Diagnosis and treatment of knee arthritis and hip arthritis

The term “arthritis” refers to joint pain or disease.  There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and it can affect more than one joint in a person.  Osteoarthritis is the most common form, and it is caused by the breakdown of cartilage. When this happens, bones in the joint rub against each other causing pain, swelling, and loss of movement. Knee arthritis and hip arthritis are both types of osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Knee Arthritis or Hip Arthritis

How does arthritis affect the knee or hip? As the cartilage in the joint breaks down, the bones rub together causing damage to the joint. The process takes years to develop and progresses in four stages:

  • Stage One (Minor): Small lumps grow on the bone, and the damage to the cartilage is minor.
  • Stage Two (Mild): The cartilage begins to wear down slightly, and you may begin to experience pain or stiffness.
  • Stage Three (Moderate): Cartilage loss has occurred, and there may be signs of inflammation.  You will likely experience pain when performing daily activities such as walking, running, or bending.
  • Stage Four (Severe): The cartilage loss is severe causing bone on bone movement in the joint.  You will probably experience much more intense pain.

Prevention of Knee Arthritis or Hip Arthritis

Arthritis is not necessarily a condition that you can prevent, but you can understand the risk factors. These may include:

  • Family history of arthritis
  • Developmental diseases affecting the joints
  • Variations in anatomy
  • Dislocations of the joints or fractures of the bones
  • Obesity

Treatment of Knee Arthritis or Hip Arthritis

For mild and moderate arthritis you can use these treatments to find relief:

  • Use heat and cold on the affected area
  • Be sure to rest when needed
  • Stay active and maintain a healthy weight
  • Do exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the joint
  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication

When the joint deterioration has progressed to the moderate or severe stage, joint replacement may be an option. Joint injections can also be an effective way to deal with the pain associated with knee arthritis or hip arthritis.  When you have tried home treatment and your pain is no longer manageable, it is time to see a specialist.  The doctors at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic group can help with the best possible treatment plan.

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