/ by UK HealthCare
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, an occasion to shine extra light on a common disease that’s the No. 1 cause of disability among Americans.
More than 50 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed by a doctor with arthritis and almost 300,000 babies, young children and teenagers suffer from arthritis or a rheumatic condition, according to The Arthritis Foundation.
One-third of working-age people with arthritis face limitations in their ability to work and nearly 1 million hospitalizations per year are caused by arthritis.
Dr. David Landy is an orthopaedic surgeon with UK HealthCare specializing in hip and knee replacement. Dr. Landy recently spoke with us about hip and knee arthritis and how he and his team at UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine can help patients overcome those conditions and improve their quality of life.
What types of people tend to be most at-risk for developing knee/hip arthritis?
It can develop in anyone. And while there is a genetic component, certain patient specific factors such as obesity and prior knee trauma can increase someone's risk.
At what age does arthritis of the knee or hip tend to become a problem and what are some early warning signs?
It can become an issue at any age but tends to present as patients age and get into their 50's and 60's. I'm not sure I would refer to them as warning signs, but knee or hip pain that gets worse with activity is most consistent with arthritis.
What are the most common ways knee/hip arthritis negatively impacts people's lives?
Everyone is different. As the arthritis becomes more severe, it will often limit the activities people are able to perform. For hip arthritis this often involves flexion activities which can limit simple activities like putting on shoes and then progress to even more basic activities like walking. For knee arthritis this often involves knee movement and can limit stairs and even walking as things progress.
Are there simple ways to eliminate mild forms or reduce the risk of developing severe forms?
There is no known way to eliminate or reverse arthritis, even mild forms. As far as slowing the progression, maintaining a healthy weight can be helpful. The remainder of treatment is largely around symptom control where physical therapy, over-the-counter pain relief medication and injections can be helpful.
What's the recommended course of action for people who suffer from severe knee/hip arthritis and how can UK HealthCare help?
For people with arthritis significantly limiting their quality of life despite extensive non-operative management, we can provide information regarding the expected benefits as well as risks surrounding hip and knee replacement. For appropriate candidates, this can be a life altering surgery that significantly improves their quality of life within weeks to months.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Landy or one of our hip & knee replacement surgeons, call 859-323-5533.