Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis Treatment
Osteoarthritis (OA) can be treated by managing the pain and stiffness with medications (topical pain relievers, injections and oral drugs or supplements) and regular exercise to build muscle and protect your joints. Other ways to decrease pain and improve function include acupuncture, tai chi and yoga, weight loss, hyaluronic acid or corticosteroid injections, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and braces or heel wedges.

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    A , Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    Side effects of viscosupplement injections are relatively rare. Depending on the type of injection, there is a small risk of a pseudo-septic reaction: pain, redness and inflammation that appears to be an infection but isn't. There is also a small risk of joint infection, not because of the treatment itself but because of the way the shot was given. It's important to use a clinician with a lot of experience giving injections. 
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    Viscosupplements are osteoarthritis treatments that use hyaluronic acid (or hyaluronate) to replace the synovial fluid that helps lubricate the joints, which is lost in people with osteoarthritis. (Hyaluronic acid is one of the two natural lubricants in synovial fluid.) It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of knee pain in people with osteoarthritis who are unresponsive to nonpharmacologic measures and analgesic medications and who have significantly increased flares of inflammation or extensive inflammation. Even though FDA approved, controversy remains over the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid injections. The drugs, which include hyaluronan (Hyalgan) and hylan-GF-20 (Synvisc), are injected directly into the joint. These drugs are usually injected into the knee, but their use in other joints is being studied. Injections are typically given weekly over several weeks, and the pain relief may last for a few months. Because it is made from rooster combs, people with sensitivity to birds, feathers or eggs should not receive viscosupplements. Researchers are testing whether hyaluronic acid can slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
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    Exercise is frequently used to treat osteoarthritis, whether or not a person is overweight. Exercise can improve mood and outlook, decrease pain, increase flexibility, improve the heart and blood flow, maintain weight and promote general physical fitness. It is also inexpensive and, if done correctly, has few negative side effects. The amount and form of exercise a person can do will depend on which joints are involved, how stable the joints are and whether a joint replacement has already been done.

    Exercise can produce generalized improvement as well as specific effects. When it comes to osteoarthritis of the knee, the level of muscle strength in the thigh muscle (quadriceps) and perhaps in the muscles around the hips are important. Strengthening these muscles can relieve symptoms. Walking can result in better functioning and increased walking distance.

    In addition, there is evidence that yoga and tai chi can help reduce osteoarthritis pain. These alternative forms of exercise combine gentle exercises, stretching and deep breathing.
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    A , Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    Viscosupplement injections -- joint injections of hyaluronic acid -- are more effective in milder cases of knee osteoarthritis (OA) than in more advanced OA. Good candidates can be any age and have knee OA from a variety of causes. Viscosupplement injections work on 20-year-olds with knee OA due to sports trauma, seniors whose joints have worn out over time or people who develop knee OA due to obesity. 
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Some studies suggest that hyaluronan injections can improve symptoms and function for people with knee osteoarthritis. Other studies have found that the benefits are not very strong and may not be worth the risk of side effects. Some treatment guidelines support the use of these injections, while others do not.
     
    The FDA has not approved hyaluronan injections for osteoarthritis in any joint other than the knee, but they are often used in other joints. A number of research studies have been done on their use in other joints, such as the ankle, hip, shoulder, and jaw. Most of these studies suggest the treatment can be helpful when less invasive treatments, such as NSAIDs, no longer work. But there is not enough research to be sure.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.http://www.sharecare.com/askmd/get-started
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    A , Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    The best healthcare provider to give viscosupplement injections is someone who is very experienced with this injection technique. That can be a physician assistant, nurse, rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon. What matters is that you go to someone who has been trained to give injections -- and who gives a lot of them. 
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    Who Is Not a Candidate for Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?
    Arthroscopic surgery is not good for moderate osteoarthritis of the knee, says Joseph Turk, MD, from Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. Learn what that means if you have arthritis issues in this short video.
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    If you are allergic to eggs or feathers, or are sensitive to bird proteins, a hyaluronan injection may not be a good option for you.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
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    Osteoarthritis treatment has three general goals:
    • Control pain through drugs and other measures.
    • Improve joint care through rest and exercise.
    • Maintain an appropriate body weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle.
    A successful treatment program for osteoarthritis may involve a combination of therapies tailored to the person's needs, lifestyle and health. People should work closely with a healthcare provider to help create the most effective treatment for them.