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Osteoarthritis

Arthritis in general is a term used to describe the pain or discomfort specifically affecting the joints in the body, often rendering these joints unusable without pain and eventually unable to perform normally without extreme surgical correction and perhaps even replacement.  Every joint in the human body has lubrication, padding (in the form of cartilage and fluids) and an ideal functional model.  Improper or degraded function means that the bones may grind against one another or muscles are called into compensatory roles (acting where bones can’t) and ultimately become stressed leading to more failure and pain. There are approximately 100 types of arthritis documented and not all are age-specific or progressive and they may affect the largest joints in the body to the smallest.  Some forms of arthritis can appear suddenly in conjunction with another illness or physical condition.  Arthritic symptoms are commonly associated with aging, however they can manifest after injuries, or in reaction to repetitive motion, or in reaction to other conditions of the body.  Regardless, arthritis in any form can be degenerative and ultimately disrupt motor functions (movement, dexterity, balance) and ultimately affect lifestyle without treatment.

Osteoarthritis is a sub-set of the arthritis umbrella of ailments that cause chronic pain and discomfort over specific areas of the body.  Since humans have always assumed a base locomotion of “stepping” from one foot to another, the most critical problems of mobility are usually focused on the foot, ankle, and impairments of the lower extremities.   Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and it is the most common form of arthritis.  It is a result of wear-and-tear damage to cartilage, the soft, slippery tissue that cushions your joints.

The following factors may increase your risk of osteoarthritis:

  • A family history of osteoarthritis
  • Foot or ankle injuries (e.g., broken bone, torn ligament, ankle sprain)
  • Joint overuse from repetitive motions in sports activity or labor
  • Obesity, as joints are affected by the sustained weight they carry

Everyone, from the active to the sedentary, has the potential to develop osteoarthritis – as everyone may ignore the initial discomfort until it becomes regular and inescapable.  It is easy to identify when little aches and pains erupt, such after helping someone move or climbing four flights of stairs instead of two.   Each individual should consider their discomfort and if it exists beyond reasonable expectation, consider seeking a medical professional evaluation.

Consult one of the most highly regarded foot and ankle specialists at his centrally located office in Orange County, CA regarding your suspected or diagnosed osteoarthritis condition.  Dr. Kleis, DPM is respected for his thorough study of your condition and history and the depth of his evaluation.  Call (714) 760-4944 to set up an appointment in the Costa Mesa office. 

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis symptoms include:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Swelling and fluid accumulation in the ankles and feet
  • Limited mobility in the joint due to swelling or due to
  • Joint weakness

These symptoms and conditions are subject to worsening over time and appear more pronounced as your body ages.  The conditions may be simple distractions when you are working or maintaining a level of constant activity, but they can be a warning to future problems.

Foot or ankle osteoarthritis may cause you pain or difficulty while walking, climbing stairs, and performing other daily activities. If left untreated, osteoarthritis can lead to serious deformities and or disabilities.  Compounded by circulation problems and our natural reaction to dealing with aggravation and pain shift how we compensate to accomplish things; for example your left ankle swells and stiffens, so the right ankle is stressed to compensate and takes more of the weight shift in your gait which can render it to the same fate.  Changes in motion can adversely affect other muscles and tissue.

Need a second opinion on an osteoarthritis diagnosis or are you seeking different therapy or treatment options?  Consult the most highly regarded foot and ankle specialists in Orange County, CA regarding your ankle and foot mobility conditions.  Dr. Kleis, DPM is respected for his ability to evaluate and give sound advice regarding your condition.  Call (714) 760-4944 to set up an appointment.

What causes osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis often results from tissue degeneration that comes with advancing age but can manifest itself in younger people who have been involved with sports or workouts that have been deemed high-impact. Most women and men over age 60 have some degree of osteoarthritis, but you can develop this complex condition in your 20s and 30s, too.  Again, your personal condition and overall health may be contributing to its development.  Obesity, general diet, diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions, and circulatory issues may all have a hand in contributing to the advancement of the disease from idle irritation to a debilitating issue.

Athletes from any sport or women and men with physical stress occupations (lifting, carrying, delivering, or standing) may be at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis in the foot or ankle.  This is particularly important to consider if you’ve sustained injuries that didn’t receive proper treatment or were oblivious to lingering affects of the ankles and feet that cramped, stiffened, swelled, or numbed regularly during the course of a workweek.  It’s not uncommon that some of the healthiest and most active people are subject to increasing discomfort due to repetitive motion or high-impact activity.  Age is not the factor in every case, as it is widely agreed that the repetitive stressors on the body that contribute to the arthritic condition.

Don’t hesitate to investigate your options to defeat osteoarthritis before it overtakes your lifestyle.  Dr. Kleis, DPM is respected for his thorough study of your condition and history and the depth of his evaluation.  Call for a consultation visit and you will be impressed with the non-invasive relief options you have:  (714) 760-4944 to set up an appointment in the Costa Mesa office.

How Is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed

The complete process of osteoarthritis diagnosis requires a comprehensive exam and a review of medical history (with attention to kin and parent health issues).  Laboratory tests of blood and current X-rays of the afflicted areas are most commonly used to make the complete diagnosis.  The value of a complete examination that includes your blood pressure and heart rate is significant as you may be suffering from circulation issues that are adversely affecting your body’s extremities (hands and fingertips, feet and toes). It is important for any doctor to review the results for determining the presence of arthritis and further test to make sure that the type of arthritis is not rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is a progressive condition that causes the immune system to attack joint tissue.   Failure to identify RA can counteract any positive treatment and greatly affect your ability to recover without further disability.

How Is Osteoarthritis Treated

Every doctor of Podiatry (DPM) or Sports medicine specialist has a different view on how Osteoarthritis should be treated.  Often the agenda for correction is based on the urgency of the patient’s need to end pain and their willingness to accept surgery and a lengthy recovery time that includes physical therapy treatments.  Some patients may actually be thwarted from surgery by personal conditions such as obesity and or diabetes; in these cases the risk of complication is too great for surgery. 

How Does Dr. Kleis Treat Osteoarthritis

Dr. Kleis, DPM focuses on halting progress and ultimately removing the problem so that you maintain future mobility without pain or threat of worsening mobility.  After confirming the problem is in fact osteoarthritis and not a more severe condition like RA, Dr. Kleis DPM creates a personalized treatment plan to address your case. Depending on your unique condition, his osteoarthritis treatment may include:

  • Oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy or exercises to strengthen and protect your joints
  • Non-invasive shock-wave or acoustic-wave therapies as well as low level laser treatment for osteoarthritis.  Dr. Kleis is the only office in southern California that offers both these treatments prior to a recommendation of surgery.
  • Custom orthotic inserts or devices

Dr. Kleis examines every possible option before recommending surgery. If your condition is severe or fails to improve with non-invasive treatments, medications, and any other advisements, he will analyze and propose the best surgical procedures to relieve your osteoarthritis symptoms.  Success ultimately depends on your agreement to contribute to the equation by perhaps increasing special exercise and adapting to diet changes to lose excess weight. 

Centrally located in Orange County, CA, Dr. Kleis will take on your condition as seriously as you do by doing all that’s possible to prevent you from discomfort and pain or the threat of immobility.  It doesn’t matter if he is your second or third opinion on the conditions with which you suffer; it’s guaranteed that his assessment will be comprehensive and definitive and provide a targeted therapy approach that may just eradicate your condition without surgery.  The facilities and technology in the Costa Mesa allow Dr. Kleis and his staff to accomplish small miracles by using non-invasive correction methods for ankle and foot problems like osteoarthritis.

If you suspect you have some type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, or simply a nagging discomfort that affects your foot or ankle, call or book an appointment online with Dr. Kleis today.  It is your option to remain in pain and discomfort or to consult one of the most highly regarded foot and ankle specialists at his centrally located office in Costa Mesa, CA.  If in fact your diagnosis is osteoarthritis from more than one source, you might still want to see him to get the definitive answer and before you pursue treatments that will render you disabled for a while after surgery.   Dr. Kleis’ practice utilizes several state-of-the-art non-invasive therapies for comfortable and effective treatments of the foot and ankle.  Don’t forget to call (714) 760-4944 to set up a targeted consultation appointment in the Costa Mesa office.  It is important that you weigh all your options for treatment.

 

 

 

 

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