Arthritis and Joint Degeneration
By Steven Meier
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, refers to the damage and wearing down of articular cartilage. It can often be accompanied by overgrowth of bone, narrowing of joint space, deformity of the affected joints, and some hardening of the bone at the joint surface. Treatment of osteoarthritis in Los Angeles varies depending on the severity of the disease and the symptoms experienced.
If you suffer from joint pain due to arthritis or degeneration over time, don’t hesitate to contact the Meier Orthopedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine in Los Angeles to learn more about your options for treatment or to schedule a consultation for orthopedic services and sports medicine. You can reach us at 310.736.2793.
Osteoarthritis symptoms typically develop slowly and get worse over time. Some of the most common osteoarthritis symptoms include:
- Pain in the joint during or following movement
- Tenderness in the joint when touched
- Stiffness in the joint, most often after inactivity
- Diminished flexibility, preventing the joint from achieving a full range of motion
- Bone spurs, or hard lumps of bone, forming around the joint
- Grating feeling or sound when the joint is moved
It is best to see a doctor for evaluation if you experience symptoms of arthritis that last for several weeks or more.
Degenerative Joint Disease Causes
With approximately 20 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis, the disease counts among the most common joint conditions. A variety of causes have been associated with osteoarthritis. Some of the most common include:
Other risk factors may include:
- Metabolic disorders
- Crystalline joint disease
- Participating in contact sports
- Other medical illnesses
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis of osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is based on an assessment of the patient’s medical history as well as a physical examination and x-ray findings. While lab tests may not be able to diagnose arthritis by themselves, they may be ordered to rule out the possibility of other medical conditions that may be contributing to the development of arthritis.
There is no known cure for osteoarthritis, however, there are a number of treatments available to help ease the pain of join degeneration and maintain joint movement. These include:
- Health and behavior modification
- Intra-articular treatments
At Meier Orthopedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine, we specialize in joint preservation surgery with the intent of reducing pain and improving joint mobility and overall function.
Learn more about osteoarthritis from WebMD.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the risk factors for developing osteoarthritis?
A: Some of the primary risk factors include age, genetics, hormones, injury, obesity, and poor nutrition.
Q: When should I consider surgical treatment for osteoarthritis?
A: The best way to determine if surgery is right for your degenerative joint disease is to see an expert in osteoarthritis. If more conservative treatments have failed you, your doctor will discuss potential surgical options that may help.
Q: What can I do to help prevent the development of severe osteoarthritis?
A: There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from developing arthritis or keep it from getting worse. These include protecting your joints from trauma or repetitive stressful use, staying active and mobile, and remaining at a healthy weight.
Contact a Los Angeles Arthritis Doctor
Do you suffer from pain, stiffness, or other symptoms of joint degeneration and arthritis? If you have been suffering for several months, don’t hesitate any further to get the help you need. Steven W. Meier, MD is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and expert in joint preservation. Contact Meier Orthopedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine today to set up your appointment. Our office number is 310.736.2793.
Next, learn about Osteotomy.