Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that commonly affects the joints in the knees, hips, hands, and spine. It is characterized by degeneration of the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones. This degeneration causes the bones to rub directly against each other, creating pain, stiffness, and loss of movement. Osteoarthritis is the single most prevalent form of arthritis with an estimated 27 million Americans living with the disease today.
The onset of osteoarthritis is typically gradual, and it most commonly begins after the age of 40. If you are looking for osteoarthritis treatment, contact Beverly Hills osteoarthritis specialist Dr. Susan Baker at (310) 274-7770.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis often develop slowly and grow worse over time. The most common of these include :
- Pain during or after joint movement
- Tenderness in the joint
- Stiffness in the joint
- Loss of joint flexibility
- Rubbing or grating feeling in the joint
- Development of bone spurs around the joint
For more information on osteoarthritis treatment, visit WebMD.com.
Osteoarthritis results when the cushioning cartilage at the ends of the bones deteriorates over time. When this happens, the cartilage becomes rough and may eventually disappear altogether, leaving bone rubbing on bone. While the exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, a number of factors can cause certain individuals to be at higher risk. The most common among these is age. Women are also more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men. Additionally, those who are obese or work jobs that put repetitive stress on a particular joint develop osteoarthritis in higher numbers. Joint injury can also increase the risk. Some people have genetic bone deformities or other diseases that raise their chances of developing osteoarthritis.
Currently, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. However, a variety of treatments exists to reduce pain and maintain joint mobility. Most treatment plans will involve a combination of several elements, including:
- Physical therapy
- Weight control
- Joint protection
If these treatments prove inadequate, patients might need to consider further options. These osteoarthritis management options include cortisone and lubrication shots to treat the pain and help lubricate the joint. A Beverly Hills rheumatologist may also suggest osteotomy, a bone realignment procedure, or joint replacement surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find more answers on our dedicated FAQ page.
Q: Will physical activity make my condition worse?
A: When you engage in regular physical activity, the pain from osteoarthritis may initially worsen. However, you do not need to give up physical activity. In fact, exercise is an important and essential part of managing the disease over time.
Q: Do I need surgery?
A: Not everyone needs surgery. The best surgical candidates are those who have tried and exhausted more conservative measures —including physical therapy and medication – and still find that the pain interrupts their daily lives.
Q: What kinds of tests are done to diagnose this condition?
A: Tests such as complete blood counts and urinalyses are often used to rule out other diseases. Imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI can be used to confirm osteoarthritis. In some cases your doctor may also remove fluid from the affected joint.
Q: What can I do to prevent this?
A: The best methods we have to prevent osteoarthritis are to eat a good diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight. This will help keep the joints strong and reduce the wear and tear that can lead to problems in the future.
Q: What is the difference between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis?
A: Despite having similar names, the two issues are very different. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones thin, causing them to grow more brittle and break more easily. Osteoarthritis, however, refers to the deterioration of cartilage in the joint.
Contact a Specialist Today
If you suffer from osteoarthritis or think you might, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Baker in Los Angeles for treatment. In addition to being Board certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine, she has also won variety of awards, including the “Patient’s Choice Award” and the “Most Compassionate Doctor” award. Call our LA office today at (310) 274-7770 or contact us online to set up an appointment.
Next, learn about lower back pain.