Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and affects about 27 million Americans. If joint pain, swelling, or stiffness is slowing you down, see Imad Tahboub, MD, in Flowood, Mississippi. As the founder of Internal Medicine Primary Care, PA, Dr. Tahboub has more than 30 years of experience providing relief from painful arthritis symptoms so patients can get their lives back. Find out more by scheduling a visit online or by phone today.
Osteoarthritis can also be called degenerative arthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis. It’s caused by overuse, repetitive movements, trauma, and general wear-and-tear on your joints. Symptoms occur when the cartilage in your joints that normally protects the ends of your bones breaks down or is worn away.
OA typically shows up in a single joint, often in the shoulder, hip, or knee, though it can occur in any joints that are used frequently in your work or daily life.
OA causes generalized joint symptoms that can be confused with other types of arthritis. That’s why it’s best to see Dr. Tahboub for a full exam to determine your exact diagnosis and treatments. Common symptoms of OA include:
It can take many years for OA to develop, so if you’re just starting to experience joint pain that doesn’t go away after 2-3 days, it’s time for an exam to determine the cause of your pain and the next steps you can take to prevent joint damage.
If OA is left untreated, it can eventually lead to a total breakdown of the cartilage in the affected joint, meaning that your joint becomes bone-on-bone. In these cases, the symptoms become much worse and surgery could be needed to relieve your discomfort and improve the function of your joint.
OA can also lead to a breakdown of bone near your joints that’s associated with osteoporosis. With osteoporosis, your bone becomes thinner and more fragile. This can make you vulnerable to fractures. If you have both OA and osteoporosis, your risk of fractures near your joints increases.
Diagnosis of OA involves a consultation, physical exam, and X-rays. If Dr. Tahboub suspects you also have osteoporosis, he will order a bone densitometry test or a specialized X-ray called a DEXA scan to determine the density of your bones.
Treatment often involves lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or wearing a brace over the involved joint while you’re working or exercising, as well as medications to relieve pain and inflammation. Some medications can help prevent the breakdown of cartilage.
To discuss osteoarthritis treatments, call Internal Medicine Primary Care or book a visit online now.