All posts in The More You Know

Doctors use lab-grown cartilage to heal knee injury

‘For the thousands of Canadians who suffer serious knee injuries each year, their only option is often surgery to replace the damaged joint with a plastic or metal implant.

But a team of doctors in Hamilton, Ont. are the first in Canada to try out a novel approach: growing sheets of cartilage in a lab using a patient’s cells and then cutting custom-fit implants from the patient’s own DNA.

The method is currently being tested across North America on 230 patients with knee injuries. Doctors say that if the study is successful, lab-grown cartilage could become a common way to treat a host of joint problems, from ankles to elbows to shoulders.

Salim Lakhi, a 20-year-old student from Kitchener, Ont., was rock-climbing in South Africa with his mother when he fell from a height of about three metres. He immediately felt a sharp pain in his right knee and was unable to walk for a few days, but assumed the pain would eventually go away.

“I just bandaged it up and I thought it was fine,” Lakhi told CTV News.

But the pain only got worse. Lakhi eventually went to a doctor, where he learned that he had seriously damaged his knee. Dr. Anthony Adili, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, likened the injury to a tiny “pothole” in the cartilage.

“These aren’t great injuries to have as a young individual because we know that 10, 15 years down the road with these types of lesions, it likely will develop into a very arthritic compartment, if not arthritic knee,” Dr. Adili said.

Typically, treatment involves drilling into the damaged area of the knee, thereby allowing scar tissue to form. If everything goes according to plan, the scar tissue helps relieve discomfort until the patient is able to receive a knee replacement.

But a different solution was open to Lakhi — one that didn’t require a knee replacement. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is involved in a randomized, clinical trial that would allow doctors to carefully fill the tiny cartilage “pothole.”

In August, surgeons in Hamilton collected a tiny sample of healthy cartilage from Lakhi’s knee and sent it in a test tube to a clinic in Pittsburgh. There, a team of scientists harvested the cartilage into a larger sheet and sent it back to Canada.

Doctors in Canada then cut a tiny piece of cartilage from the sheet to plug the hole in Lakhi’s knee. The surgery went “very, very well,” Dr. Adili said.

“We were ecstatic, especially being the first in Canada to do it,” he added.

“The hope is that when it grows, and it heals back into that defect, it’s going to be his normal cartilage, and he’s back to where he was before this injury.”

The trial is still in its early stages. Lakhi and 230 other patients will be tracked for the next two years to determine if the transplants worked.

Lakhi is still using crutches and can’t put any weight on his leg for another three weeks, but the pain has subsided and he hopes to see progress soon.

“I am pretty optimistic about it,” he said. “I am feeling really good. My knee is feeling alright when I bend it and I am hoping I can get back to sports after.”

In Canada, more than 67,000 patients undergo surgery for new knees each year. If the experimental method proves effective in the knee, it could have a widespread use, Dr. Adili said.

“If it’s proven that this works in the knee, then you can really foresee that you could actually do this in the hip joint, you can do it in the ankle joint, you can do it in the shoulder joint, you can do it in the elbow joint,” Dr. Adili said.’

With a report from CTV Medical Correspondent Avis Favaro and producer Elizabeth St. Philip

CTVNews.ca Staff

Published Sunday, September 23, 2018 10:00PM EDT

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/doctors-use-lab-grown-cartilage-to-heal-knee-injury-1.4106328

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Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

 

Each year more than 10 million patients visit physicians due to dizziness.
● Imbalance, vertigo and dizziness occurs in 40% of people over 40

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is an exercise-based program used to treat
dizziness and imbalance. Dizziness is most common in patients aged 75 and older, however it
can occur in patients of any age. Patients who are referred for Vestibular Rehabilitation
Treatment generally suffer from vertigo, imbalance, dizziness, and migraines. Less
commonly, some patients may have suffered from brain injuries, strokes, or frequent falls .

Common symptoms that can be treated with VRT are:
● Neck tightness, stiffness, and/or pain
● Headaches
● Imbalance
● Dizziness and/or blurry vision with head movements
● Frequent falls
● Vertigo
● A general dizzy, foggy-headed feeling

Often VRT with a physiotherapist is the only treatment needed to resolve these issues.
Other times it is a part of a pre/post-operative treatment plan, and will be accompanied by other
physical therapy.

What to expect during your VRT assessment & treatments:
An extensive assessment with a physiotherapist will evaluate the following:
● Symptoms – (ie. dizziness, headaches, etc.)
● How those symptoms have been affecting daily routine
● Eye movement
● Extremity and spine range of motion
● Muscle strength
● Coordination
● Walking ability
● Balance
● Posture
● Hearing
Your therapist will design an individualized treatment plan, consisting of exercises and
in-clinic treatment sessions, based off of your assessment and outcome goals. The the
treatment program will help compensate and diminish vestibular issues.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of VRT, please contact our clinic for an
assessment with one of our physiotherapists

Sources
https://www.brainline.org/article/what-balance-and-vestibular-rehabilitation-therapy
https://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder/treatment/treatment-detail-page

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Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

 

Each year more than 10 million patients visit physicians due to dizziness.
● Imbalance, vertigo and dizziness occurs in 40% of people over 40

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is an exercise-based program used to treat
dizziness and imbalance. Dizziness is most common in patients aged 75 and older, however it
can occur in patients of any age. Patients who are referred for Vestibular Rehabilitation
Treatment generally suffer from vertigo, imbalance, dizziness, and migraines. Less
commonly, some patients may have suffered from brain injuries, strokes, or frequent falls .

Common symptoms that can be treated with VRT are:
● Neck tightness, stiffness, and/or pain
● Headaches
● Imbalance
● Dizziness and/or blurry vision with head movements
● Frequent falls
● Vertigo
● A general dizzy, foggy-headed feeling

Often VRT with a physiotherapist is the only treatment needed to resolve these issues.
Other times it is a part of a pre/post-operative treatment plan, and will be accompanied by other
physical therapy.

What to expect during your VRT assessment & treatments:
An extensive assessment with a physiotherapist will evaluate the following:
● Symptoms – (ie. dizziness, headaches, etc.)
● How those symptoms have been affecting daily routine
● Eye movement
● Extremity and spine range of motion
● Muscle strength
● Coordination
● Walking ability
● Balance
● Posture
● Hearing
Your therapist will design an individualized treatment plan, consisting of exercises and
in-clinic treatment sessions, based off of your assessment and outcome goals. The the
treatment program will help compensate and diminish vestibular issues.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of VRT, please contact our clinic for an
assessment with one of our physiotherapists

Sources
https://www.brainline.org/article/what-balance-and-vestibular-rehabilitation-therapy
https://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder/treatment/treatment-detail-page

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Reduce Risks of Slips & Falls

 

Although we’ve been experiencing milder winters with less snow and ice, it’s still important to be cautious of the changing weather conditions in order to avoid slips and trips.

Here are some physiotherapy tips for reducing the risk of slipping or falling at any time of year.

  1. Wear the right shoes.We see plenty of broken or sprained ankles from women walking in heels on a warm summer day, so in the winter heels would probably be your worst option. Men are not off the hook here either. Men’s dress shoes typically have flat bottoms with no tread. You might as well be walking on sleds. The right footwear should, and is, your best defense against slipping and falling. Try to find something with rubber bottoms with a good thick tread that will grip the snow and ice better.
  2. Walk like a penguin.When walking on snow and ice take shorter slower steps. You want as much surface area of your feet to be in contact with the ground as possible. If you come across a patch of solid ice, shuffling your feet can be your best option as it will give you the most stability.
  3. Know how to fall.When carrying a briefcase, lunch bag, or your children you are just asking for trouble. If you were to fall this now eliminates one or both arms from helping absorb the impact. Most deaths from falling on ice occur when the person hits their head on the ice. This also means keep your hands out of your pockets and gloves on. While you may injure your arm or shoulder you will protect your head.
  4. Be cautious everywhere.Walk near something you can hold on to like handrails or a fence. Grab sturdy objects when possible… and your friend or child IS NOT a sturdy object. You will likely pull them down with you. When getting out of a car, hold on to the door until you find out just how icy it is. Test the ground before you hop right out.
  5. Stay to the right. When you’re in the mall, or in office hallways, or on the sidewalks – stay to the right, same as you would in vehicular traffic. You may be able to avoid collisions with other people who are talking, texting or any other unforeseen distractions.
  6. Keep an eye on the floor. Carpet and floor mats can help create a slip-resistant surface. However, marble or tile floors can be extremely slippery, especially when wet. Be careful!
  7. Let there be light. Be certain stairwells both inside and out, are well-lit and equipped with anti-skid strips and handrails.
  8. Beware of pets! Your feet can get caught in leashes, dogs can knock you down or you can trip over a sleeping pet.

Even if you follow all these tips and precautions we still cannot guarantee that you won’t have an encounter with the ground! However, the better you prepare and the more cautious you are, the less likely you are to slip and fall.

For those of you with balance issues, your job is harder still. If you have not yet had physiotherapy to help you with your balance concerns, or if you’d like a therapist to assess your balance, please call to book an evaluation.

If you have already taken a hard fall, let one of our therapists help you recover and get you back on solid ground.

The risk of falling can be reduced dramatically when specific exercises are prescribed by a physiotherapist. An individualized treatment program can help regain strength, flexibility and endurance in a way that still feels safe and secure.

To make an appointment or for a physio assessment, give us a call. We can help.

 

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MOVEMBER IS MEN’S HEALTH MONTH

MOVEMBER IS MEN’S HEALTH MONTH

Movember is Men’s Health Month

The state of men’s health is in crisis. Men experience worse long-term health than women and die on average six years earlier.

  • 1 in 6 men may be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 1 in 2 men may be diagnosed with some form of cancer by the age of 85.
  • Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years.
  • Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50 years.
  • Obesity has taken centre stage as a major risk factor for chronic disease and almost 2/3 of Canadians are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • 1 in 8 men experience depression and three quarters of suicides are men.
  • Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. That’s one every minute.

Why is men’s health in such bad shape?

  • Most men do not like to openly discuss their health and how they are feeling.
  • Men can be reluctant to take-action when they don’t feel physically or mentally well.
  • Men engage in risky activities that threaten their health.
  • Stigmas surrounding mental health.
  • Men are less likely than women to seek help for health concerns.

5 ways exercise can help men live longer and better.

  • Have a healthier heart. Regular exercise can lower unhealthy cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Keep your brain sharp. Exercise helps keep blood vessels throughout the body healthy and helps reduce the risk of stroke. Several studies suggest that exercise may also help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
  • Control blood sugar levels. Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, and boosts sensitivity to insulin, reducing blood sugar levels. One study found that only 2 ½ hours of brisk walking a week cut the risk of diabetes by 30%.
  • Possibly lower cancer risks. Evidence suggests that regular physical activity reduces risk for colon cancer by 24% in men. There is no proof that exercise lowers the risk of developing prostate cancer, but once a man is diagnosed, physical activity can reduce the chances that it will spread.
  • Beat depression. 1 in 8 men can experience depression. Not just a rough patch, or bad mood – but an emotional disturbance that affects overall health. Regular exercise such as walking, weight training, swimming, or any form of exercise moving both arms and legs can help with depression for men.

Pelvic Health for Men

Being a guy with pelvic health problems can be a challenge. As men age there can be a number of different issues that can result in pain and dysfunction.

Although the prostate is often blamed for many male pelvic problems, there can be many other reasons for bladder, bowel and sexual problems. Pelvic floor muscles, connective tissue and lower lumbar nerves can all be potential culprits in male pelvic pain. In addition, joint and muscle problems such as chronic groin strains, un-resolving hip and low back problems can all contribute to chronic pelvic pain.

Although hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you to actively support your bladder and bowel. Like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor will become stronger with a regular exercise program. This is important for both men and women.

With so many different potential sources of pelvic pain, it’s important to work with a health professional that understands the pelvis. Contact our clinic and we can connect you with a pelvic floor health specialist.

Let’s help the men we know to talk about their health, and take action when needed.                            

 

 

Sources:

www.platinumphysio.com

www.prostatecancer.ca

https://ca.movember.com/mens-health

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