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The person with the most replaced parts wins and now the joint replacement race does not stop with hips, knees or shoulders. Spinal discs are the latest “joints” to undergo a technology overhaul. Disc replacement surgery, also known as disc arthroplasty, is on the minds of millions who have disc degeneration. These worn out parts of the spine generate an avalanche of problems. So why not exchange them for new ones? Donald has been so worried about his mother’s failing back. Nothing seems to be helping her. One of his friends told him about a new surgical implant that replaces the worn out discs in the spine. Wow! That might give his mother a brand new back and a brand new lease on life. Two years ago, she had her hip replaced. Within months of that surgery, she was back to ballroom dancing. If joint replacement worked for her hip, surely it could work for her back. Great, he calls his mom to share the news. Not so fast, the treatment of spinal disc degeneration is not...
Over time our understanding of diseases deepens and evolves, for the scientific community as well as the patient community. This is certainly true for rheumatic and arthritic diseases. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one type of arthritis which is not widely discussed in the patient community.
What is Jaccoud’s arthropathy?
In 1869, F.S. Jaccoud, a French clinician, described cases of arthritis in patients following frequent and severe attacks of rheumatic fever. This type of arthritis was also known as chronic post-rheumatic polyarthrosis. Joint deformities are primarily in the hands, characterized by muscle atrophy, severe ulnar deviation and flexion at the big knuckle (or metacarpal-phalangeal) joints. It resembles rheumatoid arthritis, but with less inflammation and serum tests negative for Rheumatoid Factor.
Since -itis refers to inflammation, and since Jaccoud’s does not involve chronic inflammation as does rheumatoid ar...
With neck or back pain, people automatically assume that the spinal discs are the source of pain. Sometimes that assumption is incorrect because frequently the small joints of the spine called the facet joints are the culprit. This very common generator of cervical, thorocic and lumbar pain connects one boney segment to the other, helping to form the entire spinal chain or column like a big long Slinky. These joints are extremely important for supporting motion such as twisting, bending and turning. Without these facet joints, the spine would feel like one big broomstick. Because the spine is constantly in motion, the joints are always being stressed and can become worn out, swollen and painful.
Arthritis in the facet joints is technically called Facet Arthropathy . You'll find that term on radiologists' reports examining the spine by X-Ray, MR, or CT imaging. Facet arthropathy can be seen in those who do not have any pain and in those as young as their 20s. In reality, these jo...
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