Starting at the top, the spine has four regions – the seven cervical or neck vertebrae (labeled C1 – C7), the 12 thoracic or upper back vertebrae (labeled T1 – T12), the five lumbar vertebrae (labeled L1 – L5), which we know as the lower back, and the sacrum and coccyx, a group of bones fused together at the base of the spine.
Neck pain is a common complaint. Most causes of neck pain aren’t serious. You should seek immediate medical care if you experience: Shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm, numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands, change in bladder or bowel habits, inability to touch your chin to your chest.
Benefit of Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgery is one of the most important orthopedic surgical advances of the twentieth century. The first knee replacement surgery was performed in 1968. Improvements in surgical materials and techniques since then have greatly increased its effectiveness.
Sacroiliac Joints Fact
The human body has two sacroiliac joints, one on the left and one on the right, that often match each other but are highly variable from person to person.
Fact: Walking After Hip Replacement Surgery
You will walk the day after replacement surgery – Or even sooner. In some cases, patients take a few steps — anywhere from 10 to 200 feet — the same day as the surgery. Being sedentary ups the risk of complications such as blood clots, pneumonia and bed sores. If you don’t move, you can form adhesions in the knee and get quite stiff; then it’s hard to walk or ride a bike.
For decades, the sacroiliac joint was suspected to be a common cause of low back and/or leg pain, although difficulty in proving it with standard diagnostic tests left many in the medical profession skeptical.
Many people say they’d do it again!
Janice Gifford, 60, of Sioux City, Iowa, was diagnosed with RA 20 years ago. She had both hips replaced more than 10 years ago, and a knee replaced last year. Would she do it again? “Absolutely,” she says. Because of the pain, “the only thing I could do at night was sleep in a lounge chair or pace from one end of the house to the other,” she says. Gifford was fully recovered a year after surgery. “I’m totally free from pain,” she says. “My leg is straight again. I can do anything. I run; I carry boxes. If people were to see me, they wouldn’t pick me out as having rheumatoid arthritis or prosthetic joints at all.”
Spinal pain can occur when, for example, someone lifts something too heavy or overstretches, causing a sprain, strain, or spasm in one of the muscles or ligaments in the back. If the spine becomes overly strained or compressed, a disc may rupture or bulge outward. This rupture may put pressure on one of the more than 50 nerves rooted to the spinal cord that control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain. When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, back pain results.
Fact: Total Knee Replacement
More than 90 percent of individuals who undergo total knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living. But total knee replacement will not make you a super-athlete or allow you to do more than you could before you developed arthritis.
Neck Muscle Strain
A common cause of neck pain is muscle strain. Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over a steering wheel, often triggers muscle strains. Neck muscles, particularly those in the back of your neck, become fatigued and eventually strained. When you overuse your neck muscles repeatedly, chronic pain can develop. Even such minor things as reading in bed or gritting your teeth can strain neck muscles.
SI Joint Pain
While it is not clear how the pain is caused, it is thought that an alteration in the normal joint motion may be the culprit that causes sacroiliac pain. This source of pain can be caused by either: Too much movement — hypermobility or instability. The pain is typically felt in the lower back and/or hip and may radiate into groin area. Too little movement — hypomobility or fixation. The pain is typically felt on one side of the low back or buttocks, and can radiate down the leg. The pain usually remains above the knee, but at times pain can extend to the ankle or foot. The pain is similar to sciatica, or pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve and is caused by a radiculopathy.
Fact: Back Pain
Back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation in people younger than 45 years old.
Fact: Bone Strength
As people age, bone strength and muscle elasticity and tone tend to decrease. The spinal discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae.
Myth: Living with arthritis pain is just a necessary part of the aging process.
Fact: Those with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other pains associated with arthritis can reduce daily pain through a hip replacement. You don’t have to live with the pain or stay confined to bed or wheelchair.
Fact: Lower Back Pain
Low back pain is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits in the United States.
Knee Replacement Facts
Approximately 581,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States. Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are age 60 to 80. Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.
Fact: SI Joint
The sacroiliac joint or SI joint is the joint in the bony pelvis between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis, which are joined by strong ligaments. In humans, the sacrum supports the spine and is supported in turn by an ilium on each side. It is a strong, weight bearing synovial joint with irregular elevations and depressions that produce interlocking of the two bones. Sacroiliac joint pain is generally more common in young and middle age women.
Hip Replacement Myth
Myth: Hip replacements are for the elderly.
Fact: Anyone can have hip damage due to weight, injury, tumor growth, inflammation, or arthritis. There is a minimally invasive hip replacement procedure for those under age 50, in good health, and at a healthy weight that requires only two small incisions.”
Neck Joints Fact
Just like all the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to experience wear and tear with age, which can cause osteoarthritis in your neck.
Hip Replacement Myth
Myth: It will feel unnatural to have a new hip joint.
Fact: Medical science has made huge strides in the hip replacement procedure, material, and design. There are a variety of artificial ball-and-socket joints available to you. Dr Lowell will determine the best size, design, and material for a natural, comfortable, and flexible fit.”
Physical Therapy Fact
Physical therapy is key to success after joint replacement- Moving around is critical not just in the days after surgery, but in the weeks and months after, too. The more you move, the better your long-term outcome. After leaving the hospital, you’ll probably see a physical therapist a couple of times a week for the first six weeks, but the key is to practice the exercises twice a day on your own.
Back Pain Fact
Most cases of back pain are mechanical, or non-organic; meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.