Osteoarthritis (OA), also called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis is the most frequently occurring chronic condition of the joints. It affects around 27 million people in the US.
OA can impact any joint, but it develops most often in the hips, lower back and neck, knees, the bases of the big toe and thumb, and the small joints of the fingers.
Normal joints have a firm, rubbery material known as cartilage, which covers the end of every bone. Cartilage offers a smooth, gliding surface for joint movement and acts as a cushion between the bones.
Clear Negatives of OA
OA causes the cartilage to disintegrate leading to pain, inflammation, and issues in joint movement. This condition becomes worse over time causing the bones to break down and develop growth (spurs).
The final stages of OA involves the wearing away of the cartilage leading to bone rubbing against bone. This friction will cause joint damage and more pain.
Southern California Hip Institute (SCHI), led by board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Los Angeles, Century City, CA, and surrounding locations.
Who is Affected?
Osteoarthritis can develop in people of all groups, but it occurs most commonly in individuals over the age of 65 years. Increasing age, previous joint injury, obesity, weak thigh muscles, overuse of the joint, and genes are the common risk factors.
- One in two adults will develop knee OA symptoms in their lifetime.
- One in four adults will develop hip OA symptoms by the age of 85 years.
- One in 12 people 60 years or older have hand OA.
Pain and Anti-inflammatory Drugs
OA medicines are available as syrups, pills, lotions or creams, or they are injected into a joint. These include:
Analgesics are pain relievers, and they include opioids (narcotics), acetaminophen, and atypical opioid known as tramadol. They are available OTC or by prescription.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
These are the most frequently used drugs to resolve swelling and associated pain. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, aspirin, celecoxib, and naproxen. They are available OTC or by prescription.
Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory meds. They are either taken by mouth or injected directly into a joint by a doctor.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance that occurs naturally in joint fluid. It acts as a lubricant and shock absorber. But HA seems to disintegrate in people with OA. The patient will receive HA injections at the doctor’s office.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Physical and occupational therapists can offer a variety of treatment options for the management of pain, including:
- Ways to properly use joints
- Heat and cold therapies
- Range of motion and flexibility exercises
- Assistive devices
- Assistive Devices
Assistive devices can offer the patient help with mobility as well as function. These devices include canes, walkers, scooters, splints, and shoe orthotics as well as helpful tools such as long-handled shoe horns, jar openers, or steering wheel grips.
Many devices are available at medical supply stores and pharmacies. However, certain items, such as shoe wedges and custom knee braces are prescribed by a physician. A physical or occupational therapist usually fits these items.
Natural and Alternative Therapies
Many osteoarthritis patients use natural or alternative therapies for symptomatic relief or to enhance their general well-being. These therapies include acupuncture or acupressure, massage, nutritional supplements, and relaxation techniques and hydrotherapy.
Joint surgery can replace or repair severely compromised joints, especially joints in the knees or hips. A doctor will refer a candidate for joint surgery to an orthopedic surgeon.
Board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan receives patients from Los Angeles, Century City, CA, and nearby areas for orthopedic surgery.
Dr. Tigran Garabekyan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip preservation. To learn more about Southern California Hip Institute or to schedule a consultation, click here to contact us or call:
Century City / Los Angeles: 310.595.1030
Serving patients in Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, West Hollywood, Century City, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and other neighboring cities in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
Also visit http://www.drgorthopedics.com/