As we age, our bones become more and more fragile. Our bones have spent our entire lives supporting our bodily structure and have constantly regenerated. However, this process slows as we age. Older patients often struggle with bone conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, so it is important to take proactive measures that help to strengthen bones and decrease the chance of bone-related problems. In this blog, we will share some exercises that optimize your bone health.
Sometimes, it is hard to identify the source of concentrated pain – our mind usually jumps to the worst conclusion possible. Consulting an orthopedic specialist about the area at which you are experiencing pain is the first step, but it also helps to know the symptoms of common conditions to ease your mind. In this blog, we will discuss the similarities and differences between two shoulder conditions: a rotator cuff tear and bursitis.
Total joint replacement can be daunting. Especially as you get older, the procedure and recovery process feels more difficult, exhausting, and painful – and to some degree that is actually the case. These fears can prevent you from looking into important surgery that can save you from persistent pain that may have been impinging on your life for months – maybe years. That begs the question: “Am I too old for surgery?” People today are enjoying longer lives, but that doesn’t mean that their health and wellness obstacles are removed.
It’s proven that obesity and its related diseases have an adverse effect on outcomes in orthopedic surgical cases. Morbid obesity, defined as a BMI of 40 or more, is particularly worrisome. This is especially true for patients with type-2 diabetes, a disease most often caused by excess weight and obesity.
As a result, if pre-op testing comes back showing significant operative risk due to any number of obesity related diseases, most especially type-2 diabetes, patients may be placed on appropriate medications, but ultimately, losing weight prior to surgery is the best and healthiest option.
Arthritis is a degenerative disorder of the joints that can eventually lead to a great deal of pain and disability as it becomes more severe. Therefore, many patients who are experiencing arthritis shy away from exercise as, in the beginning, it can be somewhat, or very, painful.
However, exercise and arthritis relief actually go hand in hand. It has been proven that those with arthritis, who exercise on a regular basis, experience less disability, less pain and more energy. Those who exercise regularly may also improve other aspects of their lives including their cardiovascular health and metabolic disease. In fact, HHS estimates that about seven in 10 of the most common chronic diseases from which Americans suffer can be improved with proper physical activity. If the arthritis is degenerative – due to wear and tear, losing weight as a result of improved exercise programs, may slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
Despite how it seems, bones are living parts of our bodies that change and regenerate regularly. This amazing quality allows the body to heal exceptionally well after trauma, but our bodies have limitations. Whenever you experience a fracture, your surgeon has to determine whether there is enough healthy bone to allow the body to heal on its own. In some cases, especially with more significant fractures, pieces of bone may have to be removed to avoid or minimize the chances of complications or improper healing. Other conditions such as osteonecrosis, previous fractures, joint replacement and more may all need bone grafts as well.
Just about everyone has had diagnostic imaging for an injury or even for routine health check-ups such as a dentist’s visit. When we begin the diagnostic process for any injury or condition involving the skeleton, three of the most common diagnostic imaging modalities are x-ray, CT and MRI.
X-ray is a simple and fast diagnostic test that emits radioactive waves which penetrate the soft tissue of the body but cannot penetrate structures containing calcium like bone or teeth. Bony structures appear bright white on the film and can help us assess whether there is a significant fracture or other deformity in the bone that requires care. However, X-rays are not precise enough to show hairline fractures and they cannot help us diagnose soft-tissue injury.
For some of us, joint cracking is a part of daily life. When we bend over our backs may crack, when we twist, a knee may make a snapping noise and some of us even induce this cracking in our fingers or elsewhere. The cracking can be loud, even heard by others and can be quite jarring. But is it necessarily a bad thing? The short answer is no, it usually isn’t a sign of something wrong, but the answer goes a little deeper.
Typically, someone with advanced degeneration of the knee joint, who has not yet had a knee replacement, has lived with severe pain for quite some time. Some try to tough it out for months and others, even years. Typically, they wait because they are uncertain about the outcome of surgery and expected pain associated with a knee replacement.
To be sure, knee replacement is considered a major procedure and comes with risks inherent to a surgery of this magnitude. However, these risks are mitigated by employing an experienced orthopedic surgeon such as those at our practice. Further, total joint replacement technology and techniques have been honed and improved over the years. Today it has become a straightforward and routine procedure with fewer risks and considerations than ever before.
Getting injured is just a fact of life and knee injuries are no different. There are dozens of ways to injure your knee, through blunt traumas, twists and awkward movements. Even a seemingly innocuous movement can have significant consequences.
As kids, we often shake off these injuries. Our bodies are growing, bones are still relatively soft, and joints are able to withstand significant force. So, while we may get bruises or even fractures, they tend to heal quickly and often times completely with no long-term effects, even when surgery is necessary. However, as we get older, recovering from these injuries becomes more difficult and a complete recovery is not assured. Of course, there is also that time in our lives – usually in our 30s and 40s – where we believe we can still perform activities without consequences. It is during this time that many patients come in with significant injuries to various joints around the body, particularly the knee.