An osteoarthritis doctor, also known as an orthopedic surgeon, provides diagnosis and treatment to patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the United States, and is estimated to affect over 27 million individuals.
Osteoarthritis (or wear and tear arthritis) occurs when the cartilage that surrounds and protects the joints begins to wear down and deteriorate as the result of age or repetitive stress motions. The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, swelling, stiffness in the affected joint, and in some cases, limited mobility.Other factors that can lead to osteoarthritis in some patients include:
Other factors that can lead to osteoarthritis in some patients include:
- Repetitive stress and mechanical injuries
- Sports and athletics
An osteoarthritis doctor will perform a full physical exam, take x-rays or order an MRI, and take a detailed medical history to determine the severity and any potential damage to a patient’s joint.
Treatment for wear and tear arthritis will vary from patient to patient. For milder forms, conservative treatments like rest and NSAIDs to relieve pain and swelling may be prescribed, along with an exercise or physical therapy plan. In more severe cases, corticosteroids or hyaluronic injections may be administered to the affected joint. Surgery is also sometimes considered.
For most mild to moderate forms of osteoarthritis, lifestyle modifications like rest, dieting, weight loss plans, and physical therapy and exercise will help to alleviate symptoms and prevent significant joint damage.