What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a term that refers to a number of different diseases that cause inflammation and damage in your joints. The main types of arthritis include:
This type of arthritis accounts for the lion’s share of diagnoses (31 million) and is a degenerative form of the disease where the cartilage in your joints begins to break down, allowing your bones to rub together painfully, causing inflammation and stiffness. Often referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, the cause of osteoarthritis is actually multifactorial. One of the most important contributors is genetics and family history.
With this type of arthritis, your body’s immune system attacks the synovial membrane and ultimately the articular cartilage of your joints. This results in a wearing away of the cartilage and causes pain and inflammation.
Other types of arthritis include post-traumatic, as is seen with a previous fracture, psoriatic associated with a diagnosis of psoriasis, and gouty arthritis, associated with recurrent attacks of gout.
How is arthritis treated?
No matter which type of arthritis you have, the bottom line is that disease can cause irreparable damage in your joints, making it increasingly difficult for you to move freely. While arthritis can’t be reversed, the doctors at OrthoKnox offer a number of solutions to provide you with relief and restore function to your joints, including:
Your cartilage doesn’t repair or regenerate itself easily after it’s been damaged, so your surgeon at ORTHOKnox may recommend a transplantation technique. In one version, he takes healthy cartilage from one part of your knee and then implants this new cartilage in your compromised joint.
Your doctor may also take healthy cartilage from a non-articulating joint in your body and transplant it into your damaged joint. Lastly, your doctor may use donor cartilage from a cadaver to restore function in your joint.
Using this technique, one of the surgeons at ORTHOKnox removes your damaged cartilage and then drills tiny holes in the bone in order to stimulate the bone marrow. Also called “marrow stimulation” this technique causes new cartilage growth by relying on the healing capacity of the stem cells in your bone marrow.
If your joint is severely damaged, your doctor may recommend joint replacement, which, as the name suggests, is a technique where the surgeon replaces areas of your joint with metal parts, getting rid of the damaged components that were causing pain and inflammation.
How can regenerative medicine help with arthritis?
The doctors at ORTHOKnox offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and bone marrow aspirate concentrate injections (often called Stem Cell injections), both of which are considered biologic treatments. Biologics is the use of living tissue for medical purposes, and in this case, it’s your platelets, or your stem cells. The platelets in your blood contain hundreds of proteins (growth factors) which the doctors inject into areas of your body that could use a healing and regenerative boost. Stem cell therapy is a rapidly growing science that harvests the healing capacity of your own body to regenerate or rejuvenate damaged tissue.
Arthritis Treatment in Knoxville and Athens, TN
To seek help with overcoming arthritis and enjoy an active life again, call ORTHOKnox or fill out the online form to request an appointment.