Cartilage could be described as the unsung hero of the musculoskeletal system. In all of the body’s joints, it provides the smooth, gliding surface that cushions what would otherwise be bone-on-bone contact. With every step, twist, jump and bend, we benefit from the fact that cartilage exists in our joints and is doing its job.
It isn’t until cartilage begins to degenerate that we ever even give it a second thought. But without the shock absorbing work of healthy cartilage, patients with degenerative joint disease in New Jersey
suffer from the following common symptoms of osteoarthritis:
- Stiffness and catching in the joints during movement
- Audible bone-on-bone contact often described as a “crunching” noise
- Development of a limp in cases when osteoarthritis affects the hips or knees
- Weakened muscles surrounding the joint
- Development of bone spurs as an associated injury
Of course, pain is the primary and most commonly reported symptom of degenerative joint disease. That pain is usually worse after activity, but in some cases, it even keeps patients awake at night. If you or someone you love is suffering from this condition, you’re not alone. Consider the following five facts.
- Caused by the gradual breakdown of cartilage, degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
- The condition affects over 25 million Americans (that’s 14% of all adults).
- Patients over the age of 65 are much more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis. At this age, the percentage of adults affected jumps from 14% to nearly 33%.
- This condition usually occurs in the hips, knees, spine and hands.
- Degenerative joint disease is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries.
Understanding Degenerative Joint Disease in New Jersey
Here at Rothman Institute, we see patients from all around southern New Jersey and throughout the Delaware Valley. We’re known as experts and pioneers in advancing new technologies and methodologies for joint procedures, so local patients with osteoarthritis often end up in our offices.
If you schedule an appointment here, you can expect to receive the kind of high quality, patient-focused care you deserve. Our clinical expertise and professional reputation within the medical community is coupled with a foundational desire to meet your needs and help you get back to an active, pain free lifestyle as soon as possible. In fact, that is our ultimate goal for each one of our patients with degenerative joint disease in New Jersey.
When you meet with one of our physicians
, she or he will review your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and assess x-rays of your affected joints. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your osteoarthritis as well as prescribe a recommended treatment approach.
Three Major Causes:
- Degenerative joint disease in New Jersey is sometimes cause by a patient’s own DNA. Genetics can play a significant role, especially in arthritis in the hands.
- Patients who have sustained a significant injury to a joint in the past have a higher chance of developing osteoarthritis because cartilage damage can worsen over time.
- Lastly, it is simply the aging process itself and the basic “wear and tear” that comes along with it that is the most common cause of degenerative joint disease.
If your osteoarthritis has been progressing gradually and is caught early, your physician may recommend some simple, conservative approaches first. Before surgical intervention is suggested, you may find relief through some of these simple steps:
- Rest and ice the affected joint regularly
- Anti inflammatories and other medications
- Lose weight, if applicable, to prevent any unnecessary strain on joints
If these conservative approaches prove to be unsuccessful in reducing pain and stiffness, talk to your physician about the possibility of joint resurfacing or even joint replacement procedures. At Rothman Institute, our orthopaedic specialists are known for their expertise in cutting edge surgical procedures in spine, knee, and hip treatment, joint replacement, back pain surgery, ligament injury treatment, and other interventions for osteoarthritis.