Arthritis

Maury K. Harwood, M.D. -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Harwood Orthopedics

Maury K. Harwood, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Doctor located in Morgan Hill, CA

Arthritis Specialist
When first-line arthritis treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and injections fail to relieve arthritis pain, renowned, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Maury Harwood, offers life-changing, minimally-invasive joint replacement surgery. Serving patients in Morgan Hill and South San Jose, California, Dr. Harwood of Harwood Orthopedics has helped countless arthritis sufferers regain active, pain-free lives with these procedures.

Arthritis Q & A

by Maury K. Harwood, M.D.

What is arthritis?

Affecting millions of Americans, arthritis is a degenerative condition in which the protective cartilage on the ends of bones in joints wear down over time, causing pain and decreased mobility. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis and related conditions.

What are symptoms of arthritis?

Common arthritis joint symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Less range of motion
  • Pain

The most common form of arthritis is called degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis. It’s caused by the wearing down of cartilage in your joint that normally helps cushion the bone surfaces. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that affects the synovial membranes that lubricate the joints.

Who is at risk for developing arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is caused by normal wear and tear. Factors that put you at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis include:

  • Being overweight
  • Family history of arthritis
  • Age, the risk of developing most types of arthritis increases as you get older
  • Gender, most forms of arthritis are more common in women
  • Past injuries

How is arthritis diagnosed?

Dr. Harwood begins by taking a full medical history and conducting a physical examination. Often, X-rays and other imaging procedures, such as an MRI, are ordered, as well. In some cases, joint aspiration may be used to gather more information regarding the inflammation of the joint. During this procedure, fluid from inside the joint is removed using a syringe so that it can be analyzed. Joint aspirations can be used to evaluate your white cell count, the formation of crystals, protein, and glucose. These details help to identify the particular type of arthritis.

How do you treat arthritis?

First-line treatments used to reduce mild to moderate arthritis symptoms include:

  • Heat or cold therapy
  • Strengthening exercises for muscles around the joint
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Cortisone injections

What options exist if first-line treatments are ineffective?

When first-line management approaches no longer provide relief, and arthritis symptoms are impacting your quality of life, joint replacement surgery is an excellent option. While the words “joint replacement” may sound frightening, joint replacement surgery is extremely effective, enjoys a high satisfaction rate among patients, and involves a far quicker recovery than you might expect. In fact, more than 7 million Americans are living active, pain-free lives, thanks to artificial knees or hips. Given our aging population, that figure is only expected to rise over the next decade. When it comes to joint replacement surgery, Dr. Harwood has unparalleled skill and experience in performing among surgeons in the region. Joint replacement entails removing your damaged cartilage and replacing it with biocompatible prosthetic materials. Your artificial knee or hips should last for 20 years.

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