Osteoarthritis

Tony Makhlouf, MD, FACR -  - Rheumatologist

Arthritis and Rheumatology Center

Tony Makhlouf, MD, FACR

Rheumatologist located in Simi Valley, CA

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you’re joining 24 million other Americans who have this joint disease. While it’s far from good news to count yourself as a member of this group, a lot of headway has been made in treating the degenerative condition. At Arthritis and Rheumatology Center, Tony Makhlouf, MD, FACR, stays on top of the latest treatment modalities that are taking the teeth out of osteoarthritis, allowing his patients in Simi Valley, California, to continue to lead happy, active lives. To learn more about these treatments, call or schedule an appointment online.

Osteoarthritis Q & A

What is osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is a catchall term for a host of joint diseases, with osteoarthritis leading the charge. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect any joint in your body, but it largely affects your:

  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Low back
  • Neck
  • Fingers
  • Big toe

In order to better understand this form of arthritis, it’s helpful to step back and take a look at the anatomy of a typical joint. Joints are where bones come together, and they’re held in place by connective tissue, such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons. In order to prevent these bones from rubbing together painfully, your body covers them with cartilage, a slippery substance designed to ease the movement in your joints and provide cushioning.

Over time, your cartilage begins to wear down, which leaves your bones exposed to one another. As a result, the friction between your bones causes inflammation in the area. As osteoarthritis worsens, your bones and cartilage may even splinter or chip off, creating painful spurs.

During the end stage of osteoarthritis in your joint, all of the cartilage is gone, which can cause a good deal of pain and loss of mobility.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

While pain is the symptom most often associated with osteoarthritis, some people may suffer a breakdown in cartilage and not be aware of the condition. That said, most people do experience one or more of the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion

What causes osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a wear-and-tear disease, which is the primary driver behind this form of arthritis.

There are risk factors that make you more prone to developing osteoarthritis, including:

  • Obesity
  • Previous joint injuries
  • Repetitive use of a joint over long periods
  • Genetics

How is osteoarthritis treated?

When it comes to your osteoarthritis, Dr. Makhlouf’s main objective is to alleviate the pain and stiffness in your joints. There’s no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are ways to minimize its impact on your life.

One of the most effective treatments is infusion therapy. Dr. Makhlouf delivers bisphosphonates into your system intravenously to alleviate pain and prevent your joint spaces from narrowing further.

In addition to infusion therapy, Dr. Makhlouf typically recommends:

  • Inflammatory medications
  • Hot/cold therapies
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle changes, including exercise and weight loss
  • Steroids

Rest assured that Dr. Makhlouf works tirelessly to find a solution that’s right for you.

If you want to regain pain-free movement, call Arthritis and Rheumatology Center, or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.