Degenerative joint disease is known by several names, including osteoarthritis and wear and tear arthritis. Regardless of what it’s called, the reported symptoms of degenerative joint disease in Chester County are generally:
Pain: usually worse after activity
Stiffness: usually worse after rest
Audible bone-on-bone contact: can resemble a “crunching” noise
Limp: caused by the lack of cushion in affected hip joints or in the knees
In order to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis, patients should take precautions to protect cartilage as much as possible. Because degenerative joint disease in Chester County occurs when the smooth surface within joints (cartilage) is broken down, the result is bone-on-bone contact. Instead of the usual gliding motion that occurs in healthy joints, those suffering from degenerative joint disease report stiffness and catching in their joints during movement.
The most frequent cause for osteoarthritis is genetics. Because the durability of each individual’s cartilage is based on their DNA, those whose parents had degenerative joint disease are more likely to suffer from the disorder themselves.
Of course, no one can change their genetic predisposition to a particular disease. But, there are several controllable, environmental factors to keep in mind as keys to prevention:
Because being overweight causes more wear and tear on weight bearing joints like the hip, knee, ankle, and foot joints, maintaining a healthy weight can be an effective preventative measure.
Prompt and proper treatment of a fracture or ligament tear (including strength building exercises during recovery) can help reduce the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis in a previously injured joint.
If your daily work requirements have you squatting, lifting, or climbing for prolonged periods of time, a career change may be an important step toward preventing future joint problems.
When symptoms are severe, the pain associated with osteoarthritis can even keep patients awake at night. If you are suffering from this disorder of the joints and it is interfering with your ability to sleep or to perform normal, daily functions, it’s time to research your options for treatment.
Treatment for Degenerative Joint Disease in Chester County
Various treatment options exist and depending on which joints are impacted and the extent of your cartilage breakdown, an orthopedic specialist at Rothman Institute will be able to make a recommendation for your case.
Our physicians can diagnose osteoarthritis by speaking with you regarding your medical history, conducting a physical exam, and reviewing x-rays of the affected joints. Degenerative joint disease in Chester County can be addressed through conservative means, such as physical therapy, medication and weight loss.
In some cases, though, the best option to offer a patient is surgical treatment. Surgery may involve anything from cleaning up damaged joint tissue to joint replacement. Call Rothman Institute at 1-800-321-9999 to schedule your appointment today!