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  • Strong muscles better for function in OA

    Osteoarthritis of the knee can get in the way of physical activity. For people with this condition, strong muscles may be the key to maintaining strong physical function.

    In a recent study, people with severe knee osteoarthritis had more trouble on a test of physical ability when they had poor muscle strength in their legs. Their performance on the test was not influenced by pain, age or body weight.

    The authors said that muscle strengthening treatments may help people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.

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  • Treatment with platelet-rich plasma shows potential for knee osteoarthritis

    Several treatments for osteoarthritis exist, including exercise, weight control, bracing, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, Tylenol, cortisone shots and viscosupplementation, a procedure that involves injecting a gel-like substance into the knee to supplement the natural lubricant in the joint. A new treatment that is being studied by a small number of doctors is PRP injections. PRP, which is produced from a patient's own blood, delivers a high concentration of growth factors to arthritic cartilage that can potentially enhance healing.

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  • Vitamin K for healthy knees

    Vitamin K supports bones and cartilage. So researchers wanted to know if low vitamin K was linked to joint damage and osteoarthritis.

    The study found that people who had low levels of vitamin K in their blood were about 33 percent more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis.

    Also, people with low vitamin K levels were about two times more likely to show signs of damaged cartilage in their knees.

    The authors suggested that vitamin K may be important for keeping knees healthy.

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  • New hip replacement approach offers multiple benefits

    It's no fun walking around with an ailing hip; anyone with severe arthritis knows that kind of pain all too well. For years, orthopedic surgeons have been performing total hip replacements when less invasive options don't provide the desired results.

    The bottom line for those who have hip pain that significantly interferes with their quality of life is that there's no need to suffer. If non-operative treatments don't provide the long term relief, hip replacement or resurfacing may be the answer.

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  • Osteoarthritis: new light shed on how painful joint wear and tear develops

    The cause of osteoarthritis -- other than known risk factors such as age or earlier injury -- is not yet known. The researchers at the MedUni Vienna have discovered, however, that certain proteins known as lectins, and in particular galectins, have a role to play in the painful wear and tear of the joints.

    These new findings, according to the vision of the MedUni Vienna researchers, could lead to galectins in future being used both in the treatment and, as bio-markers, in the disease prediction of osteoarthritis.

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  • Baby boomers feed need for joint replacements; Docs seeing more patients under age of 65

    US baby boomers are fueling a wave of joint replacement surgeries, hoping to use new artificial knees and hips to stay active as they get older.

    The 45-64 age group accounted for more than 40 percent of the more than 906,000 total knee or total hip replacement surgeries in 2009, the last year for which figures were available from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

    Boomers will account for a majority of these joint replacements in 2011, according to projections by Drexel University specialist Steven Kurtz.

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  • Sports training and ACL reconstruction should focus on unique characteristics of the female knee

    Female athletes are three times more likely to suffer from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)ruptures, one of the most common knee injuries, compared to male athletes. The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur (upper leg bone) to the tibia (lower leg bone). Recent research highlights the unique anatomical differences in the female knee that may contribute to higher injury rates, and should be taken into consideration during reconstructive surgery and sports training, according to a review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

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  • Vitamin D no help for arthritis in the knee

    Adults with osteoarthritis in the knees who take vitamin D supplements did not show an improvement in pain relief or cartilage loss, according to a new study published in JAMA.

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  • 17 Ways to fight osteoporosis

    Most people know calcium strengthens bones. But there are more than a dozen other ways to fight osteoporosis, the silent, bone-thinning condition that can lead to fractures, back and neck pain, and a loss of up to 6 inches of height over time.

    Taking preventive measures is key, as many people with osteoporosis will get bone fractures before they even know they have the disease.

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  • Congrats to MacNeal hospital on receiving an

    The nonprofit Leapfrog Group has released updated hospital safety scores for U.S. hospitals. Under the system, hospitals are given A, B, C, D or F scores based on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. Among the findings:

    • Of the 2,618 general hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 790 earned an "A," 678 earned a "B," 1004 earned a "C," 121 earned a "D," and 25 earned an "F."
    • 58 percent of hospitals maintained the same grade level as they had in previous scores issued in June, while 34 percent changed by one grade level (higher or lower), and 8 percent moved two grade levels or more
    • No one class of hospitals (such as teaching or public hospitals) dominated among those showing the highest safety scores.
    • Hospitals with "A" scores included those with multiple national accolades, as well as institutions that serve highly vulnerable, impoverished, or health-challenged populations.

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