Michael Hannon, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon located in Beverly Hills, CA
Arthritic conditions cause immense suffering and loss of mobility for millions of Americans every year. If you have arthritis and are finding it hard to cope, Michael Hannon, MD, and the skilled team at Hannon Orthopedics can help find solutions and relief for your painful arthritis symptoms. Call the office in Beverly Hills, California, today for an appointment or request a visit online.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis isn’t a single disease but rather a term that encompasses more than 100 different variations. Some are common, others less so, and many are rare. What they all share is that they cause chronic joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Two common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most widespread form of arthritis. It typically develops in middle age, from around 45 years of age and onwards, although it does sometimes affect younger people. Osteoarthritis results from the effects of wear and tear over the years, as the cartilage protecting the ends of the bones deteriorates and gradually disappears.
Without the slippery cartilage to protect the bones, their ends start rubbing against one another, creating friction that leads to inflammation and pain. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but most people find the worst affected areas to be their hands, knees, back, and hips.
Rheumatoid arthritis is less widespread than osteoarthritis but still affects millions of people. It usually develops at a younger age due to an immune system dysfunction. The immune system is designed to protect one from invading organisms that could cause harm, but sometimes it errantly starts attacking certain tissues. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the linings of the joints are what’s most frequently targeted.
What are the effects of arthritis?
The primary effect of arthritis is joint pain. This is typically a constant, throbbing ache that can flare up at times and become severely painful and quite debilitating.
One of the main symptoms of arthritis is stiffness of the joints. As a result, it may become increasingly difficult to stand up, sit down, or do manual work with the hands. The affected joints begin to stiffen and swell and may even become misshapen over time.
What arthritis treatments are available?
Treatments for arthritis typically begin with nonsurgical options like:
- Activity changes
- Physical therapy
- Walking aids
- Steroid joint injections
Although arthritis causes joint pain, avoiding exercise is unwise as it leads to increased stiffness and weakness. The Hannon Orthopedics team can advise you on how to stay active safely and effectively.
When arthritis gets to an advanced stage, these nonsurgical treatments might no longer work. If this happens to you, partial or total joint replacement surgery offers relief from painful hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles.
To find the treatment that’s right for your arthritis, call Hannon Orthopedics today or book an appointment online.