When the Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos kicks off this afternoon at 3:30pm PST, NFL players are once again putting their joints at risk for the love of the game.
Richard Diana, former Miami Dolphins player, recalls his football days in an article in the Los Angeles Times. After a season with the Dolphins 31 years ago, Diana has since left for medical school at Yale and is now an orthopedic surgeon in his Connecticut hometown. At a reunion with his former teammates, Diana soon learned that football has taken its toll on most of the players in one way or another. Some had undergone knee and hip replacements; others developed diabetes, some had heart disease, and most had arthritis or complained of joint pain. Most players at the reunion were younger than 55. Continue reading
According to a study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, people with osteoarthritis (OA) who participated in an exercise program for one hour at least twice a week for 12 weeks were 44 percent less likely to need hip replacement surgery compared with those who did not exercise. The study compared hip surgery rate in the participants after six years. The group that exercised showed signs of improved flexibility and ability to perform physical activities. Continue reading
Fran and her dog, Agatha.
Photo courtesy of Paul Patterson (Fran’s husband).
In the past I have blogged about Agatha, my 10-year old Labrador Retriever who motivates me to get out of the house for our daily march over hill and dale. I count on Miz A to let me know that I have been sitting at the computer for too long; she pesters me until I relent and head for the door. Despite her age and arthritic hips, she enthusiastically plays with dogs a fraction of her age and will chase down a ball with puppy-like enthusiasm (and, no, she doesn’t give up the ball after the chase).
However, after a couple of days of energetic play, she began to hobble and favour her back legs, sitting down gingerly on her hind end. When she began to moan as she got up from lying down, I knew that a trip to the vet was needed. Continue reading
Osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis affect not only children, seniors, and even Pope John Paul II, but two all-star NBA players and ex-teammates who dominated the hardwood over the pass 15 years. Together, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant won three consecutive NBA titles before personality differences led Shaq to leave and sign with Miami.
While at Miami Shaq was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his big toe (“Big” when you consider he has size 23 feet). It affected Shaq’s game when he missed the first 12 games of the 2002-2003 because of toe surgery to treat his arthritis during which time he stated, “I got hurt on company time, so I’ll heal on company time.”
A few years after Shaq’s diagnosis, Kobe was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis may be a long name, but in short it motivated Kobe to travel to Germany to get a procedure by a little-known molecular orthopedist named Dr. Peter Wehling, as seen above. Inflammatory arthritis has affected Kobe’s game but we may be closer to a cure after Dr. Peter Wehling stated taht he has had a 90% success rate with, “…genetically screening his patients to personlize their treatments.”
Photo by Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, a researcher reported that a knee brace will help alleviate a patient’s osteoarthritis (OA) pains. David T. Felson, MD, of the University of Manchester in England and his colleagues found that patients with knee OA who wore a patellofemoral brace for 6 weeks experienced less pain and bone marrow lesions.
Bone marrow lesions represent regions of bone that display hyperintense signals on MRI and fibrosis, necrosis, and microfractures on histology. In an interview with MedPage Today, Felson said: “Bone marrow lesions have been shown to predict later cartilage loss and to correlate with pain and its severity, so may be a viable treatment target in OA.” Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Fran Halter
Full disclosure: I’ve been struggling with my commitment to a gluten free diet. Adopting this way of eating is purely elective on my part because I do not suffer from a medical condition such as celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity that makes it impossible to ingest glutens. I chose to be gluten free as a way to lessen the amount of inflammation in my body, perhaps to tame my osteoarthritis and lessen any flare-ups of my ankylosing spondylitis. Continue reading