Arthritis

Arthritis is condition that involves the breakdown of the protective cartilage around the joints, which results in pain, stiffness and inflammation. Click the headers below to learn more about each of the types of arthritis we treat.

Foot/Ankle Arthritis

Almost half of people in their 60s and 70s have arthritis of the foot and/or ankle that may not cause symptoms. There are many different types of arthritis. The most common type, osteoarthritis results from the "wear and tear" damage to joint cartilage that comes with age. The result is inflammation, redness, swelling and pain in the joint.

Another common type, rheumatoid arthritis, is an inflammatory condition caused by an irritation of the joint lining. People with rheumatoid arthritis for at least 10 years almost always develop arthritis in some part of the foot or ankle.

Hand/Wrist Arthritis

Arthritis literally means “inflamed joint.” Normally a joint consists of two smooth, cartilage-covered bone surfaces that fit together as a matched set and that move smoothly against one other. Arthritis results when these smooth surfaces become irregular and don’t fit together well anymore and essentially “wear out.”

Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is most noticeable when it affects the hands and fingers. The most common forms of arthritis in the hand are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more about arthritis of the fingers, hand and wrist.

Hip Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis may cause hip pain that refers as groin pain. Relief in each case may be found through hip surgery such as total hip replacement or total hip resurfacing.

Osteoarthritis of the Hip

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. Both the ball and the socket are formed by bone that is covered with cartilage. The cartilage is present only where ball and socket come together. The cartilage has very little friction and allows the joint to move smoothly and without pain. For a variety of reasons, the cartilage can lose its ability to repair and maintain itself. If this "wearing" of the cartilage continues, the bone beneath the cartilage is exposed resulting in pain and stiffness. The severity of the wearing of the cartilage may or may not correlate with the amount of pain in the joint. However, complete loss of cartilage (aka "endstage osteoarthritis" or "bone on bone" arthritis) is almost universally associated with some degree pain, stiffness and disability. The pain caused by osteoarthritis is usually worse with any activity that requires pressure on the hip or movement of the hip.

People with hip arthritis commonly report pain and difficulty with prolonged standing and walking, going up and down stairs, putting on shoes and socks, or getting into a car. The treatment of arthritis depends on many factors, including the severity of the cartilage wear, the severity of the pain and stiffness, patient age and activity level, and patient weight and overall health. As a general rule, conservative treatments including activity modification, generalized conditioning, muscle strengthening, physical therapy, medications, the use of a cane, and rest will improve the pain associated with early or moderate osteoarthritis.

For patients with severe cartilage loss and long-standing, progressive hip pain, total hip replacement can offer dramatic improvement in pain, function, and quality of life.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hip

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease that can affect the hip. Specifically, special types of white blood cells that are usually involved in fighting off infection can attack the lining of the hip joint. This leads to inflammation of the hip joint and results in destruction of the cartilage that covers the bone. In severe cases, the joint can became stiff and painful.

Fortunately, new medications have dramatically reduced the pain and progression of many forms of rheumatoid arthritis. These medications are usually prescribed by a rheumatologist.

Even if the medications fail, total hip replacement can offer dramatic improvements in pain, function, and quality of life.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis of the Hip

Injury to the hip can result in damage to the bones and cartilage in the hip. If the injury is severe enough, the cartilage may completely wear out, leaving the hip painful and stiff. Although special surgical measures may have to be taken, total hip replacement will usually allow improvements in pain, stiffness, and function.

Knee Arthritis

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Shoulder Arthritis

Arthritis literally means “inflamed joint.” Normally a joint consists of two smooth, cartilage-covered bone surfaces that fit together as a matched set and that move smoothly against one other. Arthritis results when these smooth surfaces become irregular and don’t fit together well anymore and essentially “wear out.” Arthritis can affect any joint in the body.

Three major types of arthritis generally affect the shoulder.

Osteoarthritis, or "wear-and-tear" arthritis, is a degenerative condition that destroys the smooth outer covering (articular cartilage) of bone. It usually affects people over 50 years of age and is more common in the acromioclavicular joint than in the glenohumeral shoulder joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory condition of the joint lining, or synovium. It can affect people of any age and usually affects multiple joints on both sides of the body.
Posttraumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis that develops after an injury, such as a fracture or dislocation of the shoulder. Arthritis can also develop after a rotator cuff tear.