The reason that I chose to blog about this topic is that I am afflicted with this disease. I was diagnosed as having osteoarthritis a few years ago after having a very painful nodule appear on my right thumb. I was resistant when my husband insisted that I go and see my orthopedic physician. Frankly I thought that if I could continue on taking ibuprofen that it would resolve itself. However, after my husband continued with his insistence, I relented and went. They did blood tests, and x-rays. After the physician reviewed those and examined me, he told me that he believed I had early onset osteoarthritis (OA). Naturally I was upset. All I could picture were elderly people that have a deformed stature, and joints that do not bend. He also informed me that the osteophytes I have should remain there for as long as possible before pursuing surgical intervention. His reasoning for this was that the osteophytes will come back even after surgical removal of them. I agree with him. I do not want to have an invasive procedure that will only have to be repeated later on. I continue on the path to educate myself about this disease and up that affect so many others worldwide and the up and coming treatments that those suffering hope will help.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects around 27 million people in America. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition for people who suffer with it. The disease a person’s destroys cartilage that is joints. Cartilage is a natural cushion between bones, so when there is a breakdown of this the bones rub on one another. This can cause great pain. Those people who suffer from this disease are most often struck with symptoms that can range to soreness or stiffness in their joint(s) to severe pain and reduction in the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL’s). The disease affects everyone differently. The symptoms that a person experiences are also dependent upon which part of their body the osteoarthritis affects.
I have researched the websites and databases that I have chosen to use and provide links for throughout this blog. They are known and recognized resources, there is contact information, and accreditation. The resources cover a wide array of information that would be helpful for anyone who may have this disease or someone who has a family member or friend with it. With knowledge comes peace of mind and empowerment. I implore you to continue reading this blog with the hope that it may be of assistance to you on your path of knowledge acquisition. Information about the evaluation of webpages can be found using the following links:
Arthritis Information Page- Osteoarthritis
This resource is on the internet and available to anyone who wishes to learn more about Osteoarthritis. It has many different sections that are easy to navigate. There are summaries in each of these sections that inform the reader what osteoarthritis is, what the effects or symptoms are, who may be afflicted with it and why, treatment options, and different resources that the reader may go to for more information and guidance. The links provided are to research articles, ways to prevent arthritis, Arthritis Today magazine, tips on managing your pain from the disease, and products that people with OA may find helpful.
This site that is provided by Mayo is a reputable site that is utilized by many in the healthcare field. It is utilized by many to research different illnesses and diseases because it is routinely updated, is a recognized resource, and is accredited. Mayo provides information on osteoarthritis that is similar to what I found on the website from the Arthritis Foundation. However, Mayo also had media such as pictures of x-rays, and illustrated images of what a joint looks like with arthritis and after with a prosthesis that the reader can. Mayo also has a tab called “Expert Answers” that are questions that have been posed and then answered by physicians. There are also 3 slide shows that Mayo has provided. The first link is to “Joint Protection for People with Hand Arthritis.” The second link is to “Hand Exercises for People with Arthritis.” The third link is to “Tips for Choosing and Using Canes.” The links are found below.
National Library of Medicine
This website is provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NIH) National Institutes of Health. The information provided by this website is a comprehensive view of what osteoarthritis is, what type of assistance is available to those that need it, and other resources(such as treatment options) that the reader can utilize in their pursuit to better their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Certainly this site would be a great one for people to visit and browse through. It helps to educate people about osteoarthritis and gives a sense of hope. There are treatments (not cures) out there for this disease; one just needs to know where to go for the information. This website certainly provides it.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Pain control medication for people with osteoarthritis
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH). This webpage that I went to was comprehensive in the amount and type of information provided. An easy to read list of the different types of pain medication can be found on this site. It states to readers to make sure that they are collaborating with their physician on their choices of pain medication(s). There is an easy to understand warning about NSAIDs for people. It lets them know about the possible dangers associated with them. There also a link to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as their email and phone number. This way if there are questions that people have about the medications they are taking, they can contact the U.S. FDA. The link to the FDA is provided below.
Omni Medical Search
Surgery for those with osteoarthritis
Surgery is an option for those persons who suffer from osteoarthritis. This article discusses when surgery should be considered as an option. Osteoarthritis affects everyone differently. Some people that have this disease are able to control it with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. Then there are other people who have OA that are not able to control the pain with medication and it restricts their daily activity. It is the people that can no longer control their symptoms and have difficulty with ADLs that should consider having surgery. Surgery albeit seems to be commonplace today should be thoroughly considered by people. It is not a reversible process and there can be unintended complications. Also, there is no guarantee that the surgery (ex. – arthroscopic surgery or joint replacement) will completely alleviate the pain. This article gives great information for someone wondering about surgical options and when it may be right for them to speak with their physician about it. This was found to be a helpful search database in locating information on surgical options and osteoarthritis.
A.D.A.M. (2010, June). In-depth report: Surgery. New York Times. Retrieved from http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/osteoarthritis/surgery.html
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Acupuncture for people with osteoarthritis
This discusses how CMS wanted a study conducted that compared professional acupuncture to sham acupuncture. This was undertaken by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It has been surmised that only professional acupuncture would help to alleviate some of the pain suffered by those affected by osteoarthritis. What the study determined is that regardless of whether or not you have someone accurately placing the acupuncture needles or it is someone with no training that just puts them in wherever the person has a reduction of pain. Adverse events associated with acupuncture were also discussed here. This way, the reader could be accurately informed on both the benefits and risks associated with this practice. This website is developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is an agency that has oversight from our U.S. Government. It is reviewed and updated at regular intervals. There is also contact information provided.