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Is MSM (a supplement) a viable option for treating inflammation?

YES but not approved by FDA. The supplement that works on nerve pain, but watch for the side effect of diarrhea.

I had bilateral knee replacements at same time 2yrs ago, I’m 62. Should I do any running? I walk 4mi daily and ride bike 16miles daily.

Ideally on a soft surface for low impact. The plastic liner between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) will wear out quicker with hard impact like running.

Is glucosamine any good for joint pain? 

If you take glucosamine, it needs chondroitin sulfate and you have it to take for several months before you may see an effect. Also not FDA approved, but most studies show benefits.

What is the best way to get rid of sciatica or relieve painful episodes?

Stretching with anti-inflammatories like Aleeve or Motrin or physical therapy.

Can you have permanent nerve damage by delaying hip replacement?

In extreme cases, if bone is pressing on nerves, but they are usually two different issues.

I have rheumatoid arthritis with knee, hip and back issues. What exercise can I do?

Yoga would be great or water therapy.

I have a small tear in my meniscus and I have a knee brace I’ve paid a lot of money for. Would you recommend surgery now or later? I am 52.

Surgery if your pain has now affected your activity daily or limited things you want to do. If it’s tolerable and not locking or giving out, then wait. PT and bracing are viable options until you are ready.

I am facing a very unique situation. My left knee requires replacement and I have been seeing a neurological surgeon for a pressed nerve issue. I need your professional opinion as to which surgery should be pursued first. Should I have the knee replacement, or should I get the back fusion, which is getting worse I instead of better after having three epidurals.

I’d say the back first, but get a second opinion about back. You need the back to be better to do the rehab for the knee replacement.

How do you tell the difference between arthritic pain and other back pain?

Basic back pain will go away in a week or so. If you have back pain and no leg pain then it may be a disc and could get better with PT. If you have leg pain and numbness, then will you will need more and it’s not just arthritis.

How many times should I exercise a week at age 49?

It depends on your goals. If you mean for weight loss, then maybe a HIIT program and diet modification. If you just want to stay active, then 2-3x a week for 15-30 min.

Doc, will a new mattress ease my back pain that happens mostly at night? How do I pick a mattress? I also try not to walk for too long in heels because I feel it at night in my back.

Sounds like you could have discogenic back pain and it may not be the mattress.Sleep with pillow between legs on your side. Belly sleeping has higher strain and more pain. Also heels over 3 inches have been shown to increase sway and back pain. [EDITOR’S NOTE: An old or worn-out mattress can contribute to back and body pain. There are now many ‘bed in a box’ online mattress vendors like Casper and Tuft and Needle and others that allow you to try out a mattress for months at a time and will refund you if they don’t end up working for you.]

I have degenerative arthritis and its friend, severe inflammation. The top & base of my spine has no cartilage, plus some discs in my back are degenerating, yet I have been working out for about 2 years. [you don’t want none I push weights!] I am between 67 to 70 pounds down from my original weight of 337. My question is, am I ever going to be able to stand up fully and take a walk again? Is there hope?

Congratulations. You have surpassed the norm, thus there is always hope (mind over matter). You may have to change to isometric weights and things like yoga or water workouts to keep flexibility and muscle mass.

Disc replacements is a fairly new procedure and long-term studies are not in, so err on the side of conservative. Remember, 1 pound on you is 5 on your joints, so yes, the weight loss is great.

When I do lunges and squats, I can hear my knees crack. What could that be? What should I do about it?

If they hurt, then you can do brace, NSAIDS or injections, but some noise is due to alignment or cartilage damage that may not cause pain.

I have a pinching sensation on my spine right in the middle of my back. This happened after the flu from coughing. Should I get an MRI?

Yes. Likely a disc herniated and could be pinching a nerve.

Do probiotics work for joints?

Not really, more for stomach and intestines.Most studies show it should be over 50,0000 a day to be helpful.

I have a back pain that shoots down the front of my leg. What could this be and how can I get rid of it. It’s so painful, it stops me in my tracks.

Possible herniated disc pushing on nerve. You need an MRI and good exam from ortho or neurosurgeon (if it’s mild it needs PT and NSAIDS, if moderate-steroid injections, if severe-surgery)

Do you recommend carpal tunnel wrist surgery?

Yes it’s a great procedure if done before too much damage to the median nerve. Try injection and brace first to see how you would respond.

I have flat feet and keep having a sensation of my knee locking whenever I run, which is often (about 100 miles a month). It never has, but the feeling makes running uncomfortable. Plus my hips (inner) are really tight. I wear the proper running shoes, plus orthotics. What could be wrong with my knee and hips? (EDITOR’S NOTE: You can search YouTube for hip-stretching exercises that may help your tight hips which can be exacerbated by running and by sitting). 

Alignment. You likely have more going on than just knees and feet. Hip and knee alignment may be different. If it limits what you do, then have it X-rayed. Physical therapy may help.

What do you think about gel injections to replace knee cartilage?

Yes for stage 3 or 4 osteoarthritis (bone on bone) and when steroid injections aren’t working anymore, its a great option. Do your homework on the type. Some have had recent recalls (Synvisc) for various reasons. Euflexxa is another brand that has had good results. Expensive, but cheaper than knee replacement.

Sonya M. Sloan, M.D., aka #OrthoDoc, has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the male-dominated field of Orthopedic Surgery. Licensed to practice medicine in several states, she travels the country to extend the impact of her unique approach to patient care.

With a B.S. in Chemistry from Texas Tech University and an M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Dr. Sloan completed her residency at Baylor College of Medicine where she made history as both the first African-American female Intern in General Surgery and the first African-American female Orthopedic Surgery resident. She has authored several published research projects in Orthopedic Sports Medicine and a joint venture with NASA, Johnson Space Center.




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