Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis treatment is based on the severity of symptoms and location of the joint inflammation. Oral medications and topical creams can help relieve joint pain. Physical therapy and activity modification can improve flexibility and joint health. Your doctor may recommend diet changes to eliminate foods that increase inflammation. Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, early diagnosis and proper management are important, particularly for inflammatory types of arthritis.

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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    Total shoulder resurfacing is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for degenerative conditions of the shoulder such as arthritis. In it, the ball of the shoulder is preserved and resurfaced, restoring the normal anatomy of the joint.

    Loosening of the socket cover is the most common complication in traditional shoulder replacement surgery, occurring in as high as 20% of cases. However, in this procedure, the plastic surface is inlaid into the socket, which makes it less prone to loosening as well as more anatomically correct. On the socket side, the implant is inserted into the socket as opposed to on top of the socket, which significantly reduces the possibility of loosening.
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    A , Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    An osteotomy is performed when arthritis has damaged one specific area of bone. In this procedure, a piece (or pieces) of bone is removed from the joint in order to realign it. This procedure is appropriate for younger, active patients with preserved functional joint range of motion, a small joint malalignment that needs correcting, and/or pathology that is restricted to one portion of the joint. If a joint malalignment is contributing to the progression of arthritis, correcting the malalignment and removing the diseased portion of bone may reduce symptoms, redistribute the weight to the healthy part of the joint, and slow progression of the arthritis.
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    To treat basal joint arthritis, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug can be used regularly, as long as it doesn't cause gastrointestinal (GI) or stomach problems. Examples include ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), which can be purchased in over-the-counter or prescription doses. The next step up would be occupational or hand therapy. This involves learning new ways to use your hands to avoid pain at the base of your thumb.

    Additional options would be splints. These range from a soft flexible neoprene-type brace that encloses the thumb and wraps around the wrist, to a more customized rigid brace that tries to relieve force across the base of the thumb joint.

    Any time a person has pain in the base of their thumb or by their wrist for more than a few days or a week, and it seems to get worse over time and with certain activities, it's best to get medical care. This can help prevent it from getting too bad too quickly.

    Surgery is the last option. If all of these conservative options fail to relieve symptoms or at least get them down to a tolerable level, then surgery is an option. If it gets to the point that you're having significant pain with regular activities every day, it's time to start thinking about surgery.
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    A , Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    Rarely, after a steroid injection for arthritis, a joint can have a "post-injection flare" in which symptoms temporarily worsen. The flare will generally subside within 48 - 72 hours. If this happens to you, call your doctor for further care, and also to help rule out an infection.

    In addition to the effects on the joint, steroid injections can raise blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes need to be especially aware of this potential side effect and discuss it with their doctor. A steroid injection can change the pigmentation of the skin, making it lighter. This is a rare complication, but it is a potential problem, particularly in people with darker skin. There are other side effects, and some people are not good candidates for steroid injections. If you are taking a blood thinner, you may need to discontinue it prior to the injection. It is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your physician. If you do have a steroid injection, be sure to have it done by a qualified, experienced professional.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    This is a great question for a number of reasons:
    • It's a common question for people with musculoskeletal injuries or surgery.
    • There's a good deal of uncertainty and misconception about the benefits and risks of exercise in a person with arthritis.
    • It demonstrates your desire to get back to exercising. I believe your motivation will help you recover from your surgery faster.
    Some details about your condition matter. How extensive was the surgery? How severe is the arthritis? What type of arthritis do you have?

    For nearly all types of arthritis, moving is better than not moving. It's true: "if you don't move it, you lose it." We tend to lose motion, strength and balance if we are not active. And a number of studies (though not all) that looked at the effect of running on the risk of arthritis suggest there is no clear increase in arthritis or other joint damage from running.

    So, my advice is this: you can start running as soon as your surgeon tells you it's okay. But start slow. Run for brief periods and at low speed. Over weeks and months, you should be able to resume your old running routine.

    A few words of caution to keep in mind:
    • This is probably not the time to start training for a marathon or begin highly competitive, high impact activities.
    • Every person is different. If running causes you significant pain or other problems, talk to your doctor. It may be time to find other non-weight-bearing exercises that do not stress your knees as much. Biking and swimming are good examples.
    • Make only small changes in your exercise routine. Start small and make no more than 10% changes each week. For example, increase your speed or how long you run (but not both) by 10% at a time.
    Most people in your situation are able to resume running over a short time. I hope you'll be one of them!
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    An estimated 50,000 people a year experience end-stage ankle arthritis, in which the ankle cartilage has worn away completely, causing painful bone-on-bone contact and some level of disability. Until lately, such patients have had only one surgical option: ankle fusion surgery. However, in the past 10 years or so, total ankle replacement surgery has been found to be a safe and effective treatment option for select patients with ankle arthritis. In many patients, total ankle replacement surgery substantially improves function, reduces pain, and allows for an improved quality of life. Patient mobility and quality-of-life factors contribute to longer independent living and to controlling overall healthcare costs.
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    Acupuncture can be complementary or an alternative treatment to manage pain from arthritis. Acupuncture has low to minimal side effects.
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    A Rheumatology, answered on behalf of
    There are some over-the-counter herbal remedies that include turmeric and other herbs that some people claim help arthritis. However, there is not enough data to make a formal recommendation. Some herbal remedies contain a mixture of herbs that may have unknown side effects.
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    It depends on the medication. For example, medication levels often peak about one hour after you swallow a drug. So it would be best to take your arthritis medications about one hour before activity or whatever time of day is usually the most painful. Long-acting medications take longer to work and last longer, so you may need to take them a few hours before any activity to get maximum pain relief.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    If you do not have to take medication as often, there are fewer pill bottles to open, fewer pills to take and less stress about missing a dose. Ask your doctor if a long-acting or time-release version is appropriate for you.

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