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Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis Treatment in Tuscaloosa

Our Joint Pain Experts Help You Move More Freely

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease or wear-and-tear arthritis, is caused by the cartilage that cushions the joints breaking down over time, causing the bones to rub together. It is the most common form of arthritis, and the older you are, the more likely you are to have wear and tear on your joints. It mainly affects the joints in the hands, knees, hips and spine.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis often start slowly and worsen over time, including:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Grating sensation
  • Bone spurs
  • Swelling

Osteoarthritis Treatment

While osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, there are effective treatments to manage the symptoms, including pain relief and mobility improvements. Many patients address pain with over-the-counter drugs. Other effective treatments include physical therapy, which can help strengthen the muscle surrounding the affected joint while increasing flexibility. Occupational therapy may be useful, too, so you can learn how to do your daily tasks without putting excess strain on the affected joint(s). Cortisone injections may be useful to relieve pain and inflammation; however, most patients are limited to three or four injections per year, as the medication can worsen joint damage over time.

Orthopedic surgery may be necessary for patients who can’t get adequate relief through nonsurgical treatments. The two most common surgical treatments for osteoarthritis are osteotomy, to realign the bones, and shift the patient’s body weight away from the worn-out part of the joint. Joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) is indicated for patients who need significant relief. An orthopedic surgeon removed the damaged surfaces of the joint and replaces them with an artificial joint made of plastic and metal parts.

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