Helping You Manage Your Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a broad term that covers a group of over 100 diseases. The basic definition of arthritis is inflammation of the joints. At Pinehurst Surgical, we deal primarily with a particular type of arthritis, known colloquially as “wear and tear arthritis” — osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis usually affects patients in their older years and can be a result of repetitive use, such as from certain sports, or just from the day in and day out use over the years. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. 

What is osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. While it can occur in most of the body’s joints, it is most common in the weight-bearing joints: the hips, knees, and spine. Osteoarthritis doesn’t usually affect other joints unless there was a traumatic injury, excessive stress on the joint, or a problem with the cartilage in the joint. Osteoarthritis tends to get worse as wear and tear continues with additional passing years. 

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis? 

Symptoms develop slowly with time. These are the common symptoms: 

  •     Pain after activity involving the joint
  •     Stiffness following periods of inactivity
  •     Joint swelling
  •     Tenderness
  •     Loss of flexibility
  •     Grating sensation or clicking sound when joint is used

Diagnosing osteoarthritis 

In addition to a thorough physical exam and referencing of the patient’s family history, Dr. Moore will often include these diagnostic tests: 

  •     X-rays
  •     MRIs
  •     Blood tests
  •     Analysis of joint fluids

Treating osteoarthritis 

In these situations, Dr. Moore will try a variety of treatment methods before we even consider any replacement surgery on the knees or hips. The goal of these treatments is to relieve pain, increase mobility, and restore quality of life. Short of surgery, these are the treatments we use: 

  •     Weight loss for obese patients
  •     Exercise to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints
  •     Medications (anti-inflammatory drugs)
  •     Creams or gels with ingredients such as capsaicin
  •     Joint injections such as cortisone
  •     Assistive devices such as orthotics, canes, or braces

Cortisone is a steroid that when injected directly into the joint can provide effective anti-inflammatory relief, which leads to pain relief. Cortisone’s effects can last from a few weeks up to a few months. 

If the above treatments don’t seem to provide relief, the next step is joint replacement. Dr. Moore is an expert with total knee and hip replacements. 

If you’re suffering with any of the symptoms of osteoarthritis, call the team at Pinehurst Surgical, (910) 295-0224, and let’s get you back to moving without pain.

How Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the Joints

Arthritis is simply the clinical term for joint inflammation. Various types of arthritis are common, and they lead to pain and stiffness in the joints. Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, yet they affect the joints in different ways.

Since we’re all about your joints here at Pinehurst Surgical, let’s spend this blog noting how these forms of arthritis affect your joints.

A joint

A joint is simply the place where two bones meet. The muscles surrounding a joint move the bones. Muscles are joined to the bones with tendons. At the ends of the bones are layers of cartilage that provide cushion and shock absorption between the bones and prevents them from rubbing against each other. The joint is surrounded by a membrane, called the synovium, which produces a thick fluid that lubricates the joint. The synovium is enclosed by the capsule, which holds the joint together with fibrous bands called ligaments.

Osteoarthritis and your joints

Osteoarthritis affects the entire joint, all of the above pieces. This “wear and tear” arthritis breaks down the cartilage, making it flaky and rough. Pieces may come loose and float about in the synovial fluid. This deterioration in the cartilage leaves the bones unprotected.

As the cartilage thins, the bones around it thicken and may develop bone spurs on the ends. Microfractures may occur in the ends of the bones. The joint capsule and ligaments stretch and may thicken in an attempt to stabilize the changing joint. This can cause inflammation throughout the joint to all the soft tissues.

Osteoarthritis commonly affects these joints: knees, hips, neck, lower back, and the hands.

Rheumatoid arthritis and your joints

Whereas osteoarthritis is due to age and wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where your immune system attacks the tissues in the joints, causing inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis particularly affects the synovial membrane. This creates an overproduction of synovial fluid, which causes the joints to swell and the capsule to stretch. This causes pain and affects mobility in the joint.

This inflammation causes damage to the cartilage and even the bone ends. The inflammation, if left unaddressed, can result in destruction of the joint. Adjoining tendons can also become inflamed and wear down.

Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects these joints: wrists, hands, fingers, ankles, toes, shoulders, and the knees.

If you have joint pain, you may have one of these forms of arthritis. This isn’t something to “soldier” through. Call Dr. Moore and our team at Pinehurst Surgical, (910) 295-0224, to make your appointment.

Women and Osteoarthritis

A Look Into Risks and Prevention

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the clinical name for “wear and tear” on joints occurring most frequently in knees, hips, and hands. Osteoarthritis impacts millions of Americans but is slightly more prevalent in women. It is estimated that one in five adults has osteoarthritis, 24 million women and 17 million men according to the Arthritis Foundation. Two main factors come into play: gender and genetics.

Gender

Research has shown that female hormones affect the cartilage between bones and joints providing cushioning so the joints can move smoothly. When menopause occurs, estrogen levels drop meaning they lose that extra protection. This has been shown to still be true even in cases where women are receiving hormone-replacement therapy after menopause. A lack of testosterone may also put women at risk. Testosterone is key in building strong muscles which leads to healthier joints.

The amount of full-term childbirths a woman has had also plays a part in the chances of developing knee or hip arthritis. A study of more than 1600 women aged 50 to 79 who had given birth to 5 to 12 children was 2.6 times more likely to have a knee replacement than a woman who gave birth to only one child.

Genetics

If a family member has OA, you are more likely to have it. This has also been shown to be more true with women. If your mother was diagnosed with OA, you will likely experience issues in the same joints around the same age she was. This is especially true in cases of hand and knee osteoarthritis.

So what can I do to avoid OA?

  • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Being overweight or obese adds extra weight on your joints. Losing weight lessens the pressure on those weight-bearing joints and increases your mobility
  • Be active
    • Exercise is an incredible tool for OA, it can increase flexibility, boost your mood, strengthen your muscles and heart, and increase blood flow. If you already have joint issues, try lower-impact exercises such as swimming or yoga to stay active and in shape.
  • Speak up
    • If you are experiencing a lot of pain or interference in your everyday activities, even something as simple as walking down the stairs, let your doctor know

Though it may seem difficult to avoid Osteoarthritis, there are treatment options available to you. If you have any questions or concerns about OA don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 910.295.0224.

Osteoarthritis Pinehurst, NC

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is one of the biggest joint conditions that we see people for here at Dr. John Moore’s office. In fact, as a condition that affects over 27 million Americans, osteoarthritis is the most common chronic joint condition in adults. Because it’s so common, it may have you wondering how on earth it’s caused and if there’s anything you can do to prevent yourself from getting it. Let’s take a closer look.

Genetics: Your genetics play a huge role in virtually every part of your health. For instance, if there are genetic defects in your joints and the way that your bones fit together, it can accelerate the degradation of your joints which leads to osteoarthritis. Additionally, some young patients may develop osteoarthritis if they inherit a rare defect in the body’s ability to produce collagen.

Joint Overuse: Distance runners or people who overuse their joints a lot may develop osteoarthritis because continually bending your knee joints causes them to wear down more quickly.

Obesity: The more weight you put on your joints, the more it’s going to increase the pressure and wear on them. Patients who are overweight are putting

Injury: If you have had an injury in the past, you are at a higher risk of becoming arthritic at some point.

Other Diseases: Certain disease can increase the likelihood that you will develop osteoarthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Even though these things can contribute to osteoarthritis, they aren’t the only things that do. In fact, just using your joints may increase your chances of getting osteoarthritis. If you want to learn more about treatment or diagnosis, contact us at our office today and call us at 910.295.0224.

patellofemoral arthritis | Pinehurst, NC

How to Tell If You Have Osteoarthritis

With summer in full swing, it’s not likely that you are going to catch the common cold or flu. And although these airborne viruses are nothing to mess with, here at Dr. John Moore’s office we see patients for a whole other beast: orthopaedic and joint issues. As a fairly common joint condition, osteoarthritis is nothing to mess with but luckily, it’s not something that you’re going to contract from your neighbor. So, how is osteoarthritis caused and how can you tell if you have it?

How Is It Caused?

Because arthritis is primarily prevalent in the knees and hips, there’s no getting around the fact that constant wear and tear of walking and running is one of the culprits of it. However, there are other factors that also play a role including:

  • Genetics: Collagen is a protein that helps make up the cartilage in your joints. Some people inherit a rare genetic defect which lowers their body’s production of collagen; this can lead to some patients developing osteoarthritis as young as 20.
  • Joint Overuse: If you work in an industry where you’re continually standing, kneeling, or placing pressure on your joints, this puts you at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity: Adding extra weight to your joints on top of the usual wear and tear can also increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis.
  • Joint Injury: Patients who have previous sports injuries are also more likely to develop osteoarthritis later on in their lives.
  • Certain Diseases: Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop osteoarthritis as well. Other diseases can also increase your likelihood of getting it.

What Are the Symptoms?

In some patients, it can be hard to decipher from just having stiff joints to having a condition like osteoarthritis. The best way for us to determine whether or not you have this is with an examination from Dr. John Moore. Typically, patients with osteoarthritis have:

  • Stiffness in the joint after periods of inactivity
  • Pain after activity involving the joint, particularly intensive use
  • Pain that radiates from the hips to the groin, buttocks, or the inside of the thigh
  • Clicking or cracking sounds when a joint bends
  • Joint aching and soreness, especially with certain movements
  • Mild swelling around a joint
  • A scraping sensation in the knees after movement
  • In the fingers, bone spurs may make the fingers swollen, tender, and red.

If have any of these signs or symptoms of osteoarthritis, contact our Pinehurst office today at 910-295-0224.

Osteoarthritis Pinehurst, NC

5 Sneaky Myths About Osteoarthritis

“You’ll never get arthritis… unless your parents had it. But if you have arthritis, make sure you don’t exercise… it will make it worse.” These are just a few of the myths that surround osteoarthritis. As one of the conditions that Dr. John Moore treats at our office, osteoarthritis is a lot more common than you may be aware of. To help you feel more informed about this condition, we have created a brief list debunking some of the common myths surrounding this condition. Let’s take a closer look!

Myth #1: It’s Uncommon

Osteoarthritis is actually a lot more common than you may think. In fact, it’s the most common form of arthritis in patients and affects about 27 million Americans. So, before you start thinking that it’s rare, think of these numbers.

Myth #2: Weight Isn’t a Factor

Did you know that two-thirds of obese patients will develop osteoarthritis at one point in their lifetime? Did you also know that one pound of excess weight acts as four pounds of weight on your knees? The heavier you are, the more of a strain there is on your joints and ligaments which increases your chances of developing this type of arthritis.

Myth #3: Exercise Will Make It Worse

You may think that the more stress you put on your joints by exercising, the worse it will get. However, low impact exercises like swimming, walking, and cycling can lessen the pain and inflammation and make you feel better overall.

Myth #4: If Your Parents Had It, You Will Too

Although genetics can play an active role in your likelihood of developing osteoarthritis, they aren’t definite. If your parents had osteoarthritis, try to keep a closer eye on your joints and tell your primary physician, but also know that you may not ever develop it.

Myth #5: Changes In Temperature Make It Worse

Many patients mistake their body tensing up to colder temperatures as a joint flare up. However, there is no scientific evidence that supports the claim that a change in temperature plays a role in your symptoms.

If you have stiff, aching, swollen joints, you may be suffering from osteoarthritis. During your initial appointment at our office, we should be able to diagnose you and get you started on a treatment plan. Ready to take the steps toward learning more about this condition? Contact our office today at 910.295.0224.

Osteoarthritis Pinehurst, NC

3 Myths About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is caused when the joint cartilage breaks down— leaving patients in pain and discomfort. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that nearly 50% of adults are estimated to get osteoarthritis at one point or another in their lifetime, there are a few things that you can do to prevent it altogether. To help you feel more informed about this condition, let’s take a closer look at some myths.

It’s Caused By Cracking Your Knuckles

If you are a frequent knuckle cracker, you may experience some sore, tender joints sometimes. However, unlike common myth, knuckle cracking does not cause arthritis. Even though knuckle cracking isn’t a cause for arthritis, however, it’s still not good for your joints.

Exercise Makes It Worse

Exercise is good for your heart, lungs, and yes, you guessed it, even your joints. Even though you aren’t going to want to become a marathon runner if you have osteoarthritis, you should still be getting regular exercise. Specifically, low impact exercise can help ease your arthritis pain.

It Will Go Away On Its Own

Your acne may ease up on its own and that cold will more than likely go away without you ever having to visit your physician, but one thing is for certain: if you have osteoarthritis, you should seek the help of a professional like Dr. John Moore. With the proper diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment, Dr. John Moore can help you alleviate your osteoarthritis symptoms and get back on the road toward a more comfortable life.

Sore and aching joints are just two of the symptoms of osteoarthritis. If you think you may have this condition or if you want to learn more about treatment options, contact our Pinehurst office today!