Degenerative Diseases and Orthopedic Treatment

Degenerative diseases that affect the joint and the bones may warrant orthopedic treatment.  Orthopedic management comes in when such degenerative diseases may cause pain, immobility or limitation in the range of movement of the joints and even pathological fractures following a Q and A session with your physician. Some of the most common Degenerative Diseases and treatment modalities include:

Degenerative Disc Disease- Usually managed with supportive therapy that includes anti-inflammatory and pain relievers, as well as, rehabilitation.  If surgical treatment is warranted, spinal fusion may be performed to stop further degeneration of the discs for those who qualify. However, as spinal fusion is restrictive, there is a newer method which employs replacement with artificial discs which may be a more promising treatment option.

Osteoporosis-  This is a condition that usually affects the older age group. The condition is characterized by a porous bone which has lost its strength as a result of the decrease in the density of the bone.  Osteoporosis might lead to pathologic fractures (spontaneous bone fracture due to a weak bone). With this factor, orthopedic management may be necessary.  Depending on the severity, the management may range from application of plaster casts and braces.  Though in some cases, use of external or internal fixations, such as screws, nails or plates may be necessary.  In severe cases, joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) may be warranted, such as hip replacement surgery.

Osteoarthritis- Affects almost all types of joints, from the hips to the fingers.  Various                     conventional therapies are available.  However, in severe cases arthroscopy,  hip replacement or knee replacement surgery might be recommended.

Arthroscopy. A small incision is made to the affected joint to allow for insertion of an arthroscope and other instruments that would be used to clean, shave off or smoothen damaged or worn cartilage.

Knee or Hip Replacement or Arthroplasty.  A partial or total hip replacement is a procedure that involves resurfacing of the parts of the joints and replacement with metal implants.  In partial joint replacement surgery, the ball is cut and replaced with a prosthesis (the socket is not resurfaced).  With total joint replacement surgery, the ball is cut and the socket is also resurfaced. Then, both are replaced with metal implants.

Joint (Knee or Hip) Replacement Surgery may be recommended in following cases.

  • Conventional or conservative treatment have failed
  • Pain even during at rest or pain wakes you up at the middle of the night or early in the morning.
  • Pain with activity.  The individual is suffering from pain every time there is movement of the affected joints.
  • Stiffness, immobility or limitation in the range of movement of the affected joint.

When the individual cannot already perform normal daily activities (such as walking, sitting or climbing up the stairs) or when the disease already interferes with the individual’s quality of life, joint replacement surgery is recommended.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.