How My Orthopedist Changed My Life

How To Prevent Osteoporosis In Your 60’s While You Are In Your 20’s

Bone loss is a natural result of aging. Unfortunately, the effects of bone loss are usually not noticeable until it is too late. Therefore, you will want to focus on prevention rather than cure when handling osteoporosis. Exercise is an essential aspect of prevention, as well as consuming enough calcium and vitamin D.

Vitamin D And Calcium

An essential aspect of avoiding osteoporosis is by consuming vitamin D and calcium regularly. While there are supplements that will help you meet your dietary requirements, it is best to get the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D from your diet. However, calcium and vitamin D will not be enough. You will also need to lead an active lifestyle to keep your bones and muscles strong.

The Role Of Exercise

Exercise is essential for strengthening the muscles and bones because both parts of the body respond to stress by becoming stronger. Strong muscles are essential to preventing broken bones because they provide support for bones, making it less likely that they will fracture when they have weakened. 

Being in better shape also reduces the risk that you will fall. By being stronger and more agile, you will be less likely to suffer the falls that could lead to broken bones. With osteoporosis, when fragile bones break, they will take much longer to heal.

Weight-Bearing Exercises

You should get a minimum of 30 minutes of regular exercise a day to strengthen your bones. This requires weight-bearing exercises such as walking and running. Weight-bearing activities force your body to resist gravity. Regular strength training is also essential, because strength training causes the muscles to pull on the bone, which strengthens the bones. If you are not sure about the degree to which you should exercise, it is recommended that you sign up for a gym membership that offers aerobic classes. Being guided through exercises in a group setting can make it easier to develop a sense of what an adequate 30-minute workout is. Tai chi and yoga classes are especially recommended because they will allow you to exercise, but are not too strenuous and will give you time to get back into shape. 

Unfortunately, lost bone cannot be replaced. Therefore, for the effects of osteoporosis, the goal is with prevention, rather than cure. One of the most important professionals to help you prevent osteoporosis is an orthopedist. Orthopedists are trained to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders using surgical and non-surgical techniques. Contact a company like Gotham City Orthopedics to learn more.  

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Rehabilitation And Exercises For Maintaining Independence

As medical technology increases lifespans, it is important to also extend quality of life. Most seniors want – above all else – to stay in their homes. A few simple geriatric exercises, and important rehabilitation after any falls, injuries, or sicknesses, can make independence last for the longest time possible.

Exercises to Extend Health

As you age, your vision, balance, and dexterity decrease, leading to risk of falls or other injuries. Stretches, strength training, and aerobic exercises can help aging bodies to retain their quality. Balance exercises are especially important.

At home, seniors can practice stepping over soft items like pillows or stuffed animals to keep their footwork and balance up to par. Encourage your aging parent to walk as much as possible, even if they are just able to hold onto the counter or a walker for balance. Until balance comes back, practice standing on one foot or shifting your weight back and forth from foot to foot can help, too. Walking heel to toe, or on a straight line, like a piece of masking tape laid out on the floor, can also assist in redeveloping balance and coordination.

For more advanced balance training, core exercises can help with control and muscle groups that will help seniors stay on their feet. Sports like tennis, bowling, or tai chi can keep seniors light on their feet. Cycling helps with balance and coordination, but should only be undertaken by the most fit seniors, and always with the proper equipment.

Rehab After Falls or Injuries

Rehab after falls or injuries is important because it prevents one injury leading to another. Recurrent falls are a major danger for seniors. 70% of accidental deaths of people over the age of 75 are from falls. Most post-fall exercises are similar to fall-prevention exercises, but they should be performed under the supervision of a physical therapist or occupational therapist.

Walking is the best exercise for improving endurance and strength. Posture exercises can assist with keeping bones and joints in alignment, which helps with reducing injury, as well.

Rehab After Sicknesses

Sometimes, everyone forgets that rehabilitation is crucial post-illness, just like after an injury. When a serious sickness, like pneumonia, puts a senior down, atrophy can take its toll the same way as it affects one after a fall. Getting back up to speed and strength requires hard work and a plan. Physical therapists, like those at Hand & Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists, are trained to design programs to help people regain their independence after a setback.

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ACL Injuries And How They Are Treated

If you watch professional sports, then you have probably heard the phrase “torn ACL” before. However, it isn’t often explained what a torn ACL entails. Is there surgery involved? Therapy? A torn ACL is an incredibly common injury that affects many more than professional athletes, so it is important to understand what they are, even if you aren’t in the NFL.

What is the ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament (more commonly known as the ACL), is a ligament in the knee. Rigorous physical activity can result in a torn ACL, which is both incredibly painful and immobilizing. If the average person tears an ACL, then they might have to undergo therapy in order to heal it. However if an athlete tears an ACL, then they are likely to undergo serious surgery in order to repair the damage. This is because they cannot afford to wait for it to heal naturally with only some light therapy. In order to perform out on the field, athletes need to get their ACLs healthy as fast as possible.

How do you tear your ACL?

If you “hyperextend” your knee, then there is a good chance that you will tear your ACL. Hyperextension is what happens when the angle between two specific body parts becomes too large. The human knee has a natural bend limit and is not meant to extend past a certain point. If that does happen during physical exertion, then you can tear important ligaments inside your leg, resulting in a torn ACL or PCL. Some specific actions that tear ACLs are: landing hard on one foot or a knee rotating incorrectly while landing.

PCL injuries are not as common as ACL injuries, but they are very similar. The two make up a pair of important ligaments in the leg, and damage to either can make motion of the knee incredibly painful or even impossible.

How do you fix a torn ACL?

As was mentioned earlier, therapy and surgery are both valid solutions for a torn ACL. If the situation is severe, then surgery might be required regardless of whether you are an athlete or not. Therapy can take many months to complete, and the aid of a specialized orthopedic surgeon might be required.

What is orthopedics?

Although it is commonly discussed as “sports medicine,” orthopedics is the general field of surgery relating to the musculoskeletal system, which is responsible for moving the human body. The connection to sports stems from the fact that athletes commonly suffer from muscular or skeletal injuries due to their high levels of physical activity. Additionally, their high visibility in the media means that any injuries they suffer are widely publicized.

If you’re in need of therapy for an ACL injury or other sports injury, visit Orthopedic Rehab.

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3 Things You Need To Watch For As You Recover From Your Knee Replacement

Experts estimate that more than 4.5 million Americans are living with a total knee replacement today. With so many people on the receiving end of this surgery, the complications associated with knee replacement surgery are becoming more widely known. While you might be aware that your range of motion may be limited and that a blood clot could occur, there are some less common side effects you should know about.

Here are three things you should know to help prepare you for life after knee replacement.

1. You may experience permanent numbness around the incision site

Replacing the knee joint is no small task, and doctors must create a large incision in order to access the joint during surgery. The nerves in your skin are so small that it is impossible for a surgeon to avoid cutting them during your knee replacement.

Since nerves do not have the ability to heal themselves, you might suffer permanent nerve damage in the area surrounding your incision site. This nerve damage results in permanent numbness, which many patients adjust to over time.

2. Ongoing swelling of your knee after a knee replacement could be cause for concern.

While most patients worry about infection in the weeks following a knee replacement, a condition known as arthrofibrosis can be just as damaging. Arthrofibrosis, which can result in a permanent inability to fully straighten your knee, is characterized by stiffness and heat in the area surrounding the replaced joint.

Some heat and swelling is to be expected after surgery, but if you find that your knee is still feeling hot 2-3 weeks after surgery, contact a doctor like Joseph P. Spott, DO to work out a treatment plan that will prevent arthrofibrosis from affecting you in the future.

3. You could develop a condition that causes ongoing chronic pain.

Some patients who undergo a knee replacement experience a phenomenon known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Often stemming from the tissue injury associated with knee replacement, CRPS can cause a painful response to even the most gently stimuli.

If you notice your knee becoming more tender to the touch, abnormal swelling, or experience a sudden decrease in your range of motion it’s important to recognize that these could be symptoms of CRPS. Tell your doctor right away if you suspect CRPS, since early treatment is your best option for preventing permanent damage.

A knee replacement can give you a new lease on life, but only if you do everything in your power to hear properly after surgery. Learning to recognize some potential complications will allow you to keep a close eye on your knee replacement as you learn to navigate life with a new joint.

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Can You Get Dental Implants With Uncontrolled Diabetes?

To date, dental implants were contraindicated for people who did not have well-controlled diabetes. The conventional wisdom was that uncontrolled diabetes led to higher rates of implant failure because of the slow healing times and increased risk of infection associated with the condition. However, a newer study has found dental implants are as likely to be successful in people with uncontrolled diabetes as those with well-managed blood sugar levels. Here’s more information about this development.

A New Study Involving Long-Term Outcomes

A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association followed 117 patients who all had about 2 implants each installed. The patients were placed in three categories based on their A1C levels, with 20 of them listed as having poorly controlled diabetes (A1C levels over 8.1 percent). The doctors assessed the patients after a healing period that lasted four months and then at regular intervals in the year following the procedure.

At the end of the year, the doctors found there was no significant difference in the survival rate for implants in patients with controlled diabetes versus those with uncontrolled. These results could mean that people who were previously turned away by dentists for implants because of concerns regarding unregulated blood sugar levels may now be eligible for the procedure.

Why Controlling Diabetes is Still a Good Idea

Making an effort to get blood sugar levels under control prior to undergoing surgery for dental implants is still a good idea though. One reason is that healing times continue to be significantly increased in people with uncontrolled diabetes. The study found that it took an average of 7.3 months for the implant post to integrate with the bone in people with uncontrolled diabetes versus about 4 months for those in the other two groups (no diabetes and well-controlled).

While longer healing times didn’t appear to affect the implant’s survival rate, it can have a negative impact on other areas of your life. For instance, people with dental implants typically have to follow a restricted diet for a period of time while the implant post integrates with the bone. The longer a person has to follow this diet, the higher the risk the individual may not get all the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy. A restricted diet may also make it difficult to keep blood sugar at a healthy level.

Another issue is that people with uncontrolled diabetes are 3 to 4 times more likely to have gingivitis and periodontal disease, which other studies have shown can cause dental implants to fail after several years.

Still, dental implants can be extremely beneficial for diabetics, especially if the lack of teeth is interfering with their ability to manage the condition. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, speak to a dental implant specialist about whether or not this procedure is right for you.

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