Frequently Asked Questions About Our Practice

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What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is not a singular medical condition; there are actually more than 100 variations of arthritis and associated rheumatic health conditions. So right up front, you need to be sure which type of arthritis you're dealing with. You also need to know that arthritis has no known cure. There are however an array of effective pain management and treatment options available to you. Additionally, there are no cure-all's for arthritis. Because it is such a diverse disease, it takes experimentation with different combinations of treatment options in order to arrive at the "recipe" the works best for you.

Fast facts about arthritis:

  • Arthritis doesn't just affect the elderly.
  • A rheumatologist is a type of Dr. that specializes in diagnosing specific types of arthritis.
  • Different treatment options can be used to manage pain, control symptoms and even reduce and/or reverse joint damage.
  • An early arthritis diagnosis and initiation of treatment is imperative to prevent disability and/or deformity.

Arthritis is generally defined as a condition in which the joints are inflamed and painful (arthralgia). If one or more bone ends of a given joint are inflamed, movement becomes painful and difficult. Stiffness sets in and the discomfort can be never-ending without intervention. Some of the causes of different types of arthritis include:

  • Everyday wear and tear on joints and cartilage;
  • And overcharged immune system creating inflammation;
  • Injury;
  • Abnormal metabolic patterns;
  • Heredity;
  • Bacterial and viral infections;

Rheumatic diseases like arthritis are so classified because different patients demonstrate different symptoms, complications, prognoses and necessary treatments. Rheumatic diseases also are known to affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and joints. In addition, this type of disease can also affect internal areas of the body.

Signs and symptoms to watch for in order to diagnose arthritis early:

  • Limited joint functioning;
  • Stiffness;
  • Redness;
  • Swelling;
  • Warmth;
  • Tenderness;

And in some cases, arthritis can also surface with the following symptoms:

  • Swollen lymph nodes;
  • Fever;
  • Fatigue;
  • Weight loss;
  • Problems developing in the heart, kidneys, lungs and/or other internal organs;

Call today and schedule your consultation with Dr. Ghosh. The pain you are feeling can be effectively managed and/or reversed.

What is Psoriasis?

If you have a chronically scaly, itchy and/or red rash on your knees, scalp, elbows, ears, genitals, buttocks, naval or elsewhere, then you may have psoriasis. Psoriasis is not just the skin rash; it's actually an autoimmune disease. The good news is that it's a very common autoimmune disease that just about 2% of the entire world's population suffers from. And of that 2%, between 10 and 15% develop some type of joint inflammation condition (aka psoriatic arthritis).

Fast facts about psoriasis:

  • Psoriasis is not contagious, yet very common;
  • Psoriasis ranges and severity from mild to extreme;
  • Psoriasis is a chronic (long-term) skin condition that has no known cure;
  • Psoriasis can go into complete remission, but it will return;
  • The symptoms of psoriasis vary with climate changes, especially increases in exposure to sunlight;
  • Psoriasis is seen in all races, all ages and both sexes equally;

It is not exactly known what causes psoriasis, but it's most likely a combination of several factors including environmental toxins, genetic predisposition and heredity. Immune system health is a very important risk factor for psoriasis development as well. Treatment options for various classifications os psoriasis include tar soap baths, steroid creams applied topically, ultraviolet light therapy and more.

Talk with Dr. Ghosh about your psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis today and let him develop a customized treatment plan for you. End the embarrassment and end the discomfort today!

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a medical condition that results in weakened, fragile bones. The density of the bone material is decreased thereby decreasing its strength. With osteoporosis, the bones become far more porous than normal; they're like sponges - and they break easily. In fact, it's most often a fracture or break that gets osteoporosis diagnosed in the first place. That's because there are no real symptoms before that, in most cases. Many times, the patient doesn't even know that they have fractured one of their bones. They simply begin feeling pain in that localized area and need assistance in dealing with it.

Common locations for osteoporotic fractures include:

  • Spine
  • Hips
  • Ribs
  • Wrists
  • Ankles

In more severe cases, repetitive spinal fractures cause chronic pain in the lower back area, and decrease bodily height. The spine curves over time due to the collapsing of vertebrae. The patients may develop hunched appearances in their upper backs. These "humps" are most often called "dowager humps" and are most often seen in elderly women. Other patients incur stress fractures in their feet simply by walking, climbing steps or stepping on and off sidewalks. Hip fractures are particularly disabling, and disheartening. Otherwise trivial accidents can cause a hip to fracture. Broken and fractured hips are notorious for being difficult to heal and often require more than one course of surgical manipulation.

The best ways to avoid, reverse or at least offset the development of osteoporosis are:

  • Choosing the foods you consume wisely to include mainly calcium rich dairy-foods;
  • Exercising for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day;
  • Following your prescribed medicinal plan;

Talk to Dr. Ghosh today about the best dietary parameters, exercise routines and medications to help with your unique condition.

What is Lupus?

Classified as an autoimmune disease, lupus causes inflammation throughout the body, especially in the joints, kidneys, blood and skin. The body loses its ability to discern between harmful and helpful substances and begins attacking its own cellular structures. Then, to make matters worse, the immune system begins manufacturing antibodies and directs them against itself!

Fast facts about lupus:

  • Lupus is not an infectious condition.
  • More than 1.5 million people suffer from lupus in the United States alone.
  • Although the exact cause of lupus is not known currently, health professionals believe that certain individuals are naturally predisposed to developing it. Additionally, there are various environmental factors that could cause lupus including:
    • Ultraviolet light;
    • Antibiotics;
    • Infection;
    • Extreme stress levels;
    • Specific drugs;
    • Being female;

Women are afflicted with lupus between 10 and 15 times more often than men. Lupus and is also more often seen in Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and African Americans than in Whites. Lupus is very difficult to diagnose because the symptoms appear and then disappear repetitively. The symptoms also mimic other illnesses, making accurate diagnosis even more difficult. Some of the signs and symptoms that doctors used to diagnose lupus include:

  • Muscle pain;
  • Fatigue;
  • Skin rash;
  • Hair loss;
  • Poor appetite;
  • Sores in the mouth and/or nose;
  • Pain in the fingers when cold;
  • Low grade fever;
  • Pleurisy;

In most cases, lupus can be managed quite effectively and patients can enjoy a full life span. There is no cure for lupus, but modern research is making great advances concerning lupus therapy and symptom management. The Lupus Foundation of America is very active in helping sufferers, now with more than 100 local chapters nationwide.

Call Dr. Ghosh today and begin developing a customized lupus treatment plan that will best manage your individual symptoms.

What are joint injections?

There are several different types of corticosteroid injections that can be administered to patients to help them to overcome the effects of chronic bone and joint pains. These pains are often the result of arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other rheumatic diseases and conditions. Shots of corticosteroids can be injected into the joints locally, bringing medication expeditiously to problem areas including:

  • Elbows
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Wrists
  • Hands
  • Back
  • More...

Some of the more common types of corticosteroid injections include:

  • Cortisone (Cortizone) injections;
  • Steroid shots;
  • Kenalog injections;
  • And others...

When you're experiencing the intense pain of an arthritic flare-up, you need longlasting relief, and fast!That's why these corticosteroid joint injections are available: to help you feel better. Other types of corticosteroid injectables include:

  • Dexamethasone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Prednisolone
  • Prednisone
  • Triamcinolone

Have a conversation with Dr. Ghosh soon and learn about the joint injection treatment options available to you for your specific bone and joint pain condition.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is an adverse medical condition that chronically affects the joints, tendons and muscles. It causes tenderness, stiffness and pain and is also attributed with causing patients to lose sleep and suffer the following:

  • Difficulty digesting foods;
  • Depression;
  • Waking up tired;
  • Anxiety;
  • Fatigue;

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known. No inflammation is associated with the pain, leaving patients to suffer no deformity or tissue damage. Additionally, no damage is incurred by internal bodily organs. Unlike other rheumatic conditions like systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia causes no inflammation and leaves no obvious signs for understanding the onset of the pain and stiffness associated.

Possible causes of fibromyalgia:

  • Elevated levels of Substance P, a chemical nerve signal;
  • Low levels of serotonin;
  • Super-sensitive CNS;
  • Impaired REM sleep phases;
  • Psychological distress;
  • Trauma;
  • Infection;

More than 8 out of 10 people affected with fibromyalgia are women between 35 and 55 years of age. The elderly, children and men are also affected, but not nearly as frequently. In the United States, just about two out of every 100 people suffer from fibromyalgia.

What is a Nerve Block?

Nerve blocks are commonly utilized medications that are injected into specific bodily areas in order to manage and/or treat pain. There are various types of nerve blocks, each serving a unique list of purposes. Different types of nerve blocks include:

  • Shoulder and upper neck (cervical plexus & cervical paravertebral) nerve blocks;
  • Hand/arm/shoulder (brachial) nerve blocks;
  • Rib joint nerve blocks;

Certain nerve blocks can also be used to allow a patient to avoid surgery. You should know that the administration of nerve blocks doesn't happen without the possibility of potentially adverse side effects including, but not limited to:

  • Itching
  • Skin Rash
  • Bleeding
  • Elevated Blood-Glucose Levels
  • Gaining Weight
  • Feeling Extra Energetic
  • Injection Site Soreness
  • And in very rare cases, death...

Discuss with your Dr. whether or not nerve blocks are feasible options for you and your unique condition.

What is an epidural?

Epidurals are specific types of nerve blocks used for areas in the neck and back. Types of epidurals include:

  • Lumbar epidural nerve block;
  • Thoracic epidural nerve block;
  • Cervical epidural nerve blocks;

Other nerve blocks including sympathetic nerve blocks, stellate ganglion nerve blocks, Facet joint (zygapophysial) nerve blocks and others are also utilized with a common goal of managing and treating both acute and chronic pain. Nerve blocks effectively numb nerve endings thereby blocking their ability to send or receive pain messages to the brain.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a form of compression nerve damage (neuropathy) that occurs to the median nerve, located in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is actually a bone-surrounded canal in the same side of the wrist as the palm of the hand. It serves specifically as a "conduit" for the median nerve, allowing it to join up to the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes irritation to the median nerve. This irritation is specifically caused by compression pressure stemming from the transverse carpal ligament.

Often, CTS is brought on by performing repetitive work tasks like packing meat, typing, working on an assembly line and the like. The symptoms often include the following:

  • Numbness of the hands;
  • Pain in the wrist;
  • Tingling in the fingers;
  • Weakened grip;
  • Feelings of lacking coordination;

Nerve conduction testing is utilized in order to accurately diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Predisposing factors to CTS also include:

  • Obesity;
  • Hypothyroidism;
  • Diabetes;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Arthritis;

The treatment for CTS will be determined on a case by case basis. The severity of the symptoms, the length of the symptoms, the underlying causes and other factors must be considered. If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is diagnosed early enough, the treatment will probably just consist of modifying certain activities and wearing a brace on the wrist. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed. In certain cases, a cortisone injection directly into the carpel tunnel is warranted. CTS is reversible in many cases. However, if diagnosis does not occur early enough, endoscopic surgery (carpal tunnel release) may become necessary in order to prevent further, irreversible neuropathy.

Talk with Dr. Ghosh today and learn more about how Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be reversed and/or managed very effectively.