Aches and pains are an unfortunate part of getting older; and this is especially true when it comes to your joints. Your knees, hips, and back take a lot of wear and tear throughout your life, so it’s no surprise that they hurt every now and then. However, osteoarthritis is a condition that can also affect your joints, and make simple tasks just about impossible.
Our team at Bay Oaks Orthopaedics are here to help you when your joint pain is too much to handle. Our expert orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Melillo helps you determine if osteoarthritis is the culprit behind your pain.
What is osteoarthritis?
There are many different types of arthritis that can affect your body — but osteoarthritis is by far the most common. This condition stems from wear and tear on your joints. While this condition is more common as you get older, it can affect your joints at any age.
To completely understand what osteoarthritis is, you have to understand your joints. A joint is the junction where two or more bones meet to allow a certain movement to happen. These bones are covered in a layer of protective cartilage that allows them to move fluidly, without pain.
But over time, the cartilage that’s covering your bones begins to wear away. When this happens, it causes the bones in your joint to rub, which leads to inflammation and pain. Once this cartilage is gone, the damage is done.
Even though the damage in your joint isn’t reversible, your symptoms are able to be managed. But the key to seeking treatment is knowing what symptoms can develop and their warning signs.
6 signs that you have osteoarthritis
Although osteoarthritis can affect just about any joint in your body, the most common ones that are affected are your knees, hips, and spine. Like many other forms of arthritis, one of the main symptoms of osteoarthritis is pain. But there are other signs as well, and they include:
1. Joint stiffness
The inflammation that osteoarthritis causes leads to stiffness in your joint. This might be most prominent in the morning when you get up, and after long periods of sitting or standing.
When the bones in your joint rub together, the soft tissues within may become inflamed. This usually leads to swelling around the joint space.
3. Instability in your joint
Without the protective cartilage in your joint, it may become very unstable. This could lead to buckling of your joints and potentially serious falls or injury.
4. Clicking sound with movement
The grating feeling or clicking sound is the result of the ends of your bones rubbing together when your cartilage wears away.
5. Decreased range of motion
The swelling in your joint creates problems with being able to move it properly. Osteoarthritis leads to issues with flexibility in your joint, making it harder to move around.
Because of the pain associated with osteoarthritis, the area around the affected joint might be tender when you touch it or apply any kind of pressure to it.
Everybody’s body responds differently to osteoarthritis. You may have only one of the symptoms above, or all of them. If you’re dealing with joint problems, it’s best to see Dr. Melillo as soon as you notice so you can get the treatment you need.
What are your treatment options?
The focus of treatment is to decrease your symptoms and slow the progression of the deterioration in your joint. Dr. Melillo does a physical exam and imaging studies to see the extent of the osteoarthritis in your joint.
After Dr. Melillo determines that osteoarthritis is causing your symptoms, he suggests several different treatment options to help you overcome the pain. These treatment options include:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Platelet rich plasma
- Hyaluronic acid injections
- Stem cell therapy
In severe cases of osteoarthritis that’s in advanced stages, Dr. Melillo suggests a joint replacement to give you functionality and movement back in your joint.
During a joint replacement, Dr. Melillo removes the damaged areas within your joint, and replaces them with a prosthetic. The prosthetic mimics your actual tissue and bone, allowing it to restore your joint.
Treatment for osteoarthritis isn’t something you want to put off for long. When you’re ready to discuss your options, call us today at 281-223-1391, or book an appointment with Dr. Melillo using our convenient online booking tool.