Orthopedic News for Patients - Bone & Joint Pain

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

Everyone knows someone with arthritis. It is a leading cause of disability, and causes pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, but is not a normal part of aging. The most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia. Arthritis costs at least $81 billion in direct medical costs annually. Many adults with arthritis are prescribed opioid medicines, yet other options for pain are safer. Physical activity can decrease pain and improve physical function by about 40% and may reduce healthcare costs. Still, 1 in 3 adults with arthritis are inactive. Adults with arthritis also can reduce their symptoms by participating in disease management education programs.

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TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Arthritis is expanding its grip on Americans, with 24 million adults limited in their everyday activities because of the debilitating joint disease, U.S. health officials say. Overall, 54 million adults -- or one in four -- report an arthritis diagnosis. And the number of people disabled by it has jumped 20 percent since 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. "Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines," CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in an agency news release.

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- As kids play sports like soccer and football with more frequency and force, many are damaging their knees, a new study finds. A common knee injury -- an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear -- has steadily increased among 6- to 18-year-olds in the United States, rising more than 2 percent a year over the last two decades, researchers report. These injuries peak in high school, said lead researcher Dr. Nicholas Beck. Girls have a higher rate of ACL injuries, added Beck, an orthopedic surgery resident at the University of Minnesota.

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TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Some U.S. hospitals might be charging private insurers twice as much for knee and hip replacements as the implants typically cost, new research suggests. It's not clear why the discrepancy exists, and an official with a national trade association of hospitals cautioned against drawing too many conclusions from a finding that only involved one insurer. Still, study co-author Dr. Kenneth Mandl said the results raise questions, especially regarding the fact that insurers aren't told how much the implants actually cost the hospitals. "Billions of dollars are at stake when the true cost of the devices are hidden," said Mandl, director of the Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children's Hospital.

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MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with low back pain should try drug-free remedies -- from simple heat wraps to physical therapy -- before resorting to medication, according to new treatment guidelines. Low back pain is among the most common reasons that Americans visit the doctor, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP), which released the new guidelines on Monday. The recommendations put more emphasis on nondrug therapies than previous ones have. They stress that powerful opioid painkillers -- such as OxyContin and Vicodin -- should be used only as a last resort in some cases of long-lasting back pain.

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MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For decades, emergency room staff often gave Valium to patients for an acute bout of bad lower back pain. But a new head-to-head trial in an ER environment casts doubt on the notion that Valium or potent painkillers can really help. As reported Feb. 22 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the trial found that Aleve (naproxen) and a "dummy" placebo pill were as effective as naproxen plus Valium (diazepam) in treating ER patients with acute lower back pain. "Our study contributes to the growing body of literature indicating that, in general, most medications do not improve acute lower back pain," lead researcher Dr.

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FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For people experiencing low back pain, the thought of exercise often seems daunting. But yoga may be a natural fit in the quest to relieve an aching back, a new review indicates. The findings come from an analysis of 12 studies that included more than 1,000 participants with lower back pain. The studies compared yoga to physical therapy or patient education. There was some evidence that yoga led to small improvements in pain, and small to moderate improvements in back function at three and six months. "We found that the practice of yoga was linked to pain relief and improvement in function," said review author L.

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MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Older people who suffer a hip fracture face a much higher risk of death soon after the injury, but the risk persists over the longer term, a large study indicates. Researchers found that the risk of death among people over 60 nearly tripled during the first year following a hip fracture. However, hip fractures were also still linked to a nearly twofold increased risk of dying eight years or more after the injury. The new findings are similar to those of previous studies on hip fracture, said study lead author Michail Katsoulis.

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THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Painkillers like aspirin, Aleve and Advil don't help most people with back pain, a new review finds. The researchers estimated that only one in six people gained a benefit from taking these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Meanwhile, previous research has suggested that another common painkiller, Tylenol (acetaminophen), isn't very useful either, the study authors added. The findings raise the prospect that no over-the-counter painkillers really ease back pain, at least in the short term, and some may raise the risk of gastrointestinal problems. "There are other effective and safer strategies to manage spinal pain," said review author Gustavo Machado.

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