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Pumpkin – a Halloween treat good for your joints


Did you know that pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snakebites? False claims aside, pumpkins are good for you! They are low in calories, fat and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein and iron. And protein and iron are good for your bones! Iron helps certain enzymes and local regulators function properly so that we can form the optimal bone matrix or structure for bone strength. Proteins are our bodies' building blocks. We use protein to build tissue during growth and to repair and replace tissue throughout life. We also need protein to help heal fractures and to make sure our immune system is functioning properly. Getting Read More...

What’s so scary about joint replacement surgery?


Just as there are risks involved with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with joint replacement surgery. Most surgeries go well, without any complications. But you should know - infection and blood clots are two serious complications that concern us greatly. To avoid these complications, we use antibiotics and blood thinners respectively. We also take special precautions in the operating room to reduce risk of infections. One of the best ways to reduce your risks is to choose an experienced surgeon! Over the past 25+ years, Dr. Zehr has performed more than 5,000 complex joint revision surgeries. The Zehr Center team has developed educational materials to guide you every step along the way Read More...

Understanding knee osteoarthritis


Sometimes referred to as wear and tear arthritis, osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a common problem for many people. It affects the articular cartilage, which is the smooth lining that covers the ends of the leg bones where they meet to form the knee joint. Articular cartilage decreases friction in the knee joint. Beneath the cartilage is a layer of bone. When the articular cartilage wears away, the bone below is uncovered and rubs against bone. Small outgrowths may form in the joint. These are commonly called bone spurs. Years of repeated strain on the knee can cause knee osteoarthritis. Abnormal movement and alignment of the knee caused by ligament tears, meniscal injuries or fractures of the joint Read More...

Surgical treatment for ACL injuries


The main goal of surgery for an ACL injury is to keep the tibia from moving too far forward under the femur bone and to get the knee functioning normally again. To reduce scarring inside the joint and to speed your recovery, most surgeons will prescribe several sessions of physical therapy before the surgery. This will also reduce swelling and ensure you can straighten the knee completely. ACL injuries are not generally repaired using sutures to sew the original tendon back into place because repaired tendons have generally been shown to fail over time. Therefore the torn ACL is replaced by a substitute graft made of tendon in ACL reconstruction. Patients treated with surgical reconstruction of the ACL have Read More...

Avoiding complications from hip fracture surgery


There are risks associated with surgery of any kind, and surgery for a hip fracture is no different. Regardless of whether you have had a simple pinning procedure or a total hip replacement, you and your surgeon need to watch for complications. The more common complications actually result from being immobilized after surgery, not the surgery itself, so the sooner you are up and walking around, the better. Anesthesia Problems with anesthesia can be reactions to the drugs used, problems related to other medical complications, and problems due to the anesthesia. Some patients simply do not tolerate the process of anesthesia well. If you have concerns about the anesthesia that will be required for your Read More...

Non-surgical treatment for ACL injuries


The focus of nonsurgical treatment for a torn ACL or other ACL injury is on decreasing the pain and swelling in your knee, beginning with rest and mild over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol. Your knee joint may need to be drained, in order to remove any blood in the joint. You will most likely be instructed to put a normal amount of weight on the injured leg while walking, and may need to use crutches until you can walk without a limp. The nonsurgical treatment of your ACL injury may continue with physical therapy. Therapists use ice, electrical stimulation, and rest periods with your leg supported in elevation to treat swelling and pain. To help you regain normal movement of your joints Read More...

Understanding osteoarthritis


Arthritis includes more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, but the most common is osteoarthritis, affecting more than 75% of people over the age of 55. "Osteoarthritis is a huge public health problem that's going to grow considerably in the next 20 years," predicts rheumatologist Patience White, a spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation. Almost 54 million Americans say they have been diagnosed with arthritis. By 2030, the number is expected to grow to 67 million. Obesity, lack of physical activity, injuries, and the aging population are all factors contributing to this unprecedented growth. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition characterized by a breakdown of articular cartilage in the Read More...

Even loose-jointed yoga instructor has hip pain


I am a yoga instructor with a very painful hip. I can't figure it out because my joints are very loose. But every time I flex my hip past 90-degrees or try to cross my legs, I get a very sharp pain deep in my hip. What could be causing this? Hip pain with limitations on full hip motion in an active adult requires special attention — especially if you are in your 20s or 30s. Early diagnosis and treatment is imperative to avoid degenerative changes in the hip joint later in life. There are many possible causes of this type of hip pain. Given your description, one of the most likely would be femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) describes a condition where the top of the Read More...

What to do about that charley horse


You have over 600 muscles in your body. These muscles control everything you do, from breathing to putting food in your mouth to swallowing. To move your muscles, your brain sends signals to the voluntary muscles and coordinates the movements that you want. The voluntary muscles contract as they're being used and they become tighter. The muscles then relax when the movement is complete. When the contraction/relaxation cycles are done repeatedly, as in exercising, the fibers become stronger and the muscles get larger and stronger. However, sometimes the muscles, or just a few fibers within the muscle, contract on their own, causing a muscle spasm or cramp. The difference between a spasm and a cramp is the Read More...

Questions to ask when your joints heat up


Most forms of joint pain involve some kind of inflammation - either local or systemic. When injured, a chain of events in your immune system known as the inflammatory cascade is triggered. In a careful balance of give and take, this process starts with pro-inflammatory hormones calling out for white blood cells to clean up damaged tissue and clear out infection. This is what causes the redness, swelling and pain we often see with injury. Next, anti-inflammatory compounds take over to heal the area once the threat is diminished. When this process, known as local or acute inflammation, waxes and wanes in response to injury it's a sign of a healthy immune system. Yet when the symptoms of inflammation don't Read More...

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