Arthritis Specialist

Valley Orthopedic Institute

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons & Hand Surgeons located in Palmdale, CA & Ridgecrest, CA

One out of every four adults has some type of arthritis, a progressive disease that forces 30-50% of adults to take time away from work and avoid the daily activities they enjoy. Anand Shah, MD, Mehul Taylor, MD, and the experienced team at Valley Orthopedic Institute offer comprehensive care for arthritis. They create individualized treatment plans that draw from options such as physical therapy, regenerative medicine, medical care, and joint replacement surgery. If you need help with stiff, painful joints, call the office in Palmdale or Ridgecrest, California, or book an appointment online today.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis? 

Arthritis refers to joint inflammation, a generic condition that represents more than 100 types of arthritis, including gout, psoriatic arthritis, Lyme arthritis, lupus, and spondylosis. 

However, the majority of all cases of arthritis fall into two categories, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can develop in any joint but most often affects large, weight-bearing joints like your knees and hips. This type develops over the years as articular cartilage covering the bones gradually breaks down. 

As more cartilage wears away, the bones grate against one another, the joint lining becomes inflamed, and bone spurs develop. Ultimately, the underlying bone becomes damaged. 

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The joint becomes inflamed when your immune system attacks the synovial tissues lining the joints. Without treatment, the ongoing inflammation causes bone erosion and joint deformities. 

This type of arthritis can also affect any joint, but it begins in the small joints of your hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis also affects the same joints on both sides of your body. 

What symptoms develop due to arthritis? 

All types of arthritis cause joint pain, stiffness, and restricted movement. The pain usually feels worse in the morning and after activities that stress the affected joint. 

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation often causes joint swelling, general fatigue, and health problems throughout your body. As a result, you may experience symptoms in your eyes, blood vessels, skin, lungs, and other body areas.

How is arthritis treated? 

Your provider at Valley Orthopedic Institute completes a thorough exam, including diagnostic imaging when needed to evaluate the severity of your joint damage. Then they create a customized treatment plan that includes: 

Physical therapy

The exercises you perform during physical therapy reduce inflammation, ease your pain, and help you maintain optimal joint movement. Physical therapy also strengthens the muscles supporting your joint and may slow down progressive joint damage. 

Weight loss

If you're overweight, you can slow down the progression of arthritis by losing weight. 

Joint injections

Valley Orthopedic Institute may recommend: 

  • Steroid injections (to relieve pain)
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections (to accelerate tissue healing)
  • Stem cell injections (to regenerate new tissues)
  • Hyaluronic acid injections (to improve joint lubrication)

 

Medications

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can stop joint damage and put your disease into remission. 

Surgery

As your arthritis causes progressive joint damage, your provider may recommend surgery to remove damaged tissues or joint replacement surgery. 

To get expert care for the joint pain and stiffness of arthritis, call Valley Orthopedic Institute or book an appointment online today.