It is a degenerative disease that causes a gradual wearing away of cartilage – the strong, fibrous tissue that acts as a cushion between bones. Less cushion means the bones can rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation. The inflamed joint swells, which stretches the capsule that covers it, leading to further pain, stiffness and difficulty moving the fingers. Cysts can also develop at the joints.

Who’s at risk for arthritis of the hands, fingers or wrist?

Although people of any age can be affected, younger individuals are more apt to develop osteoarthritis due to a traumatic injury or genetic bone condition. In older adults, it is directly related to wear and tear from age. Other risk factors include a job or sports activity that requires long-term repetitive movements that stress the joint.

What are your treatment options?

Nonsurgical treatments include anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medication, injections with corticosteroids, wearing a splint or brace, topical creams, heat treatments and physical therapy.

When pain, deformity and loss of movement become too great, surgical treatment may help. The joints can be fused together to relieve pain and correct deformities. Joint reconstruction removes the damaged joint surface and replaces it with an implant.

For more information about arthritis and treatment options, go to www.kaganortho.com.


Good News for Bursitis Sufferers

While the warm weather may beckon you outside, activities such as gardening or exercise may cause swollen and aching joints, which should not be ignored. A common cause of painful hips, knees, heels and elbows, bursitis results from inflamed or infected fluid-filled sacs or bursae that surround the joints. Prompt medical attention by an orthopaedic doctor can help you get to the source of the pain and treatment options to help alleviate it. Since bursitis symptoms resemble other joint problems such as arthritis or ligament injuries, a thorough evaluation by a trained orthopaedic surgeon is the best option. If bursitis is diagnosed, your physician can determine whether infection is involved and prevent it from spreading.

Typical symptoms of bursitis include:

  • Pain with or without joint movement
  • Swelling of the area surrounding the joint
  • Redness of the skin near the joint
  • Warmth of the area near the joint
  • Pain or tenderness when the bursa is touched

All types of bursitis often can be successfully managed non-surgically, and possible treatments include:

  • Use of ice packs or compressive dressings
  • Activity modification that may reduce stress or irritation
  • Administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or antibiotics
  • Corticosteroid injections (knee and elbow)
  • Stretching exercises
  • Change of footwear (heel).

Surgery may be required in patients whose symptoms remain following these treatments and in certain situations when infection is involved. An accurate diagnosis is important to determine the best treatment options to help the patient resolve pain and other symptoms and regain mobility and quality of life.

If you are suffering with joint pain, contact Dr. Kagan at 239-936-6778. Visit http://www.KaganOrtho.com/learn-more/informational-web-sites-your-condition-treatment/ or http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-bursitis for more resources.



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