What causes Arthritis?
Arthritis is often caused when the genes responsible for the disease are triggered by infection or any environmental factors. With this trigger, the body produces antibodies, part of our defence mechanism, which may act against the joint causing rheumatoid arthritis.
Fractures at joint surfaces and joint dislocations may predispose an individual to develop post-traumatic arthritis. It is considered that your body secretes certain hormones following injury which may cause death of the cartilage cells.
Uric acid crystal build-up is the cause of gout and long-term crystal build-up in the joints may cause deformity.
What are your options?
Nonsurgical treatment options for arthritis include medications (anti-inflammatories), injections (steroids), physical therapy, weight loss, orthotics such as pads or arch supports, and canes or braces to support the joints.
Surgery may be required to treat arthritis if your symptoms do not get better with conservative treatments. Surgery performed for arthritis includes arthroscopy, arthroplasty or joint replacement, and arthrodesis or fusion.
What are your success factors?
Although there is no cure for arthritis, you can take steps to significantly alleviate your symptoms. Successful treatment of arthritis depends on getting an early diagnosis, the type of arthritis, your general health, cooperation with the treatment plan and making positive lifestyle changes.
What do I do next?
If you think you have symptoms of arthritis, it is prudent to get it evaluated and treated before your condition progresses to permanent joint damage and disability. You can visit your primary doctor or an orthopaedic specialist or rheumatologist who specializes in arthritis and bone and joint health.