Hospital's orthopedic surgeon cases the joint

June 29, 2009

Dr. Ralph Salvagno says he gets questions from younger and younger people who want to know what to do about joint pain. So he will speak about the issue with members of the public Wednesday at Robinwood Medical Center.

"This is directed at a younger audience," Salvagno says. "They're wondering, 'What works for me and what are my options?' We'll run the gamut from medications to injections to cartilage grafting. We'll talk about different types of joint replacements."

Joint pain begins in early adulthood, Salvagno says, and gets worse as time goes on. Knee and hip replacements for elderly patients are commonplace, and increasingly performed on middle-aged people.

But younger patients don't want to lose mobility. They want to be able to do my job and play sports.

Salvagno says he'll provide basic information about joint health. For instance, weight reduction is important to healthy joints.

Walking, Salvagno says, stresses the knee. When a foot hits the ground, the knee is jolted with the equivalent of about three times a person's weight. A 200-pound person puts about 600 pounds of stress on each knee when walking. Running is about twice as stressful as walking.


Salvagno says he will talk about how to preserve joint function, how to tell the difference between a minor injury such as a strain and a major injury or a chronic condition such as arthritis.

He'll also talk about treatments for joint pain. And he'll caution people not to believe everything they see on TV ads for joint therapies.

"People hear about new ... knee and hip implants. We are bombarded with ads for pills to take and injections to have," Salvagno says. "We'll try to make some sense of it all - what things work and what things don't work."

The presentation is free.

-- Chris Copley

If you go ...

WHAT: A conversation about joint pain with Dr. Ralph Salvagno

WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 1

WHERE: Robinwood Medical Center, Suite 142, off Robinwood Road, eat of Hagerstown

COST: Free and open to the public

CONTACT: Call 888-847-9274 to reserve a seat.

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