Dr. Juan Carlos Suarez, Orthopedic Surgeon with Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, says there are physicians that manage arthritis conservatively and guide the patient through the process of the diagnosis, the management of the daily symptoms of the arthritis, and what to expect moving forward as they cope with it. He also points out doctors have to see patients a couple of times to educate them, and guide them through the treatment process.
Dr. Juan Carlos Suarez, Orthopedic Surgeon with Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, says to undergo surgery you need a full evaluation to make sure that from a medical standpoint you are healthy and you can withstand surgery. "You have to check if there are modifiable risk factors. If you're diabetic you need to make sure that we minimize the risk of infection, if you're a smoker you need to quit smoking, if you're obese you need to drop some weight," he explains.
"We see a lot of patients in our office where you look at the X-rays and you would be surprised how little symptoms these patients have, and then you see other patients with not so much arthritis on the X-ray, but they have a lot of symptoms. That also has to do with the patient's pain tolerance, and their activity level," says Dr. Juan Carlos Suarez, Orthopedic Surgeon with Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute. Some of the risk factors are age, gender, heredity, weight, injury, and infection.
Dr. Juan Carlos Suarez, Orthopedic Surgeon with Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, says arthritis surgery is about quality of life. "If you cannot maintain quality of life with minimal treatment and you have tried all, it is time for knee surgery." He also explains knee replacement is applicable to any kind of arthritis that destroys the joint, whether it is inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis.
Pain in joints that doesn't go away, warmth and redness in joints, swollen joints, stiff joints, trouble moving joints in normal way, and grinding feeling of joint when moved are some of the symptoms of arthritis. Dr. Juan Carlos Suarez, Orthopedic Surgeon with Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, says one of the most common symptoms of arthritis is stiffness. "Arthritis is a chronic condition that happens over time, and the interesting thing is that the evolution of it or the progression of it can vary from patient to patient, and also depends on the activity level of the patient, not everybody progresses at the same rate."