What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that can affect people of any age. It is a type of arthritis that causes degeneration of the afflicted joint’s cartilage and bone. This condition causes pain and stiffness, which can limit mobility over time. When a patient develops osteoarthritis in their knees or hips, their quality of life can be affected. This is because OA stiffness and pain can keep them from normal activities.
Interesting enough, osteoarthritis is a symmetrical condition. Though it may start on one side of the body, it usually affects both knee and hip joins. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear on the joints. Everyday activities, sports, accidents, and demanding jobs may cause more strain on the hip and knee joints. This can quicken the development of osteoarthritis.
For most people, age is the most common reason why osteoarthritis develops. Most of us will experience osteoarthritis of the knee or knee. However, there are a few factors that can point to this condition developing sooner:
- Family History
- Athletic History
- Previous Injuries
Who Can Develop Osteoarthritis
Did you know that around half of the population will develop symptoms of osteoarthritis during their lives?
While most people think that arthritis is a condition that only affects people ages 65 and up, it isn’t. Young patients and athletes can also develop osteoarthritis. Individuals who tend to use their knees and hips more can quicken the development of osteoarthritis. This is because their joint cartilage may wear down faster because of strenuous activity.
Individuals who are overweight may also be more prone to developing osteoarthritis in their knees and hips. This is because extra weight puts more pressure on the joints, which wears them down faster.
Patients with osteoarthritis report feeling pain, stiffness, crackling, swelling, and a limited range of motion. The patient may also experience a decline in their quality of life as more activities become uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, joints with osteoarthritis can be painful and stiff after periods of rest. This makes getting movement in the morning or after a nap more painful. Swelling and discomfort also tend to occur after periods of activity.
In most cases, these symptoms develop slowly over time. For hip joints that are affected by OA, you may feel pain through your groin, buttocks, or along your thighs. In knee joints with OA, patients often feel a scraping sensation and discomfort when they move.
Since osteoarthritis is such a common condition, there are several conservative and surgical treatment options. Dr. Vigdorchik has a non-operative priority. This means that he prefers conservative treatment to surgical intervention. Whenever possible, conservative treatments like physical therapy, corticosteroids, and assistive devices are preferred.
Depending on your age, health, and history, Dr. Vigdorchik may recommend a course of nonsurgical treatments. Lifestyle modifications help many patients. This is because making small changes in daily habits can slow down osteoarthritis. Physical therapy, assistive devices like a cane, and pain medications can also help. Weight loss can also reduce strain on the hips and knees, reducing discomfort from OA.
In some cases, surgery may be the best option. When this happens, Dr. Vigdorchik may recommend joint replacement or resurfacing. These procedures aim to restore natural and comfortable movement to the affected joint. Many patients who receive these surgeries report relief from their osteoarthritis pain immediately after surgery.
Schedule an appointment – (646) 350-4499
If your hip or knee pain is accompanied by any of the symptoms below, please call New York City’s innovative hip surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik immediately and have someone drive you to our office.
- Chronic pain or swelling in and around the joints, groin, and buttocks
- Clicks or pops when moving the hip or knee joint
- Grating sensations accompanying joint movements
- Difficulty walking, stiffness in the hip or limited range of motion
- Feeling unsteady on your feet