Stiff, aching joints are common occurrences as people age. The severity can range from mildly annoying to debilitating painful. There are several health conditions that can affect the bones and joints. One of the most common is Osteoarthritis and can occur at any age. After the initial inflammatory stage subsides, the more appropriate term is “Osteoarthrosis.”
What is Osteoarthritis (Osteoarthrosis):
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints, in which the cartilage (cushion between the bones) deteriorates, leaving the bones to rub against each other. The condition can result in swelling, pain, and a decreased range of motion. Any joint of the body may be affected, although Osteoarthritis is seen primarily in weight-bearing areas, such as the knees, hips, and spine. Degenerative joint condition will get progressively worse over time. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Osteoarthritis, but valuable techniques are available to manage the symptoms.
Factors Contributing to Osteoarthritis:
- Genetics – Osteoarthritis can be passed down from generation to generation.
- Gender – Although both sexes can develop the condition, more women than men suffer from Osteoarthritis.
- Obesity – Excess weight can cause damage to the joints, which in turn leads to Osteoarthritis.
- Sports Injury – Traumatic injuries, such as those sustained while playing sports, can cause Osteoarthritis, especially those effecting the knee.
- Illness – Illness and infection can contribute to the occurrence of Osteoarthritis. At times, the condition’s dormant gene may be triggered, or joint damage may occur.
- Aging process – While Osteoarthritis can occur at anytime in adulthood, the incidence becomes more prevalent with age. Most people above the age of 70 experience some form of the condition.
The Ideal Candidate for Degenerative Bone and Joint Treatment:
Men and women experiencing painful, swollen, or immobile joints may benefit greatly from treatment. Ideal candidates should be in overall good health and have realistic expectations for their results. To rule out serious health concerns, a consultation appointment should be scheduled with Dr. Whipple. At this time, the best treatment for an individual situation will be established.
The Consultation Appointment:
The consultation appointment at Hillelson-Whipple Clinic Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedics provides a valuable time for the patient to get to know their surgeon. It also allows the doctor to better understand both the symptoms and the goals for treatment. First, Dr. Whipple will perform a brief physical examination, review medical history, and go over current medications. He will go into detail about degenerative bone and joint disease, as well as the options for management.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis:
As there is no cure for Osteoarthritis, treatment of the disease is extremely important to manage symptoms. At the consultation appointment, Dr. Whipple will assess the severity Osteoarthritis, developing a treatment plan to return mobility and decrease pain. Noninvasive options will be explored first, such as physical therapy, hot/cold therapy, and medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and steroids. If these are not successful, however, surgical intervention may be required.
Surgical Procedures to Treat Osteoarthritis:
- Arthroscopy – A minimally invasive surgery, used to remove inflamed or degenerated cartilage so the joint may once again move freely.
- Realignment – Surgical procedure to realign bones, shifting the weight to healthier cartilage in an area.
- Fusion – Invasive procedure used to permanently adhere two bones together at the joint. This surgery may be recommended for badly damaged joints in which joint replacement surgery is not appropriate.
- Joint replacement – Surgical procedure to replace a damaged joint with an artificial mechanism . Joint replacement can dramatically improve pain associated with osteoarthritis.
- Cartilage grafting – New cartilage cells may be grafted into damaged joint regions. Most beneficial in very small areas that are surrounded by healthy cartilage.
Cost of Treatment:
Hillelson-Whipple Clinic Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedics strives to provide the top care for bone and joint conditions for all patients. To make treatment accessible for all, we offer a variety of payment options. These include cash, all major credit cards, and healthcare financing through CareCredit. Contact our office, or visit www.carecredit.com for more information.
About Our Practice:
Hillelson-Whipple Clinic Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedics is a leader in the treatment of bone and joint conditions. Together, Dr. Whipple and Dr. Hillelson have over 60 years of experience, and have developed innovative, cutting-edge treatment plans; providing patients with the most effective and safest therapies available today.
Contact Hillelson-Whipple Clinic Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedics at 804.290.0060 for more information on degenerative bone and joint conditions. Consultation appointments are always complimentary; let us assist in scheduling an initial appointment with Dr. Whipple or Dr. Hillelson. At this time, the best treatment for your unique situation can be determined.