Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder, and continues to be the leading cause of impaired quality of life in the United Sates. While OA is defined as the progressive loss of cartilage structure and function; that definition has most recently been expanded to include changes to bone, tissues within and around the joint and changes in alignment.
While trauma, disease, infection, genetics, gout, and neuropathy may lead to secondary osteoarthritis, primary OA is the result of a degeneration that occurs with normal use. This wear and tear of the joint becomes more prevalent with advancing age.
Changes to Cartilage
The progressive loss of cartilage is a process that involves three overlapping stages: cartilage matrix (surroundings) damage, cartilage chondrocyte (cell) response to tissue damage, and decline of chondrocyte synthetic response (ability to maintain its environment)
Changes to Bone
As cartilage degenerates, there is increased exposure of the bone supporting the joint (subchondral bone). With time, the subchondral bone becomes dense (sclerosis) with cyst formation. Cartilage does not regenerate on its own starting about age 40. With time the aborted reparative process may result in osteophyte formation (spurs).
Changes to Periarticular Soft Tissues (in and around the joint)
Synovitis develops (inflammation of the joint lining) because of the release of inflammatory factors by the chondrocytes. A vicious cycle continues with further break down of cartilage followed by thickening of the joint capsule and shortening leading to loss of motion. Muscle undergoes atrophy (shrinkage and weakening) with the relative inactivity of the joint because of pain leading to instability
Changes to Alignment
Abnormal hip-knee-ankle alignment can accelerate structural changes; varus malalignment (bowed leg) increases medial compartment (inner side of the knee) disease fourfold, and valgus (knock knee) malalignment increases lateral (outer) disease twofold. Whether malalignment is associated with development of osteoarthritis or if malalignment is a result of OA is still a subject of debate. However, it has been demonstrated that malalignment can affect more than cartilage because malalignment predis- poses the patient to bone marrow lesions (nonhealing stress fractures).
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Life style modification, rehabilitation (physical therapy), complementary and alternative therapy, pain relievers, intraarticular injections (cortisone, hyaluronic acid gels), arthroscopic and joint replacement surgery, and now, regenerative intervention.
Regenerative Intervention (an injection, not an incision)
Cellular intervention is what I do. Biologic solutions through cartilage regeneration is the goal of my practice. My stem cell source is the patient’s own bone marrow. Equally important are growth factors; the latter found in bone marrow and in platelets.
To learn more, visit my web site www.sheinkopmd.com
You may watch my webinar www.ilcellulartherapy.com
Then schedule an appointment 312 475 1893