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Dr. Sripathi Rao - FAQ

Osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones due to loss of protein and mineral (calcium) content. This can occur due to number of causes. The frequently seen osteoporosis in middle aged and elderly women is due to the post menopausal lack of harmones. These hormones are essential to maintain bone stock. Their deficiency can weaken the bone leading to bone pains, fractures and bending of the back.

Is calcium treatment indicated in osteoporosis?
Yes, After medical consultation and investigation to find out the cause of such osteoporosis. Calcium with or without Vitamin D helps control osteoporosis. High protein diet, green leafy vegetable, iron and vitamins are also prescribed. In selected patients, hormonal replacement is of help.

Arthritis
Does arthritis mean that one ends up being crippled for life?
No. There are different types of arthritis. Arthritis means that the shock-absorber, sponge like cartilage cap on the bones in the joint are worn out. This can occur in osteoarthritis- the common painful condition which affects large, weight bearing joints like knees. In rheumatoid arithris many joints are involved- the knees, ankles, fingers, wrist etc. Medical treatment helps rapid progress of Rheumatoid arthritis

Is Arthritis hereditary?
Genes have been discovered in relation to many arthritic condition like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis. This means that offspring of patients do have a higher risk of developing these conditions when compared to others. It therefore also means that the next generation does not necessarily have to suffer from the condition

Is there any drugs to prevent or cure arthritis?
The commonly used drugs today are painkillers which reduce the inflammation and hence the pain. There is no drug in usage that can prevent or 'cure' arthritis. Of late combination of Glucosamine and Chonodroitin sulfate have appeared in the market which are suppose to help maintain integrity of the cartilage in early arthritis. They have to be taken over a long period of time.

Do obese people development arthritis early?
If they are genetically predisposed, obese people would also develop arthritis. The progress of arthritis in overweight individuals is more rapid, since the affected joint has to bear higher loads. Hence patients with osteporthritis of the knee fell less pain when they lose weight.

Can arthritis be treated by surgery?
Yes. Various surgical procedure are available. Arthritis of one side of the joint can be treated by procedure called osteotomy. This procedure realigns in the line of weight transmission across the joint. Joints with severe arthritis can be totally replaced (hip &knee) with artificial surface. Joints like the wrist joint can be permanently fused to reduce pain.

Do calcium tablets prevent Arthritis?
No. Calcium is useful in conditions which decrease the mineral content of bone eg: Rickets, osteoporosis. It has not been proved to have many role in the prevention or treatment of arthritis.

How do physical exercise help in arthritis?
Exercise like sports, walking etc helps to expand energy which could otherwise be stored in the body as fat. Physical exercise with dieting helps reduce body weight and indirectly the weight bearing forces across the joints are also reduced. Specific exercise to strengthen muscles across joint help to splint the joint .

Back ache
Does backache mean slip disc?
No. Backache could be caused like wrong posture, defective bones, weak muscles, lax joints etc. A slipped disc is a non medical term to describe a condition where the disc is between two bodies of vertebree (spinal bones) slips out to press on nerve root. This occur in young adults and the onset is usually dramatic and acute.

Does Sciatica mean or lead to paralysis? 
No Sciatica is a symptom and not a disease by itself. It means pain from the lower back radiating along the back of the thigh towards the foot. this is due to the fact the pain sensation is carried by nerve roots that travel from the spine to the lower limb. The nerve roots can be stimulated by numerous factor in the spine to cause Sciatica.
eg: Disc prolapse, Spondylosis etc 

You can mail your Orthopedic Queries to
Dr. Sripathi Rao
sripathi-vip@zetainfotech.com



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