Knee osteoarthritis: when to consider surgery?

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability in the knee joint. It is a degenerative type of arthritis which generally occurs in people of who are 50 years of age or older.

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Anatomy

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The knee is the largest and strongest joint present in the human body, which is made up of lower end of femur (thigh bone), upper part of the tibia (shin bone) and patella (knee cap). The end of these three bones at the knee joint is covered with articular cartilage (smooth, slippery substance), which provides cushion for the bone. This cushion-like cartilage gives protection for the knee as you bend or straighten your knee.

When your knee is affected with osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, making it frayed and rough. Therefore, osteoarthritis is also termed as ‘wear and tear” type of arthritis. This causes rubbing of bone on each other, thus producing a painful bone spurs whenever the knee joint moves.

Symptoms

In knee osteoarthritis, over the time the knee joint gets inflamed resulting in moderate-to-severe pain.  It is also accompanied with other symptoms such as:

  • Joint swelling and pain which gets worse in morning as soon as you get up from sleep
  • Intense pain in joints during rigorous activity
  • Feeling of weakness due to extreme pain in joints

Who get affected?

Age is one of the major factors for causing knee osteoarthritis; however, sometimes even young people can also get affected. Osteoarthritis of knee may be hereditary for some individuals, where in some it can result from an injury, infection or from being overweight.

How is knee osteoarthritis treated?

The main goal of treating osteoarthritis of the knee is to relieve the pain associated with the disease and promote joint mobility. The initial treatment plan includes:

Lifestyle modification

Lifestyle changes can protect your knee joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis

  • Try to avoid rigorous daily activities which can aggravate the condition
  • Indulge in physical activities or exercises that will increase the flexibility and joint motion
  • Losing the extra weight will help for obese or overweight people as it will reduce the stress on knee joints

Use of assistive devices

Using assistive devices like shock-absorbing shoes, cane and braces can help to reduce the pain.

There are two types of braces which can be used:

  • Unloader braces – takes the weight away from the side of the knee affected by arthritis
  • Support braces – provides support for the entire knee

Medications

  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil, Motrin or Aleve. Stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be also recommended depending on severity of disease
  • Ointments and creams  which can be applied on external skin surfaces
  • Medication injections which are injected directly in to the knee joint  like corticosteroid injections (fight against the inflammation) and hyaluronic acid injections (helps to keep knees moving smoothly)

When to go for surgery?

The above treatment options will help to provide relief from pain and inflammation. However, if your pain does not vanish or get worst, then your doctor may recommend for surgery Arthroscopic surgery, osteotomy and knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty) are some of the important type surgeries recommended for knee osteoarthritis.

Arthroscopic surgery

In this type of surgery, surgeon uses a thin tube fitted with a camera, which is inserted in to the knee via a small opening to view inside. Then surgeon removes the loose bones and damaged cartilage tissues covering the joint bone, which may be causing pain in the person.

Most people can get back to their work immediately and resume daily activities after the arthroscopic surgery.

Osteotomy

Osteotomy is a procedure which aims in making the knee alignment better by changing the shape of the bones. Knee osteotomy is generally recommended in early-stage osteoarthritis when just one side of the knee joint is damaged.

Knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery is usually recommended when all other treatment options for osteoarthritis fails.

Following are the indications for knee replacement surgery:

  • Severe knee pain which restricts your daily activities
  • Severe pain while resting, in day or night
  • Chronic knee inflammation
  • Knee deformity
  • Knee stiffness
  • Extreme swelling which does not improve with medication or rest

Knee replacement surgery procedure involves removing of all or part of damaged parts of knee and replacing it with an artificial knee joints. These artificial parts are either made up of metals or plastics.

After knee replacement surgery, proper recovery is highly recommended for patients. Your doctor may suggest various physiotherapy exercises to regain the strength in knee and restore proper motion.

Services at Texas Medical Concierge

Texas Medical Concierge, located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi offers priority access to one the leading hospital in orthopedics – Hospital for Special Surgery.

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is America’s leading specialty hospital devoted to orthopedics and rheumatology. HSS is the world’s renowned hospital for diagnosis and treatment of knee problems. HSS offers particular expertise in ligament and meniscal repairs, cartilage replacement and minimally invasive total knee replacement surgery.

To know more visit us at: www.texasmedicalconcierge.com.

How do mental health problems affect your work performance?

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Work is essential to our well-being and status. In addition to the financial security it brings, it also gets our identity. It helps us to understand our skills and to contribute positively to the organization we work. It is imperative to have a sound physical and mental health to achieve the maximum performance. However, if you are facing any mental health issues, it can have a serious impact on your work performance and the organization, and chances are there that it may affect your co-worker also.

Mental illnesses can affect the way we think, we relate and connect with the exterior world around us. Mental illnesses can influence your feelings, thoughts and capabilities at work. Depression, severe mood and anxiety disorders are the most important type of mental illnesses, affecting millions of people worldwide at workplace.

It is crucial for us to understand first that mental illnesses are just like other health problems. The most mental illnesses are episodic, which means that there are periods when you are very productive and also have some periods when you’re productivity is low.

How do mental illnesses affect workers and workplaces?

Those who are suffering from mental illness may feel less confident and doubt their abilities at work. They may have hard time in concentrating, understanding, learning and making quick decisions at workplace. Other symptoms may include:

  • Inability to cope with daily work
  • Feeling sad or worrying all the time
  • Sleeping problems and tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Social isolation
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

Other than professional problems, mental illnesses may also affect personal relationships. It is usually seen such people try to isolate from others, act in unexpected way and withdraw from professional as well as personal responsibilities.

Managing mental health problems at workplace

Mental health problems can be dangerous and serious, but you don’t have to worry…..

The best part is that these problems are treatable. Early diagnosis and recognition of mental health problems is very crucial for faster and better recovery. Adequate treatment and referral to right source should be the next step which will help employees suffering from mental illness to get back to work quickly. Employees will be more productive and constructive when they get right support from their friends, families and organization. Nowadays big organizations are willingly organizing mental health workshops periodically in order to help their employees to cope up the work pressure and prevent them from suffering mental health problems in their workplaces.

Talking out or discussing with the supervisor or member of human resources team, which is referred as disclosure, may also help employees to great extent. It they want to disclose, they may not need to discuss about their health challenges but they can definitely describe what they may need to improve their work performance.

How can I help a co-worker suffering from mental health problem?

As we know, different mental health problems have different symptoms, and each individual may experience a different set of problems. Sometimes, some individuals hide their problems for obvious reason, some individuals may express their problems, and whereas some may continue to work despite having serious mental issues.

If you notice any mental illness symptoms in your co-worker, express your concern without making assumptions. Here are some basic tips which will help how you can provide support to your colleagues:

  • Ask how you can help him/her to emerge out from their mental health problem
  • Respect his/her views
  • Try to include him/her in all workplace usual activities
  • Incase if the person is not showing any improvement, advice him/her to go for a proper medical treatment

Know when to seek help ASAP

If you think mental illness is affecting your work adversely and you fear of speaking out your problem, then it’s a time to get professional help immediately. There are various treatment options available for treating mental health problems. The choice of plans completely depends upon the symptoms and severity of problem.

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is one of the best methods considered to overcome the problems of mental health issues. This therapy includes talking to psychotherapist, where you can discuss all your concerns about mental health and related issues. The most common psychotherapies are cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectal behavior therapy and exposure therapy. Such therapies help patients to understand and resolve their problems by increasing awareness about their problems and the different treatment options available to them.

How Texas Medical Concierge can help?

Texas Medical Concierge, located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi offers such working professionals priority access to one of the leading International Clinic - The Meninnger Clinic with best experts in mental well-being. The Menninger Clinic is a leading specialty phychiatric hospital which treats adults and adolescents with complex mental illness such as anxiety, severe mood, personality and addictive disorders.

Remember, healthy mind will always help to deliver the best at work!

For more information, please contact www.texasmedicalconcierge.com

Understanding the concept of personalized medicine

Personalized medicine can be defined as the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, “personalized medicine” is broadly classified as the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics, needs and preferences of a patient during all stages of care including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

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The personalized medicine approach is based on the scientific understanding on how a person’s unique molecular and genetic profile helps in determining his/her response to different treatment procedure. Therefore, this approach will help to determine which medical treatment will be safe and most effective for each patient and which one will be not.

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Personalized medicine is equipped with tools which will help physicians to select appropriate therapy and treatment plan for every individual based on their molecular and genetic profile. This has many benefits as compared to the traditional “trial and error” approach, as it not only minimizes the chances of side effects; it also ensures more successful results.

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“Personalized medicine will enable risk assessment, diagnosis, prevention and therapy specifically tailored to the unique characteristics of an individual, thus enhancing the quality of life and public health.”

Personalized medicine has changed the approach of traditional medicine of identifying and treating the disease. It is already having strong impact on both the clinical research and patient care, which will keep growing with the time as the technology improves.

Texas Medical Concierge located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi offers the benefits of personalized medicine to their patients. To know more visit us at: www.texasmedicalconcierge.com

 

Bad office posture: Is technology a pain in your neck?

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Are you suffering from annoying back or neck pain in office that just don’t go away? Is it affecting your performance at work? The answer to these questions lies in your sitting posture at workplace.

In today’s busy scheduled life, when we work for long hours sitting continuously at one place, slouched over laptop or desktop, back aches are normal to happen. Bad posture affects spine posture which can lead to pain in neck, shoulder, back, legs and feet, making it uncomfortable to work at office. It can also add to stress and fatigue in the long term causing serious musculoskeletal disorders.

Here I am listing down some important quick tips which will help you to resolve back pain and make you feel much better.

Support your back

The back of your chair should be adjusted so that you can sit correctly to support your spine properly. This will reduce any kind of strain on your back.

Adjust your chair

Adjust your office chair properly so that your upper body is properly aligned.  Use the one which are easily adjustable so that you can change the back position, height and align for proper body position.

A good guide is to adjust your chair height so that your forearms are horizontal to the desk and in line with keyboard. This will help to prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Adjust your monitor level

Place your monitor screen level so that your eyes are in line with your screen. Placing screen too high or too low will cause you to bend your neck constantly which can strain your neck muscles.  Secondly monitor should be also placed at a distance of an arm’s length.

Rest your feet on floor

Place your feet flat on the ground by keeping thighs parallel with the floor. Avoid sitting with cross-legged as this position makes you slouchy.

Take a break in between

If your work involves spending more hours sitting at your workplace continuously, taking a break in between is necessary. Try standing up and walking in between to encourage to realign your posture.

Engage in yoga exercise to maintain proper spine posture

Sometimes in spite of following these above tips certain situations like constant rotation of neck and back or persistent movement of body to one side can cause pain and stiffness. Special yoga exercises will help to strengthen the muscles of back and promote good spine posture.

Texas Medical Concierge has introduced complimentary services like yoga therapies to help working people to understand how yoga can help in maintaining good posture at your workplace in spite of busy work schedule.

Remember a comfortable work place will always make you feel your best at work!