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Will You Really Be Replacing Your Knee? The 101 On Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

An estimated 600,000 knee replacement surgeries will be necessary each year in the United States due to damaged cartilage in and around the knee joint. Many disorders and injuries can damage the knee joint, resulting in pain and loss of mobility. In many cases, this damage occurs due to a sports-related injury or accident, but osteoarthritis is a common condition that wears down the cartilage in the knee.

If you fall into one of the previous scenarios, and physical therapy and other remedies haven’t worked, then you may be considering more invasive measures. Using this guide, you will understand the steps involved in a partial replacement surgery and learn the best options for healing and recovery.

Steps for Your Surgery

While surprising to hear, your surgeon will not actually replace your damaged knee with a new one. During a partial replacement surgery, the actual bones of the knee are resurfaced, not replaced. The surgery involves the following steps:

  • Removal of Damaged Cartilage – A surgeon, like Northwoods Family Orthopaedics SC, will first remove any damaged cartilage on the ends of the tibia and femur bones. In addition, a thin layer of underlying bone is removed to ensure a more secure resurfacing.
  • Positioning of Implants – A metal material is implanted onto the surface of the knee joint.
  • Resurfacing the Kneecap – A plastic implant is inserted onto the patella, or kneecap.
  • Inserting the Spacer – Your surgeon will insert a plastic spacer between the metal implants. This spacer allows the knee joint to move in a more smooth, comfortable manner.

Rest and Recovery 

While knee replacement surgeries are safe and effective, taking the proper steps in your recovery is imperative for success.

Your surgeon will close up incisions using sutures or staples, which will remain in place for a few weeks after your surgery. Incision site infections develop in 3 percent of all surgical procedures, so taking proper precaution is essential. Change your bandages daily and clean the incision sites as directed by your doctor. Be sure to cover the incision site with plastic and a waterproof bandage before bathing.

You will need to avoid heavy activity for the first few days after your surgery; and, you will want to work with your physical therapist to design a safe, effective plan for recovery. This may involve walking with a walker or cane, thus increasing  your walking distance and speed each day. Fortunately, most patients are able to return to normal activities within 3 to 6 months!

If you were hesitant about considering surgery, now you know that it won’t be a complete bone replacement and that the healing rates are good if you are proactive.

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Help For Your Loved One Through Addiction Recovery

It can be painful to watch someone you care about go through bouts of addiction and recovery, but at the same time it can be hard to know what you can do to help. Every addiction is different, but with the right combination of support and treatment your loved one stands a good chance of sticking to a recovery program and avoiding a relapse. You have a role in their recovery after the intervention is over, so it’s important you recognize that responsibility and step up to it.

During In-Patient Treatment

Whether friend or family, make sure that the person getting help has a way to reach you, and that you’re on the contact list with the staff at any in-patient facility. Some facilities have restrictions on who is contacted, limiting this to family only, but the patient can augment this list as they desire.  Be aware though, the first few weeks will be the roughest, so don’t expect any contact initially. Even so, making an effort yourself is a good way to make sure that your loved one knows you’re pulling for them.

Make a point of scheduling visits as regularly as allowed by the facility, and by your own schedule. The more invested you are in the recovery process, the easier it will be for your friend or family member to see and accept your support. Every patient is different though, so there’s no way to predict exactly how your support will be received, but don’t take it personally if your offers of help are rebuffed initially.

Out-Patient and Ongoing Treatment

Whether because of successful completion of an in-patient program, or a lack of willingness to participate in one, your loved one has the option to participate in an out-patient or long-term treatment approach. These programs are made more successful if the support system of the patient remains stable. With that in mind, make yourself available as often as you can to attend meetings, provide transportation to appointments, or simply listen when things start getting bad. This will also minimize the opportunities and excuses for blowing off commitments or relapsing into old habits. Having someone to reach out to who isn’t a part of their addiction can make recovery much easier for patients, but this requires that you maintain an environment that is completely free of temptation. For example, if your friend or loved one was an alcoholic, make sure your home is free of anything that might contain alcohol in any form, including cold medicine and mouthwash. It may seem extreme, but recovering addicts can be unpredictable.

Knowing that you’re there to help often means more to an addict in treatment than you might think. Without that support it’s far too easy to back-slide and end up in a world they’ve fought hard to get out of. If you need advice on other ways you can help, reach out to a local group chapter or treatment center like Psych & Psych Services.

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Finding Better Evidence For VA Injury Claims

Dealing with the Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claim system can be a difficult battle against delays and changing requirements. Although the core requirement of proving the injury seems simple, there are times where the VA’s services aren’t sufficient or outside assistance seems assistance. If you’re being asked for new evidence or have been denied a claim because of evidence that showed no problems, take the time to understand how the VA looks at the evidence and what you can do to make your claim or appeal better.

The VA’s Service-Connection Requirements

VA disability exists to help veterans who need support in the form of monetary compensation and medical assistance for military-related disabilities. In order to be considered service-connected, a disability condition must have been caused by events during the military. Pre-existing conditions can be considered on a case-by-case basis if the conditions have become significantly worse due to military service.

Military service includes active duty and reserve duty in the military. It doesn’t matter if you were at work, in a combat zone, on leave, in another country or at home; if you were still in the military, it counts. There are even some exceptions for conditions caused during basic training/boot camp or a few weeks after leaving the military if it can be somehow linked to your military service.

The service-connection is the first, major part of winning a disability claim award. You also need to prove that you’re still suffering from the condition, which requires medical evidence. Unfortunately, many people suffer pains or disabling circumstances with no easily-observed symptoms.

One big problem is that fakers exist. It’s not difficult to pretend to be injured, so the VA needs medical proof to link your complaints to a physical condition. Success can be achieved through persistence, but with thousands of dollars per month in potential compensation for life, some veterans can’t afford to be persistent enough. If you don’t want to fight for decades to receive benefits that you truly deserve, you’ll need to get help outside of the VA system.

A Second Opinion Is Practically Required

The VA provides medical examinations for many veterans as part of the Compensation and Pension (C&P) process, but some veterans have complained of rushed examinations or inefficient equipment. Whether the complaints are true or not, if you’re truly suffering and the VA doctors can’t find anything, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Thankfully, the VA understands that mistakes happen and can even give you a referral to outside professionals if necessary. If you’re in a hurry, you could seek an independent medical professional immediately, get the results you need and hope for success, as a claim success results in reimbursement for your related medical costs.

Getting a referral for your medical team of choice is probably more cost-effective for most veterans. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for a free consultation to get the medical team’s information. If you have any number of pain or injury problems that aren’t showing up in testing, start with contacting a computerized tomography scan (CT scan) professional to take a deeper look at what’s wrong.

Inform the medical team of everything you’ve been through in relation to your claim in an organized fashion and show the VA’s results. If the VA didn’t find anything, civilian technicians can first perform their own independent test without the VA evidence, then compare results while looking deeper. You won’t have to deal with the long wait times at VA hospitals or the rush to get to the next patient.

Contact a CT scan professional such as Kinston Medical Specialists PA to arrange a consultation and prepare for a referral from the VA.

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Ways To Put Your Dental Fears Behind You

If you find that your fear of the dentist is causing you to neglect your teeth by putting off your dental appointments, you need to find a way to move past those fears. Catching dental issues early on makes the treatment possibilities much easier and affordable. Also, putting off dental visits can lead to the development of problems since you won’t be getting regular teeth cleanings or great advice your dentist may have about preventative maintenance. Consider following some of the tips in this article to move past your fear.

methods for minimal dental fears

Attend a meet and greet: You may feel much better about going to your appointment if you are able to meet the dentist ahead of time and familiarize yourself with them and their staff.

Make a last minute appointment: If you find setting up an appointment ahead of time leaves you spending your days stressing on that future date, then there is a way to avoid all that stress. If you have a flexible schedule, you can call the dentist’s office and tell them you would like to be fit in at the last minute if they have a cancellation.

Methods for extreme dental fears

Hypnosis: If you have a severe fear of the dentist then you may find hypnosis to be a good choice to help you move past them. A hypnotherapist will guide you through the process of clearing your mind and help change the way you think about the dentist, thereby alleviating some of those fears. 

Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the use of small needles that get strategically placed in exact locations under your skin. The needles will come in contact with specific nerves to get a certain response. In the case of dental fears, the desired response would be the calming of your nerves so you can go to your appointments without too much stress.

Therapy: If you have a dental fear that stems from something in your past or an anxiety issue that affects your life, then therapy may be able to help you to overcome your fear. Your therapist will help you to get to the root of the problem. From there, they will work with you on learning how you can move past the fear or at least get to a point where you can get yourself to make it to your appointments.

The tips above should help make it much easier for you to make it to your dental appointments with a dentist like Brant N Olson, DDS PA. so you can begin taking proper care of your teeth.

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4 Things You Need To Know About Acute Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis

Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis is a severe eye infection caused by viruses such as coxsackie, enterovirus, or the Epstein-Barr virus. Here are four things you need to know about this infection.

What are the symptoms?

If you have acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, you will have sore, red, swollen eyes. Watery eyes and the feeling that something is stuck in your eye can also occur. Additionally, many people with this infection experience subconjunctival hemorrhaging, bleeding beneath the white part of the eye. This bleeding makes the white of your eye look bright red which can be quite alarming. These symptoms usually last for anywhere between three and seven days. If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to see your optometrist immediately for treatment. 

Is it contagious?

Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis is incredibly contagious. Studies have shown that each person infected with the virus spreads it to about four more people, which allows it to spread exponentially.

You can get it through person-to-person contact with someone who has the infection. You can also get it by using objects that are contaminated with the virus, like towels or makeup brushes. People can be infected with the virus for as long as 48 hours without showing any symptoms, so even if someone looks healthy, you could still catch acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis from them.

How is it treated?

This infection is usually self-limited, which means that it tends to go away by itself. However, this doesn’t mean that no treatments are available. Your optometrist can give you medicated eye drops to ease your symptoms while you heal. You may also be told to hold warm compresses against your eyes. You should start feeling better in five to seven days and should be completely recovered after one to two weeks. Your optometrist will want to schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure that you’re recovering properly and aren’t suffering from any complications.

How common is acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis?

It’s hard for researchers to estimate how common acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis is because of how contagious it is and its occurrence in epidemics. Researchers do know that it’s less common in America than in developing countries. The disease is more common in the southwestern region of the United States than in other parts of the country. It can affect people of any age, but it usually affects children in their early teens.

If you think you have acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, see an optometrist like Baldwin Optical & Hearing Aid Co. right away.

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Minimizing Background Noise With Hearing Aids

One of the most common annoyances of hearing aids is that it is difficult to tune out the background noise. Background noise can cause annoying feedback and echos. There are new technologies that have caused the hearing aide to have fewer problems with echos, but there are still some ways to use Widex hearing aids or other brands in a manner that minimizes this problem.

Learn to Use Your New Hearing Aids

Sounds will often seem different than what you are used to, so you should spend some time listening to background noises to try to get accustomed to them. You may not need any adjustments if you become used to them. For example, practice listening by watching the news. News programs tend to speak more clearly than other programs. Then, start watching more challenging programs such as reality TV.

When talking on the phone, place the phone in front of the hearing aid microphone. Then, the phone will be placed in a location where the hearing aid will be able to hear it the most. Also, for those hearing aids that are behind-the-ear, there is usually a tele-loop that is built in. If you use a phone that has a tele-loop built in, you may be able to improve your ability to hear. If you use a cell phone, make sure it is hearing aid compatible or you may have a difficult time hearing.

Get Hearing Aids on Both Sides

Get hearing aids on both sides rather than one. When you have hearing aids on each side, it is easier to hear where sounds are coming from and they are less confusing. Two hearing aids can also make it easier to understand speech.

Choose the Right Hearing Aids

Modern hearing aids can also come with small computers that can lower some sounds and amplify others. Digital signal processing identifies speech and lowers the volume of other noises. Directional microphones can also help by allowing you to control from which direction you are hearing sounds. For example, if you want to focus on a conversation with someone in front of you, you can switch the microphone to the front. For the directional microphone to be effective in a noisy setting, you will need to turn your head in the direction of the sound that you would like to hear.

While hearing aids can take some getting used to, you will notice an improvement in your ability to hear and understand speech. Also, as the technology improves, background noises will become even less of a problem.

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Think You’re Depressed? Simple & Natural Ways To Deal With It

Life is not always easy, which can lead some people to feel under the weather or depressed. Depression is a hard thing to deal with, but that does not mean it cannot be dealt with. The following guide will help you deal with mild depression naturally and show you a few signs of this ailment.

Signs Of Depression

Some experts believe that depression has to deal with a chemical imbalance in your brain. The imbalance is mostly associated with low serotonin levels. This chemical issue is usually triggered by stress or traumas in your life.

The following are just some signs to look for should you be suffering from depression:

  • You might feel hopeless as if nothing you do will improve your situation.
  • Things that interested you before will seem boring or simply unimportant to you.
  • There might be changes in your diet, like eating too much or too little.
  • You might experience some form of sleep disorder, like oversleeping or insomnia.
  • There may be some unexplained body pains or aches.
  • You could lose control of your temper or just be irritable.
  • Your concentration and energy might greatly diminish.
  • You begin participating in reckless activities.
  • There may be some feelings of guilt or general self-loathing.

Talk to your mental health professional about some of these symptoms, as he or she can help confirm your suspicions. Remember that these are just symptoms related to mild depression.

Yellow Peels and Happy Thoughts

Believe it or not, researchers found that several ingredients in the peel of a banana can help reverse or prevent mild depression. This is mostly because banana peels help increase serotonin, which many experts call the happy or feel-good neurotransmitter.

The following are just some ways that you can consume your banana peel:

  • You can purchase banana peel extract from your local health food store or online.
  • Try boiling the banana peel and drinking the banana-infused water like tea. 
  • Use your juicer to make your banana peel into juice and drink it.
  • You can try to fry your banana peels too, and dunk them in your favorite dip.

Be sure that you purchase organic banana or pure banana extract to get the best results. Remember that these natural suggestions are only to help prevent depression and help you deal with mild depression. Do not neglect your mental health specialist, especially if you are dealing with stronger depression symptoms like suicidal thoughts.

For more information, contact Commonweath Affiliates PC or a similar organization.

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