Baptist Health Lexington: Treatment for Arthritis
Orthopedic surgeon Matthew Luckett, MD, defines arthritis, outlines the ways doctors can treat the condition without surgery, and explains when surgery may be necessary.
Treatment for Arthritis Health Talks Transcript
Matthew Luckett, MD, Orthopedic Surgery
Arthritis is inflammation of the joint. It generally results in pain and swelling of the joint that results in decreased range of motion, decreased function for the patient. We actually have a variety of options to treat hip and knee arthritis that are non-surgical, because we to try to treat the symptoms as best we can with the least invasive treatment possible. Some of those treatments include physical therapy, weight loss, activity modification, and engaging in non-impact exercises, such as swimming, bicycling and ellipticals. When you get in those advanced stages, there are other treatments such as steroid injections or braces that will help.
A joint replacement is typically necessary when all the conservative treatments that the patient is willing to endure fail or don’t adequately treat the symptoms long enough. The goal of the joint replacement is to restore your mobility. Typically joint replacements require about four to six weeks of recovery time. Hips are a little easier to recover than knees because there’s more range of motion associated with knees and more planes of motion. Patients a lot of times will often delay the inevitable or delay something that they feel is a little scary for them just because it’s the unknown, and it’s not something that they wish to go through.
Most patients are extremely happy that they did it because they restore that quality of life that they’ve been missing for so long, and that’s really where the rewarding aspect of joint replacement comes in.