Arthritis is a degenerative disease that causes inflammation in one or more joints in the body. One of the leading causes of joint pain, arthritis can result from many factors including:
- Natural friction
Arthritis more frequently affects the larger, weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. The most common forms of arthritis, affecting millions of Americans every year, are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis and is the leading cause of joint pain. It most frequently affects the hip and knee joints, due to the constant stress these joints must endure.
Patients over the age of 50, have a family history of the disease, or have had a past joint injury have a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that causes the cartilage surrounding the ends of the bones to wear away. As the amount of cartilage decreases, the bones of the joint begin to rub against each other during movement, resulting in pain and inflammation.
During the early stages of osteoarthritis, patients typically experience stiffness after long periods of rest, as well as pain during more active periods. If symptoms are left untreated, inflammation will continue and cartilage will decrease, often resulting in permanent bone damage. For patients suffering from advanced osteoarthritis, everyday tasks may become difficult, and they may suffer from immobility in the affected joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease most common in patients between the ages of 40 and 60. Middle-aged women and patients with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the smaller joints in the body, such as the joints in the hands and feet, and affects the same joint on both sides of the body, such as both the left and right hands.
While commonly found in the smaller joints, rheumatoid arthritis can also develop in the larger weight-bearing joints. As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, patients will often experience increasing pain, stiffness, swelling, decreasing range of motion, and numbness in the affected joint.
Joint Replacement Surgery
For patients suffering from advanced arthritis, or have lost joint mobility, total joint replacement surgery is often recommended. The most common joint replacement procedures are total hip and total knee replacement.
Total hip replacement surgery involves the complete removal of damaged bone and cartilage on both the ball and socket of the hip joint. An artificial implant is then secured to the ends of the bones to replicate the natural movement of the hip joint.
Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the entire knee joint is removed and replaced with a metal and plastic prosthetic joint.
Joint Replacement & Arthritis in Baton Rouge, LA
Craig C. Greene, MD, is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in hip and joint replacement. Dr. Greene provides the treatment to patients in the South Central Louisiana area including Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lafayette. To learn more about arthritis causes and treatments, schedule an appointment with his office at (225) 924-2424.