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The latest orthopaedic news from Medical News Today and local news publishers.

Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI), which has performed the most joint replacements in California for five consecutive years, released its 2017 Outcomes Report, an annual publication which provides detailed information about the previous year’s surgical volumes, care quality metrics, infection and readmission rates, and patient satisfaction scores along with other key statistics.  

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A team of researchers repaired a hole in a mouse's skull by regrowing "quality bone," a breakthrough that could drastically improve the care of people who suffer severe trauma to the skull or face. The work by a joint team of Northwestern University and University of Chicago researchers was a resounding success, showing that a potent combination of technologies was able to regenerate the skull bone with supporting blood vessels in just the discrete area needed without developing scar tissue - and more rapidly than with previous methods. "The results are very exciting," said Guillermo Ameer, professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, and professor of surgery at Feinberg School of Medicine.

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A hormone secreted by bone cells can suppress appetite, according to mouse studies conducted by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers. The hormone - called lipocalin 2 - turns on neurons in the brain that have been previously linked to appetite suppression. The findings reveal a previously unknown mechanism for regulating the body's energy balance and could lead to new targeted therapies for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disorders. The study was published online in the journal Nature. "In recent years, studies at CUMC and elsewhere have shown that bone is an endocrine organ and produces hormones that affect brain development, glucose balance, kidney function, and male fertility," says study leader Stavroula Kousteni, PhD, associate professor of physiology and cellular biophysics (in medicine) at CUMC.

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In a recent study, older individuals who had fallen and broken a hip used antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications more frequently than the general older population. The analysis measured drug levels in individuals' blood samples, which provided investigators with a more precise measure than asking participants if they took the medications or examining their medical records. Indeed, the drugs were often present in these samples despite no information in patients' medical records. "We were surprised to find that so many patients had centrally-acting drugs in their blood without doctors being aware of this use.

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After playing Pokémon Go, people were twice as likely to reach the 10,000-steps-per-day goal. People with low activity levels or those who were overweight or obese before playing Pokémon Go appeared to benefit most from the game. Playing the popular smartphone game Pokémon Go may increase people's daily steps, especially among young adults with low physical activity levels or those who are overweight or obese, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions. In Pokémon Go, a location-based augmented reality game, players move around a physical location capturing animated creatures on smartphones and other mobile devices.

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It is common knowledge that exercise imparts a smorgasbord of health benefits. What is not yet understood is how physical activity manages to reduce aging on a cellular level. New research into mitochondria lifts the lid on the processes involved.New research helps understand how exercise might prevent cellular aging. Regular exercise has been shown to boost the immune system, heighten cognitive abilities, improve sleep, increase lifespan, and maintain muscle tone. Its benefits are proven; the research is conclusive. However, the mechanisms that lie beneath exercise's positive effects remain in the shadows. How do physical activities translate into rebuilding organelles that degrade as we age? Which activities are best?

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Two weeks of voluntary wheel running induces higher expression of irisin - a fat-burning hormone that is released during exercise - in bone tissue in mice. In addition, systemic administration of irisin increased bone formation and thickness, mimicking the effects of exercise on the mouse skeletal system. The findings demonstrate a potential new mechanism for the regulation of bone metabolism. The study was led by scientists from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) and published in Bone Research. "Our results provide insight into the complex regulatory interplay of muscle, bone and fat tissues. Increased irisin levels in circulation upon systemic administration can recapitulate part of the beneficial effects of exercise in the skeletal system," said senior study author Jake Chen, D.M.D.

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Researchers at King's College London have begun to uncover the cellular and molecular drivers underlying a key anatomical change during the evolution of mammals. Non-mammals such as reptiles and birds have one tiny bone making up their middle ear, where we mammals have a chain of three. The extra bones are a repurposing of the non-mammal jaw joint, allowed by the evolution of a new mammalian jaw joint, known as the TMJ. This transition can be followed in the fossil record, and is reflected during embryonic development where the new parts of the middle ear develop connected to the jaw, with the ear and jaw separating when the TMJ is fully formed.

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Cauliflower ear, also known as perichondrial hematoma, is a swelling of the ear caused by a blood clot. This blood clot causes tissue damage that leads to a lumpy appearance that is said to resemble a cauliflower. Typically, those at risk can prevent the sorts of injuries that lead to this condition by wearing protective headgear. The ear is particularly vulnerable to this sort of injury because it protrudes from the head. The blood supply to the cartilage that supports the ear and keeps its shape is provided by the overlying skin.

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Researchers at the University of Granada warn that 23 percent of the girls carry in their backpack or trolley a load over 20 percent of their body weight, well above what is recommended Researchers at the University of Granada (UGR) belonging to the Joint University Institute for Sports and Health (Instituto Mixto Universitario Deporte y Salud, iMUDS), have scientifically proven that trolleys are more beneficial than backpacks for children's gait, and it does less damage to their backs. The research involved a total of 78 schoolchildren aged 6 to 12, 43 girls and 35 boys, belonging to public schools in Granada.

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