Jane Clark offers some tips for baby boomers on health related issues.
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Kevin McCormally: I’m Kevin McCormally of Kiplinger’s. I’m here with Jane Clark, Associate Editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine to talk about the baby boom. Jane, you can't open a newspaper or a magazine today without learning that the oldest baby boomers have turned 60. This generation plan has to be active for many, many more years. Will their bodies allow them to do so? Jane Clark: Well sure but they might have to take themselves in for a midlife tune up. After about age 40, people start developing tendonitis and bursitis which are inflammations affecting the joints. They also began to develop osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage around your joints starts to thin and dry out. Kevin McCormally: What can we do about that? Jane Clark: If it’s a minor inflammation, say an aching knee, you can simply apply first aid remedies. You can rest the area, wrap it, elevate it, apply ice and heat and take over-the-counter medications but if the pain persists, then you’ll have to see a doctor, either an orthopedic surgeon or a physiatrist who specializes in non-surgical remedies. Kevin McCormally: What can the doctor do for me? Jane Clark: The doctor will probably order X-rays and maybe an MRI to see what’s going on. They will also prescribe non steroidal anti-inflammatory, otherwise know as NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and they will also perhaps give you a pain relieving injection to get you going through the next couple of months and prescribe a conditioning regimen, maybe with the help of a physical therapist. Kevin McCormally: If that’s not enough, does modern medicine hold out any hope? Jane Clark: You may have to go through arthroscopy in which a surgeon will go into the area with a tiny camera and maybe clean out some debris or mend torn tissue. But if the osteoarthritis has progressed so far that your bones have actually eroded, then you’re facing total joint replacement surgery. Kevin McCormally: So, we’re talking the $6 million man. At what age can you do that? Jane Clark: It used to be that doctors really hesitate to perform that surgery in anyone younger than say 60 because they were afraid that the materials would wear out and you then face revision surgery when you are maybe in your 70s or even 80s. Nowadays, the materials last a lot longer and also, baby boomers really want the surgery. They want to stay active, so doctors are performing it on younger patients. Kevin McCormally: How young? Jane Clark: Even in their forties. Kevin McCormally: Okay, thanks very much Jane.