Allergy & Immunology, Rheumatology & Asthma Specialists located in Amarillo, TX

Osteoarthritis services offered in Amarillo, TX

Osteoarthritis usually appears after age 40, but it can begin at a much younger age if you suffer a joint injury. Constantine K. Saadeh, MD, FAAAAI, FACP, FACR, Nicole Davey-Ranasinghe, MD, FACP, FACR, and the Allergy A.R.T.S. team in Amarillo, Texas, diagnose and treat osteoarthritis in people of all ages. They create personalized care plans that combine essential lifestyle modifications with medications to ease your symptoms. Call the office today or book online for treatment that helps you enjoy life with less joint pain.

What causes osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis is called a wear-and-tear disease because it develops over years of joint movement that slowly wears down the articular cartilage. Articular cartilage protects the ends of each bone in the joint and allows smooth movement.

The bones become exposed as the cartilage breaks down. Then bone grates against bone every time you move the joint, leading to bone damage, bone spurs, and joint inflammation.

Osteoarthritis most often develops in your knees and hips, the large joints bearing your body weight. It also commonly affects your spine, shoulders, hands, feet, and ankles. 

Is post-traumatic arthritis a type of osteoarthritis? 

Yes, post-traumatic arthritis accounts for about 12% of all cases of osteoarthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after suffering a joint injury earlier in life. The injury triggers cartilage degeneration that occurs at a faster pace than typical osteoarthritis.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis? 

The most common symptoms are joint pain, stiffness, and limited movement — problems that worsen as the disease progresses. Most people find their pain is worse when they’re active and after they get up from sleeping or resting. 

You may also develop tenderness and muscle weakness around the joint or clicking sounds when moving the joint. 

How is osteoarthritis treated?

Your Allergy A.R.T.S. provider diagnoses osteoarthritis based on your symptoms and a physical exam. However, they may perform diagnostic imaging if your symptoms are severe and they want to evaluate the joint damage. 

Your provider recommends treatments that ease pain, support optimal mobility, and slow progressive joint damage. Your care plan may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids (oral or injected into the joint)
  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Hyaluronic acid injections
  • Topical counterirritants like capsaicin
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory diet
  • Weight loss 

Lifestyle changes have a role in managing osteoarthritis. Exercise slows the damage, reduces swelling, increases joint lubrication, and strengthens the muscles supporting the joint. 

Being overweight adds more stress that accelerates joint damage. Losing weight, if needed, makes a dramatic difference to your joint health. 

Advanced osteoarthritis may require surgery to preserve the joint. For example, removing damaged tissues and reshaping the joint keeps it healthy as long as possible. Joint replacement surgery is the only way to relieve the pain and restore movement in a severely damaged joint. 

Call Allergy A.R.T.S. or request an appointment online to start osteoarthritis treatment that preserves your joint as long as possible.