Albany foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons take a multidisciplinary approach when treating arthritis, which is a condition that can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the joints. Arthritis is a progressive disease that can worsen over time, and can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, injury, and genetics. The goal of arthritis treatment is to reduce pain, improve joint function, and slow down the progression of the disease.
Orthopedic surgeons first try to treat arthritis using non-surgical methods, including:
- Physical therapy: Specific exercises and stretches can help to improve joint flexibility and strength, which can alleviate pain and improve function.
- Weight management: Losing weight can help to reduce pressure on the joints, which can reduce pain and slow down the progression of arthritis.
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications can help to alleviate arthritis symptoms.
- Corticosteroid injections: Injections of corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joint.
- Joint supplements: Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can help to improve joint health and reduce arthritis symptoms.
If non-surgical treatments are not effective, orthopedic surgeons may recommend surgery to treat arthritis. Some surgical treatments include:
- Joint replacement: In severe cases of arthritis, joint replacement surgery may be necessary. This involves removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint.
- Joint fusion: In some cases, joint fusion may be recommended. This involves fusing the bones in the affected joint together, which can reduce pain and improve stability.
- Joint debridement: For less severe cases of arthritis, joint debridement may be recommended. This involves removing damaged tissue from the joint, which can reduce pain and improve function.
After surgery, rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process. Physical therapy can help to improve joint flexibility and strength, and reduce pain. Patients may also need to make lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or modifying their activities, to reduce pressure on the affected joint.
While arthritis cannot always be prevented, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing the disease, or to slow down its progression:
- Stay active: Regular exercise can help to keep joints flexible and strong, which can reduce the risk of developing arthritis.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to reduce inflammation and keep joints healthy.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of developing arthritis, so quitting smoking can help to reduce the risk.
- Protect your joints: Avoid activities that put excessive pressure on the joints, and use proper technique when exercising or performing manual labor.
Arthritis is a common condition that can cause pain, swelling, and reduced joint function. Orthopedic surgeons take a multidisciplinary approach when treating arthritis, and try to use non-surgical methods first. If non-surgical treatments are not effective, surgical treatments may be recommended. Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process after surgery, and lifestyle changes can help to prevent or slow down the progression of arthritis.