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Parkinson's Disease Plays Havoc With Common Orthopaedic Conditions
Date:1/3/2009

pare themselves for the challenges that come with it. This type of early education is important, because it can prevent these secondary problems from occurring. For instance checking bone mineral density and getting treatment for at-risk patients can help reduce the risk of fracture."

Recommended actions to prevent orthopaedic problems in Parkinson's disease include:

The author recommends that patients with PD who are being treated by an orthopaedic surgeon should also be treated by a medical team that includes a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, a primary care physician, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, and a social worker. Including family members can ease the complexity of care by ensuring the patient is seeing the correct doctors while getting referrals to other members of the multidisciplinary team.

Although there are surgical treatments for orthopaedic conditions experienced by people with PD, the disease can have a negative effect on recovery. In one example, the tremors associated with PD have been shown to interfere with the repair and rehabilitation of bone injuries. Those who have had a joint replacement are often relieved of pain and initially have improvements in mobility, but these improvements only last about a year.

Dr. Zuckerman comments: "Whether this is because the disease is progressing or because the rehabilitation was insufficient is unclear. So patients now have to decide what they want to accomplish -- more mobility or
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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