Viewpoints

Latest views, polls and opinions on orthopaedic and musculoskeletal health topics from members of the Orthogate Community.

Many people suffer from an almost unbearable pain in one or both of their heels at some point. The most common culprit is known as plantar fasciitis, and in reality, it is much more common than many people realize. This particular ligament located on the bottom of the feet is the real culprit behind the pain that millions of people each and every day suffer from.

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Osteoporosis is commonly associated with women, and indeed, this bone loss condition does affect some 200 million women around the world every year. But almost 40 percent of these victims are men, and male osteoporosis diagnosis are expected to climb a stunning 310 percent by 2050. So, over the next several decades, bone health among all their patients over 60 will become an increasingly large priority for most orthopedic professionals. There are a number of ways to enhance bone health for this age group, and nearly all of them simply involve educating the patient as to their availability and empowering the patient to take advantage of these chances.  

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When an injury or other condition places internal pressure on the sciatic nerve, a large nerve which runs from the lower back down the back of each leg, it can result in tingling, weakness, numbness, discomfort, and even pain. Some patients may actually incur damage to the nerve itself, not just pressure, either from an injury like a pelvic fracture or slipped disk, or a foreign body like the growth of a tumor.  

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Are patients taking their prescription medicines just as the doctor ordered? Turns out, chances are high they are not. A 2011 report in Mayo Clinic Proceedings estimated that a shocking 50% of patients with chronic illness don’t take their medicines as prescribed. Long-term pharmacotherapy plays a significant role in helping combat disease, reduce health resource consumption, and lower hospitalization and mortality risk, however, the benefits of this type of medical intervention are largely missed due to poor medicine adherence.  

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Treating a patient for a foot or leg injury? Being unable to bear weight due to a sprained or broken ankle, foot injury, knee or lower leg issue, or because a patient is recovering from surgery, often requires a prescription for crutches from the doctor. An estimated 7+ million people use crutches every year for short and longer term mobility issues, making them one of, if not the most, prescribed orthotic aid. Rates of crutch injuries aren’t well quantified, but a 2014 systematic literature review revealed that over 70% of crutch complications develop from the use of axillary crutches.

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Many practitioners immediately associate back pain, particularly in the lumbar spine area, with muscle injuries due to overexertion. A brief patient interview regarding physical activity usually confirms this diagnosis, as almost everyone is guilty of overexertion, whether it be a sudden spike in activity or consistent, though lower-intensity, overuse over a long period of time.

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Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control illumines an alarming rate of hip fractures in the U.S. An estimated 300,000 adults over 65 experience a hip fracture each year, with over 95% of those being caused by a fall. Women are 3 to 4x as likely as men to experience a hip fracture in part because they have greater rates of osteoporosis and are more likely to fall. Hip fractures create a grave and potentially devastating situation for older adults. Not only is overall physical health and mobility negatively affected by a hip fracture, but risk of infection, cognitive decline, social isolation, and financial burden become mounting challenges as well. In many cases, hip fractures are the beginning domino to fall in a series of events that leads to death.

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From treating patients in a primary health centre in the remote village in Pune,India where the nearest road was 12 kms away with no proper water or electricity to one of the biggest Hospital Chains in Germany. The experience has been so stimulating.  I am willing to share my experience with you...know from the eyes of a doctor, how life looks at both the extremes.

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The face of medicine is changing. However, surgical subspecialties are a little slower to catch up. Orthopaedic surgery has one of the lowest percentages of females within a medical specialty in the United States. It is both rewarding and frustrating at the same time, but I love what I do!

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All pharma companies that produce and sell drugs and medical devices recently became required by law to disclose the amount of money they pay to doctors and teaching hospitals for promotional talks, research and consulting. This infogrpahic takes a closer look at the numbers and dollars, the main players and the impact this industry has on our health and our wallets.

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