Osteoarthritis mainly affects the weight-bearing joints: the knee, the hip, the ankle and the foot joints. It can, however, appear in the rest of the joints of the body, most particularly the shoulder, the hands and the elbows. At times, it appears in the spine. Osteoarthritis causes stiffness, most often in the morning, and pain during activity. A loss of range of motion can also signal that you need to seek out a Sports Medicine physician.
Treating osteoarthritis early is key. The earlier we can identify and treat it, the better the chances we have of maintaining normal joint function. We want to avoid invasive treatments like surgery as long as possible as the spectrum of success with surgery ranges from “100% better all the way to “much worse than before the surgery.”
Non-operative treatments generally do not have as much medical risk. At Integrative Sports Medicine, we have a special interest in cartilage. When you schedule an appointment, your joint will be diagnosed with x-ray generally, and if appropriate, treated at our office. If the situation is not appropriate for non-operative treatment, we will offer you additional options including giving you a referral to see a surgeon.