TYPES OF SURGERY FOR TREATMENT OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: JOINT REPLACEMENTNew techniques of joint replacement, or arthroplasty, have dramatically improved the outlook for people with RA. In arthroplasty, a severely damaged joint is reconstructed. This may involve only resurfacing the damaged ends of bones on either side and realignment of the joint, or it may involve replacing the entire damaged joint with an artificial one.In the past, total joint replacement was performed only in older, inactive individuals who had less chance of wearing out their new joints. Current trends in surgery reflect the opinion that preserving function is mandatory for good health, however, and therefore the use of artificial joints in younger, more active individuals has increased. Total joint replacement is frequently performed in the knees, hips, and shoulders with excellent results. Replacements for the elbows, wrists, and ankles are available, but the outcome is not as predictable. New designs, however, are continually becoming available and will likely provide better and more consistent results.Artificial joints can be attached to the bone by two different methods. In the first, surgeons insert the stem of the replacement joint into a hole drilled into the bone; the hole is filled with cement. This method is less painful and facilitates rehabilitation with faster healing, but the cement may crack and the joint may loosen in time, particularly in very active individuals.Recently, surgeons have begun utilizing cementless joint replacements, the second method of attaching the artificial joint to the bone. In this method, the replacement stem, which has small pores in it, is inserted snugly into a perfectly matched hole in the bone. The patient’s own bone slowly grows into the pores to provide stability. If successful, this method of replacement has the benefits of increased strength and durability, with (theoretically) a decreased need for additional replacement surgery in the future. Its disadvantages include prolonged rehabilitation and potential problems with delayed healing, as well as bone growth inadequate to support and stabilize the replacement. This bone growth inadequacy may be more likely to occur in individuals with RA whose bones have already been weakened by arthritis and some medications.*114/209/5*
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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: EXERCISES THAT ARE RIGHT FOR YOUExercise recommendations vary greatly, depending on the degree of arthritis activity present in the joints. Before undertaking any exercise program, you should always review it with the physician or physical therapist who is familiar with your specific situation. The key to developing and following an effective rehabilitation and exercise program is to know your arthritis.You may already appreciate that your arthritis can vary greatly over time. You may have experienced a severe flare-up of arthritis in the past after you overexerted yourself. If you know the pattern of your own arthritis, you will be the best judge of which exercises make you feel better and which ones only make you feel worse.In describing model exercise programs in the rest of this chapter, we have for the sake of convenience divided RA into three different levels of activity: very inflamed, moderately inflamed, and controlled. We recognize that this is an artificial division, however, and that few people fit neatly into any one of these categories all the time. Individuals have different exercise needs. We’d like to stress once again that no one with RA should begin an exercise program without obtaining the advice of a health care professional who is familiar with that individual’s needs.*73/209/5*
The third rule of vital nutrition is that all foods should be eaten as fresh as possible. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten raw, not cooked, canned, or frozen. If cooking is necessary they should be cooked as little as possible, preferably steamed or cooked with little or no water. All broth, of course, should be used also.
Raw foods contain enzymes which are essential for the proper digestion and assimilation of food. Cooking destroys all the enzymes, 100 per cent. In addition, cooking destroys many of the vitamins. Vitamins B and C are particularly vulnerable to the effects of heat. Minerals are depleted by cooking and are usually thrown away with the cooking water.
Freezing, canning, drying, salting, preserving, and prolonged storage are all more or less destructive to the nutritive quality of the food.
Contrary to popular notion, foods in their raw state are more easily digestible than in the cooked state. This is particularly true with fruits and most vegetables.
Furthermore, raw foods act as a cleansing agent of the digestive and eliminative systems and are the best preventive measures against constipation.
Dr. Robert Bell hit the nail on the head when he said, “Man is the only creature upon this earth who spoils his food before he eats it.” Cooked food is dead food. Only living foods can build healthy bodies.
According to famous nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee, D.D.S., arthritis in animals could be experimentally caused by feeding them cooked foods exclusively.
At this point I wanted to direct Dr. Essen to the .specific area of arthritis.
“What is your experience in Vita Nova with arthritis, and how effective are biological methods in the treatment of arthritis?”
“First, we must acknowledge that the conventional, symptomatic drug approach to arthritis has failed to show positive results. Accordingly, patients are left without any alternative. In fact, they are told that there is no alternative.
“But there is an alternative, and sometimes a very effective one, without toxic drugs. This alternative is biological medicine.
“Biological medicine is very adaptable for treating diseases of the rheumatic type because of their systemic and metabolic nature. The biological treatments help restore the normal metabolic rate, normalize the functions of the vital organs, assist the body in elimination of toxic wastes from the system—in short, rebuild and restore the patient’s general health. Although I believe that dependable scientific conclusions must be made first after ten years of observation (our clinical work here started only seven years ago), our preliminary impression is that biological methods are of supreme importance in the management of arthritis. As you know, we do not specialize in arthritis only—patients come here with all imaginable ills. But we have treated a sufficient number of patients with arthritis already to be able to make the statement that biological treatment will give them a chance either for a complete recovery or, in most cases, a definite improvement in their condition.”