When you cut yourself, you take it for granted that your cut will heal in a few days or weeks.
When the joint surface of a bone is damaged, it does not heal. Articular surface cartilage is found on the end of every bone, and between vertebrae in the spine. If injured due to impact, trauma, wear and tear, or due to natural aging processes, the surface does not have the ability to heal itself. Progressive deterioration of the surface cartilage results in arthritis. It is a very frustrating problem for patients and doctors alike because there is no cure or treatment that can reverse arthritis.
Orthopedic Treatment Options:
- Medications: anti-inflammatory medications like motrin and alleve
- Pain pills
- Over the counter supplements like Glucosamine (1500mg per day)
- Tumeric has been found to decrease joint inflammation
- Acupuncture can help with generalized inflammation and specific painful joints
- Non-impacting exercises or physical therapy
- Cortisone Injections
- Joint lubricant injection (the official name of the natural joint lubricant is “hyaluronic acid”) Some companies make up a very similar liquid and produce it to be injected into your arthritic joint.
- Shoe inserts to cushion the lower extremity and to improve alignment
- Use of a cane or walker
- Weight management
- Use of an elastic support to help decrease swelling
- Cartilage transplant surgery when cartilage damage affects a small area
- Platelet Rich Plasma, Bone Marrow and certain types of Stem Cell injections can help in some cases
- Surgery to replace all or part of the damaged cartilage with your cartilage, bone bank cartilage or an artificial joint. Partial (unicompartmental) or total knee replacement are all options to consider.