Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can limit mobility and diminish the quality of life. If you’ve experienced sore, swollen joints, pain after activity, and other common arthritis symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor who can assess your condition and suggest the best treatment options. Located in Mechanicsburg, PA, the physician-surgeons at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA offer the most advanced arthritis treatments available to help you stay active, stop the pain, and prevent worsening symptoms.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the more common of the two forms of arthritis. Affecting millions each year, it occurs when the cartilage cushioning the ends of our bones wears down over time.
This form of arthritis commonly occurs in the hip, knee, and spinal joints, but it can also affect the fingers, thumbs, neck, and large toes. Common osteoarthritis symptoms include:
- Joint pain during or after movement
- Joint stiffness that’s immediately noticeable upon waking or following inactivity
- Joint tenderness
- Loss of flexibility
- A grating sensation in the joint
- Bone spurs
Age is the most common cause of osteoarthritis, with women age 60 and older being most likely to develop its symptoms. However, people of all ages may be affected. Other contributing factors include:
- Previous joint injuries
- Joint overuse
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder. Over time, the disease can spread from joints to the lungs, heart, eyes, and more. By inflaming the joints, RA causes painful swelling that may eventually lead to bone erosion and permanent joint deformity.
Unlike osteoarthritis, RA is an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to target and attack its tissues. The disease progresses in three stages, which include:
- Joint swelling with pain, a warming sensation, stiffness, and redness
- Rapid cell division and growth that thickens the lining of the joint
- The release of enzymes that digest bone and cartilage, sometimes causing the infected joint to lose its alignment, shape, and mobility
Rheumatoid arthritis affects approximately 1.3. million Americans, yet there is still no known cause or cure. Early, aggressive treatment offers the best hope for those who suffer from RA, helping to prevent joint damage, protect mobility, and minimize the need for surgery.
At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA, we strive to offer every patient care that exceeds their expectations and improves their quality of life. Our team offers arthritis patients a personalized treatment plan with medications and therapies chosen for their unique condition. Along with these more conservative treatments, surgical and noninvasive procedures are offered to slow or stop the progression of arthritis.
Physical therapy is recommended for many patients to strengthen the muscles around joints and improve mobility while reducing pain. Occupational therapy is also offered to help patients learn to complete daily tasks without putting added stress on affected joints. And with 4D custom orthotics, our team can help reduce heel pressure, correct overpronation, and reduce joint pain.
If you’ve failed to find relief from these methods, we may recommend cortisone injections or advanced surgical treatments that include bone realignments, joint fusions, total joint replacement, and more. Coping with late-stage arthritic conditions? Reconstructive foot and ankle surgery may help.