Author: Mike Sumko, M.D.
“What’s the cure?”
It’s the first question many patients have after getting a diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, one of the most common sources of pain and discomfort in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “An estimated 52.5 million adults in the United States reported being told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.”
What Do You Mean, “There No ‘Cure’ for Osteoarthritis?”
Osteoarthritis is a “degenerative joint disease.” In patients who have this disease, cartilage, which acts as a cushion between bones, has started to break down. This can happen as a result of wear and tear or an acute injury. Loss of cushioning is painful, as bones that shouldn’t touch each other now do. This can cause additional inflammation, which further stiffens joints and causes more discomfort.
Cartilage does not restore itself on its own. In some patients, it is possible to stimulate the body to grow new cartilage. (However, this therapy is usually only effective in younger patients with a single injury.)
There is no “cure” for arthritis because cartilage cannot always be replaced. However, there are treatment options available. These treatments focus on preventing cartilage loss and relieving pain and inflammation in damaged joints. There are many osteoarthritis treatments available in Phoenix through your providers at Hedley Ortho.
Osteoarthritis Treatment In Phoenix
Initially, your physician may recommend an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen to minimize pain and swelling. If your joint pain is severe, then your physician may recommend a series of joint injections. Injections typically include corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid. These two components of the injection work together to reduce inflammation and lubricate the joint.
Today’s minimally invasive joint replacement and resurfacing procedures are also very successful in alleviating knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. MAKOplasty®, a partial knee resurfacing procedure allows orthopaedic surgeons to replace only the damaged portion of the knee using state-of-the-art robotic arm technology and precise 3D, patient-specific modeling.
Of course, the healthiest treatment available is lifestyle change. Many overweight patients with knee pain find noticeable relief by losing as little as 10 to 15 pounds. Regular activity can also help reduce knee pain. At Hedley Orthopaedic Institute, we work with our patients on a case-by-case basis to develop the best, most effective treatment for arthritis. While there may not be a “cure” for osteoarthritis, there are treatments to improve inflammation and discomfort.
Schedule An Appointment At Hedley Ortho
To learn more about osteoarthritis treatment in Phoenix, contact us online, or call at 602-553-3113.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.