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.
Common arthritis joint symptoms include:
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.
Osteoarthritis is caused by normal wear and tear. Factors that put you at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis include:
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.
First-line treatments used to reduce mild to moderate arthritis symptoms include:
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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