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Osteoarthritis Specialist

Valdosta Specialty Clinic

Rheumatology & Endocrinology located in Valdosta, GA

As the most common joint disorder, osteoarthritis causes serious physical problems for millions of men and women in America today. If you have symptoms like joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, see the Valdosta Specialty Clinic experts for help. They can reduce your symptoms and prevent osteoarthritis from worsening. Call the Valdosta, Georgia, office or schedule a consultation online today.

Osteoarthritis Q&A

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease in which your joints undergo significant negative changes. 

Many people think of osteoarthritis as a wear-and-tear disease that only involves cartilage. However, osteoarthritis affects all parts of the joint, including the bones, synovium (joint lining), and attached tendons and ligaments. 

Osteoarthritis commonly affects the spine, hips, knees, hands, and big toes. Because the symptoms of osteoarthritis can be quite debilitating, it's important to start treatment as early as possible. 

Who gets osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is common in middle age and later in life, but it may develop earlier as well. In addition to age, factors like extra weight, family history of osteoarthritis, prior joint injury, and pre-existing joint deformity can all play a role in developing the disease.

According to a recent study jointly sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Americans have a 46% chance of developing knee osteoarthritis and a 25% chance of developing hip osteoarthritis during their lifetime. 

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis symptoms can include:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Limited joint movement
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint catching or clicking when you move
  • Grinding sensation when you move

Some of these may mimic other conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, scleroderma, and Lupus. So, if you have any of these symptoms, you should see the Valdosta Specialty Clinic experts for diagnosis as soon as possible. 

Although osteoarthritis symptoms worsen with time, with the proper treatment, you can feel much better and prevent the disease from growing worse. 

How is osteoarthritis treated?

Osteoarthritis treatment typically involves multiple approaches, including:

  • Weight loss, if you struggle with your weight
  • Walking
  • An assistive device, like walking canes
  • Oral pain relievers
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Hyaluronic acid injections (for knee osteoarthritis)
  • Physical therapy

For more severe osteoarthritis that doesn't resolve with nonsurgical treatments, your osteoarthritis Valdosta Specialty Clinic rheumatologist may recommend surgery, such as arthroscopy or joint replacement. 

Because no treatment can reverse osteoarthritis damage, it’s vital to address your symptoms when they start. This way, you can stop further damage and maintain the best quality of life possible. 

The Valdosta Specialty Clinic rheumatology experts can help with osteoarthritis and all other types of arthritis, so don’t wait to get the support you need. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today.