Arthritis and Your Quality of Life
Joint deterioration can affect every aspect of your life. It is common for people to ignore joint discomfort during its early stages. As the problem progresses, activities like walking, driving, and standing can become challenging and painful. If you suffer from joint pain or limited mobility, we encourage you to explore treatment options with your doctor to will help you get back to the things you love.
Many conditions can lead to the need for treatment from an orthopedic surgeon. There are many options available for treatment, both surgical and non-surgical. If you suffer from arthritis and other treatment options no longer provide relief, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend total joint replacement surgery. Various factors determine whether joint replacement is right for you.
We hope that being informed of these options will lessen the fear or hesitation some have about seeking treatment.
Our recommendation is to seek the medical advice of an orthopedic physician who, after a physical examination, can give you appropriate advice about your medical condition. Visit www.biomet.com for a list of physicians in your area.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of joint pain. Sometimes called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, it is a condition that involves the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage. Cartilage is a rubbery tissue that covers the ends of moving bones in joints. It acts as both a shock absorber and a lubricant, protecting your bones from damage and providing smooth, pain-free movement.
As joint cartilage wears away, the bones begin to make painful bone-on-bone contact. The early stages of osteoarthritis can be treated with a variety of conservative, non-surgical treatments. However, as the joint cartilage continues to wear away and the symptoms of osteoarthritis become more severe, surgery may be recommended to correct the damaged bone and cartilage.
To diagnose your condition, an orthopedic physician will observe your movement and review your health history. An X-ray of the affected joint will show signs of cartilage wear, and the severity of the cartilage destruction can help determine the best course of treatment.
Often the cause of arthritis is unknown, but osteoarthritis may develop as a result of injury to the joint, excess body weight, or years of wear and tear on the joint cartilage. The joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are the knees, hips, fingers, back, and shoulders. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include, but are not limited to:
- Joint pain while standing or moving
- Decreased quality of life
- Giving out or locking of joint
- Near constant pain
- Abnormal stance or walk
There is no known cure, but doctors can use a variety of treatment options to restore motion and to reduce pain. Fortunately, total joint replacement has proven quite effective at achieving positive results for many people.