Tag Archives: arthritis

Dr. Donahoe explains Lumbar Fusion when spinal fusion is used to stabilize the spine when arthritis has led to instability of the spinal segment.

Lumbar Fusion


Have you been diagnosed with a slipped disc in your back and your doctor recommended surgery? Spinal fusion is a procedure to stabilize the spine when arthritis has led to instability of the spinal segment (2 bones around the disc). This procedure is usually done along with a laminectomy to relieve the pressure on the spinal nerves. Patients with mechanical low back pain and pain in the legs when standing or walking, may benefit from this procedure. Screws and rods are placed around the spine for stability along with bone graft for the fusion.



Recipe for Easing Arthritis Pain

Did you know arthritis, or chronic inflammation, can be eased by adding these nutrients, found in this simple recipe, to your grocery cart? All you need is a fillet of fatty fish, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 glass of orange juice, 1 cup of cherries, 1 teaspoon of ginger and turmeric, and 1 cup of green tea.


Fatty Fish are Fantastic

Certain types of fish, like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.  These fats fight inflammation and work to increase the health of your heart. Eating fish a few times a week will ease the pain of arthritis and keep the old ticker ticking.


Olive You

Olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats and a natural compound called oleocanthal which can help prevent inflammation. It combats your arthritis pain by blocking the same inflammatory pathways in the same way as ibuprofen or aspirin. Switch out your vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil to increase your fight against arthritis.  


Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana

The antioxidants in vitamin C can help slow the progression of osteoarthritis and promote the growth of collagen, a major component of bone cartilage. Start your day with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and increase consumption of foods that are rich in vitamin C: grapefruits, guavas, kiwis, oranges, pineapples, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower and kidney beans.


Pretty Please, With a Cherry on Top

Cherries, especially tart ones, contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins which help reduce inflammation by stopping the production of inflammatory chemicals. They also can help maintain the health of your connective tissue. If cherries aren’t your thing, anthocyanins can also be found in other fruits including blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, boysenberries, elderberries, raspberries, strawberries, red and black grapes, and plums.


Spice Up Your Life

The spice turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which could be beneficial in managing chronic inflammatory-related joint disease such as arthritis. Turmeric has been used in India for centuries to ward off inflammatory diseases and is often found in traditional Indian cuisine, especially in curry powder. Ginger is another spice that contains chemicals that work similarly to anti-inflammatory medications, helping fight arthritis pain. Try steeping some fresh ginger with your daily cup of green tea or grate it into your favorite cocktail.


A Cup a Day Will Keep the Doctor Away

Unlike black tea, green tea contains a natural antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Similar to the anthocyanins found in cherries, EGCG can reduce inflammation by stopping the production of inflammatory chemicals. This can help the cartilage from breaking down, which can help to preserve joint health. Start your morning off right with a steaming cup of green tea

If you’re arthritis pain persists, please make an appointment to see a specialist at AOC.

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Is it just a sore knee?

It’s a fact, kids play hard. However, while they’re playing and having fun, children don’t realize they are sore until it’s time for bed. As their bodies begin to relax, sore muscles and joints begin to ache; these aches are commonly called growing pains. However, if pain persists, it may be more than a sore muscle or joint, it could be juvenile arthritis. Here are a few tips to help you know the difference.

Growing Pains vs Juvenile Arthritis


What are growing pains?

Children who complain of growing pains, often describe pain or discomfort in their legs or arms. Growing pains tend to affect children at night; it is not uncommon for aches to wake children from their sleep. Don’t panic, although these aches are called growing pains, there is no evidence linking growth with pain. After all a child’s rate of growth is too piecemeal to cause pain.

Symptoms of Growing Pains

Symptoms of growing pains are pains in the muscle, rather than in the joints. Common spots include the front of the thighs, the calves and the backs of the knees. Pain typically does not last for long periods of time. If pain does persist, it may be time to call a pediatrician.  Quick tip: a warm bath before bed can help soothe sore muscles.

What is Juvenile Arthritis?

Yes, children can get arthritis. Juvenile arthritis affects children under the age of 17. Children who have juvenile arthritis may experience persistent pain, swelling and stiffness in their joints.

Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

Symptoms to watch out for are tenderness, pain, or swelling of the joints, limited range of motion, joint stiffness, and fatigue. If joint pain persists more than a week, make an appointment to see a doctor ASAP.

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Can Arthritis Affect You?

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. With over 100 types of arthritis, we tend to focus on the most common type, osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, and the other most common type, inflammatory arthritis. This ailment affects up to 80% of people during their lifetime.

Osteoarthritis is caused by destructive wear and tear of the articular cartilage which covers the end of joints. All joints have a cartilaginous end to the bone. This tissue is well organized and is very smooth with low friction; therefore it takes multiple years and multiple cycles for a joint to typically wear out.

There are multiple causes for this wear.  It can be due to simple aging changes, hereditary factors, malalignment of the joints, or excessive strain to the joints such as repetitive wear or excessive weight.

Patients who come to Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic for arthritis pain are often diagnosed by the history of the joint pain and stiffness, the physical signs of joint pain, stiffness, malalignment, increased warmth or swelling, and confirmed by other diagnostic tests such as x-rays. The diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis can be assisted with x-rays, but are more typically diagnosed by laboratory tests such as rheumatoid factor, a sedimentation rate and an antinuclear antibody test or screen.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for arthritic conditions; however, great progress has been made over the recent years in trying to find disease-modifying agents that can potentially slow the process of the development of arthritis. The initial treatment for arthritic conditions is related to activity.  This may be in the form of exercise, stretching, physical therapy or occupational therapy.  Next, diet may be important.  Not only does weight loss help joint wear, it may reduce some of the strain on the joint and certain types of diets may reduce the actual causes of inflammation in the body.  Medications which are frequently used for this include categories such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.

If you are having symptoms or problems occurring from arthritis, please call and schedule and appointment today, 251-410-3600 or visit alortho.com.

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Why Your Orthopaedic Physician Cares About What You Eat


Portrait of a pretty young girl enjoying a swim on a hot day looking at you

Orthopaedic Surgeons do more than fix broken bones. We also help people decrease the aches and pains that are part of life.  We know that what you EAT has a big effect on how you feel.

Overeating and obesity have the obvious effect of adding stress to joints resulting in arthritis and pain at an early age. The rate of obesity has more than doubled since 1980. Poor diets and obesity are also linked to Type II Diabetes. Diabetes results in damage to both nerves and blood vessels. This damage not only can be painful, but also hinders the body’s ability to heal and can even result in amputations or other painful disabilities.

Various foods have different effects on the body. Some help decrease inflammation and pain. Some can help us to metabolize fat and lose weight.

As Orthopaedic Surgeons, we see the problems that result from bad eating habits. We realize that most people don’t know enough about what makes up a healthy diet. We also know that this is not our area of expertise. That is why we are happy to partner with The Delicious Dietitian. Since 2011, they have offered a FREE Wellness program for our patients.

To see how proper nutrition can Take A Bite Out Of Arthritis, join us at our July 10th wellness program nutrition seminar.

At the Delicious Dietician, they teach people about healthy foods and portions. They can help with proper diets for individual health problems. They can also teach you how to buy the best foods on a budget.

Healthy eating is a choice that impacts how we feel for the rest of our lives.  At AOC, we know that healthy people are more productive. We encourage our employees to improve their health and happiness by working with The Delicious Dietician.


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