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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint and bone disease. It is a chronic process of wear and tear on the joint that worsens with time. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects about 27 million Americans. The condition most commonly strikes the knees, hips, lower back, neck, and small joint of the fingers.
Seeing your doctor early, when symptoms first start, can help slow the progression of osteoarthritis. If you suspect that you have arthritis or osteoarthritis in Arizona, call 877.914.1670 or Find a Doctor at Dignity Health to schedule an orthopedic consultation. Our orthopedic specialists are dedicated to delivering treatment to help you return to your daily activities.
In an arthritic joint, the cartilage covering the bones in the joint has gradually eroded. Without this smooth buffer, bones can rub directly against each other, which causes pain and swelling. The pain tends to be dull and achy, and develops slowly. It’s typical for the pain to be worse in the morning or with inactivity.
Other signs and symptoms include joint stiffness, limited range of motion, and a bump or deformity of the joint. You may also notice a creaking or grinding of the joint when you move it.
Certain risk factors increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. For example, aging increases the wear and tear of joints with time. Osteoarthritis can start in middle age, but it is most common in people older than 65.
Other risk factors include:
Your treatment of osteoarthritis at Dignity Health will likely start with nonsurgical strategies. Your doctor will recommend anti-inflammatory medicines, injections (such as viscosupplementation to help lubricate the joint), physical therapy, and lifestyle changes such as modifying activities and losing weight if necessary. When you start these treatments early, it’s often possible to slow down the joint degeneration.
Surgery may eventually be necessary if these treatments fail to relieve your symptoms. The type of surgery will depend on the joint involved, the extent of joint damage, and your age and activity level. From minimally invasive orthopedic surgery to joint replacements, your care team at Dignity Health will help you determine the cause of your symptoms and select the best treatment for long-term mobility.
Dignity Health offers a specialty in orthopedic services, treating conditions such as osteoarthritis for patients across Arizona.