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Osteoarthritis And Orthopedic Surgery

Author: Robert Smith
by Robert Smith
Posted: May 18, 2014
degenerative disease

Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis affecting Americans today. Over 12% of American adults suffer from osteoarthritis. The degenerative disease breaks down cartilage in the neck, knees, lower back, hips, shoulders and fingers. Dealing with the disease can often be frustrating and painful. Most often your family physician will direct you to a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon. Finding the best orthopedic doctor in your area will ensure that your long-term health care is in good hands.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is either considered primary or secondary, with primary being the most common form. Secondary osteoarthritis is generally caused by another disease that sets off joint degeneration because of infection, congenital deformity or severe injury. Most often the patients Osteoarthritis is considered primary, which the causes are unknown. Although specific causes of osteoarthritis are unknown there are number of risk factors that are known to lead to osteoarthritis. Joint defects and increased joint mobility such as double-jointedness which are hereditary are known to cause an increase in chances of osteoarthritis. Being overweight and obesity is also a known cause as the extra weight puts undue stress and pressure on the joints and cartilage. Traumatic injury will also lead to the degenerative disease. Although it is more common in the elderly young adults can develop it as well. Muscle weakness, poor nutrition and being a woman are also known risk factors.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

Usually people that have joint pain discuss it with their medical physician who then refers them to either a rheumatologist or an orthopedic surgeon. A rheumatologist can rule out rheumatoid arthritis as opposed to osteoarthritis. Either specialist should conduct a full evaluation, patient history, family medical background and any other pertinent details to the condition. At such time alternative therapies should be discussed to exhaust all options of slowing the degenerative disease and easing the pain of the joints. The diagnosis is usually made by conducting a physical examination looking for signs of swelling at the joints, bumpy protrusions, and decreased range of motion. X-rays can also show the space between bones and if cartilage has been wearing a way.

Treatment and Preventative Options

As osteoarthritis may be hereditary some preventative options may simply slow the onset and progression of the disease. Leading a healthy lifestyle by exercising, keeping healthy weight and eating nutritious foods will help maintain strong and healthy muscles, ligaments and joints. Non-surgical treatment options include a number of options including anti-inflammatory pain medication, topical analgesics, cortisone injections, physical therapy, occupational therapy, bracing or orthotics, pain management and coping strategies, weight loss and exercise, and nutritional supplements. Surgical options include arthroscopy, arthroplasty, osteotomy, and cartilage repair and regeneration surgery.

During the early stages of osteoarthritis is imperative that you find the best orthopedic doctor that is willing to work on slowing the disease’s progression and to put off surgery as long as possible. For Los Angeles Surgeon - visit this website - Best Orthopedic Surgeon Los AngelesOther therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy and herbal remedies may be used for pain management but not as a specific treatment plan.

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Author: Robert Smith
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Robert Smith

Member since: Mar 26, 2014
Published articles: 313

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