Bones & Joints

Biceps Tendon Injury

There are two biceps tendons at the shoulder, called the long head and short head. "The long head of the tendon is deep in the shoulder, and it passes out of the shoulder joint into a little groove at the top of the humerus bone," explains Dr. Schickendantz. This lengthy pathway makes the long head of the biceps tendon more prone to injury than the short head.
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Download The Full August 2019 Issue PDF

Joint replacement surgery is often recommended when osteoarthritis seriously limits the ability to function and can no longer be effectively managed with nonsurgical methods, such as exercise, physical therapy, pain medications and injections.
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Ask The Doctors: August 2019

You should talk to your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. If you know you have osteoporosis, be sure you are getting sufficient calcium (1,200 mg a day for women over age 50 and men over age 70 and 1,000 mg a day for men ages 51 to 70) and vitamin D (600 international units [IU] per day up to age 70 and 800 IU per day after age 70). A medication for low bone mass may be needed. Preventing osteoporosis from getting worse will help prevent further compression fractures. If you don't know whether you have osteoporosis and you haven't had a bone density test, see your doctor about getting one.
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Who Treats Arthritis?

If the doctor suspects there might be some other cause of joint problems besides osteoarthritis, a rheumatologist will be consulted. If symptoms of osteoarthritis don't improve or get worse, your doctor may send you to an orthopaedist or a rheumatologist for more intense medical management or an orthopaedic surgeon for surgery.
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Brace Yourself Against Knee Osteoarthritis

"The goal with orthotics is to make sure your foot is moving in the best way it can so your knee isn't getting more force than it should," says Lorring. There are a wide variety of shoe inserts and heel wedges that you can buy in a drug store or online. You can also get them custom made or save some money and get semi-custom ones. Like with shoes, you need to get inserts and wedges that are specific to your needs.
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In The News: August 2019

An estimated 54.4 million adults in the United States have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC analyzed data from the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is a telephone survey that included over 400,000 Americans. The study, published in MMWR (May 2019), found that about 23% of adults ages 18 and older have arthritis, with variation across the country, ranging from 15.7% in Washington, D.C. to 34.6% in West Virginia. Prevalence was generally highest in the Appalachian and Lower Mississippi Valley regions. Among adults with arthritis, about 31% reported severe joint pain and 34% said they were not physically active. People with severe joint pain were more likely to be physically inactive than those with moderate or no joint pain.
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Robot-Assisted Joint Replacement

With robot-assisted joint replacement surgery, the surgeon can accommodate for each person's unique anatomy. "During knee replacement surgery, we place markers in the thigh bone and the shin bone and then we map out the ends of the bones," says Dr. Molloy. The computer detects the markers and overlays a map of the knee joint over a computed tomography (CT) image that was taken before the surgery. The surgeon can then very accurately position the components of the implant.
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In The News: July 2019

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug romosozumab (Evenity) for osteoporosis in April 2019. Evenity joins two other anabolic agents (teriparatide [Forteo] and abaloparatide [Tymlos]), which treat the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis by stimulating bone formation. Evenity has a new mechanism of action. In head-to-head studies, Evenity increased bone mass more than Forteo. The anabolics differ from other osteoporosis drugs, which work by preventing bone from breaking down. (Bone undergoes a natural cycle of breaking down and building back up.) In one of the studies that led to the approval of Evenity, the drug lowered the risk for a spine fracture by 73 percent compared with placebo after one year. Evenity is approved for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for a bone fracture. Evenity is given as a monthly injection for 12 months by a healthcare provider in a doctor's office.
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Guide to Ankle Sprains

One reason to see a doctor if the symptoms of an ankle sprain persist is the possibility that something else is wrong. For example, the cartilage (the cushioning material covering the ends of bones in joints) in the ankle may be injured. "You can knock off a piece of cartilage when you have a sprain," says Dr. Berkowitz.
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Helping Hands

Protecting joints is important to prevent injury and further harm. You want to reduce stress on the joints during daily activities to help relieve pain and inflammation while preserving the integrity of the joint, says Fetzer. She recommends the following:
- Respect pain. Dont work through the pain.
- Take frequent rest breaks. Balance rest with activity to let your body recover and rejuvenate.
- Organize your day. Spread out activities that might be difficult.
- Avoid painful positions, such as tight gripping or pinching.
- Use adaptive devices (see box).
- Use stronger joints for carrying objects.
- Carry objects with both hands, palms up.
- Instead of texting someone, callthem.
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Keep Your Garden Green and Your Joints Pain-Free

Spending time in the garden is a great way to interact with nature. It can bring great satisfaction, but it can also be hard work. If gardening has become too difficult because of the aches and pains of arthritis or other musculoskeletal problems, you may think you have to abandon it. With a few modifications and adaptations you shouldn't have to.
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Relief for Sciatica

The sciatic nerve, the largest and longest nerve in the body, originates in the low back. It goes through the buttocks, down the back of the thigh, and continues down to the foot. Sciatica is a group of symptoms (such as shooting pain, numbness and tingling) that occur when this nerve is compressed or irritated.
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