Bones & Joints

New Tools Ease Shoulder Repair

Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. Whenever possible, surgeons prefer to repair such torn tendons arthroscopically, using small incisions and even smaller instruments, so that they can reduce initial trauma and speed recovery. But, for a variety of reasons-the tear may be too big, the tendon too fragile, or the procedure too technically demanding-only about 10 percent of rotator cuff repairs are done arthroscopically. (The large majority are…
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Knee Osteonecrosis: When Bone Death Knocks On Your Door

A diagnosis of knee osteonecrosis could understandably have you worried sick, for the term-literally meaning bone death-is ominous indeed. You may feel that youve been unfairly singled out to suffer a rare condition, that the disease is inevitably progressive, and that you are ultimately doomed. A Brighter View None of this is true. First, it is not a rare condition. It is estimated that thousands of Americans are diagnosed with osteonecrosis annually. Dr. Kenneth Marks-orthopaedic surgeon…
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Bracing For a Pain Fix?

Braces have come a long way since Joe Namath wore them to protect his ailing knees in the 1969 Super Bowl. Today, braces come in a bewildering array of shapes and sizes, from simple elastic sleeves you can buy at the drug store for a few dollars, to highly customized and multi-hinged designs costing thousands. …
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Knees: TLC For An Overworked Joint

Your knee is a mechanical wonder, enabling this largest of weight-bearing joints to roll, glide, and rotate. Unfortunately, its also the most used and abused of joints, too often injured by sudden trauma or long-term wear and tear. To help protect these most complex of joints from premature breakdown, you need to keep the supporting muscles and ligaments strong and flexible. Here are four exercises that will help. Some may not be appropriate if you…
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Drink To Your (Joint) Health

Theres water, water everywhere, and people with arthritis should drink a lot of it -at least two or three 8-ounce glasses daily. Although offering no nutritional value in itself, water transports essential nutrients throughout your body. It hydrates your cells, enabling them to carry out vitally necessary metabolic activity. And since water is the prime component of the synovial fluid filling the spaces in your joints as well as the cartilage that cushions your bones,…
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New Knees For Big Benders

Theres little doubt that total knee replacement (TKR) is the best remedy if you suffer from knee osteoarthritis-more than 300,000 TKRs are performed every year. They are low risk, eliminate pain, increase mobility in 90 percent of those who have the procedure, increase independence, and they last at least 20 years in 80 percent of users. Whats more, the procedure is commonly performed in people over the age of 75. …
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Increase Mobility, Brighten Your Outlook With Yoga

Yoga is far from being just for the young and flexible. Its actually one of the best forms of exercise for people with arthritis. Yoga lengthens muscles, reducing pain and dependence on medication, and also greatly decreases stress and depression. What makes yoga unique is that it takes every joint through its full range of motion, says Suza Francina, R.Y.T., director of the Ojai Yoga Center in Ojai, Calif. Other forms of exercise dont work…
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Ask Dr. Marks: 03/04

Ive started to feel a little unsteady on my feet, and have nearly fallen several times in the past month. What could be causing this? There are many causes for feeling unsteady. The two most common are musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. Joint stiffness and muscle weakness secondary to osteoarthritis can cause unsteadiness. When a hip or a knee lacks the range of motion necessary to make the moment-to-moment adjustments required in walking, the sensation is…
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Shoulder-Pain Rx: The Quest Goes On

Throughout history, physicians have sought ways to maintain this vulnerable mechanisms stability. Were not there yet.
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Traveling And Arthritis

How to make summer vacationing less taxing, more relaxing.
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Goodbye Gout

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night with your big toe throbbing fiercely-as if someone had poked it with a hot iron. Chances are you have gout. Acute gout attacks are unmistakable, says Dr. Brian Mandell, education program director of rheumatology and immunologic disease at The Cleveland Clinic. They are excruciating episodes usually involving a joint in the lower extremities and are characterized by redness, swelling, extreme pain, and skin sensitivity. …
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Arthritis Drugs: The Dark Side

A drugs side effects are predictable, common-and worrisome. Heres how you can get the most from your medications with the least amount of risk.
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