Osteoarthritis, which is also known as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis. Most patients are middle-aged or older. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage and neighboring bone in the fingers, feet, neck, hips, knees, and/or lower back starts to break down.
Osteoarthritis can be primary or secondary. Primary has no known cause, while secondary does have a known cause, like disease or an injury. In both types, the symptoms include pain and stiff joints. As the disease progresses, the patient finds it harder to move the affected joint, and they may feel the joints grind against each other as the cartilage wears away.
Rheumatoid is also a common type of arthritis, and it is an inflammatory form that is caused by an autoimmune disorder in which the patient’s own immune system attacks the joints and destroys the cartilage surrounding them.
How is Arthritis Treated?
There is currently no cure for either type, but there are many treatments that can relieve the pain, reduce stiffness, and improve the joint’s range of motion. Our team at Olsen Orthopedics will choose a treatment based on the patient’s history, the severity of their condition, the joint or joints involved, and the patient’s needs and desires.
Our doctor will often recommend physical therapy and an exercise program of some sort, especially if the patient is overweight. Obesity puts extra stress on some joints, such as the knee joints, and can, therefore, make the condition worse. Maintaining a healthy weight can help to ease the symptoms.
Hot and cold therapies can also help a patient. An ice pack can relieve pain and muscle spasms, for example. Heat can also relieve arthritis pain, and it can be dry (heating pad) or wet (warm shower or bath). In some cases, we will use a brace or splint to immobilize a joint to protect it from further damage and let it rest. We may also provide assistive devices like a cane or walker to help the patient get around.
Other treatment options include medications such as corticosteroids and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). If all else fails, our doctor may recommend surgery to repair or replace a damaged joint.
Contact Us Today
This just scratches the surface when it comes to the arthritis treatments that we offer at Olsen Orthopedics in Oklahoma City. We offer a wide variety of treatments, and the right one(s) for you can ultimately be determined during a consultation. Contact us today to book an appointment.