In continuation of our Health Chats seasonal speaker series, Dr. Gregory Tayrose and Dr. Aaron Leininger recently presented on the topic of Osteoarthritis and Treatments. The presentation being held at both Clayton and Smithfield, brought out numerous individuals looking to learn more about knee osteoarthritis and replacement and non-operative treatments of osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injections that are available at University Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.
What exactly is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a painful inflammation and stiffness of the joint. Roughly 50 million people in the United States were told they have some form of arthritis. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion. These symptoms can come and go and range from mild to severe.
There are many types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis.
Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis– when cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone. Causes pain, swelling and stiffness. Risk factors include obesity, age, family history, and previous injury.
While a healthy immune system is protective, it can sometimes mistakenly attack the joints with inflammation that can cause joint erosion and may damage internal organs. Common types include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or gout. This can be triggered by genetics and environmental factors such as smoking.
Infections (Septic) Arthritis
A bacteria or virus can enter the joint and cause inflammation. These are typically severe and need IV antibiotics and possibly surgery.
Common Osteoarthritis Locations:
- AC joint
- Ball and Socket
- Great Toe
- Weight Loss or maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercise to maintain a healthy weight and strengthen muscles around the joint for added support
- Balance activity with rest
- Physical Therapy
- Use a brace or cane
- Oral Medication
- Tylenol- tend to work better when taken on a regular schedule and not as needed
- Oral NSAID’s
- Topical Medication
- Topical NSAID’s
- Steroid or “Cortisone” Injection- an anti-inflammatory medicine that when helpful, commonly see three or more months of improvement. There must be at least three months between injections.
Sometimes joint pain can get so severe that it causes limited mobility and affects your quality of life. When all the non-operative treatments have been exhausted with no success, joint replacement may be necessary.
During this surgery, the ends of the bones of the joint with arthritis are removed and the artificial joint is secured to the area. The recovery process may take a few months after physical therapy and walking with either crutches or a walker.