Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment
Characterized by chronic joint inflammation, arthritis afflicts the patient with a level of pain, stiffness and general discomfort in the joints that can impede and disrupt daily activities.
Osteoarthritis, which afflicts more than 3 million people in the United States every year, stems from the degeneration of joint cartilages; that customary wear and tear that often affects aging bodies. Yet the arthritis patient does not have to live with the suffering; they can seek relief from a number of treatments and surgical options aimed toward easing and alleviating the effects of osteoarthritis.
Treatment for Arthritis and Joint issues usually starts with a regular anti-inflammatory medication and an ice/heat regimen, followed by physical therapy. If symptoms still persist, we often consider a corticosteroid inject. If pain and mobility symptoms still persist, we often recommend a Stem Cell injection or PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) injection. PRP injections consist of blood-based growth factors taken straight from the patient’s blood plasma and applied to an injured area. This causes new tissues to formulate and thus both alleviate inflammation in the tissue and promote the additional formation of tissue.
Types of Arthritis (Joint) Surgery that Dr. Tallman performs:
Joint Resurfacing: In this procedure, surgeons replace with an implant only one of the three compartments of the knee, the medial (inside), lateral (outside) or patellofemoral (front) compartment. In the hip, surgeons replace the hip socket with a metal cup, and the damaged hip ball is reshaped and capped with a metal, dome-shaped prosthesis.
Osteotomy: The procedure involves cutting and removing bone or adding a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. In the knee, for example, an osteotomy shifts weight from an area damaged by arthritis to an undamaged area. In the hip, it is often used to correct misalignment (hip dysplasia) that occurs early in life.
Synovectomy: In people with inflammatory arthritis, the lining of the joints – the synovium – can become inflamed or grow too much, damaging surrounding cartilage and joints. In this procedure, surgeons remove most or all of the affected synovium, either in a traditional, open surgery or by using arthroscopy.
Arthrodesis, or Fusion: In this procedure surgeons use pins, plates, rods or other hardware to join two or more bones in the ankles, wrists, thumbs, fingers or spine, making one continuous joint. Over time the bones grow together and lock the joint in place.
Total Joint Replacement (TJR), or Total Joint Arthroplasty: The damaged joint is replaced with an implant that mimics the motion the natural joint and is made from combinations of metal, plastic and/or ceramic components.
Minimally Invasive TJR: This technique replaces a damaged joint, but uses shorter incisions than in a traditional TJR. Less muscle is cut and reattached.
If treatments and pain medications prove unsuccessful, possible surgical remedies might include joint replacement by way of arthroplasty (a minimally invasive procedure involving illuminated examination and joint repair via an arthroscope), hip resurfacing by way of metal capping, joint fusion, or the addition or removal of pieces of bone around the knee joint, to achieve enhanced joint stability above or below the knee joint to balance the weight better across the joint.