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Painkiller overuse in pain management after neck and back surgery

In the more than 20 years of practice, we have seen our share of patients who come into our office with long-histories of spine and neck pain, surgical intervention and a long history of painkiller, opioid use. While many people have very successful spinal surgeries, some people do not. Following surgery their pain increased and now they are living on prescription painkillers. Some have found relief with spinal cord stimulators, other do not and now their seemingly only option is pain management. Not all painkiller problems come with a failed surgery. Some people have very successful surgeries but were prescribed

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Obesity and back pain

A July 2022 paper (1) assessed the likelihood of success of a spinal surgery in an obese patient. The researchers wrote: “An increasing number of obese patients requires operative care for degenerative spinal disorders. The aim of this review is to analyze the available evidence regarding the role of obesity on outcomes after spine surgery. Peri-operative complications and clinical results are evaluated for both cervical and lumbar surgery. Furthermore, the contribution of minimally invasive techniques for lumbar surgery to play a role in reducing risks has been analyzed.” To make this assessment the researchers combined outcomes of 130 previous published

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Jumper’s Knee – Patella tendinopathy

Marc Darrow, M.D. Over the years we have seen many people with varying degrees of knee problems. Among them, a diagnosis of “Jumper’s knee” or patellar tendinopathy. What is causing the knee pain and instability that these people complain of, are small tears in the patellar tendon. Most of these people have developed this knee problem as a result of playing sport or activity that requires a lot of jumping. Hence the name “jumper’s knee.” Many people are basketball players, volleyball players, for the younger athlete track and field specialties such as triple jump, log jumps or high jumps may

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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome, or ulnar nerve entrapment, is diagnosed when doctors believe that your ulnar nerve in being compressed and/or inflammed at the inside of your elbow. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is typically treated with: A split, wrap or brace. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Physical therapy A June 2022 study (1)  from the University of Western Ontario Roth|McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Center writes: “Mild cases (of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome) can be successfully treated conservatively, aiming to reduce traction (a pull or stretching) and compression on the nerve. Surgical management of cubital tunnel syndrome is increasing in frequency. Multiple surgical options

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Obesity and knee pain

A June 2022 paper (1)  assessed the relation of obesity to opioid use in people with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis, and the extent to which this association is mediated by number of painful joints or depressive symptoms. The researchers studied 2335 participants (average age 68 and considered obese). They found that people with obesity had 50% or more higher odds of opioid use than those people not considered obese.  Further: “Multi-joint pain and depressive symptoms partially explained greater opioid use among obese persons with knee osteoarthritis, demonstrating that the negative impact of obesity on knee osteoarthritis extends beyond

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Carpal tunnel syndrome treatments

If you suffer from Carpal tunnel syndrome you know that it causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the wrist, hand and arm. You were probably told that you have a compression of the median nerve somewhere among the sea and ligaments of the wrist. For you, like many people, your condition may have worsened overtime. Over the course of time you have tried: Ergonomic modification of office. Varying over the counter anti-inflammatories and pain medications. Wearing different wrist splints and braces. Exercise and physical therapy. Steroid injections. Through your medical journey you may have been given Electrophysiological tests to the

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