Osteoarthritis

Vasili Karas, M.D., M.S.

Hip and Knee Replacement and Reconstruction located in Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of men and women worldwide. Hip and knee replacement and reconstruction specialist Vasili Karas, MD, MS, offers nonsurgical and surgical treatments for osteoarthritis at Chicago Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. If you or a loved one suffers from osteoarthritis, call the office in Chicago or book an appointment online.

Osteoarthritis Q & A

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a condition that involves wear-and-tear damage to cartilage, the slippery tissue that covers the ends of your bones where they meet at a joint. Cartilage cushions your bones and allows your joint to move easily.

When cartilage breaks down, your bones may rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint. Osteoarthritis may also cause bits of bone or cartilage to break off and float inside the joint, causing even more pain and damage.

What are osteoarthritis symptoms?

Symptoms of osteoarthritis develop gradually and worsen over time. Common osteoarthritis symptoms include:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Redness and swelling
  • Grating sensation with movement

Sometimes, osteoarthritis causes bone spurs, or extra bits of bone, to develop around the affected joint.

Who gets osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is most common in older adults, although young people sometimes develop this condition after a disease or sports injury. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men, although it’s unclear why.

Factors that may increase your risk of osteoarthritis include:

  • Obesity
  • Previous joint injuries
  • Increasing age

Athletes or people with jobs that require repetitive movements, such as parcel delivery, are more likely to get osteoarthritis due to joint overuse.

How do you diagnose and treat osteoarthritis?

First, Dr. Karas performs a physical exam and thoroughly discusses your concerns and medical history with you. He closely evaluates the affected joint, checking for swelling, pain, and decreased range of motion. He may also take imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI.

Then, he creates a personalized treatment plan that best addresses your particular needs. Dr. Karas offers both nonsurgical and surgical treatments for osteoarthritis. The first line of treatment involves nonsurgical methods, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Joint injections
  • Lifestyle modifications

Lifestyle changes that may improve your osteoarthritis and delay the need for surgery include losing weight, exercising, and using orthotic devices such as braces or shoe inserts.

If your condition is severe or doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Karas may recommend knee or hip replacement surgery. He also performs partial knee replacement if the osteoarthritis affects only one side of your knee.

For the highest-quality care in osteoarthritis treatment, call Chicago Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today.