Health and Fitness

Newer Treatment For Achilles Tendon Disorder Does Not Appear To Be Effective

An apparently increasingly used treatment method for a type of Achilles tendon disorder that includes injection of platelet-rich plasma into the tendon does not appear to result in greater improvement in pain or activity compared to placebo, according to results of a preliminary study published in the January 13 issue of JAMA. "Overuse injury of the Achilles tendon is a frequent problem that often affects sport participants but also inactive middle-aged individuals. An estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of all sports-related injuries are tendon disorders, " the authors write. Approximately 25 percent to 45 percent of patients eventually require surgery following ineffective conservative treatment. "There is a clear need for improved conservative therapy." Chronic Achilles tendinopathy is a degenerative condition characterized by pain, swelling and decreased activity. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections is a treatment method recently introduced to improve tendon regeneration. Several recent reports indicated promising results with this treatment method, although these conclusions were based on laboratory studies and on clinical studies with important limitations, according to background information in the article.

Two New Studies Show Gallium-Containing Compounds Significantly Increase Bone Strength In Standard Models Of Osteoporosis

Genta Incorporated (OTCBB: GETA) today announced publication of two scientific studies that test the active ingredient in Genta's program to develop orally available gallium-containing compounds and the Company's marketed product, Ganite® (gallium nitrate for injection). In these studies, a compound containing the active ingredient was tested in a widely accepted animal model of established osteoporosis. The new data show that extended treatment with the active ingredient significantly increased bone volume and calcium content in animals with induced osteoporosis. In addition, the increase in new bone formation was associated with a significant restoration of bone strength back to normal levels. Previous studies have shown that extended in vivo treatment with low-dose gallium in normal animals was associated with increased bone content of calcium and phosphorous, a decrease in bone resorption, a possible increase in new bone formation, and no deleterious effects upon bone biomechanical strength.

Ultrasound-Guided Cortisone Injections May Help Treat Severe Hip Pain

Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections may be an effective treatment method for gluteus medius tendinopathy, a common, painful condition caused by an injury to the tendons in the buttocks that typically affects middle-aged to elderly women and young active individuals, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. Gluteus medius tendinopathy can cause severe hip pain. "The underlying causes remain unclear but probably are multi-factorial and involve mechanical and degenerative processes, " said Etienne Cardinal, MD, lead author of the study. Medical treatment usually includes physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and local injections of corticosteroids. The study, performed at the University of Montreal's Hospital Center, included 54 patients with gluteus medius tendinopathy. Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections were performed on all patients. "One month after treatment, 72 percent of the patients showed a clinically significant improvement in pain level.

REPEAT Biocomposites Launches GeneX R ds. Extending The Reach Of Injectable Bone Grafts

Biocomposites, the pioneers in synthetic bone graft materials have launched geneX ds, a dual syringe mixing and minimally invasive delivery system containing geneX, the unique resorbable bone graft material with a negative surface charge. The powder and liquid components of geneX are provided pre-packed in separate syringes. The syringes connect together and allow a faster, simpler and cleaner way for mixing geneX. The resulting setting paste can then be delivered through a 3.15" dispenser (included). geneX ds is ideal for difficult-to-reach surgical sites or minimally invasive procedures. geneX is a synthetic bone graft material with a unique bi-phasic composition manufactured through a proprietary process ZPC® (Zeta Potential Control) that confers the product with a reproducible negative surface charge. This property stimulates bone cell activity, accelerating bone formation and fusion by harnessing key proteins and directing osteoblast adhesion and proliferation for rapid osteogenesis.

Spinal Cement May Provide Real Support For Cancer Patients

New technologies used to repair spinal fractures could soon be helping patients suffering from the bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma. A research project led by engineers at the University of Leeds will focus on the disease an incurable cancer of the bone marrow that causes destructive lesions in bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. The study will analyse whether techniques such as injecting cements into the spine to stabilise the bone, or using plates to fix fractures can be adapted for affected patients. Although incurable, improvements in treatment mean that patients with multiple myeloma are surviving for longer, with up to a third surviving for at least five years. However, a better prognosis means that secondary symptoms, such as painful bone deterioration, have more time to take effect. "Our aim is to give people suffering from this disease a better quality of life. If the spine becomes weakened or fractures, patients can do little more than stay in bed and try to deal with the pain, " said Professor of Spinal Biomechanics, Richard Hall, who is leading the research at Leeds' Faculty of Engineering.

Top Tips For Staying Healthy When Clearing Snow

Snow shoveling tends to be an unpleasant task. This mundane seasonal chore combines heavy lifting and cold weather, resulting in possible injuries to the back and shoulder muscles if shovelers do not take the proper precautions. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has recommendations to help you stay safe while clearing snow so you can still have some winter fun. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission: - In 2008, more than 70, 000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms, doctors' offices, clinics and other medical settings for injuries sustained while shoveling or otherwise removing ice and snow manually. - In that same year, more than 14, 000 were injured using snowblowers. - Types of injuries can include sprains and strains, particularly in the back and shoulders, as well as lacerations and finger amputations. "Shoveling the snow involves a lot of bending and heavy lifting, particularly in wet snow, " says Michael F. Schafer, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and spokesperson for the AAOS.

Delivering Stem Cells Improves Major Bone Repair In Rats

A study published this week reinforces the potential value of stem cells in repairing major injuries involving the loss of bone structure. The study shows that delivering stem cells on a polymer scaffold to treat large areas of missing bone leads to improved bone formation and better mechanical properties compared to treatment with the scaffold alone. This type of therapeutic treatment could be a potential alternative to bone grafting operations. "Massive bone injuries are among the most challenging problems that orthopedic surgeons face, and they are commonly seen as a result of accidents as well as in soldiers returning from war, " said the study's lead author Robert Guldberg, a professor in Georgia Tech's Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. "This study shows that there is promise in treating these injuries by delivering stem cells to the injury site. These are injuries that would not heal without significant medical intervention." Details of the research were published in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 11, 2010.

Senate Health Reform Bill Preserves Essential Diagnostic Services For Osteoporosis

Passage of health care reform legislation in the U.S. Senate will help provide older Americans with easier access to quality osteoporosis diagnosis, prevention and treatment services. Included in the Senate health reform bill is a provision restoring Medicare reimbursement for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), the leading diagnostic tool for the early detection and management of osteoporosis. Recent Medicare cuts for DXA tests jeopardized patient access to this important preventive healthcare service. Without congressional action, many doctors would be forced to discontinue providing DXA services in their offices as reimbursement is now substantially lower than the cost of performing the test. In 2002, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended that all women aged 65 and older be screened for osteoporosis with a DXA study. The inclusion of DXA in the bill is a perfect example of a renewed focus on prevention; several studies have shown that increased DXA testing and treatment result in a dramatic decrease in fractures and related health care costs.

Study Pinpoints Causes Of 'Runner's Knee'

From professional athletes to weekend warriors, the condition known as "runner's knee" is a painful and potentially debilitating injury suffered by millions of people - although until now, it has been unclear just what causes it. But new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has zeroed in on what appear to be the main culprits of the condition, formally known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. The study is believed to be the first large, long-term project to track athletes from before they developed runner's knee, said study co-author Darin Padua, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise and sport science in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. "Earlier studies have usually looked at people after the problem sets in, " Padua said. "That means that while previous research has identified possible risk factors related to strength and biomechanics, it's been unclear whether those caused the injury, or whether people's muscles and the way they moved changed in response to their injury.

New Research Suggests Fat Mass Helps Build Bone Mass In Girls

According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), fat mass is important in increasing bone size and thickness, but this effect appears to be stronger in girls than boys. Lean mass is one of the strongest determinants of bone mass throughout life. Until now, it has been unclear whether fat mass and lean mass differ in how they influence bone development in boys and girls. Findings from previous studies have been inconsistent regarding whether fat mass has a positive or negative impact on bone development. This new study shows that fat mass is a strong stimulus for the accrual of cortical bone mass (hard outer layer of bone) in girls. In this study, researchers used dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to determine total body fat mass and lean mass, and peripheral quantitative computer tomography (pQCT) to measure cortical bone mass at the mid-tibia, in 4, 005 boys and girls with a mean age of 15.5 years. Although lean mass was the major determinant of bone mass, fat mass also exerted an important positive influence, particularly in girls, in which the effect was approximately 70 percent greater than in boys.

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