Arthritis is one of the most common chronic orthopedic conditions among American adults. If you’re suffering from this condition, you likely want relief from the pain, stiffness, and inflammation characteristic of arthritis.
Let’s talk about arthritis and the treatments available from your orthopedic doctor in Plantation, FL.
What Is Arthritis, And Why Do I Have It?
That’s a great question. Arthritis refers to a large group of autoimmune disorders that affect joints such as the knee, hip, shoulder, spine, wrist, and more. It impacts about 23 percent of American adults–in other words, one in six people just like you who live in the United States. Rates of arthritis in the state of Florida range from 17 to 22 percent of the general population. So, you are certainly not alone when to comes to arthritis.
More women suffer from arthritis than men, but regardless of the patient’s gender, occupation, or socioeconomic status, arthritis presents these distressing symptoms:
- Joint stiffness
- Loss of mobility and range of motion
- Joint tenderness and warmth
- Localized swelling
Both the articular cartilage, which covers bone ends, and the synovial fluid, which lubricates joints, deteriorate with age or injury. These conditions characterize osteoarthritis, nicknamed wear-and-tear arthritis.
Other kinds of arthritis include, but are not limited to:
- Juvenile arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
While all forms of arthritis are, at least in part, hereditary and autoimmune in nature, rheumatoid arthritis is completely autoimmune. This means your body attacks itself, particularly in the joints and their associated connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, and cartilage).
If you exhibit symptoms of arthritis, you should seek treatment from a highly qualified orthopedic doctor. While the disease is progressive and cannot be cured, it definitely can be managed, so you can remain active and live your best life, pain-free.
What Are the Arthritis Treatment Options For Me?
This is a question best answered by your orthopedic doctor. When you come in for a consultation, your physician will do a complete physical exam, review of symptoms, blood work, and X-rays. Specialized imaging, such as MRI, may be done, too.
Based on the findings, your doctor will work out a care plan to control your symptoms, maintain and improve your mobility, and slow down the progression of the disease. Treatment options may include simple life changes, such as losing weight, reducing your levels of stress, and using durable medical equipment like a cane, walker, or bracing.
Additionally, many people benefit from over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, or from injection therapy, such as cortisone shots into the affected joints. And, of course, resting, stretching, and icing the joints also help reduce inflammation.
Some patients engage in aquatic therapy, a combination of swimming and water exercises, which move muscles but have little impact on joints. In fact, any exercise which a person can tolerate decreases stiffness and pain and helps control body weight.
Finally, depending on your specific type of arthritis, the joint(s) impacted, and the severity of the problem, your orthopedic doctor may offer a number of state-of-the-art treatments, such as:
- Joint replacement surgery for the hip, knee, and shoulder
- Joint fusion surgery
- Viscosupplementation injections for the knee (to boost the lubricating function of the synovial fluid)
- Synovectomy, removal of the lining of an inflamed joint
- Arthroscopic (small incision) ACL revision
Arthritis Treatment in Plantation, FL
At Baylis and Brown Orthopedics in Plantation, FL, our orthopedic doctors and supporting staff are ready to help you get control of your arthritis. Your treatment options will be tailored to your needs, and you can trust that we will listen to you and act on your medical concerns with skill and compassion.
For an in-depth consultation, please contact us by calling (954) 476-8800. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you soon!