What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a disease of the joint. A joint is an articulation between two bones, such as the knee (between the femur and tibia) or the hip (between the pelvis and the femur). Arthritis occurs as the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away and becomes painful.
How can I take care of my arthritis?
There are many ways for you to maintain an active life with arthritis. Treatments goals are providing pain relief and returning you to a healthy lifestyle.
Over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen reduce inflammation and pain.
Corticosteroid injections into the knee will help with inflammation by directly placing medication into the joint.
Decreasing weight reduces stress across the joint. Every pound lost decreases the force across the knee 4 times.
Physical therapy to develop muscles, reducing stress across the joint.
Reducing high-impact activities decreases the damage to the cartilage.
When should I think about hip or knee replacement?
When non-surgical treatments fail, it’s time to consider surgical treatment. This is best when having trouble with:
- Activities of daily living: grocery shopping, household chores
- Activities you enjoy: golf, long walks, gardening, bike riding
- Ability to work
- Ability to see friends or family