Osteoarthritis affects at least 32.5 million American adults today. Although this degenerative disease can damage your joints badly, the experienced rheumatologists at Arthritis Northwest PLLC in Spokane, Washington, can help you avoid joint replacement surgery if they begin treatment early. For comprehensive osteoarthritis care and relief from joint pain, call Arthritis Northwest PLLC today to book an appointment. Or visit us online.
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that cushions your bones wears down.
Osteoarthritis affects the whole joint. In addition to cartilage breakdown, the disease can cause tendon and ligament deterioration, changes in the bones that make up the joints, and inflammation in the synovium (the joint lining).
Osteoarthritis most commonly appears in the knees, hips, spine, hands, and big toes. Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis, may appear in these areas as well. Pain in your knees, for example, doesn't always mean you have osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can cause serious symptoms, including:
Osteoarthritis may cause significant difficulty standing, walking, climbing stairs, gripping a pen, or performing other routine activities. Untreated, osteoarthritis could lead to complete disability, but fortunately, it's a manageable disease if you get help early.
Osteoarthritis can affect anybody, but it's most common in people 40 and older. A family history of the disease, difficulty maintaining a healthy weight, prior joint injury, or a preexisting joint deformity like leg length discrepancy can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
At Arthritis Northwest PLLC, the rheumatology experts skillfully diagnose osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. Your evaluation includes a thorough physical exam and a review of your symptoms.
You may also need X-rays in the on-site imaging department. In some cases, in-house blood tests are needed to rule out or help verify other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, as the cause of your symptoms.
Osteoarthritis isn't reversible, so it's important to start treatment as early as possible. With early treatment, you can minimize pain, increase joint function, and improve your quality of life.
The treatment approach differs depending on the individual, but most patients combine lifestyle changes with traditional and naturopathic medical care.
For example, you may need to lose weight, improve your nutrition, and take medication. Cortisone injections are a possibility for severe osteoarthritis symptoms and can help lubricate your joint if you have knee osteoarthritis.
Arthritis Northwest PLLC also offers IV infusion therapy in the office, which may help people who don't respond to oral medication.
In the most severe cases, involving severe, disabling joint damage, you could need joint replacement surgery.
Call Arthritis Northwest PLLC today to book an appointment and to schedule your osteoarthritis evaluation now. Or, visit us online.