New Hip Implants No Better Than Older Ones

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New Hip Implants No  Better Than Older Ones

Steven Reinberg writing in Healthday described the findings of a new study published in the British Medical Journal, the upshot of which is that no matter the material, all types of hip replacement devices appear to work the same.  Specifically, the newer, metal-on-metal implants seem to be no more effective than older implants and may sometimes even be more problematic, the researchers said.  “Metal-on-metal and ceramic-on-ceramic hip implants might not be associated with any advantage, compared with traditional bearings such as metal-on-polyethylene or ceramic-on-polyethylene,” said lead researcher Dr. Art Sedrakyan, director of the Patient-Centered Comparative Effectiveness Program at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

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Titanium Debris Causes Inflammation Around Artificial Joints.

Mary Elizabeth Dallas writing in Healthday reported on a study published in the Journal of Immunology.  She stated, “Patients who receive artificial joints made with titanium may develop painful inflammation that could destroy bone and loosen the new joint. Contrary to older studies that posited that bacteria caused the inflammation, researchers…reported that tiny titanium particles that flake off the artificial joints through normal wear and tear may be the cause of the inflammation.” The study authors noted that the flakes trigger a Th2 response, “commonly associated with allergic responses and parasitic worm infections, which “resulted in the generation of immune cells called ‘alternatively activated macrophages’ in the mice.”

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Yoga Relieves Back Pain.

Jennifer Dooren writing in the Wall Street Journal reported that, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Weekly yoga classes may help to reduce pain in certain individuals with pain in the lower back. The research found that yoga and stretching were equally effective in easing chronic back pain and improving function, but participants had to practice each regularly to see benefits.  The subjects in both groups took weekly 75-minute classes and practiced yoga or deep stretching at home for about 20 minutes at a time at least three days a week.  The study was done by the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. Another study from the UK published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found similar results.

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Women With RA May Have A Harder Time Becoming Pregnant.

Amy Norton writing in Reuters reported that, according to a study of 68,000 women in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis may make getting pregnant more difficult. Investigators found that 25 percent of the subjects had tried unsuccessfully for at least a year before they finally became pregnant, versus 16 percent of subjects without RA.  This is unfortunate…. But the upside is that if pregnancy does take place, women will often go into spontaneous remission for the duration of the pregnancy.

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Knee Replacement Surgery Less Heart Failure, Mortality

Tara Parker-Pope writing in the New York Times reported, “New research suggests that for some patients, knee replacement surgery can actually save their lives.”   Researchers “examined the effects of joint replacement among nearly 135,000” Medicare patients and found that “three years after diagnosis, the knee replacement patients had an 11 percent lower risk of heart failure.  And after seven years, their risk of dying for any reason was 50 percent lower.” Researchers cautioned, however, that the “data…are not randomized and controlled” and point out that “not every patient with knee arthritis is a candidate for joint replacement surgery.”

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