Complications of Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition and can be so severe that it affects your daily life. Not only is it painful, but it also causes stiffness in your joints. The discomfort may come and go, but the lasting effects of arthritis can hang around for a long time without the proper treatment.

At Mehling Orthopedics, our staff specializes in the treatment of arthritis to help you with your daily activities. We have two board-certified orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit, who help you figure out the best treatments for your arthritis symptoms.

All about arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that affects your joints and leads to inflammation and pain. Although there are a lot of different types of arthritis, the two that are the most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of your immune system attacking the lining that cushions your joint. It leads to pain and inflammation, and can sometimes cause deformity of the affected joint. Rheumatoid arthritis also causes fever and loss of appetite since it’s an autoimmune disorder. You may also feel fatigued often, which may be partly caused by anemia. 

Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is caused by wear and tear in the joint. This leads to the breakdown of the protective cartilage on the ends of bones in your joint, which leads to pain. Osteoarthritis usually develops over time, but can be severe enough to limit your daily activities. 

While one of the main symptoms of this condition is pain, there are other signs of arthritis that affect the joints including:

You may have intermittent flare-ups, or the pain of arthritis could affect you every day.

Complications of arthritis

Because arthritis is a complex disorder, it’s sometimes hard to treat effectively. Also, since our symptoms could come and go, you might not feel the need to seek treatment early on, which in some cases leads to complications down the road. 

Some of the complications you may encounter with arthritis include:

Trouble sleeping

When your joints hurt, or you’re dealing with stiffness, it’s hard for you to sleep. This could be because you just can’t get completely comfortable, or because the pain keeps you up at night.

Weight gain

Arthritis affects your ability to get around, meaning you could have trouble walking or getting exercise. Being less active can lead to weight gain

Mobility issues

Things that seem easy, like climbing a flight of stairs or walking down the street, can seem impossible when you suffer from arthritis. Just getting out of bed may seem like a feat.

Anxiety and depression

When you’re unable to get around properly and you’re in pain all the time, it takes a toll on your mental health. Arthritis can cause both anxiety and depression related to the symptoms it causes.

In severe cases, arthritis also leads to stress fractures and osteonecrosis, which is also known as bone death. Your risk for other diseases also increases with untreated arthritis, due to other complications like weight gain and decreased physical activity. 

However, there are things you can do to lower your risk of these devastating complications.

Treatments that help arthritis

Treatment of arthritis usually depends on the type you have and how severe the condition is. However, in most cases, conservative measures and lifestyle changes are implemented first to control your symptoms. 

Some things Dr. Mehling and Dr. Yufit suggest to ease your pain include:

Sometimes, these treatments just aren’t enough to get your arthritis under control. In this case, Dr. Mehling and Dr. Yufit recommend joint injections, using either steroids or regenerative medicine, to ease your symptoms.

If your arthritis is so severe that you can’t get around properly or your daily activities are suffering, our doctors may recommend surgery to repair the damage in your joints. We offer joint replacements, joint repairs, and joint fusions. However, surgery is reserved for arthritis that doesn’t get better with less invasive measures.

If you’re dealing with arthritis and you need treatment, call our office in Hackensack, New York, to make an appointment.

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