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Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder that can affect every joint in the body. However, patients are most likely to notice symptoms in their spine, hips region, knees, and hands. Osteoarthritis occurs due the wear and tear of the cartilage at the end of your bones. This is the most rampant form of arthritis worldwide, with millions of people receiving treatment yearly.

At Florida OrthoCare, our orthopedic surgeons treat and evaluate patients every day living with Osteoarthritis.  By seeing one of our medical specialists, our goal is to treat your pain and help you return to an active lifestyle.  If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please call one of our orthopedic offices today.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Joint Pain and Tenderness: Your joints begin to ache while moving them, or immediately after. Your joints become tender to the touch, no matter how minimal the pressure is.
  • Stiff and Inflexible Joints: You notice stiffness in your joints after being idle for a while, or right after getting out of bed in the morning. Furthermore, your joints may lose their flexibility- you are unable to twist, turn or bend them.
  • Crackling Popping Sounds: When using an affected joint, you may hear or feel crackling underneath the skin.
  • Bone Spurs: You may notice some hard swelling around the area. The swelling is actually bone deposits surrounding affected joints.

Seeing an Orthopedic Doctor  

It is important to note that your chances of developing osteoarthritis increases as you grow older. Being overweight, having prior joint injuries, and experiencing menopause are also risk factors for developing this form of arthritis.

When you consult an orthopedic doctor, you will undergo a few tests to rule out other conditions. These tests include X-rays, MRIs, joint fluid, and blood tests. After a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, the doctor will then outline the treatment plans available to you.

These include:

  • Pain Medication

The pain osteoarthritis can be managed using both over-the-counter and prescription pain medications. Acetaminophens, which Tylenol and paracetamol fall under, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like ibuprofen and Advil, and antidepressants. are all prescribed to mitigate the chronic joint pains.

  • Bone Realignment Surgery (Osteotomy)

You may require surgery on your hip or knee to correctly align your bones. The surgery will either shorten or lengthen bone, to allow balanced weight distribution, and greatly reduce pain.

  • Joint Replacement Surgery (Arthroplasty)

Depending on your condition, it may be necessary to replace affected joins. Your surgeon will replace damaged joints with metal or plastic prosthetics which have the ability to last over a decade before needing replacement. Hip replacement surgeries have become more popular among elderly folks today.

  • Cortisone Injections

Cortisone injections will reduce inflammation and swelling in your joints. Cortisone injections can provide pain relief for an extended period of time. Cortisone injections are scheduled only a few times a year, to avoid further aggravating the damage.

Joint Disease

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating disorder and it is best advised to contact an orthopedic surgeon when you notice any of the arthritic symptoms. At Florida OrthoCare, we are here to help.  Call us today to learn about treatment options and help you curtail further damage and regain a functional life.

Over time the body begins to break down, in this instance the joints begin to fail. Osteoarthritis increases the chances of bone fractures, bone death, ideations, and a possibly fatal fall due to reduced stability.

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