What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic joint disease that can affect any joint in your body, including your knees, wrist, and spine.
While there are over 100 types of arthritis, the most common types the providers at Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center treat include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that causes your immune system to attack otherwise healthy tissue in your joints. This leads to chronic inflammation and pain that limits your joint movements.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes the breakdown of the protective cartilage that covers the ends of bones in your joints. Without sufficient cartilage, your bones rub together and create friction that causes pain and persistent inflammation.
There are also some types of infectious arthritis that can develop if bacteria or viruses enter your joints. Metabolic arthritis, including gout, develops when uric acid builds up in your joints and forms needle-like crystals. These crystals irritate your joint, typically the big toe, causing swelling and pain.
When should I seek treatment for arthritis?
In the early stages of arthritis, many people can manage their pain and inflammation with over-the-counter medications, ice and heat therapy, and rest. You can also participate in physical therapy and at-home exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your joint.
If you have moderate-to-severe pain from arthritis that limits your ability to stay active, the team at Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center recommends scheduling a diagnostic evaluation.
The orthopedic specialists use on-site X-rays and other diagnostic imaging technologies to evaluate your joints. They also test the strength and flexibility of your joints during a physical exam.
How is arthritis treated?
If you can’t find relief from arthritis pain with over-the-counter medications, the providers might prescribe medications to relieve your symptoms, so you can participate in physical therapy.
Other treatments the team offers include corticosteroid injections and joint repair or replacement surgery.
When oral medications aren’t enough to relieve your arthritis pain and inflammation, you might benefit from injections of corticosteroids directly into your joint.
Joint repair surgery
The orthopedic surgeons can perform minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgery to resurface and realign the ends of your joints.
Joint replacement surgery
For severe joint damage or deformities, you might need surgery to replace part or all of your joint with an artificial joint. The providers also offer synthetic cartilage implants to restore cushioning in your joint to increase your flexibility and ease pain.
Following surgery, you can participate in the comprehensive rehabilitation services available on-site to restore function in your joint
If you need a diagnostic evaluation for chronic arthritis pain, schedule a consultation online or call Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center today.