In 2015, nearly 23% of all adults had doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The number jumps to 33% of adults if you add in people with symptoms that are consistent with arthritis. Dr. Mark Ciaglia, DO, and Dr. William J. Jordan, MD, at the Woodlands Center for Special Surgery in The Woodlands, Texas, specialize in helping patients with all types of arthritis. They encourage you to get a checkup at the earliest sign of joint pain and stiffness, as timely diagnosis and treatment can slow down disease progression. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Arthritis refers to more than 100 different conditions that all share a common symptom: joint inflammation. Although you can get arthritis in any joint, it frequently affects the knees, wrists, fingers, toes, and hips.
These are the two most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis:
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis develops gradually from years of wear and tear. The end of each bone in a joint has a cushion of cartilage. As cartilage wears away, the bones can’t move smoothly, which causes pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Over time, bone spurs form that cause further inflammation and pain. In late-stage osteoarthritis, the cartilage completely wears away and bone rubs against bone.
Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis as it’s an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints. As a result, the joint becomes inflamed and swollen.
As the disease progresses, ongoing inflammation erodes bones in the joint, causing joint deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the same joint on both sides of your body.
Inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis spreads from joints and into the body in about 40% of patients, causing problems with their skin, eyes, nerves, heart, and other organs.
About 12% of all cases of osteoarthritis develop when a joint injury leads to cartilage degeneration, known as post-traumatic arthritis (PTOA).
If you’re a younger adult, you’re more likely to develop PTOA. Even if you don’t develop PTOA, suffering joint trauma as a young adult increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis when you’re older.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis both benefit from exercise and physical therapy, which helps to relieve joint pain, reduce stiffness, and maintain your range of motion. Your doctor at the Woodlands Center for Special Surgery helps you learn to recognize when it’s safe to push through your pain and when pain is a sign to stop and rest.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and topical treatments can help relieve your pain. Your doctor may recommend intra-articular injections such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, or hyaluronic acid to lubricate bones.
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, it’s important to take medications that slow down disease progression and help keep the disease in remission. Ultimately, you may need surgery to replace the joint or restore function to a damaged joint.
At the Woodlands Center for Special Surgery, the doctors offer one of today’s most innovative treatments, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. PRP is often used to help restore damaged joint tissues and speed up healing.
If your joints are painful and stiff, call the Woodlands Center for Special Surgery or book an appointment online today.