Health Care News

  • Recent Meta-Analysis Shows Hamstring Grafts equally as stable as patellar tendon grafts but with significantly fewer complications

    The authors analyzed all prospective randomized studies comparing hamstring and patellar tendon grafts to come to the above conclusion. Here is how the authors stated their findings: “Contemporary 4-strand HT ACL reconstruction is comparable with the PT technique in terms of clinical stability and postoperative functional status across most parameters studied. The HT technique carries lower risk of postoperative complications such as anterior knee pain, kneeling discomfort, and extension deficit. Primary ACL reconstruction using the 4-strand HT technique achieves clinical results that are comparable with the PT technique with significantly less postoperative complications.”

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  • Is There Any Benefit in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Patients Older Than 60 Years?

    When I began my Orthopaedic Sportsmedicine practice in 1985 ACL reconstruction was generally reserved for young athletes. Over the years the acceptable age for reconstruction has gradually increased. Several studies have shown good outcomes in patients in their 50s. But what about even older individuals? There has been very little data in patients over 60 years of age. However a recent European study looked at a cohort of a dozen patients between 60 and 63 years of age with no significant arthritic changes in their knee at presentation. All patients had restoration of knee stability by ACLR, with no major complications. 10 of 12 patients resumed their prior sports activities. Follow-up was 2-6 years and there was no significant progression of arthritis. Ratings were greatly improved overall. While all patients in their 60s are not candidates this study shows that for a selected group in this age range ACL reconstruction is beneficial.

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  • PRESCRIPTION ANTI-DEPRESSANTS DRUGS LINKED TO 33% INCREASED DEATH RATE IN MOST USERS

    Yes you read that correctly. A new study from McMaster University found an increased death rate in all users of prescription anti-depressants. This is particularly alarming because these drugs are everywhere, with an almost unbelievable estimated rate of 1 in 8 adults in America now taking them. They also found that the increased death rate, a staggering 33% in patients without cardiovascular disease, was less pronounced in patients with cardiovascular disease, possibly because these drugs have a blood thinning effect. They conclude “The results support the hypothesis that ADs (Anti-Depressants) are harmful in the general population but less harmful in cardiovascular patients.” A recent Newsmax report also states “critics suggest that many people taking anti-depressants may not actually need them, with scientific studies showing psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other treatment approaches are as effective as drugs, or more so. But doctors routinely prescribe the pills because of long waiting lists for therapy.”

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  • ANTI-DEPRESSANTS LINKED TO INCREASED RISK OF “COMPLETED” SUICIDES IN YOUNG WOMEN IN SWEDEN

    The FDA has warned for more than a decade that anti-depressant drugs cause an increased risk of suicidal thinking, feeling, and behavior in people under the age of 25. But now a new study from Sweden has correlated increased use of anti-depressants with an increase in “completed” suicides, ie deaths. The researchers conclude “The previous assumptions that treatment with antidepressants would lead to a drastic reduction in suicide rates, are incorrect for the population of young women. On the contrary, it was found that an increasing tendency of completed suicides follow the increased prescription of antidepressants.”

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  • THUMB ARTHRITIS IS HELPED BY APING SPIDER MONKEYS

    The sometimes development of arthritis at the base of the thumb – the 1st carpometacarpal or 1st CM joint near the wrist – is the price humans pay for having a thumb that can be apposed to other fingers. The base of the first metacarpal bone rotates with respect to the wrist bones to allow this apposition. However this is not a fully developed joint, lacks durability, and overuse of the hand by any repetitive manual tasks (carpentry, golf, guitar, frequent texting etc) can cause painful arthritis of this joint. While we have good success treating arthritis of this joint with PRP (platelet rich plasma) most patients can be treated by a simple activity modification regimen based on the so-called “simian grip.”. This refers to the fact that other primates either have smaller thumbs which they use much less often than humans or in the case of some, like the spider monkey, do not have a functional thumb at all. Instead of wrapping their thumb around objects they grip, they use only their four fingers to encircle objects. This mode of use works well for almost all activities in humans as well. In patients with mild to moderate thumb (1st CM) arthritis, in most cases the discomfort will go away completely or at least substantially such that no other treatment is needed by employing this simian grip method. It is important also though to discontinue use of any pain killers or anti-inflammatory medicines because they mask pain and can also interfere with healing.

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