In the worst-case scenario, you may become permanently disabled and in constant pain from arthritis. However, if you get help from the team at Martin Orthopedics, you can avoid the devastating consequences of untreated arthritis. The practice has offices in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs Village, Benton, Cabot, and White Hall, Arkansas, where you can benefit from non-surgical therapies like joint injections and regenerative medicine. The team also performs advanced joint replacement surgery where necessary. Call the Martin Orthopedics office nearest you today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Arthritis causes joint damage and chronic pain. There are over 100 forms of the condition, with the most common being:
Osteoarthritis occurs when the articular cartilage covering the ends of your bones wears down after years of use. Cartilage is tough and slippery, so your bones normally glide over each other smoothly and painlessly. As the cartilage erodes, the ends of your bones become rough and pitted and rub against each other.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder resulting from an immune system dysfunction. In the mistaken belief that the cells in your joint linings are harmful, your immune system creates antibodies to attack the cells, just as it would a bacteria or virus.
Other common forms of arthritis include septic arthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis.
Arthritis symptoms vary in some respects depending on which form of the disease you have. Symptoms usually increase over time, starting with a mild but persistent aching in your joints. As the disease develops, you may also experience:
The pain typically worsens as your joints deteriorate. It can become so severe that you’re in constant pain, ranging from deep, intense aching to sharp needle-like pains in the affected joints.
Most people find their symptoms worsen when it’s cold and damp, when they’re under stress, or if they do more physical activity than normal.
Martin Orthopedics offers a variety of therapies for patients with all forms of arthritis. The team prepares a personalized treatment plan for you containing the most effective approaches, according to the type of arthritis affecting you, how severe it is, and any other health considerations.
Initial treatments are likely to include physical therapy to keep your joints mobile and medication to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It’s important to keep active without overdoing it. Too little exercise causes arthritis to worsen, making your joints stiffer and weaker, but too much can trigger a flare-up of your symptoms.
As your condition progresses, you might benefit from viscosupplementation (injections of hyaluronic acid) or steroid injections into the joints. Regenerative medicine treatments using stem cells and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) may help some patients.
There are also drugs for specific forms of arthritis. These include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologics for rheumatoid and other inflammatory forms of arthritis, and colchicine and allopurinol for gout.
If your arthritis advances to the point where no other treatments provide relief from your symptoms, the Martin Orthopedics team can perform joint replacement surgery.
They also specialize in joint preservation surgery to encourage new cartilage growth, which can delay the development of arthritis or even prevent it in some patients.
For advanced arthritis care, call Martin Orthopedics today or book an appointment online.