What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is loss of joint cartilage. The ends of the bones in the joints of the body are coated with cartilage which is the gliding surface. With age, damage, disease and injury, cartilage wears off over time. When the cartilage becomes thin or is completely lost, the rough surfaces rub on each other and this causes pain. This is what we call arthritis.
How is Arthritis treated?
The treatment for arthritis is both non-surgical and surgical.
What is non-operative treatment for Arthritis?
The non-operative treatment focuses on managing pain and inflammation from the arthritis with medication. The other aspect of non-operative treatment is to strengthen the muscles groups around the affected joints to help unload them so they hurt less. This is achieved with either physical therapy or physical fitness expert working on stretching and strengthening.
What is the Operative treatment of Arthritis?
When the joints have completely worn out, the solution is to replace the joint surfaces with an alternate surface which glides smoothly so as to eliminate pain, correct deformity and restore function. Joint Replacement surgery s available for several joints including hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow and the knuckles of the hand.
The analogy is that of a worn out tire. When the treads wear out you change the tire. When the cartilage wears out, you change the joint.