Below are the most commonly asked questions we receive from patients regarding the knee, hip and shoulder procedures we offer. The FAQ is segmented by procedure types. If you have a question that’s not answered here, click here to contact us for more information.
Normally, cartilage acts as a shock absorber, providing a smooth surface between the bones. But with osteoarthritis, the smooth surface becomes rough and pitted. In advanced stages, it may wear away completely. Without their normal gliding surfaces, the bones grind against one another, causing inflammation, pain and restricted movement.
Bone spurs may form. In osteoarthritis of the knee, the shape of the bone and appearance of the leg may change over the years. Many people become bow-legged or knock-kneed. And in osteoarthritis of the hip, the affected leg may appear shorter.
The second symptom is loss of easy movement, such as bending or rising normally. Morning stiffness is a problem for many people. This lack of mobility, in turn, often causes the muscles serving the knee or hip to weaken, and overall body coordination suffers.
Medicines – Coated aspirin helps relieve pain and has few side effects. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as Voltaren, Feldene, Naprosyn and Clinoril, are prescription drugs for pain and inflammation. Do not take aspirin if you are taking NSAIDS.
Cortisone Shots – Cortisone shots are given for inflammation. For many people, joint arthritis is often made symptom-joint arthritis is often made symptom-free for months or even years after cortisone shots. Four to six shots a year can be given without any dangerous side effects.
Ice Treatments – Ice packs on the knee (three times daily, 10-20 minutes at a time) are helpful for inflammation and temporary relief of pain and soreness. Heat applications in either the knee or hip make osteoarthritis worse.
Diet – There is no evidence that any specific foods will prevent or relieve arthritis symptoms. It’s important to keep thin, however, because excess weight aggravates arthritis by putting added pressure on the knee.
Exercise and Rest – Prolonged rest and days of inactivity will increase stiffness and make it harder to move around. Motion is lotion for arthritis! But keep in mind that excessive or improper exercise can overwork your arthritic joint and cause further damage. A balanced routine of rest and exercise is best.
Sciatica pain may also be caused by an abnormal bulging or protrusion of a disc in the lower back. The discs are jelly-like pads which act as elastic cushions to separate the vertebrae (spinal bones). The affected disc(s) may press on the spinal nerve root of the sciatic nerve. This condition is known as a herniated or “slipped” disc and the pain may be felt all along the lower back. ARTHRITIS in the back is the most common cause of sciatica. An enlargement on one of the joint processes, called an arthritic spur, irritates the nerve. It can also be caused by a slippage of two vertebrae bones which pinch the nerve.
Sciatica may arise when a muscle goes into a spasm, contracts abnormally and puts pressure on the nerve. Injury occurs as a result of weak back muscles, by prolonged or improper use of the back or as a result of being overweight.
You may be most comfortable when lying on your back or walking. A word of caution: these are temporary remedies and not a substitute for seeking immediate professional care. If you have sciatica, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Orthopedic doctors are educated and trained in the detection and treatment of problems affecting the joints. Many cases of sciatica lend themselves to correction through Epidural Steroid Injection (E.S.I.). Physical therapy also can be helpful.
Physical therapy after an ESI injection is designed to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, buttocks and legs, in order to promote good posture and enhance your treatment. Physical therapy treatment includes ultrasound, moist heat and massage.
The education portion of the program teaches you how to minimize recurrence of sciatica. Topics include exercises, medications and proper body mechanics. You will also learn which exercises you should avoid.