Degenerative Joint Disease
Arizona Orthopedic Surgery Solutions for Degenerative Joint Disease
What is Degenerative Joint Disease
Degenerative joint disease (DJD), referred to as osteoarthritis (OA), is a condition when the knee’s cartilage is worn away over time. While age and genetic predisposition are uncontrollable, the best thing you can do is to maintain a healthy weight to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis.
Degenerative Joint Disease Diagnosis
A doctor will ask about your personal and hereditary medical history before performing a physical examination. The doctor will ask about any past knee injuries which have the potential to increase the chance of degenerative joint disease. Joint pain, a sensation of bones grinding against each other, and an overall feeling of tightness are common symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee. The doctor will maneuver the foot and lower leg to test the flexibility and range of motion of the afflicted knee. These tests will help the doctor gauge the severity and stage of the joint’s degeneration. An x-ray, MRI, and CT scan can help the doctor conclude the only ailment affecting the knee is osteoarthritis while additionally ruling out any other possible medical conditions.
Degenerative Joint Disease Treatment
Following a diagnosis of degenerative joint disease, the best thing you can do is stay active and keep your weight in check. Viscosupplementation injections will bring down any swelling while hyaluronic acid injections lubricate the joint. An ultrasound and electrical stimulation from a physical therapist can help reduce pain while instructing proper stretches to build the muscles in the knee. In serious cases, a partial or total knee replacement will be necessary with physical therapy and medical technology to assist the healing process.