Bone and Joint Action Week

October 01, 2017

As a private practice devoted entirely to orthopaedics, Bone and Joint Action Week is a natural fit with OAA Orthopaedic Specialists. Bone and Joint Action Week is an annual event that is observed every October 12 -20 all over the world. The intent is to educate and raise awareness about not only the importance of musculoskeletal health, but also effective ways to prevent and manage conditions and injuries that affect our bones and joints.
 
Over the course of Bone and Joint Action Week, there are dedicated days to highlight specific musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions:
 
October 12th –  World Arthritis Day

It is estimated that 70 million people in the United States have some form of arthritis. A common misconception is that all arthritis is the same. In reality, there are many different types of arthritis that can have unique causes and symptoms. Some less common types of arthritis include psoriatic, crystalline, and post traumatic arthritis. The most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, and the one we often automatically associate with the disease, osteoarthritis.
 
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of the joints. As a result, this can cause swelling, throbbing, joint erosion, and bone deformity. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is often referred to as degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis. This form of arthritis occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down leading to stiffness, swelling, and pain. When asked about osteoarthritis, Dr. Kevin Anbari shared what he experiences as a dedicated joint replacement surgeon: "Osteoarthritis is by far the most common form of arthritis. In my practice, I am seeing it more often because of the aging of the population, prior sports injuries, and higher rates of obesity among patients. Thankfully there are treatments that can help with the symptoms of arthritis. For many patients, knee and hip replacement can significantly improve a patient's quality of life."
 
Learn more about World Arthritis Day: worldarthritisday.org
 

October 16th –  World Spine Day
 
World Spine Day is observed annually on October 16th to raise awareness about spinal disorders and other conditions specific to the spine. Back pain is extremely common; so much so that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Furthermore, next to the common cold, back pain is the second most common reason for a visit to the doctor.
 
This year’s theme of World Spine Day is “Your Back in Action” and the goal is to highlight the importance of physical activity and proper posture to practice good spinal health and help prevent injury. Among other injuries and conditions, back pain can be associated with disc degeneration, nerve compressions, or spinal deformities. Despite the causes of the symptoms, all back pain has the potential to impact one’s quality of life and be debilitating.
 
“Most back pain is related to degenerative conditions of the spine. Thankfully, these conditions are not serious and typically can be managed without surgery. The key to treatment is prevention; exercising regularly, weight control, avoiding smoking, and proper posture while sitting and lifting can all help prevent back pain. Additionally, treatment with appropriate exercise based on “directional preference” are often very effective in managing episodes and flare-ups of back pain,” Dr. McConnell of OAA’s Spine Center of Excellence shared.
 
Learn more about World Spine Day: worldspineday.org
 
 
October 17th –  World Trauma Day
 
World Trauma Day is more popular in developing countries where an astounding 50% of road deaths could have been prevented with effective interference after a traumatic injury or automobile accident has occurred. In those countries, the World Health Organization emphasizes three measures:
1) immediate pre-hospital care
2) increased emergency management knowledge and training
3) adequate supply of pre-hospital care equipment and facilities.
 
While we are accustomed to life in a developed country, there are some key takeaways from World Trauma Day we should keep in mind to prevent a traumatic injury during our day-to-day activities:
  • Do not drive when you are tired or under the influence.
  • Do not text and drive, and always remember to wear your seatbelt.
  • Drive safely, be mindful of road conditions, and try to avoid risk even if you are in a hurry.
  • Remember that every second is crucial for an injured person.
  • Accidents happen, but use extreme caution when the potential for a traumatic injury is present (i.e. fireworks or climbing a ladder).
 
October 19th – World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day (PB&J Day)
 
Pediatric Bone and Joint Day, also known as the fun and fitting acronym, PB&J Day, focuses on important bone and joint-related conditions specific to adolescents. While there are some conditions, such as juvenile arthritis, that can impact the bone and joint health in our youth, the focus of this day during Bone and Joint Week is often focused toward athletic injuries. Given OAA’s history in sports medicine, athletic injuries in children and young adults is commonplace at our practice.
 
The prevalence of athletic injuries affecting the bones and joints of our youth have progressively increased over the years. Many credit this to increased sport participation, increased detection with newer medical technology and education, increased focus on intense training to develop athletic skills at a young age, and sports specialization – a hot topic in the world of sports medicine.
 
The youth athlete can be more susceptible to injury when specializing in a sport at a young age. An Aspen Institute study compiled of 1,200 youth athletes found that early specialization in sports is one of the biggest factors leading to an injury. The study observed youth athletes in early specialization that played one sport year-round. The results found that between 70%-93% of youth athletes specializing in a sport were more likely to get injured than youth athletes playing multiple sports. Focusing on one sport year-round does not give the muscles any rest. This lack of rest paired with the athlete constantly trying to improve their play causes a neglect to soreness, and can eventually lead to serious injury. These injuries can cause stress fractures and an array of injuries to the shoulders, knees, hips, back, and ankle. Chronic injuries can also occur when early specialization takes place because the athlete goes right back to doing the same sport that caused the injury in the first place.
 
As a fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Brislin of OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute sees firsthand the impact sports specialization is having on youth athletics. “Our young athletes are choosing to specialize in one sport at earlier and earlier ages. The pressure to specialize comes from many sources including the child, parents, and coaches. We are seeing a disappearance of three sport athletes that was once prevalent up to and including high school athletics. Today, young athletes and their parents fear that if they do not specialize early enough or get on the right team at the right age, they will miss the opportunity for a college scholarship or a championship season. Not only are our young athletes practicing more often, but many athletes will also do extra training above and beyond their sport practices. We are beginning to see injuries in children that were once exclusive to professional athletes. OAA and the orthopaedic sports community at large have begun to speak out regarding sports specialization and the rise in sports injuries. We need to realize that these athletes are children with developing bodies and developing minds. We need to remember to encourage and support these athletes as they develop their shills. My hope is that OAA can work to help prevent these sports injuries, stop the early specialization, and make children and their parents realize that it is okay to play more than one sport.”
 

October 20th – World Osteoporosis Day
 
World Osteoporosis Day is dedicated to raising global awareness about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. The goal is to put bone, muscle, and joint health on the global health agenda through healthcare professionals, the media, policy makers, and members of the general public.
 
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and fragile from a loss of bone tissue due to various factors like age, hormonal changes, medications and vitamin deficiencies. One in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Osteoporosis is a silent disease without symptoms until there is a fracture. Fractures can happen even without a fall or with trivial actions like sneezing, lifting a child, or moving furniture. Fractures caused by osteoporosis result in significant morbidity and loss of mobility.
 
Dr. Mythili Seetharaman of OAA’s Rheumatology Institute provided this insight into osteoporosis; “Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than breast cancer, heart attacks, or strokes. However, the general awareness for this condition is far less.  The key is to promote bone health from childhood with diet and exercise, age appropriate screening, identifying risk factors, fall prevention, and timely intervention.”
 
Learn more about World Osteoporosis Day: worldosteoporosisday.org

 

To learn more about Bone and Joint Action Week or to see some available resources, visit the United States Bone and Joint Initiative’s website (usbji.org). It is important to keep bone and joint health in mind not only during Bone and Joint Action Week, but also throughout the rest of the year so we can continue avoid possible injuries or conditions that can inhibit our quality of life or activities we enjoy!   
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