Identifying Your Joint Pain
Also called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common form of the 100+ types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million Americans, becoming more common as we age.
Osteoarthritis results when the protective cushion of cartilage covering the ends of the bones breaks down and wears away, causing irritation, stiffness and pain. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but is most common in the hands, spine, and large weight-bearing joints such as the knees or hips.
If arthritis, a fracture or other conditions have left your hip damaged, common activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair may be painful and difficult. Your hip may be stiff and it may be hard to put on shoes and socks. You may even feel uncomfortable sitting still. The hip is one of the body’s largest weight-bearing joints. Replacing your hip joint with an artificial joint can relieve pain, increase motion and help you get back to enjoying life.
Hip-related pain is not always felt directly over the hip. Instead, you may feel it in the middle of your thigh or in your groin. Similarly, pain you feel in the hip may actually reflect a problem in your back, rather than your hip itself.
The most common causes of hip pain include:
- Hip fractures
- Trochanteric Bursitis
- Strain or sprain
- Lower back pain, such as Sciatica
The knee is the body’s largest joint and source for most orthopedic problems. More than 90 percent of individuals who undergo total knee replacement experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and see a significant improvement in the ability to perform common daily activities.
Knee pain usually results from overuse, poor form during physical activity, not warming up or cooling down, or inadequate stretching. Simple causes of knee pain often get better on their own. Being overweight can put you at greater risk for knee problems.
Knee pain can be caused by:
- Swelling around the joint
- Connective Tissue Disorder
- Dislocation of the kneecap
- Hip Disorder
- Torn cartilage or meniscus tear
- Torn ligament
- Strain or sprain
Whichever course of treatment you and your doctor decide is best for you, the goals of treatment are the same – to reduce joint pain and stiffness, and improve joint movement. With total joint replacements, the damaged parts of your knee or hip are removed and replaced with implant parts especially selected to match your anatomy.