Within the vast spectrum of types and forms of arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis is the most common. Other kinds, such as rheumatoid arthritis are inflammatory in nature, but osteoarthritis is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis because it is caused by the breakdown of cartilage.
Here at Rothman Institute, we specialize in joint health. Our teams of orthopedic specialists see and provide treatment for patients with degenerative joint disease in Montgomery County and throughout the Delaware Valley.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this condition impacts about 27 million people (almost 14% of all adults) in the United States.
In fact, more than one third of all American adults over the age of 65 suffer from osteoarthritis.
While degenerative joint disease can affect any joint, it usually occurs in hands, spine, hips or knees.
FAQs on Degenerative Joint Disease in Montgomery County
What Causes This Disease?
The smooth, gliding surface within joints is provided by cartilage. When that cartilage is broken down, the result is bone-on-bone contact and over time, as the disease progresses, many patients report pain, stiffness and even deformity.
One cause for this condition is simple genetics. Especially when it comes to arthritis in the hands, a patient’s DNA can play a role. Of course, those who have experienced injury to a joint may have previously damaged cartilage that can then further degenerate. Lastly, aging and basic wear and tear are a major cause.
The good news is that degenerative joint disease does not occur in everyone and for those who do have joints affected by osteoarthritis, helpful treatments are available.
How is This Disease Diagnosed?
Many patients with degenerative joint disease in Montgomery County report pain during activity or even during rest. Lost mobility and reduced range of motion in a joint can be due to the stiffness that results from osteoarthritis. Swelling and grinding noises (because of bone-on-bone contact) in a joint can also be symptoms.
When a patient visits a physician at Rothman Institute, a physical exam and x-ray will help to determine the extent of the cartilage breakdown and provide direction for the type of treatment approach.
What Can I Do About My Pain Right Now?
For some people, osteoarthritis progresses gradually and can be managed for years without intervention or with simple lifestyle adjustments or home treatments, such as:
rest and ice
epsom salt baths
chiropractic or acupuncture treatments
For others, a surgical solution is the best approach. Regardless of the extent of your condition, the physicians at Rothman Institute can properly diagnose and guide you in your journey towards a pain free life! Call us at 1-800-321-9999.