According to the website of this national awareness event, The Arthritis Foundation, “Arthritis is the #1 cause of disability in the United States, affecting more than 50 million people. The foundation is committed to finding a cure for the millions of people who suffer from arthritis pain, including 300,000 children.”
Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center was proud to be a part of this annual drive to raise money to find a cure for this crippling disease. Dr. Kwame Ennin, a total joint replacement surgeon specialized in treating arthritis and a member of the referral line was at the booth to answer questions from the attendees.
Do you suffer from any form of arthritis? Many advances have been made in its treatment and if you would like to consult a joint specialist, contact us.
What is Arthritis?
While arthritis can affect all age groups, including young children, it is often associated with older people. This is because, with aging, the wear and tear on joints can cause cartilage loss.
“Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints caused by the breakdown of cartilage,” Dr. Ennin said. “Cartilage normally protects the joint and absorbs shock. Without it, bones rub together causing pain, swelling, stiffness and limited movement.
The Arthritis Foundation notes these symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Reduced ability to move the joint
- Redness of the skin around a joint
- Stiffness, especially in the morning
- Warmth around a joint
“Rather than just treating just the symptoms, we treat the underlying causes of arthritis, the mechanical issues in the joints that are affected, the severity of the pain and ultimately improve the daily quality of life for our patients,” Dr. Ennin said. “This can include using prescription drugs, heat and cold treatments, vitamin or mineral supplements, weight loss, nerve stimulation and physical activities such as physical therapy and yoga. Total joint replacement surgery, although incredibly successful, is always the last resort.
“Our focus when treating all forms of arthritis is on ameliorating the pain, preventing further disability and ultimately improving the quality of life for our patients.”
Arthritis Patients are Getting Younger
According to a recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incidence of arthritis is increasing among younger patients.
“This is not your mother’s arthritis,” Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat said in a CNN report. “Contrary to popular opinion, it is not an old person’s disease.”
The report noted that aging baby boomers aren’t the only ones who have this painful disease. Currently, there are 32.2 million reported cases of arthritis, and the majority are in people under age 65. Women have it more than men, and the number is particularly acute for diabetics, heart patients and those struggling with obesity. About 49.3 percent of people with heart disease have arthritis, 47.1 percent of diabetics and 30.6 percent of people who are obese.
Guy Eakin, the senior vice president of scientific strategy at the Arthritis Foundation noted, “Today, the condition costs the country $81 billion, and that number will probably go up. By 2040, scientists project arthritis will affect 78.4 million people.
“The cost of care is dramatically outpacing what the country is putting into research. Arthritis can rob people of their lives, and, as a leading cause of disability, it is why people retire and go into assisted living. It’s a dramatic cost to our national economy. We can’t fix healthcare if we can’t fix arthritis.”
If you or someone you love is experiencing the pain and disability of arthritis, contact the referral line at Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center.
*Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of THSOC.