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Tips for Living with Osteoarthritis

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region | 0 comments

Douglas Dennis, M.D.

Douglas Dennis, M.D.

An estimated 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. Known as the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints, linked to old age when the cartilage between the joints breaks down, and creates joint pain and reduced motion of limbs.

“The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints,” says Douglas Dennis, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Sutter Medical Group, who cares for patients at Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo and Sutter Fairfield Surgery Center. “Because osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, symptoms usually develop slowly and worsen over time.”

Osteoarthritis symptoms vary from patient to patient, with some patients debilitated with excruciating pain while others are relatively pain free. In addition, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that worsens over time.

Osteoarthritis is diagnosed through a physical exam of the affected joint to see if there is pain or restricted motion and to learn if there are grinding noises. In addition, X-rays are taken to determine if the joint shows deterioration, bone spurs or other abnormalities.

While there’s no known cure for osteoarthritis, medical and surgical treatments help reduce pain and provide more joint flexibility.

Treatment should help control pain and other symptoms as well as improve the ability to more easily perform daily living activities. Early treatment options include lifestyle modifications, medication and physical therapy. However, if early treatments do not ease or stop the pain, patients can turn to:

• Surgery, which can include arthroscopy to remove bone spurs, cysts, or loose fragments in the joint

• Osteotomy to realign the long bones of the arms or legs to take pressure off a joint

• Joint fusion to fasten or fuse the ends of the bones

• Joint replacement, in which an artificial joint replaces the arthritic or deteriorated joint

Learn more about this disorder at a free educational lecture, “Living with Arthritis? It’s Time to Take Charge,” to be held on Thursday, Feb. 13, 6 – 8 p.m., at Sutter Fairfield Surgery Center, featuring Dr. Douglas Dennis, orthopedic surgeon, and Holly Pulket, physical therapist. For more information, or to register, visit sutterorthopedics.org/arthritis, or call (916) 454-6649.

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region | 0 comments