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Joint Disorders

A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder. Joints can be damaged by many types of injuries or diseases, including

  • Arthritis - inflammation of a joint. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. Over time, the joint can become severely damaged.
  • Bursitis - inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint
  • Dislocations - injuries that force the ends of the bones out of position

Treatment of joint problems depends on the cause. If you have a sports injury, treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, keeping the injured area from moving, rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery. For arthritis, injuries, or other diseases, you may need joint replacement surgery to remove the damaged joint and put in a new one.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Knee Replacement

Knee replacement is surgery for people with severe knee damage. Knee replacement can relieve pain and allow you to be more active. Your doctor may recommend it if you have knee pain and medicine and other treatments are not helping you anymore.

When you have a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of your knee joint and replaces them with a man-made surface of metal and plastic. In a partial knee replacement, the surgeon only replaces one part of your knee joint. The surgery can cause scarring, blood clots, and, rarely, infections. After a knee replacement, you will no longer be able to do certain activities, such as jogging and high-impact sports.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers.

More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis. It often starts in middle age and is most common in older people. You might have the disease for only a short time, or symptoms might come and go. The severe form can last a lifetime.

Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth and lungs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from your immune system attacking your body's own tissues.

No one knows what causes rheumatoid arthritis. Genes, environment, and hormones might contribute. Treatments include medicine, lifestyle changes, and surgery. These can slow or stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding offers many benefits to your baby. Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients to help your infant grow into a strong and healthy toddler. Some of the nutrients in breast milk also help protect your infant against some common childhood illnesses and infections. It may also help your health. Certain types of cancer may occur less often in mothers who have breastfed their babies.

Women who don't have health problems should try to give their babies breast milk for at least the first six months of life. Most women with health problems can breastfeed. There are rare exceptions when women are advised not to breastfeed because they have certain illnesses. Some medicines, illegal drugs, and alcohol can also pass through the breast milk and cause harm to your baby. Check with your health care provider if you have concerns about whether you should breastfeed.

If you are having problems with breastfeeding, contact a lactation consultant.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Health Disparities

Health disparities refer to differences in the health status of different groups of people. Some groups of people have higher rates of certain diseases, and more deaths and suffering from them, compared to others. These groups may be based on

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Immigrant status
  • Disability
  • Sex or gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Geography
  • Income

NIH: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities