March 12, 2020
Dear Patients and Colleagues:
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate healthcare news. It is important to follow the healthcare guidelines set out by the CDC to limit the spread of the virus especially here in Seattle, which is the epicenter of the corona virus. My web page has a link to the Proliance and CDC guidelines for your education.
On a different note, I would like to encourage patients of all ages to enjoy good joint health this spring. There are many factors that contribute to joint health and preserving articular cartilage. These include, but are not limited to weight reduction to an appropriate BMI, eating a healthy low-inflammatory diet, and low-impact cardio exercises that maintain our fitness without wearing out our joints at an early age. There are many vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies claiming to promote joint health. I encourage all of my patients to thoroughly research, through reputable web sites, any supplements, vitamins, or herbal remedies which they are considering taking. Many of these medications are not controlled by the FDA and contain additives in varying quantities that patients may chose to avoid taking.
Orthopedically, we treat patients at the early stages of osteoarthritis (loss of articular cartilage in the joints) with activity modifications, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and an anti-inflammatory diet. Injections for osteoarthritis include cortisone, viscosupplementation (hyaluronic acid), platelet rich plasma (PRP). Stem cell injections continue to be heavily marketed to the consumer; to date, I am unaware of any level 1 studies that show stem cells regrow articular cartilage in our joints. The more advanced osteoarthritis is in our joints, the less successful conservative management or injections work. When pain of an arthritic joint has taken over a patient’s quality of life, then it is time for them to consider joint arthroplasty surgery.
I again encourage all of us in the greater Seattle area to be vigilant during this time of the corona virus pandemic. Hand washing, social distancing, and limited community exposure are essential in containing the spread of this virus. I look forward to seeing you for your orthopedic needs in my office and I am happy to discuss your joint health and tailor a treatment protocol specific to your situation and orthopedic needs. Please continue to enjoy the incredible outdoor opportunities offered in the great Northwest.
Stay healthy, active, and engaged with your family and friends this spring.
Herbert R. Clark, M.D.