Gout Treatment (Medication) in Singapore

Surprisingly, gout (podagra) affects about 1 in 40 individuals. It is a form of arthritis that causes stiffness, tenderness, and pain in the joints. It can make movement difficult and very painful. Luckily, gout treatment can help you manage your symptoms. Orthopaedic care offers a holistic approach to treating gout.

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our qualified experts can help find the best solution and gout treatment in Singapore, for you and your lifestyle.

What is Gout?

Gout (podagra) is a disease that results from an overload of uric acid in the body. This overload of uric acid leads to the formation of tiny crystals of urate that deposit in tissues of the body, especially the joints.

Gout - Anatomy of Feet

When crystals form in the joints, it causes recurring attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis). Gout is considered a chronic and progressive disease. Chronic gout can also lead to deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in the tissues, particularly in and around the joints and may cause joint destruction, decreased kidney function, and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis).

What Causes Gout?

  • Intake of alcholic beverages
  • Hereditary
  • Increase in level of uric acid
  • Starvation and dehydration
  • Trauma

Thousands of years ago, gout was considered the ‘disease of kings.’ Why? Certain foods with a high purine content, such as shellfish and red meat, and alcohol trigger gout attacks. During this era, these foods and alcohol were limited to royalty and the extremely wealthy. Thus, middle and lower class civilians rarely experienced the disease.

Today, the prevalence and incidences of gout have steadily increased. Our diets have changed. And with technology, we can detect and diagnose gout much easier than ever before.

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. Usually, the kidneys filter and then excrete uric acid through the urine. In certain circumstances, the body may produce uric acid at a higher rate than it can expel it. When uric acid levels in the blood become too high, the body deposits monosodium urate crystals in the joints. These crystals irritate our joints, and cause the symptoms commonly associated with gout including:

  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Inflammation

The body may be unable to keep up with uric acid levels for a number of reasons. Our body breaks purine down into uric acid. Purine is found in alcohol beverages, various meats, and seafood. When we consume foods high in purine, our bodies may lack the ability to keep up with the production of uric acid. This results in hyperuricemia, or high uric acid levels, in the blood.

In other cases, kidney impairment may cause higher uric acid levels. If the kidneys are unable to excrete uric acid, it builds in the blood. Impaired kidney function may occur due to diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, or kidney failure.

Genetics and certain medications are also thought to play a role in the development of gout. For example, diuretic medication used to treat high blood pressure can lead to gout. Diuretics increase your fluid output. Yet, the fluid left in the body may become highly concentrated with uric acid. Doctors advise drinking plenty of fluids when taking diuretics and avoiding foods high in purine to reduce the risk of gout.

How is Gout Diagnosed?

Prior to gout treatment in Singapore, a proper diagnosis must be made by a physician. Your doctor may take into account a number of factors. They may assess and ask questions relating to the following:

  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you consume a diet high in purine foods?
  • Do you regularly consume alcoholic beverages in high amounts?
  • Are you on certain medications, such as diuretics?

A joint fluid test and blood test will confirm a gout diagnosis.

In a joint fluid test, fluid is taken from the inflamed and painful joint via a needle. If crystals are present in the fluid, a gout diagnosis is made. Your doctor may further order an x-ray to ensure the pain is not caused by other problems.

Exploring the Relationship Between Gout & Joint Pain

Gout can cause sudden intense painful attacks at the joints, causing swelling and redness of the joint tissues. It usually attacks the joint of the big toe but this does not rule out the attacks on other joints. Gout usually affects men with 9 out of 10 patients being men. Once gout starts to attack other joints, it leads to inflammatory arthritis. Let’s look at the relationship between Gout and Joint pain here.

Gout happens due to an excessive accumulation of uric acid. Uric acid is formed when the body breaks down an aromatic organic compound called purines. Purines are found in foods such as livers, beans, mackerel and beer. Overconsumption of such foods will lead to a high level of purines, resulting in too much uric acid. The body’s natural mechanism of dealing with uric acid is by passing them out through urination but when this urination process is less efficient, hyperuricemia occurs, leading to gout.

Gout happens through 3 basic stages:

Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia

This is the onset of gout. In this first stage, the patient starts to have an excessive accumulation of uric acid in the body but no other symptoms or problems are present. It is also in this stage that the problem can easily be reversed by significantly reducing the amount of purine-rich foods.

Acute Gouty Arthritis

When no actions were performed to limit the consumption of purine-rich foods, the uric acid levels will increased and lead to the formation of uric crystals in the spaces between the joint. Due to the crystals and high acidity, sudden onset of intense pain will occur and this can lead to swelling in the joints. Attacks will be infrequent and can be spaced weeks or even months apart from each, but as time passes, the attacks will become more and more common.

Chronic Tophaceous Gout

This stage is the most serious and will only happen after 10 years. A patient will only reach this stage when he makes no attempt to seek treatment and gout has caused a permanent damage to the joints and kidneys.

There is an exponential relationship between gout and joint pain, leading to sudden onsets of pain attack and swelling. However, reaching from one stage to the other takes time and during the periods, it can be treated by medication and reduction in consumption of purine-rich foods. Gout will cause a lot of trauma and severely affect patients.

How is Gout Treated?

In some cases, gout is very dehabiliting. It can happen suddenly and be very painful. The most common spot for gout to occur is in the big toe. Although, it may spread to the ankles, feet, and knees.

Fortunately, gout is a very treatable condition. And we offer a variety of ways to treat the disease. When a gout attack occurs, it will often resolve on its own in about a week. Thus, many health professions focus on relieving the symptoms and preventing future incidents.

Medications are the most common go-to. NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may alleviate swelling and pain. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger pain medication if over-the-counter drugs aren’t helping. Medications that help lower uric acid levels may also be considered. These type of medications help to prevent attacks by reducing the production of uric acid.

However, long-term use of most of these drugs is not recommended. Surprisingly, NSAIDs can have fairly dangerous side effects. With chronic use, heart problems may arise. Prescription NSAIDs are particularly problematic for this. You may experience gastro-intestinal issues. These medications may cause bleeding and ulcers when used for long-periods or at high dosages. Such medication may also lead to further impaired kidney function, which not only doesn’t help the problem but can amplify gout occurrences and symptoms. When using any medication, make sure to follow the direction on the label and read the warnings prior to consumption.

Your healthcare provider may also consider the medication you are currently taking and make modifications where it is necessary.

If your diet is the main problem, your healthcare provider may discuss other dietary options that do not increase your risk of gout. They will advise you to avoid foods high in purine and to drink plenty of water throughout your day.

In short..

The treatment of an acute attack of gouty arthritis involves measures and medications that reduce inflammation. Preventing future acute gout attacks is equally as important as treating the acute arthritis. Prevention of acute gout involves maintaining adequate fluid intake, weight reduction, dietary changes, reduction in alcohol consumption, and medications to lower the uric acid level in the blood.

Maintaining adequate fluid intake helps prevent acute gout attacks. Adequate fluid intake also decreases the risk of kidney stone formation in patients with gout. Alcohol is known to have diuretic effects that can contribute to dehydration and precipitate acute gout attacks. Alcohol can also affect uric acid metabolism to cause hyperuricemia. Therefore, alcohol has two major effects that worsen gout by slowing down the excretion of uric acid from the kidneys as well as by causing dehydration, both of which contribute to the precipitation of uric acid crystals in the joints.

Orthopaedic Care & Gout Treatment in Singapore

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our experts can diagnose, treat, and prevent joint, neuro, and muscular disorders, such as gout. They can provide exercise and nutritional advice to help treat gout.

Your doctor will address your nutritional and lifestyle choices, in combination with manual manipulation of the joints to eliminate your pain, improve mobility, reduce the incidences of gout attacks, and help increase your overall quality of life.

Your healthcare provider may recommend the following foods to replace high-purine content foods in your diet:

  • Low fat dairy products
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Water

Surgery is a rare option for treating gout. However, in cases where there is a lack of draining, the area has become infected, or movement is severely impacted, surgery may provide the best option.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend specific exercises to reduce joint pain and increase support to the commonly affected areas. Weaknesses in the body may lead to pain and conditions such as gout. Strengthening around these areas can lessen the pain symptoms associated with the condition. Weight management is also important to limit the stress placed on the joints that are prone to gout attacks. Your treatment will likely involve an exercise program tailored to your specific needs, including strengthening exercises and possible weight loss strategies.

Get the advice you need and the proper care and treatment for your condition. Frequent and painful gout attacks do not have to be your normal.

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our qualified doctors will find the appropriate gout treatment in Singapore for you. Our team of doctors are experienced in treating orthopaedic problems, sport injuries, and degenerative changes. Start your life free of pain. Get back to the activities you know and love. Call and book your appointment, today.

Everything You Need to Know about Ligament Tear

Common Ligament Injuries

Ligaments are fibrous tissues which connects our bones to other bones. They also help to support the joints and allow a normal range of motion for the joints. Ligaments have high tensile strength due to the high density of collagen present. Ligaments also provide proprioceptive inputs to the brain and allow the body to perform complex activities required in sports. Injuries to the ligament are common in high impact and high speed sports and a structural damage to the ligaments are known as ligament sprains. There are some ligament injuries that are much more common than others and let’s take a look at them.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are common is high impact sports like football, soccer, rugby and basketball. The ACL is one of the 4 main ligaments in the knee which joins the femur to the tibia. Nearly 50% of patients who experience ACL injuries suffer it in combination with injuries to other parts of the knee such as the meniscus and medial collateral ligament. ACL injuries occur most commonly from sudden twisting motion when the foot is still firmly planted on the ground while the knee is trying to change direction, causing the ACL to rupture. An ACL reconstruction will be the most viable option after injury as ligaments cannot heal by themselves.

Medial Collateral Ligament

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is another main ligament of the knee which provides stability to the knee. The MCL is located from the end of the femur to the top of the tibia and it prevents the knee from opening up. Due to its preventive features, it is commonly injured when there is an impact on the outside of the knee joint which causes the knee to buckle and the knee to open up. MCL injuries are also mostly in conjunction with ACL and meniscus injuries. If it is a standalone MCL injury, surgery is often not required and patients can get on with their lives pretty well with the help of a knee brace to provide stability.

Glenohumeral Joint ligament

The Glenohumeral joint ligaments are located in the shoulders at the Glenohumeral joint which provides stability to the shoulder. The Glenohumeral joint connects the upper arm bone to the humerus and the shoulder blade. Injuries to the Glenohumeral joint occurs due to a fall and the patient landing on an outstretched arm, sudden twisting of the arm to beyond the normal motion range and a sudden impact on the shoulder, causing the ligaments to tear.

Above are 3 of the common ligament injuries that are experienced by many. Although ligaments are strong fibrous tissues, they can rupture if a sudden impact or twisting motion is applied on it. Ligaments are important in ensuring stability of the specific part of the body so extreme care should be taken to protect it.

Symptoms & Treatments for Knee Ligament Tear

Our knee is supported by 4 main ligaments – anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Each of the ligament plays a different role in ensuring the stability of the knee. However, due to various reasons, the ligaments can be torn. Rupture of the ligament can be a partial one or a full one and this will affect the treatment administered. A ligament tear will also bring about instability in the knee and the inability for it to bear weight, causing problems when walking. In this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and treatments for ligament tears.

The role of each ligament differs:

  • The role of the ACL is to stabilise the knee joint by restricting forward back backwards movement of the knee. It is designed to prevent the tibia bone from moving in front of the femur.
  • The role of the MCL is to protect the knee against any sudden and/or unwanted forces that is directed at the side of the knee. It restricts the sideway movement of the knee.
  • The LCL works in conjunction with the MCL to restrict sideway movement and it protects against sudden forces that is directed at the inside of the knee.
  • Lastly, the PCL works together with the ACL to control forward and backward movements of the knee.

An injured ligament will bring about symptoms that are similar to each other:

  • As a general rule of thumb, a partially torn ligament will not bring about a pop sound while a fully ruptured one will produce a pop sound. A fully torn one will also create instant instability and the knee will give way.
  • Swelling will occur and the injured knee may start to turn purple due to the lack of proper blood flow to the area. Swelling occurs due to a build up of blood from the injured ligament.
  • The knee will be unable to function properly and you may feel that you are unable to control it.
  • Tenderness will onset when you touch the knee.

The first step in treatment is to pay the PRICE:

  • Protect the knee from further movements
  • Resting the knee immediately following injury for at least 48 hours. If you need to move around, consider using crutches or walkers to prevent bearing weight on the injured knee.
  • Ice will bring down swelling and reduce inflammation. Always try to ice the area every hour by using a cold compress or simply by wrapping knee in a towel and applying it locally.
  • Compress the knee with a bandage to reduce swelling and prevent excessive movements.
  • Elevate the knee to above your heart level to reduce swelling. This will cause excessive blood to flow away due to gravity towards your heart.

 

Nutrition Secrets for Ligament Tear Recovery

The ligament is a fibrous tissue and its main function is to connect bones to another bone and prevent abnormal joint motions. Injuries to ligaments will take a long time to heal. However, good nutrition can help to speed up the recovery process. The vitamins and minerals in food can help to facilitate healing.

Proteolytic Enzymes

The first step of any injury is to reduce inflammation in the region and foods that contain Proteolytic enzymes are especially useful due to its anti-inflammatory properties which help to eliminate protein from the injured region. Foods that are rich in proteolytic enzymes include pineapples and ginger roots.

Zinc

Zinc is another mineral that is excellent in combating inflammation. The way our body works is fascinating. When one part of the body is injured, it will divert all the zinc in the body to the injured part to counter inflammation. As such, other parts of the body will have a zinc deficiency. In order to prevent zinc deficiency, it is important to consume foods that are rich in zinc such as oysters, wheat germ and veal liver.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has excellent anti-inflammatory properties as well and when worked together with Proteolytic enzymes, it provides an even better result. Vitamin C is not a vitamin that they body can self synthesize. As such, patients will need to consume it in order for the body to possess it. Vitamin C is also required to produce collagen in the body and this is important in ligament healing. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli and tomatoes.

Protein

Protein is the building block of our body and it is required by the body for any healing process. Protein can easily be obtained from foods such as tofu, meat, eggs and soy products. Protein deficiency will lead to various ailments in the body.

Calories

Although the body’s metabolism is low during injury, there is still a need to consume sufficient calories on a daily basis. Calories are required in the healing process and if patients decide to cut down severely on their calorie intake, this will slow down the recovery process.

Ligament injuries will require physical therapy, surgery and proper nutrition to ensure a speedy recovery. Proper nutrition is not difficult to achieve. Although your movements will be severely limited, you can always ask a dear one to help you out in ensuring you receive sufficient nutrition daily.

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our orthopaedic specialists are ready to help you get back to the activities you know and love. Call us today for an appointment @ +65 9734 3087 to get a professional assessment of your condition & start your journey toward a better life!

Arthroplasty Surgery in Singapore

Arthroplasty surgery is one of the most effective and affordable surgeries in Singapore. Hip and knee replacement, or arthroplasty, surgery waitlists continue to grow. With wear and tear over time, the cartilage in our joints breakdown. It can become painful and may limit your movement and mobility.

The most common arthroplasty surgeries in Singapore replace the hip or knee joint. Our hips and knees undergo a lot of stress throughout our lives. These joints absorb substantial force and weight when we walk, jump, and move. Thus, the cartilage is more likely to breakdown and cause pain during weight-bearing activities.

Arthroplasty surgery can lead to restored function of these joints and an improved overall quality of life. The new joint can last up to 15-20 years. Trends continue to lean toward most individuals having at least one arthroplasty procedure in their lifetime.

Our team takes care of you during the pre-surgery, surgery, and post-surgery stages. At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our experienced team can help you get back to living your life, free of pain.

What Are the Benefits of an Arthroplasty?

As science and technology continue to improve, joint replacement surgery continually gets better and the benefits continue to grow. Benefits of undergoing a arthroplasty surgery in Singapore include:

  • Less pain
  • Increased mobility
  • Decreased risk of depression
  • An increased quality of life

The overall outcome of these procedures are high, with almost all experiencing decreased pain levels and improved functioning.

However, as with any surgery, the procedure does not come without its risks. Risks include:

  • Infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Loosening of replacement parts

These risks are often higher in those that suffer from pre-existing conditions beforehand.

Why Undergo an Arthroplasty?

Degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis, are the most common reasons for undergoing an arthroplasty surgery.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Over time, wear and tear causes the protective cartilage in between bones to breakdown. This creates painful bone-on-bone grinding. Other reasons for undergoing an arthroplasty procedure include injury or damage to the joint, necrosis, or rheumatoid arthritis.

While physiotherapy and chiropractic care methods may help ease the pain via strengthening of the surrounding muscles, pain may still persist. When the pain begins to interfere with one’s quality of life and daily activities, an arthroplasty procedure is often recommended.

So, What Exactly Does a Arthroplasty Procedure Involve?

In short, the affected joint is either replaced or partially reconstructed. Since the 2 most common procedures involve the hip or knee, the following outlines hip and knee arthroplasty surgeries in a step-by-step process.

Hip Replacement Surgery:

  1. A general anesthesia is administered. This will allow you to sleep during the surgery and allow your muscles to relax making the operation easier for the surgical team to perform. You will also feel no pain during the procedure.
  2.  An incision is made on the side of the hip.
  3. The ball portion of the femur bone is removed and replaced with an artificial part.
  4. Damaged portions of hip bone, such as cartilage, are removed.
  5. The replaced ball portion of the femur bone is then inserted into the hip.
  6. Tissue, such as muscle, is reattached, and the incision is, then, closed.

Knee Replacement Surgery:

  1. A general anesthesia is administered. This will allow you to sleep during the surgery and allow your muscles to relax making the operation easier for the surgical team to perform. You will also feel no pain during the procedure.
  2. An incision is made vertically in the front of the kneecap.
  3. The kneecap is moved out of the way to make room to perform the surgery directly on the joint.
  4. Damage to the femur bone is removed. It is, then, resurfaced to fit the artificial piece.
  5. An artificial piece is attached to the end of the femur bone.
  6. The top of the shin bone is treated in a similar fashion. Damaged portions are removed and the top of the shin bone is fitted with an artificial piece.
  7. A plastic piece is snapped into the top of the shin bone’s new part to help the knee bend properly.
  8. The patella is adjusted. A plastic piece may also be added to the patella to allow it to fit properly in the new knee joint.
  9. The joint is moved to ensure each piece is functioning properly. Then, the incision is closed.

Pre-Surgery Care

Before surgery, the appropriate examinations and tests are carried out to ensure as little risk as possible. Your surgeon will fully explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Your surgeon will also ask that you do not consume any food for a set time before the procedure.

If you are on a waitlist for surgery or have months in advance to plan, it is recommended to begin strengthening around the area before undergoing the procedure. Strengthening these muscles beforehand will help with the recovery process. Discuss your options with your surgeon or your chiropractor and physiotherapist.

Post-Surgery Care

Following an arthroplasty surgery in Singapore, your surgical team may require that you move the joint right away. For hip replacement surgery, you may be required to walk right after surgery. This will ensure proper healing and mobility of the new joint. Your doctor will also prescribe pain medication to help you deal with the initial stages of recovery.

Your doctor will further provide instructions on how to take proper care of the incision while it heals. It is also important to take extra care not to fall after surgery as this could cause damage to the newly replaced joint. Use handrails and supports when necessary.

Often, a rehab program through a registered physiotherapist or chiropractor is recommended during the post-surgery stage.

Orthopaedic Care Post-Arthroplasty

Before joint replacement surgery, exercise may help decrease and manage your pain levels. Following an arthroplasty surgery in Singapore, exercise in the rehabilitation process can help:

  • Decrease swelling
  • Improve range of motion and mobility
  • Improve gait and help retrain gait mechanics

Your physician will work with you to help you gain back your confidence and get you back to your regular activities. Initially, heat or ice application may be used to help reduce the swelling and pain. They will prescribe and help you perform stretches and strengthening exercises to help promote movement of the joint and provide support to the new joint.

Having a qualified healthcare professional guide you through the rehabilitation process can help determine the success of your arthroplasty surgery. It also ensure you complete your exercises correctly which is essential to proper function of the new joint.

For the knee joint, post-surgery exercises focus on strengthening the quad and achieving full range of flexion. For the hip joint, post-surgery exercises will focus on the gluteal muscles, the major muscles of the leg, and core strengthening. Your healthcare provider will also instruct you on proper gait techniques throughout the recovery stage.

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our team of doctors and surgeons can guide you through the entire process. From start to finish, our experts provide the best treatment and care addressing your specific needs and goals.

Call and book your consultation today. Get back to your regular activities and get back to enjoying your life.

What is Naviculocuneiform Joint Fusion?

As you age and grow older, there is a tendency for arthritis to settle in to your joints of your body. This can make it difficult to do everyday tasks such as walking, lifting items or using your hands. While there are various treatment options for this problem, some of the areas that arthritis attacks need a little more attention. If you are having problems in the joints of your foot, naviculocuneiform joint fusion may be what you’re needing.

What is Naviculocuneiform Arthrodesis or Joint Fusion?

Basically, this is where the naviculocuneiform joint of your foot has had arthritis settle in and caused the bones of the joint to start rubbing together. The joint itself consists of four different bones and it is in the middle of the foot. When this sets in, it makes it hard to bear weight on the foot, walk like you normally would, and can also cause a problem called drop foot if it has gotten severe. This problem is typically caused by having a trauma to that region of your foot.

What the joint fusion will do is help to relieve the pain that you’re dealing with in that area of the foot. The procedure itself will fuse your joints together with pins and screws to hold the joint in place as it should be. This will help to alleviate the pain and problems that you’re currently having due to the joint cartilage wearing away.

What to Expect

This procedure is an outpatient procedure and you’re generally back home by the end of the day. You’ll be administered general anesthesia and possibly a nerve block in your foot and ankle to help with pain control after the procedure. A small incision is made on the inside of your foot where the doctor can access the joint area. The pins and hardware are then put in place and you’ll be ready to go shortly after you wake up.

You’ll receive a cushioned splint to wear for the following days after surgery. Typically, you’ll spend around two weeks with your foot elevated to help reduce the swelling that can occur after the procedure. When you go back for your two-week checkup, the doctor typically removes stiches or staples and you’re placed in a boot where you’ll remain non-weight bearing for around four to six more weeks.

After your six to eight-week checkup, you’ll come out of the cast and slowly return to normal use of the foot. You may have x-rays performed as well to make sure your foot is healing properly. Range of motion should not be affected after surgery and with a little time you’ll be back to normal.

3 Causes for Finger Joint Pain and Treatments

Whether you work in manual labor all day or you’re at an office job, your fingers and hands are quite busy. Daily tasks can become difficult to do if you’re suffering from finger joint pain or finger pain. Learning the most common causes for finger pain and the treatment options available can help you to live life to the fullest again, without the pain in your hands or fingers. Here are a few common causes of pain in the joints of your fingers.

Injury

Perhaps you may not have even realized you injured your hand or fingers and this is the cause of your pain. Other times you know when you did it and can pinpoint what caused the finger pain. Either way an injury can cause pain in the joints and fingers of the hand making it difficult to use that appendage until it’s healed.

Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis that can cause finger joint pain. RA, or rheumatoid arthritis, causes inflammation in the joints and can cause knots and growths on the fingers. It can also cause them to twist and cause more pain. Arthritis can come along with age or it can come along due to genetics. Osteoarthritis is another form that can affect the hands and fingers.

Other Causes

Another common source of finger pain is an infection from a cut or scrape. If you do not take care of the injury when it happens, you can end up with a painful infection. You could also develop neuropathy if you suffer from uncontrolled diabetes or have had diabetes for a very long time. This can cause numbness and pain in the appendages.

One other common cause of finger joint pain is carpal tunnel syndrome. It may start out as numbness and tingling but can progress to more painful problems if not taken care of.

Treatment Options

For pain in the fingers and joints you can take over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce the inflammation causing the pain. If your finger is broken or injured the doctor may put a brace on the finger so that you can reduce the movement giving it time to heal. For other symptoms such as carpal tunnel you may also find a brace to steady the wrist and hands can help to alleviate the symptoms.

For those suffering with arthritis, you may find that your doctor can prescribe you something to help with the symptoms and to reduce the pain. Finger joint pain can be caused by a variety of ailments and it’s important to pinpoint where your pain is coming from.

Symptoms And Treatments For Osteoarthritis Of The Big Toe

Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis that causes pain and swelling in joints. Due to the wear and tear of cartilage in the joint, the bones become more prominent and as a result, rub against each other as they move. While the condition occurs gradually, it worsens over time if left untreated. The big toe is a common area to be affected by osteoarthritis.

Causes

Most cases of osteoarthritis come with age, starting from ages 30 to 60. As the body system slows down, the cartilage deteriorates faster than it can heal, resulting in osteoarthritis to develop.

Obesity also increases the risk of developing the condition. With additional pressure from the body weight, the bones of the feet are stressed and may accelerate the damage of cartilage in the big toe.

Some people are born with an overgrowth of the big toe bone, making the toe joint stiff and difficult to bend, thus more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.

Symptoms

Some of the first signs of osteoarthritis of the big toe include stiffness, achiness, tenderness and pain in the affected toe, though may also be felt in the arch of the foot and other toes. The toe feels most achy and stiff in the morning and after sitting for a long period of time.

Gradually, you would start to notice swelling around the joint. It might be some time before the bone spur becomes visibly noticeable. However, you would feel the bones rubbing together and causing the area to swell as they get more prominent.

As the big toe gets stiffer, it gets harder to bend the toes. Walking and balancing becomes difficult and painful. The constant rubbing between the toes can cause corns and calluses to form, and even leading to other conditions such as hammer toes.

Treatment

Conservative treatment for osteoarthritis may not cure the condition but can relief the symptoms. Your doctor might prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine to ease the pain and bring down the swelling. There are also creams and gels to reduce the swelling. Orthoses can be inserted in your shoes to decrease the pressure while walking. It is best to avoid high heels and pointy-toed shoes as these shoes give puts stress on the feet and may aggravate the symptoms.

For very severe cases, your doctor might recommend a joint replacement surgery. The damaged cartilage is removed and the joint is held together in a fixed and immovable position so that the cartilage would not be affected again. However, the results of the surgery might cause a reduction in mobility. Thus, this procedure may only be suitable for elderly patients that do not require as much mobility in daily activities.

Arthritis of the Thumb: Symptoms & Treatment

Arthritis is a degenerative medical condition that affects and destroy a joint. There are different types of arthritis but the most common one is that affecting the basal joint and osteoarthritis. Thumb arthritis occurs when the cartilage is removed due to prolonged wear and tear from the thumb joint. It can result in severe pain in the hands, swelling and the inability to perform simple daily actions such as turning a doorknob.

Studies have also shown that thumb arthritis is more common in women than men, especially for ladies over 40 years old. In fact, women above the age of 75 are twice more prone to thumb arthritis than men of the same age.

Symptoms

The first symptom that will occur is pain. Pain will start from the base of the thumb when attempting to use it during actions such as clenching a fit. Simply put, any actions that requires the thumb to apply a force will result in pain. Very soon after, pain will be experienced even when the thumb is not in use. This would then signify an increase in the seriousness of thumb arthritis. Other symptoms may also be experienced by patients and they include:

  • Swelling and stiffness at the base of thumb
  • Loss of strength while trying to grip an object
  • Decrease in range of motion of thumb
  • Awkward finger position towards the base area

Causes

Thumb arthritis are usually the result of a direct or indirect trauma to the joint. The basal joint is designed to provide the thumb a wide range of motion, allowing us to perform a myriad of tasks. It is also with this range of motion that causes instability to it. Cartilage acts as a cushion to support the metacarpal bone and trapezium bone. Due to prolonged usage of the thumb joint, the cartilage wears off and the bones are no longer able to glide smoothly over each other. This will result in friction and the eventual damage of the finger joint.

The damaged joint will respond by growing new bones known as bone spurs. These bone spurs will cause the side of the thumb to have visible lumps. Eventually, the thumb metacarpal will start to slide out of the saddle.

Patients with less severe thumb arthritis will respond well to non-surgical treatment whereas those with severe arthritis will need surgical reconstruction to improve thumb function. An early diagnosis is critical to prevent thumb arthritis from deteriorating.

Arthritis of the Hand: Symptoms & Treatment

Arthritis is the generic name for inflammation in the joints. It can take many different form and the most common one is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the medical condition when the protective cushioning known as the cartilage is worn out due to wear and tear. It usually happens in areas such as the hand. In this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and treatment for hand arthritis.

Pain

Pain is the most straightforward symptom for any kind of medical conditions. In the initial stages of hand arthritis, the surrounding area will start to have a burning sensation especially after periods of long usage. This pain can be immediate or delayed. As wear and tear of the cartilage continue to take place, the pain will start to be more intense and the frequency increases. After long periods of rest such as after waking up in the morning, the pain can be quite unbearable and the ability to sense changes in weather also appears. Simple activities such as carrying a grocery bag or opening a can be difficult to accomplish.

Crepitation

After some time, there will be sensations of crepitation. This is due to the damaged cartilage rubbing against each other to create a grinding effect. If the hand arthritis affects the hand ligaments, the ligaments and tendons may start to become loose, creating a sense of instability.

Swelling

Swelling occurs due to an excess of body fluid accumulated in the hand. This is due to the body’s natural defence mechanism sensing that something is wrong. As a result, the white blood cells start to destroy the damaged cartilage, secreting a lot of fluid as a result. This will result in pain and tenderness in the hand.

 

Treatment is classified into non-surgical and surgical methods. In non-surgical treatment, the doctor will prescribe medication to stop the inflammation such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These medication can only treat the symptom but cannot repair the damaged cartilage. To counter this, glucosamine and chondroitin may also be prescribed as supplements.

If non-surgical treatment fails to produce good results, surgery will be necessary. The most common form of surgery is finger joint replacement. The replacement materials are biocompatiable and possesses weightbearing capabilities such as ceramics. This will help to restore function to the hand and improve the quality of life.

Cartilage do not self-regenerate and this is why joint replacement is the most viable option up to date.

Shoulder Joint Tear (Glenoid Labrum Tear): Symptoms & Prevention

The shoulder joint is composed of three different types of bones: the shoulder blade, upper arm bone and collarbone. This type of joint is a ball and socket joint, allowing for extreme flexibility and wide range of motion. The upper arm bone acts like a ball and is securely inside the shoulder blade socket. For stabilization purposes, the upper arm bone is slightly larger than the socket, ensuring that the fit is tight. To further enhance the stability, there is a layer of soft tissue called the labrum. Injuries to the labrum is the cause of a shoulder joint tear. In this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and preventive measures.

Symptoms of Glenoid Labrum tears are difficult to be diagnosed. The pain is unable to be localized to the exact location and pain is severely increased when actions involving the injured shoulder is attempted. Such actions can include stretching the arm or raising a hand. As time passes, the shoulder will be weaker and instability will start to set in.

Shoulder joint tears are often caused by a sudden trauma to the shoulder blade. These can include falling on an outstretched arm or a direct blow to the shoulder. In order to prevent this, protective measures should be taken:

Warm-ups and stretching

Have you ever taken a rubber band and pulled it suddenly? The rubber band will end up breaking immediately. This is the same for our muscles and it is the reason why warm ups and stretching are extremely important. Warming up will loosen the muscles and enable the tendons and ligaments to stretch. This will allow them to function properly and hold the shoulder joint together.

Protective gears

Shoulder joint tears are also much more common in players engaging in high impact sports such as rugby and baseball. Players often wear protective paddings designed for the shoulder. These cushioning pads are able to cushion and absorb shocks to a certain extent. Some are even able to prevent fractures and dislocations.

Build strong muscles

Building up strength in the shoulders will increase the ability of tendons, ligaments and muscles to withstand the impact experienced by the shoulder. Strong muscles will hold the shoulder together and prevent any muscular tears during an impact.

Shoulder joint tears are extremely painful and affects our daily lifestyle. Players who participate in high impact or repetitive sports shoulder consider investing in good protective gears and ensure that proper warm ups are performed prior to the start of their activity.

Hammer Toe: Symptoms & Treatments

Hammer toes are a common deformity in the toe due to factors such as poor blood circulation or medical conditions such as diabetes. A hammer toe may occur on any of the toes but they are most common in the three middle toes, causing them to be bent. In some patients, this deformity is present upon birth but for others, it can develop over time due to arthritis or wearing shoes that are restrictive.

Causes

The main reason why a hammertoe is formed is largely due to the mechanism of the toe muscles. The muscles work together in pair and when the balance fails, the result is the formation of a hammertoe. This imbalance in muscles will exert a lot of pressure and force on the tendons and joints, causing the toe to bend. Some factors that causes imbalance include the genes passed down by your parents. Patients who suffer from flat foot have an unstable arched feet and this will accelerate this condition.

Symptoms

Patients who are suffering from hammertoe will have the middle joint of the affected toe bent. The end of the bent toe will look like a claw. Initially, the toe can be straightened if you apply some force on it. However as time passes, you will be unable to extend it anymore. Any attempt to do so will only result in tremendous pain. At the top of the toe, a corn may be formed and a callus will be formed likewise at the sole of the foot. Simple actions such as walking and even wearing covered shoes will be a difficult task to accomplish.

Treatment

As the saying goes, the earlier you diagnose and treat it, the easier it is. In young kids or mild cases, splinting the affected toe can easily treat hammertoe. Kids should be encouraged to wear wide toe shoes to provide the extra space to wriggle the toes. Wearing shoes that offer a slight extra bit of space will also help to allow the toe to straighten itself. During this stage, ladies should avoid wearing high heel shoes, as this will exert even more pressure on the toes.

In serious cases, surgery will be required to straighten the joint. The surgery will include cutting and moving soft tissues such as the tendons and ligaments as well as fusing the bones together. Usually, it is a day surgery and you may notice your toe becoming shorter after surgery since the bones are fused together.