Orthopedic News for Patients - Bone & Joint Pain

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

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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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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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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THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who go straight home from the hospital following hip or knee replacement surgery recover as well as, or better than, those who first go to a rehabilitation center, new research indicates. And that includes those who live alone without family or friends, one of three studies shows. "We can say with confidence that recovering independently at home does not put patients at increased risk for complications or hardship, and the vast majority of patients were satisfied," said that study's co-author, Dr. William Hozack. He is an orthopaedic surgery professor with the Rothman Institute at the Thomas Jefferson University Medical School in Philadelphia.

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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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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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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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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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