Blogs

Cure right. Sleep tight. Good night
All about Knee arthroscopy
All about knee replacement surgery
WHEN SLEEP REFUSES TO SHAKE HANDS WITH YOU
GET TO KNOW YOUR ROTATOR CUFFS BETTER
BONE BANK HELPS WOMAN AVOID ARM AMPUTATION
TUNE IT UP: TIPS TO MAINTAIN A GOOD VOICE
Cure Right. Sleep Tight. Good Night

Do you wake up every night, thanks to your own loud snores?
Do you feel tired throughout the day?
Do you often fall asleep during an interesting lecture or meeting?
Then my friend, you could be possibly be suffering from sleep apnoea.

Snoring is a very common thing and occurs due to the vibration of the tissues at the back of the throat while sleeping. It usually does not indicate a serious problem. If it’s mild, then it doesn’t require treatment. However, some patients may have significant obstruction to airflow during sleep and this can indicate obstructive sleep apnoea. It requires detailed evaluation and treatment. Snoring and sleep apnoea usually affects middle aged to older men who are overweight. But this is not necessarily the case and can also affect women and children as well.
Obstructive sleep apnoea can range in severity from mild to life threatening disease.


During Sleep
  • The muscles of the tongue and the throat relax.
  • The lower jaw and the tongue fall backward towards the throat.
  • The airway becomes blocked due to the collapse of tissues in the throat.

These result in stoppage of breathing and the silence ends abruptly with a loud cough or gasp. The patient then wakes up briefly and begins breathing again and then drifts back to sleep. Once the patient falls asleep, the muscles relax again, the airway gets blocked and the whole process repeats again. This can happen a few hundred times throughout the night.
Though, the patient does not remember these multiple episodes of awakening at night, they significantly impact the quality of life of a patient. The patient often wakes up feeling drowsy and feels that he or she haven’t had sleep at all at night. This in turn leads to lack of concentration and irritability. Children with obstructive Sleep apnoea are often hyperactive during the daytime. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is also associated with Heart disease, Diabetes and Hypertension.
Obstructive Sleep apnoea is diagnosed after detailed history and evaluation which aims at determining the effect that lack of sleep has on your daily routine. The upper airways are evaluated for crowding of tissues. An Endoscopy is usually done either when awake or by stimulating sleep called Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy. Sleep Study or Polysomnography is done during sleep at night either in a hospital setting or at home. The patient’s heart and lung function, breathing movements are then monitored to determine the severity of Sleep apnoea, which is assessed according to certain parameters.


The management options for Sleep Apnoea are
  • Lifestyle modification: losing weight, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, quitting cigarette smoking and avoiding sleeping on the back can help with reducing snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): This is a machine that uses air under pressure to keep the airway open. This is usually offered as the first line of treatment.
  • Dental appliances: are used in to keep your jaw and tongue from falling backwards and keep the airway open.
  • Surgery: Surgical options are usually advised for patients with severe sleep apnea and include surgical options to reduce the tissues in the throat and back of the throat.

So if you think you or your partner have snoring or sleep apnea, please consult a Doctor immediately. Your problem has a solution. Breathe easy. Sleep breezy

TUNE IT UP: TIPS TO MAINTAIN A GOOD VOICE

If you are a singer, a teacher or a professional voice user, you might have experienced several harrowing instances of sore throat, voice change and dry cough. Chronic and prolonged usage of voice can damage your vocal cords and you can end up with vocal nodules and other voice problems.

Here are some tips to help you tune it up
  • Avoid Shouting or loud voice use: Loud voice and excessive shouting can cause damage to your vocal cords. So when you use your voice, use it at an optimal pitch and loudness.
  • Avoid whispering: Contrary to popular belief, whispering also has harmful effects on your voice.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids and have multiple sips of water during long conversations to avoid excessive damage to your vocal cords.
  • Take frequent breaks: In scenarios where you are forced to use your voice for prolonged periods, take frequent breaks and sip water in between.
  • Quit smoking: Give up the harmful habit of smoking. Avoid passive smoking as well as it also affects the vocal cord.
  • Manage your allergies and acid reflux: This irritates your throat, causing the cough and post-nasal drip as well as hoarseness in the morning
When to meet your doctor?

In case you observe a change in your voice change that is not improving even after giving a short period to your vocal chords, please get yourself evaluated by an ENT specialist.

All about Knee arthroscopy

What is Arthroscopy? During an arthroscopy, a camera is inserted into the knee through two small puncture wounds. One for inserting the camera and the others for instruments. It allows us to look at the joint surfaces, cartilage and the main ligaments of the knee. The operation is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic. Once patient have recovered from the anaesthetic, they will be able to get up and a physiotherapist will explain some exercises. Why it is done? As well as allowing to see the problem, some procedures can be performed.

  • Repair or removal of torn cartilages. These are shock absorbers of the knee and are commonly damaged as a result of sports injury or simply ‘wearing out’.
  • Damage to the knee cap and the joint surfaces can be trimmed or shaved.
  • Small holes (micro-fractures) can be made in the bone to stimulate new cartilage growth.
  • Removal of loose bodies such as bone, cartilage or debris from the joint.
  • If inflammation is present, samples from the lining of the joint can be taken.

What will be the recovery following surgery? The knee may ache and swell following surgery and patient might need to take some painkillers. Hospital stay will be 1-2 days. The majority of patients should be walking without too much pain and able to do normal daily activities and sedentary (office-type) work within one to two weeks. If job is more physical and involves climbing, squatting or lots of stairs, it will probably need two weeks off to recover. Driving is possible after five to seven days when knee is feeling comfortable. It is advisable to gradually increase the level of activity to see how knee copes.

All about knee replacement surgery

Do you need knee replacement? If your knee gives pain, stiffness, instability or loss of function that affects your daily life and activities, then you will benefit from surgery
What are the advantages of Knee replacement? Freedom from pain and improved mobility and quality of life
What are the possible disadvantages? Replacement joints wearing out over time (20 years) and difficulty with some movements (sitting cross legged or squatting not advisable)
What are the alternatives to knee replacement? We recommend non operative treatment before considering surgery including weight loss, medication, knee brace and exercises
What will be the recovery following surgery? Most people are able to start moving soon after the surgery which is good for lung function and the circulation. Physiotherapist will explain to you the exercises and help you walk. You will be discharged as soon as the wound is healing and you can safely manage to get about at home with help of walker. Most people leave the hospital between three and five days following surgery. When you are discharged, you will be given supporting therapy and follow up checks including for removal of stitches. Your knee will continue to improve for as much as a year after the operation

WHEN SLEEP REFUSES TO SHAKE HANDS WITH YOU

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it difficult for people to fall asleep, stay asleep, causes them to wake up too early and tough to get back to sleep. As a result, one doesn’t feel fresh when they wake up.
Though, the hours of sleep one needs varies from person to person, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep every night. While, Insomnia may be the primary problem for sleepless nights, it may also be associated with other medical conditions or medications.
The symptoms that indicate that a person is suffering from insomnia are:

  • Difficulty in falling asleep at night
  • Waking up during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling fresh and rested after a night's sleep
  • Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
  • On-going worries about sleep
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety

Insomnia is often associated with other medical conditions.
Chronic insomnia is usually a result of stress, life events or habits that tends to disrupt sleep. Treating the underlying cause can resolve insomnia, but sometimes it can last for years. The common causes of chronic insomnia are:

  • Stress
  • Travel or work schedule like jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones or working in shifts
  • Poor sleep habits

The other medical conditions that cause sleeplessness are:

  • Mental health disorders: Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, may disrupt your sleep. Awakening well ahead of your routine time can be a sign of depression. Insomnia often occurs with other mental health disorders as well.
  • Medications: Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, such as certain antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure. Many over-the-counter medications like pain medications, allergy and cold medications, and weight-loss products contain caffeine and other stimulants that can disrupt sleep.
  • Medical conditions: Examples of conditions linked with insomnia include chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hyperthyroidism, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Sleep-related disorders: Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing periodically throughout the night, thus interrupting your sleep. Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant sensations in your legs and an almost irresistible desire to move them, which may prevent you from falling asleep.
  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol: Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeinated drinks are stimulants. Drinking them in the late afternoon or evening can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is another stimulant that can interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.

Insomnia becomes more common with ageing. However, children and teens also find it difficult to get sleep or resist a regular bedtime as they want to go to bed later and sleep later in the morning.
Sleep is an important ingredient of life just like a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Whatever your reason for sleep loss may be, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.
By following these simple steps regularly one can prevent insomnia.

  1. Waking up at the same time everyday
  2. Limiting daily in-bed time to the usual amount present before the sleep disturbance
  3. Discontinuing central nervous system (CNS)-acting drugs (caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, stimulants)
  4. Avoiding daytime naps
  5. Establish physical fitness by means of a regular exercise early in the day
  6. Avoid evening stimulation; substitute television with radio or relaxed reading
  7. Try very hot, 20-minute, body-temperature-raising bath soaks near bedtime
  8. Eat at regular times daily; avoid large meals near bedtime
  9. Practice evening relaxation routines like meditation
  10. Maintain comfortable sleeping conditions

If insomnia persists for more than weeks and makes it hard for you to function during the day, it is important that one should opt for medical aid.

GET TO KNOW YOUR ROTATOR CUFFS BETTER

Rotator cuff is a group of four muscles, which surround the shoulder joint. They come together as tendons to form a covering around the head of the upper arm and helps keep the shoulder in socket

However, sometimes the tendon or the tendons get damaged or torn due to “wear and tear” or because of an injury.

Symptoms

The symptoms that indicate that you have suffered a rotator cuff tear are:

  • Pain while resting at night, particularly if you are lying on the affected shoulder
  • Pain when lifting and lowering arm
  • Weakness when lifting arm

If you have a rotator cuff tear and yet you continue to use the affected arm despite a chronic pain, you might end up causing further damage. The tear can get larger over time.

Causes

Rotator cuff injury may be the result various reasons:

  • Repetitive stress: Repetition of the same shoulder motions in sports like cricket, tennis, badminton, rowing, and weightlifting and a few overhead activities for a prolonged period of time may irritate or damage the tendon.
  • Lack of blood supply: As one ages, the blood circulation to our rotator cuff tendons decreases. As a result, the body's natural ability to repair tendon damage is impaired, which in turn causes damage to the tendon.
  • Bone overgrowth: Sometimes, when the shoulder bone overgrows, it rubs against the rotator cuff especially when we are lifting our arms. This is called shoulder impingement. With time this bone overgrowth weakens the tendon and might cause it to tear.
Diagnosis and Treatment

A rotator cuff tear can be detected with the help of an MRI or Ultrasound. It also helps in detecting where the tear is located within the tendon and the size of the tear.

The treatment for the tear varies depending on the age, activity level, general health & the type of tear. The treatment involves

  • Resting by using a sling to help protect shoulder.
  • Avoiding activities that cause shoulder pain
  • Doing exercises and stretches to improve flexibility and range of motion.
  • Strengthening the muscles that support shoulder can relieve pain and prevent further injury
  • If resting, medications & exercises fail to relieve pain, an injection of a local anaesthetic & steroid may be helpful
  • A surgery may be required in cases of acute tear. It involves re-attaching the tendon to the head of humerus (upper arm bone) by keyhole surgery or as an open procedure.
BONE BANK HELPS WOMAN AVOID ARM AMPUTATION

Living with a bone borrowed from a dead person is indeed something uncommon. But this rarity will soon change as Bengaluru has got a bone bank about eight months ago. In fact, it has already helped doctors to save a homemaker's elbow from being amputated. The patient, a 39-year-old Kalamma from Mandya, had been suffering from immense pain in her right elbow for the past three years. Doctors in Mysore diagnosed the problem as bone cancer. The tumour was surgically removed. But when it resurfaced, doctors advised her to amputate her arm. Desperate to save her arm, Kalamma approached a few other hospitals, before consultant orthopedic oncosurgeon Dr. Srinivas CH gave her an alternative solution. “Kalamma had undergone several surgeries but the tumour was recurring. Everyone she consulted, recommended her to undergo an amputation. We suggested that a cadaver bone grafting could save her elbow,” said Dr. Srinivas. Surgeons then contacted the bone bank. When they came across a suitable match, they began a unique limb-saving surgery. They first completely removed the tumour before reconstructing the elbow joint with Allogenic Bone Graft (large bone graft). “Bone from cadaver was cut to the desired shape using a medical saw and fixed with cement and screws. For prosthetics that followed bone grafting, we had ordered a special titanium joint. During the process, the patient lost some skin. It necessitated plastic surgery to cover the elbow and implants,” explained Dr. Srinivas. The plastic surgery was carried out by Dr. Madhusudan. Approximately 10 cm of bone that was affected by the tumour was removed and replaced in a seven-hour surgery. Dr. Srinivas has said that this kind of surgery, involving cadaver bone and prosthesis, had never been carried out on an elbow in India before. Six months has passed by since the surgery and Kalamma has undergone several sessions of physiotherapy as part of the follow-up process. Today, she is free of cancer and goes about with her household chores with a smile on her face. “I do not know whose bone I am living with, but I will always pray for the donor’s family. In death, the person gave me a fresh lease of life,” Kalamma said. The bone bank which began operations recently is indeed a blessing. It is one of its kind in the country and is especially helpful in cases of massive allograft or large bone grafting. Dr Sundresh, orthopedic specialist and head of bone bank says, “Cadaver bone is a boon for bone cancer patients. Earlier, bones had to be imported. With increasing awareness, many citizens are coming forward to donate their organs after their death.” To add on this blessing, bone transplant also has a few other advantages as compared to other organs. According to Dr Srinivas the chances of rejection by the recipient’s body—like in the case of liver or kidney transplant—are less.