Suffering from wrist pain and numbness?

New procedure for carpal tunnel syndrome…

Suffering from wrist pain and numbness?

A new technique for those people with wrist pain and numbness know as carpal tunnel syndrome is on the rise!  This technique is called Thread Carpal Tunnel Release and is becoming more increasingly popular with those patients who don’t want surgery.  This new technique offers no down time, less pain, almost immediate relief and one patient even read a book through the procedure!  The procedure is done within an hour with just local anesthesia and ultrasound needle guidance.  The patient is awake and can watch everything that goes on.

For more information contact the Arthritis Treatment Center at 301-694-5800.

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How cartilage cells sense forceful injury

Afraid of spiders?  Maybe this might change your mind… next…

How cartilage cells sense forceful injury
Duke scientists and their collaborators have come a step closer to understanding how cartilage senses injury-causing mechanical strain at the cellular level: a pair of channels that work together to cause cartilage cells to die off in droves. Using a substance found in tarantula venom to block these channels, the researchers have prevented cell death caused when cartilage experiences mechanical strain. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new findings could lead to potential drug targets for protecting joints and preventing the pain associated with cartilage injuries.

Comment: Very provocative.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Obesity

What’s weight got to do with RA? More than you think… next

Weight Could Influence Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

Alex Kramer writing for Healthday reported people with rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to achieve remission if they maintain a healthy body weight, according to new research.

The study found that those who were heaviest had almost 65 percent reduced odds of disease remission. Being underweight also lowered the odds of remission.

“Medication for rheumatoid arthritis is not as effective on the overweight population,” said Dr. Susan Goodman, the study’s lead author and a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Findings from the new research were presented earlier this month at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting in Boston.

Comment: Fat cells produce adipokines, proteins that aggravate inflammation.

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Fathers on DMARDs

What concerns about the fetus are there if a father is on disease modifying drugs? Next…

Children Whose Fathers Used DMARDs Not At Greater Risk Of Congenital Abnormalities.

Nancy Walsh writing for MedPage Today reported that according to a study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, “children whose fathers had inflammatory joint disease and used disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) were not at increased risk of congenital abnormalities or other adverse outcomes.” After examining “data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and the Norwegian Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drug registry, which began enrolling all patients initiating and/or stopping synthetic or biologic DMARDs in 2001,” researchers found that “among newborns whose fathers were exposed to DMARDs during the three months preceding conception, the relative risk of congenital malformations was 1.22, compared with healthy control fathers.” Essentially the same.

Comment: This is welcome news.

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Osteoarthritis | Premature Birth Hip Replacement

Low Birth Weight, Preterm Birth May Increase Risk For Hip Replacement In Adulthood

Hannah Nichols writing in MNT reported on an Australian study. Researchers from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia aimed to investigate whether joint replacement surgery due to osteoarthritis as adults could be added to the growing list of risk factors associated with low birth weight and preterm birth. The data was from 3,604 participants involved in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. The eligible contributors had reported their birth weight, history of preterm birth and were aged 40 or older at the time of joint replacement data collection. Prof.

Flavia Cicuttini comments: “Our findings suggest that individuals born prematurely or with low birth weight are more likely to need hip replacement surgery for osteoarthritis in adulthood.”

Comment: Interesting results.

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Does an IUD and Family History Boost RA Risk?

Do you have a family history of RA… and do you use an IUD… it might be a problem… next

Does an IUD and Family History Boost RA Risk?


Nancy Walsh writing for MedPage Today reported current use of an intrauterine device (IUD) was associated with an important biomarker of future rheumatoid arthritis risk among women with a family history of the disease, according to a small study reported here.

In a cohort of women without current RA enrolled in the Studies of the Etiology of RA (SERA) project at the University of Colorado, three (12%) who were positive for anti-CCP, antibodies associated with RA and which often presage a clinical RA diagnosis, were currently using an IUD compared with 26 of 950 women who were anti-CCP negative (3%).

“This was a statistically significant difference, with an odds ratio of 4.6,” said Kristen Demouelle, MD, of the University of Colorado in Denver.


Comment: Very interesting I’d say.

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Blood Test Might Predict Speed of Recovery From Surgery: Study

How long will it take you to recover from joint replacement surgery… the answer might be in your blood… next


Blood Test Might Predict Speed of Recovery From Surgery: Study

Steven Reinberg writing in Healthday reported measuring the activity of a type of white blood cell immediately after surgery might reveal which patients are likely to recover quickly and those who won’t, a preliminary study suggests.

The study found that a high level of activity in certain white blood cells predicted a poorer recovery for people who’d just had hip replacement surgery.

The researchers plan to test these findings in other operations to see if they can be duplicated. If so, they hope to develop a simple, inexpensive blood test that could guide patients and doctors in predicting recovery and planning medical care after an operation, according to lead researcher Dr. Brice Gaudilliere, a clinical instructor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Comment: This could be a very important discovery and help a lot of people.

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Adding Chinese herb to methotrexate may ease active RA

Which ancient Chinese herb might be better than methotrexate?

Adding Chinese herb to methotrexate may help ease active RA

Lorraine Janeczco writing for Reuters reported patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may benefit from treatment with Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) and methotrexate (MTX), new research from China suggests.

In fact, the researchers say, TwHF monotherapy works as well as MTX plus TwHF, and better than MTX monotherapy, for controlling active disease.

“While TwHF, a traditional Chinese herb, is still in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database, the extract of TwHF has been widely used for more than 30 years by Chinese rheumatologists, and many patients have been continuously treated with it and followed for years,” wrote principal investigator Dr. Xuan Zhang of Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, in Beijing, China, in an email to Reuters Health.

“The major toxicities observed in China are gastrointestinal symptoms and reversible amenorrhea, especially in perimenopausal women,” Dr. Zhang added.

“TwHF could be a promising approach to the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis, particularly as not all patients respond to DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) and modern biologic treatments, and because these drugs are expensive,” he suggested.

Comment: This is exciting because of the relatively low cost of this herb.

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Home exercise effective after knee replacement

Do you need to see a physical therapist after a joint replacement…. Maybe not

Home exercise effective after knee replacement

Hugo Wilcken writing in Rheumatology Update reported a monitored home exercise program in the first six weeks after knee replacement surgery has similar outcomes to standard rehabilitation, Sydney researchers report.

Their study looked at nearly 400 knee-replacement patients who were randomized to either a six-week monitored home exercise program or usual care, which generally involved clinic-based outpatient physiotherapy.

There were no significant differences between the two interventions in pain scores, physical function, knee flexion, knee extension or walk time, found the researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney.

Comment: Good news because doing it yourself certainly is more convenient.


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Researcher to Study Link Between Blueberries, Bone Health.

Blueberries… they’re not just for breakfast… next

Researcher to Study Link Between Blueberries, Bone Health.

The Associated Press reported, “A Purdue University researcher has won a federal grant to study the connection between blueberries and bone health in post-menopausal women.” Earlier this week, “the university announced…that Connie Weaver will receive $3.7 million from the National Institutes of Health to conduct five years of research.” Prior research has “found that nutrients found in blueberries can help reduce bone loss that occurs naturally over time.”


Comment: We know blueberries are beneficial for a number of conditions.  And here’s another one.

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