Osteoarthritis is a condition of degeneration in a joint or joints. It isn’t so much that the bony structures of the joint break down in osteoarthritis; it’s the cushion between these structures that wears down. When this happens, pain, stiffness, and swelling may occur more and more frequently. This type of arthritis doesn’t have to be something you live with. There are now numerous options for the management of arthritic joints.
Options for treating arthritis include:
- Physical therapy. Obtaining care from a physical therapist, a person with osteoarthritis can develop a therapeutic exercise routine that increases the overall strength and mobility of stiff, painful joints.
- Cortisone injections. Cortisone has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which is why many people use it topically. When joints are noticeably painful on a regular basis, topical solutions may not be sufficient. Injecting cortisone into the joint means weeks or months of improved comfort, not just hours. This type of care may occur three to four times a year, six or more weeks apart.
- Stem cells. The use of stem cells is becoming more common in regenerative medicine. It is believed that the introduction of stem cells into a deteriorating joint may incite regeneration. The extent of rebuilding is not known. Stem cell injections are also thought to improve comfort. Treatment requires bone marrow extraction, which is a deterrent for some patients.
- Joint repair. One of the common orthopedic approaches for osteoarthritis is to repair or fuse the joint in a minimally-invasive procedure.
- Joint replacement. When other methods of joint management fail to achieve the desired outcome, joint replacement may be considered. Removing the arthritic joint and replacing it with a prosthesis, or artificial joint requires follow-up with physical therapy. However, a large percentage of patients report significant improvement in comfort after this procedure.
Don’t let arthritic joints dictate your daily activity level. Learn more about how you can manage joint health or restore mobility to the affected joint. Advanced Orthopedics & Hand Surgery Institute has three New Jersey offices to serve you. Call 973-942-1315 for a consultation in our Wayne, Clifton, or Parsippany office.