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ARTHRITIS AND YOUR JOINTS
Arthritis occurs when cartilage, a protective tissue on the ends of your bones, wears down. Cartilage reduces joint friction when you walk, sit, stand, reach and move. When cartilage breaks down due to severe arthritis, bone starts to rub against bone. As a result, you may experience chronic joint pain and stiffness, which makes it difficult to get around.
You may benefit from joint replacement surgery if you have one of these types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis: This degenerative joint disease breaks down cartilage and can cause bony growths called bone spurs to form on joints. Lack of cartilage can make it painful to bend a joint. Over time, bits of bone or cartilage can break off into the joint space, causing more pain and damage. Osteoarthritis is common in people aged 65 and older.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: You are more likely to develop osteoarthritis at a young age if you had an earlier joint trauma, such as a broken bone or torn ligaments. These types of injuries may affect bone alignment and inflame joints.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This autoimmune disease inflames tissue that lines the inside of joints, causing swelling and pain. Untreated rheumatoid arthritis can damage cartilage and bone. This condition is most common in women between the ages of 30 and 60.
To learn more or refer a patient, please call (217) 223-1200.