Learning about osteoarthritis

(WVLT) -- There are 27 million Americans living with osteoarthritis. Local 8 News talked to a doctor to find out what you need to know about it.

There are over 100 types of arthritis, which is categorized by inflammation in the joints. The most common type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis.
Here's what you need to know:

Symptoms: Different types of arthritis have different symptoms. Dr. Keith Berend from the Mount Carmel New Albany Surgical Hospital in Ohio explains the symptoms of osteoarthritis. "Specifically the knee becomes eroded, the cartilage is worn away, the bone on bone phenomenon then causes inflammation, pain deformity, and stiffness."

Causes: "There's a lot of different causes. But particularly we think there's a predilection to the type of cartilage that a person has and then cumulative microtrauma or one big trauma...big injuries such as in sports or at work can cause an injury to the cartilage ligaments. That then causes increased rapid degeneration of the smooth glistening layer of the knee," says Berend.

Treatments: Dr. Berend says "The conservative treatments are available to all of us, whether they be topical or oral, obviously under the direction of a physician. But when the treatments have failed and the patient's quallity of life has suffered to the point where surgical intervention is necessary, in the knee we think about partial knee replacement, which is where we preserve 2/3 of the knee by just replacing the part that's eroded or the part that's worn, and saving the rest of the normal knee with a device such as the oxford knee replacement." He also recommends giving Glucosamine a try, which you can find in the vitamin section at most stores.

Prevention: A healthy lifestyle can help prevent osteoarthritis. Dr. Berend suggests "staying in shape, weight loss or maintenance of a good weight...activity, specifically low impact activity can help to preserve our joints as long as possible."

For more information about osteoarthritis, check out oxfordknee.com

This information was provided in part by Biomet, which you can learn more about at biomet.com


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