What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation in one or more bone joints often resulting in stiffness, pain, swelling and can restrict range of motion. Additionally, rigidity and limited mobility may affect connective tissues in areas around an arthritic joint. Two of the most common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). While arthritis is not curable, there are numerous nonsurgical and surgical treatments available to provide relief for arthritic ailments.
Deterioration of the protective cartilage within the hip, knee, shoulder and elbow joints as well other bone joints in the body can lead to osteoarthritis or essentially bone on bone grinding. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and the most common type of arthritis. The cause of osteoarthritis is wear and tear rather than an autoimmune and inflammatory disease as in the case of rheumatoid arthritis.
Knee arthritis can make it hard to participate in daily activities like walking or climbing stairs and can cause a serious disability or loss of work productivity.
Hip arthritis can also cause pain and stiffness especially during ordinary movements like bending over when tying a shoe, getting up from a chair or even in the course of taking a short walk.
Shoulder arthritis generally presents as pain, worsens during activity and limits motion. Simple tasks like combing your hair or reaching up to get something off the top shelf can result in pain to the shoulder area. Another revealing sign of shoulder arthritis can be grinding and clicking within the joint as well as a snapping sound known as crepitus caused by friction between bone and cartilage.
Elbow arthritis also presents itself as pain with loss of motion. Symptoms can include grating due to the loss of the elbow joint’s normal smooth surface from cartilage damage, wear and tear. Another arthritic ailment affecting the elbow is a locking sensation within the joint triggering pain. Elbow locking occurs due to loose pieces of cartilage or bone breaking off from the joint and becoming lodged within moving parts of the elbow. This causes limited motion and arm movement.
Nonsurgical Management of Osteoarthritis
Nonsurgical management can include medication, weight loss, bracing (as in the case of a knee brace), physical therapy and intrarticular injections (corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma (PRP).
Surgical Management of Osteoarthritis
When permanent joint damage, pain and lack of mobility from osteoarthritis persists arthroplasty or surgical reconstruction of the joint more commonly known as joint replacement may be something to consider talking over with an orthopedic surgeon. For loose cartilage ailments like debris breaking off the bone and impeding the joint and ligament tear repairs, arthroscopic surgery performed by an orthopedic surgeon may be a solution. Arthroscopic surgery performed through minimally invasive keyhole type incisions with a tiny camera and small instruments can help remove loose debris, repair ligaments and ligament tears.
Without nonsurgical therapy relief, osteoarthritis can advance to joint destruction. At this point orthopedic surgery is an effective option in the treatment and management of osteoarthritis. If you are suffering from painful, persistent arthritis talk with your orthopedic surgeon about nonsurgical and surgical treatments including:
- Total Knee Replacement
- Partial Knee Replacement
- Knee Arthroscopy
- Robotic-Assisted Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
- Robotic-Assisted Minimally Invasive Partial Knee Replacement
- Robotic-Assisted Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
- Total Hip Joint Replacement
- Hip Resurfacing
- Hip Arthroscopy
- Total Shoulder Replacement
- Reverse Shoulder Replacement
- Shoulder Arthroscopy
- Arthroscopic Elbow Surgery