Orthopedic News for Patients - Bone & Joint Pain

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

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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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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WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hip or knee replacement patients who smoke are at increased risk for infections requiring repeat surgery, researchers report. They analyzed data from more than 15,000 patients who underwent either total hip or knee replacements between 2000 and 2014. The investigators found that the overall risk of repeat surgery for infections within 90 days was only 0.71 percent. However, the risk was 1.2 percent for current smokers, compared with 0.56 percent for nonsmokers. After adjusting for other factors, the researchers concluded that current smokers' risk was 80 percent higher than nonsmokers and former smokers.

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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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TUESDAY, March 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Knee replacement surgery isn't always a game changer, according to a new study that raises questions about the increasingly common procedure. The patients who benefit most have severe osteoarthritis. But for people with milder symptoms, the expense might not be justified, researchers determined. "This study suggests we should reconsider doing this procedure on people who have more mild pain, and less severe knee arthritis and loss of function," said Daniel Riddle. He's a professor of physical therapy and orthopaedic surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University. Some in the medical community wonder if the procedure is overused, said Riddle, who wasn't involved in the study.

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FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic low back pain can be a challenge to treat, but new research suggests that massage therapy may provide some relief. "Current medical guidelines actually recommend massage therapy prior to the use of opioid medications for lower back pain," explained William Elder, the study's principle investigator. "Yet even with those guidelines, physicians and nurse practitioners are not recommending massage therapy," said Elder. He's with the University of Kentucky's departments of family and community medicine and clinical services. Low back pain is a common problem, and for most people, it's short-lived.

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FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Weight doesn't seem to affect whether a common type of knee surgery will be successful, a new study shows. About 15 percent of meniscal repair surgeries fail, researchers said. It's been widely believed that patients with a higher body mass index (BMI) are at increased risk for failure because more weight puts more pressure on the knee. BMI is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight. But this study of 410 patients who had meniscal repair surgery found no significant differences in failure rates between those with a normal BMI of less than 25 (considered normal weight) and those with a BMI of between 25 and 35 (up to 29.9 is overweight, and above 30 is obese).

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TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Chiropractors can help ease some cases of low back pain, though their treatments may be no better than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, a new analysis finds. The review of 26 clinical trials found that manipulating the spine can bring "modest" relief to people with acute low back pain -- pain that has lasted no more than six weeks. Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation, as do some doctors, physical therapists and other health professionals. Most insurers, Medicare and Medicaid pay for some chiropractic services, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

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MONDAY, March 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic lower back pain affects millions of Americans. Many try steroid injections to ease their discomfort, but researchers now say this remedy provides only short-term relief. In their study, investigators from France focused on 135 patients with back pain seemingly caused by inflammation between the discs and bones (vertebrae) in the lower spine. The researchers found that a single steroid injection eased pain for one month. After that, however, effectiveness waned. Virtually no difference was seen one year after treatment between patients who did or didn't get the injection.

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