Orthopedic News for Patients - Bone & Joint Pain

News for patients with orthopedic conditions & bone and joint pain.

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Sending an electrical current directly into spinal nerves does no more than strength and mobility exercises for low back pain, a new study finds. The procedure, called radiofrequency denervation, has become an increasingly popular way to try to ease pain arising from joints in the spine, the researchers noted. But "our findings do not support the added value of radiofrequency denervation to a standardized exercise program," said study author Esther Maas, who conducted the investigation while at Vrije University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. "Based on our results, a standardized exercise program alone has to be the first choice in the treatment of these patients," Maas said.

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WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with low back pain who are depressed are more likely to be prescribed opioids, and to be prescribed higher doses, a new study finds. Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States and the most common reason for opioid prescriptions, the researchers said. "There is strong evidence that depressed patients are at greater risk for misuse and overdose of opioids," said study senior author Dr. John Markman. He directs the University of Rochester Medical Center's Translational Pain Research Program, in New York.

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TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you're planning on having knee replacement surgery at some point in the future, it's a good idea to start talking to your doctor now about your options for controlling pain. That's because new research found that when people had taken powerful opioid painkillers before knee replacement surgery, they had greater pain after the procedure. Knee replacement is used to treat knee osteoarthritis. But patients spend an average of 13 years before surgery using non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, injections and painkillers, the study authors noted.

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MONDAY, June 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you suffer from chronic low back pain, yoga might bring you as much relief as physical therapy, a new trial shows. The less positive finding: Both therapies fell far short of helping everyone. People who did yoga or physical therapy reported less pain on average after 12 weeks -- an improvement that held up over a year. And some were able to cut out pain medication. Still, many failed to get meaningful relief, the researchers noted. Experts said the findings reflect the reality of chronic low back pain: No single treatment has proven widely effective.

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TUESDAY, May 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Knocking off some extra pounds might take a harmful load off your knees, researchers report. Obese and overweight people who lost 5 percent or more of their weight over four years saw less degeneration of their knee cartilage compared with people whose weight stayed stable. "Our study shows that a lifestyle intervention such as weight loss can slow the process of knee joint degeneration in patients at risk for and with osteoarthritis," said lead researcher Dr. Alexandra Gersing. "Therefore, it may slow the worsening of symptoms, such as pain and disability," said Gersing, who's with the University of California, San Francisco's department of radiology and biomedical imaging.

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FRIDAY, June 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients deciding whether to have a double knee replacement must carefully consider the pros and cons, an orthopedic surgeon says. "Many people want to have a double knee replacement because they feel they can get it over with faster since there's one surgery, one hospital stay and one course of rehabilitation," said Dr. Geoffrey Westrich. Called a "bilateral procedure," double knee replacement enables people with severely arthritic knees to get back to their normal lives faster, "and for the right patient, it's a good option," said Westrich.

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WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- One reason women are more likely than men to have complications after hip or knee replacement surgery may be because they're more sensitive to the metals in joint implants, a new study suggests. Researchers reviewed the cases of more than 2,600 patients who were evaluated for unexplained pain after total hip and/or knee replacement. All had metal implants. None had signs of infection, inflammation or other conditions that would explain their pain. Sixty percent of the patients were women. They had higher average pain scores than men -- 6.8 vs.

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TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Fiber helps lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels and keep the bowels running smoothly, but a new study suggests it can also reduce knee pain from arthritis. Researchers found that people who ate the most fiber reported reduced osteoarthritis knee pain by up to 60 percent. However, X-rays did not show any difference in their knees compared to those who consumed less fiber. A second study looked at the effects of the dietary supplement chondroitin on knee pain. That study -- sponsored by a maker of the supplements -- found that taking chondroitin daily was linked to less knee pain and improved function.

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TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Proponents of mindfulness-based stress reduction claim it can improve relationships, mental health, weight and more. But, one complaint it's unlikely to fix is lower back pain, researchers now say. Lower back pain doesn't respond to the programs, which embrace meditation, heightened self-awareness and exercise, according to a review of seven prior studies. Although short-term improvements were reported, "no clinical significance" was found in terms of overall pain or disability when mindfulness was compared to standard treatment, said study lead author Dennis Anheyer. Anheyer is a psychology research fellow in the faculty of medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

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