Bryant Bonner, MD

Board Certified

Hip and Knee Replacement Specialist

What is Arthritis?

A man in a suit is pointing at a computer screen.

Arthritis

Arthritis refers to inflammation of your joints, or where two bones meet such as your hip or knee. As a result of this inflammation, joint surfaces lose their smooth cartilage. This can lead to pain and stiffness, affecting daily activities.

A diagram showing the parts of a healthy hip.
A diagram showing the anatomy of an arthritic hip.
Types of Arthritis and Their Causes

One of the most common ways that patients experience Arthritis is through normal wear and tear over the years. This is often referred to as osteoarthritis. Cartilage can also be damaged or lost through other conditions including inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, trauma, or infection.

The anatomy of a healthy knee.
A diagram showing the anatomy of an injured knee.
Progression of Arthritis

No matter the cause, Arthritis is more often than not a progressive condition that worsens over time.

Symptoms and Physical Changes

When Arthritis becomes severe enough, we are able to see it on X-rays and you may notice increased pain, swelling, stiffness and sometimes even some changes in the way your leg appears. With Arthritis of the knee, patients can often present with a “knock kneed” or “bow legged” appearance as a result of their knee osteoarthritis.

FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions that may help better understand arthritis and how we can help you navigate this condition.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term for a group of conditions that cause inflammation and pain in one or more of your joints. The most common types of Arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of cartilage, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints.

Arthritis can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms may differ depending on the type of arthritis you have. Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.
Arthritis is a clinical diagnosis. Dr. Bonner will perform a physical examination, review your medical history, and order imaging tests to better evaluate your joints.

There are a number of different options to manage your Arthritis including both nonoperative and possibly even surgical options.

  • Medications: Analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are common medications used to manage arthritis symptoms.
  • Physical Therapy: Working with a physical therapist can help improve joint function, reduce pain, and increase mobility.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and managing stress can be beneficial in managing arthritis.
  • Joint Injections: Corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections can provide temporary relief for painful joints.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgical interventions like joint replacement may be considered.
  • In 2019, approximately 3 million total knee replacements were performed globally.
  • 90 percent of patients reported satisfaction with the overall functioning of their knee after total knee replacement.
  • Most people who had total knee replacement surgery experienced a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in their ability to perform daily activities.
  • More than 90 percent of modern total knee replacements were still functioning well 15 years after the surgery.

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