Arthritis Q & A
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that refers to the inflammation of one or more of your joints. This inflammation leads to stiffness and pain that can be debilitating if left untreated.
The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage to break down and deteriorate, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that negatively affects the lining of your joints.
Generally, arthritis worsens with age and neglect. However, a variety of different forms of treatment can help significantly reduce your symptoms, relieve your pain, and vastly improve your overall quality of life.
What are common signs and symptoms of arthritis?
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of arthritis to look out for include:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Limited range of motion
- Swelling of your joints
Dr. Deacon specializes in treating arthritic symptoms that affect your lower extremities, including your knees, ankles, and feet.
What causes arthritis?
There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of you developing arthritis, including:
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Your risk of many different types of arthritis increase as you get older.
Your sex can affect your risk of different forms of arthritis. For example, women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more at risk for gout.
Certain types of arthritis can be passed down in families. Having parents or siblings with arthritis can increase your risk.
Previous joint injuries — often sports injuries — can leave your joints susceptible to arthritis.
Carrying excess weight can place added stress on your joints, especially your knees. This can increase your risk of developing arthritis.
How is arthritis treated?
First, Dr. Deacon performs a thorough physical evaluation and discusses your arthritis symptoms with you. In some cases, further testing is needed to conclusively diagnose your arthritis.
Each arthritis case requires a personalized treatment plan. Dr. Deacon offers conservative treatment methods, such as prescribed pain-relieving medications and physical therapy to relieve joint issues. Physical therapy is particularly important for active individuals, and Dr. Deacon tailors your physical therapy program so it’s optimized for you.
If conservative treatments don’t prove effective, or if a case of arthritis is particularly severe, surgery may be needed to repair or replace a joint.
To learn more about arthritis treatment at Milwaukee Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinic, call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.