Degenerative Arthritis is also called by osteoarthritis. It is caused by loss of the cartilage or breakdown and inflammation of the joints. It usually affects the large weight-bearing joints such as knees and hips, hands, spine and feet. Men, women and children all can have degenerative arthritis. Someone has more chance to develop the disease if he/she:
- Are overweight
- Have close relatives who have same disease
- Are old age people more than 55
- Have injured a joint
Degenerative arthritis can cause by bad posture, overuse, injury, repeated trauma and obesity. Sometimes, it can be associated by hereditary.
What are the symptoms of degenerative arthritis?
- Joint pain, especially after long periods of inactivity or overuse(for more information-Joint Pain and Swelling)
- Joint stiffness and swelling
- Joint deformity
- Joint grating or creaking sound
- Muscle weakness around the affected area
- Limited movement
How is degenerative arthritis diagnosed?
Physical examination and medical history will be performed by the doctor to examine the disease. In some cases, the health care providers will prescribe X-rays and blood tests to diagnose the disease. A small sample of fluid from the joint will be taken by the doctor and send it to laboratory for examines.
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What is the treatment for degenerative arthritis?
Ice packs for inflamed swollen joints and moist heat for swollen joints may be recommended by the health care provider. Patients should do regular exercise for flexibility in the joints and muscles and maintain strength. Arthroscopic surgery is very effective to treat the disease. In this surgery, a small camera is placed into the affected area and a small instrument is used by the surgeon to remove loose pieces of cartilage. It is very beneficial treatment for patients with mild to moderate disease. This treatment for degenerative arthritis is mostly performed at the knee, but it may also perform at the elbow or shoulder as well. This types of surgery is very useful for reduce the level of pain.
There are various types of injection are available for people, who are suffered from degenerative arthritis. An injection of cortocosteroids is common to treat the disease. In some cases, this injection is given with an anesthetic medication to patients with degenerative arthritis. Some patients do not feel relief from pain after the injection.
Joint replacement will be recommended by the doctor in case of severe arthritis. This treatment involves removing the affected portions of the joint and replacing it with a metal or plastic artificial joint. It is available for knee, elbow joints, hip and shoulder. Sometimes, an uncomplicated joint replacement has chance of functioning after few years (about 10 to15 years). Joint replacement is very effective and an expensive treatment.
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Physical and occupational therapy is used to treat the disease, when large weight-bearing joints are involved such as the knees or hips.
Self- care tips for degenerative arthritis
- Control body weight
- Eat well balanced diet
- Do exercise regularly
- Call the doctor every two years, in case of joint replacement surgery
- Avoid activities that jar the joints