What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is one of many types of arthritis that create a chain-reaction in the degeneration of your joints. More commonly referred to as the "wear and tear" arthritis, osteoarthritis gradually destroys the joint cartilage that covers the ends of your bones, eventually causing the bones to rub against one another. Although you are more susceptible to this disease at a later age, it can occur in younger individuals due to injury, genetics, and even obesity.
How Does Osteoarthritis Affect Your Body?
Before discussing more about how osteoarthritis can impose on your life, it's important to know more about your body. As you know, arthritis is a disease of the joints. A joint is the section where two or more bones meet. Commonly affected sections of your body include the knee joint where the tibia and fibula meet, as well as and the hip joint where the femur head attaches to the pelvis.
Over time, osteoarthritis attacks your joints, which results in pain and inflammation due to loss of cartilage. You will probably experience more pain during the early hours of the morning because remaining immobile during sleep actually causes your joints to lock up and cause more pain.
What Are Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
You may not realize it at first, but if you are having trouble performing basic daily functions as simple as bending over to pick something up or having difficulty getting out of a chair, you could be experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis. A specific attribute of this disease that is greatly noticeable is a swelling bump over the joint. Less noticeable attributes that can account for a range of problems include limited motion or odd sounds when the joint is used (crack, snap, click).
How Do We Evaluate Osteoarthritis?
Our doctors will perform an extensive evaluation on your symptoms to determine the best course of action. The initial consultation will review your background to determine the cause of the injury, when the pain began and what it feels like, and whether it is continuous or varied. After the initial evaluation is done, Dr. Joseph will proceed with a physical examination to test the integrity of your bones and evaluate signs of injury to the muscles and ligaments. To see just how bad the degeneration of your joints has gotten, he will order an X-ray to evaluate joint space, inflammation, bone spurs, or other irregularities.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Osteoarthritis?
Although there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, there are several treatment options to manage pain and restore daily functions. Depending on the needs of your condition, Dr. Joseph may recommend a combination of physical therapy, pain medications, and lifestyle adjustments. If you enjoy partaking in high-impact activities, such as running or playing contact sports, you may be susceptible to aggravating the affected joints further. Try substituting with low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling. If your evaluation revealed a more serious condition, or if you have attempted non-surgical treatment options that did not alleviate pain, you may want to consider surgical procedures such as joint replacement surgery.
Joint Replacement Surgery
Joint replacement surgery is the process of removing the deteriorated joint and substituting it with a prosthetic implant with the goal of drastically reducing pain and restoring daily function. There are two types of joint replacement operations that are most commonly associated with osteoarthritis.
- Knee replacement is a procedure in which the damaged bone and cartilage are removed. Dr. Joseph resurfaces the ends of the bones with metal and plastic to restore smooth motion to the knee.
- Hip replacement is the process of restoring your mobility and flexibility by replacing deteriorated cartilage and bone with a ball and socket implant.
Higher Quality of Orthopedic Care
Southern Westchester Orthopedics & Sports Medicine takes pride in providing the highest quality of orthopedic care through the utilization of latest technologies. Our highly esteemed surgeons are some of the best in the region and strive to provide personal, quality services that will get you back to doing what you love. Conveniently located at three different offices in Yonkers, Bronx, and Mamaroneck, we are never far away. Come on in to any one of our locations or call one of our offices to schedule an appointment.