Posted in Awareness

All About Our Knees Part 2

Types of Pain

What are the different types of knee pain?

Knee pain has many causes. Some of the most common include:

Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes joint inflammation. Symptoms include redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness and pain. Up to 30 percent of the population may have knee osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis. This is the gradual breakdown of the cartilage in the knee. Also called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis usually develops over years and often is found in patients who have had a knee infection or injury and those who are overweight.

As cartilage wears away, the bones around it can grow thicker and develop bony spurs. This can lead to increased friction between the bones and disrupted movement in your knee. This also can lead to problems with the synovium, a membrane in your knee that produces a liquid to keep your cartilage slippery. This membrane can become inflamed and make too much fluid. This results in swelling, or “water on the knee.” In the most severe cases, the knee can become deformed as the continued friction wears away the bone.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, tenderness, a limited range of motion and a grating sensation when you bend your knee. The pain is usually worse after activity.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect joints on both sides of the body (both knees, both hands and/or both wrists). In rheumatoid arthritis, your body’s cells attack your own tissues. While in most people symptoms develop gradually over years, they can appear rapidly. Rheumatoid arthritis affects three to five times more women than men and often presents between the ages of 20 and 50.

Rheumatoid arthritis may be related to a combination of abnormal immunity and genetic, environmental and hormonal factors. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause cartilage to wear away, swelling in the synovium, and excess fluid in the knee. In later stages, bones can rub against each other.

Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of any of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) protecting the body’s joints. This is usually caused by repetitive motions or by a stress such as kneeling. Sometimes, a sudden injury can cause bursitis.

Tendonitis

The tendons – rope-like tissues connecting muscles to bone at the knee and other joints – can become painfully inflamed by repetitive and strenuous movement. Tendonitis is a common sports injury, caused by overuse of the same parts of the body. Patellar tendinitis, or “jumper’s knee,” is an inflammation or irritation of the tendon between the knee cap and the shin bone.

Baker’s cyst

A lump behind your knee could be a Baker’s cyst. A Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled pocket that causes swelling and tightness behind the knee. Often, it is not painful. A Baker’s cyst is typically associated with arthritis or a cartilage tear, conditions that can cause your knee to produce too much fluid. The key to treatment is to find the underlying cause of the fluid accumulating in the Baker’s cyst.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)

Knee pain or discomfort while walking up and down stairs, jumping or squatting may be symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome. This common knee problem is felt toward the front of the knee. It can cause a grinding sensation when bending or straightening your leg, and can cause your knee to occasionally buckle. Sometimes called “runner’s knee,” patellofemoral pain syndrome may be caused by a kneecap that is not aligned properly, overuse, injury, excess weight or when the cartilage in the knee cap is worn significantly.

Osteonecrosis aka Avascular Necrosis

Osteonecrosis of the knee (also known as avascular necrosis) is a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to a section of bone in the femur (thighbone) or tibia (shinbone) is disrupted. The pain varies from no pain to severe hot pain. Like bathe feeling of being hit in knee with a hot iron or sharp stabbing lightening bolt pain. Treatment can vary depending on stage from Prp injections to Total Knee Replacement.

SPONK Spontaneous Osteonecrosis of the knee comes on suddenly.

Posted in Arthritis, Awareness, Hearing Loss, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Link-Between Hearing Loss and RA

When we think of hearing loss, you may associate it with your loved one who’s always asking you to repeat yourself, or the friend who may struggle to follow conversations.

Hearing loss is often caused by exposure to excessive noise and is even linked to the natural aging process. But did you know that hearing loss isn’t just caused by your loud job, or the blaring music at the concert ?

Along with lesser known causes of hearing loss like smoking and diabetes, a recent study found a link between hearing loss and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that affects many seniors, though young people can also suffer from the disease. Around 1.5 million Americans have RA, and this number continues to rise. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system turns against the body. Rather than protecting the body from sicknesses by warding off viral and bacterial infections, the immune system attacks the joints, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain. RA can damage cartilage and tissue around the joints, disform the joints, and even damage the bone. It becomes painful to move the affected joints, and leads to reduced mobility, and difficulty performing normal daily tasks.

Linking Hearing Loss and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clinical trials looking at the links between hearing loss and arthritis found far higher rates of hearing loss among those with arthritis. Those with RA were more likely to have sensorineural hearing loss, hearing loss associated with the ear and not the brain. Delicate cells in the inner ear are damaged in this type of hearing loss, and once these cells are damaged, they don’t regenerate. You’ll be unable to hear certain sounds in the environment, since the cells in the ear responsible for those sounds have been destroyed.

A 2006 study found that around 43% of those with RA had hearing loss! And a study from the Mayo Clinic, reported that even though they weren’t able to detect measurably higher rates of hearing loss among those with RA, their patients with RA were far more likely to perceive that they had hearing loss.

 

How does RA Lead to Hearing Loss?

Researchers are still unclear on the how rheumatoid arthritis and hearing loss are linked. However, it’s clear that RA can attack other body systems, not just the joints, so the cells in the ear can also be affected by this disease.

Another link could be the drugs used to treat the pain that goes hand in hand with arthritis. Many studies have found that common pain killers, such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause hearing loss. Even taking these pain killers two or more days per week was linked to worse hearing health, while those who took pain killers six days a week had a 24% higher risk of hearing loss than those who didn’t take pain killers. Those suffering from RA often take a lot of painkillers just to get through the day, and these drugs are known to reduce blood flow and deprive the cells in the inner ear of the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive.

Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

While doctors can’t cure RA, they all agree that treating the disease as soon as possible is essential for good health outcomes. Treating RA stops inflammation, prevents further joint damage or deformity, and relieves pain. It also improves overall well-being by allowing for increased mobility and physical function. Treatments include medications to ease symptoms, as well as to reduce inflammation and slow joint damage.

Self-management is also important when it comes to RA, and your doctor will help you be proactive in managing the disease and maintaining your overall quality of life. Eating well, exercising often and resting, using heat pads, and learning relaxation techniques all play a role in self-management.

Treating Hearing Loss

If you’ve been struggling to hear, and think it may be linked to your RA, call your local hearing center.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Posted in Ahlbacks Disease, Ancestry, Arthritis, AtomicBlonde, Avascular Necrosis, Awareness, Blessed, Bone Health, BreakThroughCrew, Chronic Pain, Clinical Trials, Diagnosed, Eat Healthy, Factor V Leiden, Food, Happiness, History, Inflammation, Life, Mindfulness, OA, osteoarthritis, Osteonecrosis, Osteoporosis, Pain, SONK, SPONK, Stem Cell, StopTheClot, Uncategorized, WegoHealth

Bone & Joint Action Week October 12-20

Bone and Joint Action Week is held annually October 12-20 with activities focused on disorders including arthritis, back pain, Osteonecrosis,Osteoarthritis trauma, pediatric conditions, and osteoporosis. The themes and their related activities are designed to raise awareness worldwide about prevention, disease management and treatment.

Statistics on Avascular Necrosis (AVN, Osteonecrosis, Aseptic Necrosis, Ischaemic Necrosis, Femoral Head Necrosis)

Frequency depends on the site involved. The most common site is the hip; other locations include the carpals, talus, and humerus. In most countries, exact figures on incidence and prevalence are unknown.

One Japanese survey estimated that 2500-3300 cases of AVN of the hip occur each year; of which, 34.7% were a result of corticosteroid abuse, 21.8% to alcohol abuse, and 37.1% to idiopathic mechanisms. A French study reported AVN in 4.3% of allogenic bone marrow transplant recipients.

Race: No racial predilection exists except for AVN associated with sickle cell disease and hemoglobin S and SC disease, which predominantly are diagnosed in people of African and Mediteranean descent.

Sex: The male-to-female ratio depends on the underlying cause, although primary AVN is more prevalent in men. The overall male-to-female ratio is 8:1.

Age: Age at onset depends on the underlying cause. Primary AVN most often occurs during the fourth or fifth decade and is bilateral in 40-80% of cases. On average, women present almost 10 years later than men.

Risk Factors for Avascular Necrosis (AVN, Osteonecrosis, Aseptic Necrosis, Ischaemic Necrosis, Femoral Head Necrosis)

Avascular necrosis has several causes. Loss of blood supply to the bone can be caused by an injury (trauma-related avascular necrosis or joint dislocation) or by certain risk factors (nontraumatic avascular necrosis), such as some medications (usually steroid basesd), steroid abuse in general, blood coagulation disorders like sickle cell, Factor V, FactorViii, MTHFR, eNOS and more, chemo and radiation infections in the Bone vascular issues such as vascularitis or alcohol abuse. Increased pressure within the bone also is associated with avascular necrosis. The pressure within the bone causes the blood vessels to narrow, making it hard for the vessels to deliver enough blood to the bone cells.Many deep sea divers get Avascular Necrosis from a condition known as the bends. Gaucher disease.

Progression of Avascular Necrosis (AVN, Osteonecrosis, Aseptic Necrosis, Ischaemic Necrosis, Femoral Head Necrosis)

Hip Stages of avn-on

1-4

The natural history of osteonecrosis is directly linked to the size and level of the necrosis. Very small lesions (involvement of less than 15% of the femoral head) may resolve without any further treatment. Conversly, lesions involving greater than 50% of the femoral head progress to collapse, and ultimately require in total hip arthroplasty.

Symptoms of Avascular Necrosis (AVN, Osteonecrosis, Aseptic Necrosis, Ischaemic Necrosis, Femoral Head Necrosis)

In the early stages of avascular necrosis, patients may be asymptomatic. However, as the disease progresses most patients will begin to experience joint pain; at first, only when putting weight on the affected joint, and eventually even when resting. Pain usually develops gradually and may be mild or severe.

If the level of necrosis progresses further and the bone and surrounding joint surface collapse, pain may develop or dramatically increase.

The pain may be severe enough to limit the patient’s range of motion in the affected joint.

In some cases, particularly those involving the hip, disabling osteoarthritis may develop.

The period of time between the first symptoms and loss of joint function is different for each patient, ranging from several months to more than a year.

How is Avascular Necrosis (AVN, Osteonecrosis, Aseptic Necrosis, Ischaemic Necrosis, Femoral Head Necrosis) Diagnosed?

In the earliest stages of Avascular necrosis plain x-rays are often normal. A magnetic resonance image (MRI) is the key that allows us to detect AVN at its earliest stage.

Osteonecrosis develops when the blood supply to a segment of bone is disrupted. Without adequate nourishment, the affected portion of bone dies and gradually collapses. As a result, the articular cartilage covering the bone also collapses, leading to disabling arthritis.

Osteonecrosis of the knee can affect anyone, but is more common in people over the age of 60. Woman are three times more likely than men to develop the condition.

Risk Factors

It is not always known what causes the lack of blood supply, but doctors have identified a number of risk factors that make someone more likely to develop osteonecrosis.

Injury. A knee injury—such as a stress fracture or dislocation, meniscus tear, bruised patella or combined with some type of trauma to the knee, can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the affected bone.

Oral corticosteroid medications.

Many diseases, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, are treated with oral steroid medications.

Although it is not known exactly why these medications can lead to osteonecrosis, research shows that there is a connection between the disease and long-term steroid use. Steroid-induced osteonecrosis frequently affects multiple joints in the body.

Medical conditions.

Osteonecrosis of the knee is associated with medical conditions, such as obesity, sickle cell anemia, and lupus.

Transplants. Organ transplantation, especially kidney transplant, is associated with osteonecrosis.

Excessive alcohol use.

Overconsumption of alcohol over time can cause fatty deposits to form in the blood vessels as well as elevated cortisone levels, resulting in a decreased blood supply to the bone.

Chemo therapy and radiation Non-traumatic osteonecrosis of bone is recognized as a potential complication in solid-tumour cancer patients receiving treatment with cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Regardless of the cause, if osteonecrosis is not identified and treated early, it can develop into severe osteoarthritis. And for some with osteoarthritis before avn the disease is even more painful.

Knee stages of avn-on

1-4

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