Orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Frank J. Pompo and Jennifer A. D’Amico held an informational session Jan. 30 at Hartford Healthcare in Bristol, about joint pain and the different ways to treat it.
Pompo focused on knee and hip replacement in his presentation, while D’Amico focused on the ankle and foot.
Pompo said he sees his patients every two weeks, and 80% have had a hip or knee replacement, and 20% have had fractures, or something less severe.
An arthritic knee can be a result of decayed cartilage, or exposed bone. An arthritic hip could be from corrosion, and rheumatoid arthritis is from an inflamed joint, and is the most crippling.
Pompo said certain medications can cause joint pain problems as well. There are different treatments for different patient cases. If prescribing medication, Pompo prefers topicals because, since it’s not internal, there is no risk of any stomach or kidney pain. A doctor might also just clean the joint through a same-day surgery called arthroscopy. There’s also a joint fluid supplement where a steroid injection is given four times a year or every three months. Physical therapy is also an option.
If a replacement is needed, it could be a partial or total replacement. Partial means that just the damaged area is replaced, and total means a prosthesis will be given. Pomo said a joint replacement happens when the patient is in pain that is disabling, or there is joint disease. It has reduced pain in 90-95% of patients.
D’Amico said in her field of work, big toe arthritis is the most common, and most ankle arthritis is post-trauma. She said she treats sprained ankles with crutches so that the ligaments heal properly.
“If you just walk it off, the ligaments could heal crooked, and lead to ankle pain down the road,” said D’Amico.
She also said that heel pain happens when there is a shift. Someone could have had a weight gain, or loss. It could also depend on the type of job someone has, or even the shoes someone wears, and a good anti-inflammatory alternative to pills is turmeric with black pepper, or Golden Milk.
Pompo and D’Amico have offices at 281 North Main St., Bristol. They also practice in Torrington, and at the Bristol Hartford Healthcare location at 22 Pine St., Bristol.
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