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  • Reinke's edema


    Reinke's edema is the swelling of the vocal cords due to fluid (edema) collected within the Reinke's space. First identified by the German anatomist Friedrich B. Reinke in 1895, the Reinke's space is a gelatinous layer of the vocal cord located underneath the outer cells of the vocal cord. When a person speaks, the Reinke's space vibrates to allow for sound to be produced (phonation). The Reinke's space is sometimes referred to as the superficial lamina propria. Reinke's edema is characterized by the "sac-like" appearance of the fluid-filled vocal cords. The swelling of the vocal folds causes the voice to become deep and hoarse. Therefore, the major symptom of Reinke's edema is a hoarseness similar to laryngitis. The major cause associated with Reinke's edema is smoking. In fact, 97% of patient's diagnosed with Reinke's edema are habitual smokers. Other identified risk factors include overuse of the vocal cords, gastroesophageal reflux, and hypothyroidism. The disease is more often cited in women than in men, because lower voice changes are more noticeable in women. The first cases of Reinke's edema were recorded in 1891 by M. Hajek, followed by F. Reinke in 1895. In his investigations, Reinke injected a stained glue into the superficial lamina propria (Reinke's space) to mimic edema. Reinke's edema is considered to be a benign (non-cancercous) polyp (protrusion) that represents 10% of all benign laryngeal pathologies. Treatment of Reinke’s edema starts with the elimination of associated risk factors, such as smoking, gastric reflux, and hypothyroidism. Advanced cases may undergo phonosurgery to remove the fluid from the vocal cords.

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome


    Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS), also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, is a compression neuropathy and painful foot condition in which the tibial nerve is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel. This tunnel is found along the inner leg behind the medial malleolus (bump on the inside of the ankle). The posterior tibial artery, tibial nerve, and tendons of the tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus, and flexor hallucis longus muscles travel in a bundle through the tarsal tunnel. Inside the tunnel, the nerve splits into three different segments. One nerve (calcaneal) continues to the heel, the other two (medial and lateral plantar nerves) continue on to the bottom of the foot. The tarsal tunnel is delineated by bone on the inside and the flexor retinaculum on the outside. Patients with TTS typically complain of numbness in the foot radiating to the big toe and the first 3 toes, pain, burning, electrical sensations, and tingling over the base of the foot and the heel. Depending on the area of entrapment, other areas can be affected. If the entrapment is high, the entire foot can be affected as varying branches of the tibial nerve can become involved.

  • Lymphatic filariasis


    Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is a human disease caused by parasitic worms known as filarial worms. Most cases of the disease have no symptoms. Some people, however, develop a syndrome called elephantiasis, which is marked by severe swelling in the arms, legs, breasts, or genitals. The skin may become thicker as well, and the condition may become painful. The changes to the body have the potential to harm the person's social and economic situation. The worms are spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes. Three types of worms are known to cause the disease: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori, with Wuchereria bancrofti being the most common. These worms damage the lymphatic system. The disease is diagnosed by microscopic examination of blood collected during the night. The blood is typically examined as a smear after being stained with Giemsa stain. Testing the blood for antibodies against the disease may also permit diagnosis. Other roundworms from the same family are responsible for river blindness. Prevention can be achieved by treating entire groups in which the disease exists, known as mass deworming. This is done every year for about six years, in an effort to rid a population of the disease entirely. Medications used include antiparasitics such as albendazole with ivermectin, or albendazole with diethylcarbamazine. The medications do not kill the adult worms but prevent further spread of the disease until the worms die on their own. Efforts to prevent mosquito bites are also recommended, including reducing the number of mosquitoes and promoting the use of bed nets. In 2015 about 38.5 million people were infected. About 950 million people are at risk of the disease in 54 countries. It is most common in tropical Africa and Asia. Lymphatic filariasis is classified as a neglected tropical diseases and one of the four main worm infections. The disease results in economic losses of many billions of dollars a year.

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