Treatment options for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of arthritis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one out of every five adult Americans has arthritis that a doctor has diagnosed, with even more who have arthritis but haven’t been diagnosed. Arthritis isn’t just a problem for older adults -- people of all ages can develop the disease.
Our joint specialists work with rheumatologists and other specialists to care for patients with all forms of arthritis. We help patients manage arthritis pain and treat joint problems created by arthritis.
Types of arthritis we treat
The primary forms of arthritis are:
- Ankylosing spondylitis: This chronic form of arthritis primarily affects the spine. The joints and ligaments that allow the spine to move become inflamed. This can lead to a fusion of the vertebrae (spinal bones), which causes the spine to become rigid. Ankylosing spondylitis also can affect other joints, such as the hips, shoulders, knees, or ankles.
- Gout: Your body naturally produces a substance called uric acid when it breaks down chemical compounds called purines, which are found in certain foods. If you have gout, too much uric acid accumulates in your blood. This can cause the formation of deposits called urate crystals, which can accumulate in a joint. These crystals are sharp and can cause swelling, inflammation, and extreme joint pain, particularly in the big toe.
- Osteoarthritis: This form of arthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis. Cartilage destruction in the joints causes the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. These symptoms can develop over many years.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: This form of arthritis can develop after a bone fracture.
- Neuropathic arthritis: This condition is also known as neuropathic osteoarthropathy. It’s a progressive disease that usually is linked to partial or total loss of sensation in the affected area. Neuropathic arthritis can affect the entire foot or ankle or a specific joint.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This chronic inflammatory disease can affect the entire body. Though we don’t know the cause, researchers believe rheumatoid arthritis starts when the body produces enzymes that cause inflammation of the joints and other tissues.
Arthritis treatment options
We typically recommend treatments to provide pain relief and symptom control for arthritis patients. Depending on your condition, this may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications to control pain and swelling
- Braces, splints, and other orthotic devices to control pain and deformity
- Peripheral joint injections
- Physical therapy
If these treatment options don’t work, or if you’re not a good candidate for them, we may recommend surgery. Arthritis surgery involves reconstructing the joint. While surgery won’t cure arthritis or completely restore the joint’s normal function, it can ease the pain and make regular activities more manageable.