Post-Traumatic Arthritis Treatment in Asheville, NC
Arthritis is pain caused by inflammation of a joint or joints; the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA), occurs as the result of the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones degrading over time. When this degradation is associated with previous physical trauma, a condition known as post-traumatic arthritis is likely to blame for your joint inflammation and pain, as the injury causes damage to the cartilage or bone, causing it to wear out more quickly.
Accounting for approximately 15% of all cases of osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis is quite common and can affect any joint, including the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle. Common symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis include:
- Fluid accumulation in the joint
- Deformity, bone spurs or lumps in the joint
- Difficulty bearing weight
If you have been in a car accident or suffered a sports injury or physical trauma of any kind, it is important that you seek medical advice as you are at a higher risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Asheville that specializes in post-traumatic arthritis treatment, call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
What Causes Traumatic Arthritis?
Post-traumatic arthritis is typically caused by the wearing out of a joint that has sustained any kind of physical injury or trauma. This can include:
- Automobile accidents
- Sports injuries
- Military injuries
Improper treatment and healing from these injuries can lead to conditions that may escalate or accelerate one's likelihood of developing post-traumatic arthritis, such as:
- Malunion fracture: A fracture that has healed improperly, often due to displacement of the surface of the joint. As cartilage degrades, post-traumatic arthritis or episodes of joint instability or incongruence may follow.
- Nonunion fracture: A fracture that fails to heal due to inadequate stability, blood flow or both, and more likely to occur as the result of a high-energy injury such as a car accident where blood supply to the bone is impaired.
Post-Traumatic Arthritis Treatment
Diagnosing post-traumatic arthritis will begin with a physical exam in which your healthcare provider examines the joint and asks questions regarding the history and extent of your joint pain. Age is often a key indicator in post-traumatic arthritis, as typical osteoarthritis does not manifest until age 60 or older. X-rays will be performed while a CT scan, MRI or other imaging studies may also be ordered.
Treatment for traumatic arthritis could vary:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to alleviate your symptoms.
- Physical therapy will likely be recommended and could include low-impact exercise to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint. Weight loss may also be recommended to reduce stress on the joint.
- Cortisone injections into the arthritic joint(s) may be recommended to improve joint comfort and function.
- Platelet-rich plasma injections, containing a high concentration of growth factors to help restore cartilage and reduce inflammation, may be used and will consist of using your blood platelets and plasma to stimulate the healing process.
- Surgical treatment, when nonsurgical remedies prove ineffective, may include debriding, reconstructing or replacing the joint.
Preventing arthritis symptoms from setting in, or delaying their occurrence, may require regular low-intensity and muscle strengthening exercises, as well as dietary supplements and maintaining a healthy weight. It is important to meet with a healthcare provider equipped to recommend a treatment plan that works for you, as well as to discuss any associated risks. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Asheville that specializes in treatment for post-traumatic osteoarthritis, call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center
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