Arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA)
Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and swelling in your joints. Arthritis can make it hard to run, walk, play sports, work or even hold a pencil. At Geisinger, it is treated by either an orthopaedist or a rheumatologist, depending on the type you have and how severe it is.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack healthy cells. It is typically treated by a rheumatologist. In orthopaedics, we treat the more common type of arthritis: osteoarthritis. It is related to injury or age.
What you should know about osteoarthritis:
- Osteoarthritis causes you to lose cartilage, or soft tissue, between your joints. Cartilage is like a shock absorber for your joints. When it breaks down, your bones rub together, causing pain and damaging the joint.
- We often use X-ray to diagnose osteoarthritis, in combination with lab tests. We may be able to treat your osteoarthritis with medicine and physical therapy. You may also need surgery.
Why choose Geisinger for osteoarthritis care?
- Leading specialty care: Geisinger is known for specialty orthopaedic care. Whether the pain from osteoarthritis is in your hips, knees, ankle, hand, shoulder or back, we have the right specialists with the right specialized skills. We also work with rheumatology to treat other types of arthritis.
- Range of treatments: We find ways to reduce pain from osteoarthritis, from non-invasive treatments such as medications and physical therapy to orthopaedic surgery. Many of our joint replacement surgeries are backed by ProvenCare, Geisinger’s innovative program to standardize care.
- Specialized athletic care: We want to help you run, walk, swim, bike, dance and play ball pain-free. That is why we have such a strong focus on sports medicine. We not only treat injuries, we also focus on helping athletes properly rehab their injuries to avoid developing osteoarthritis later on.
Our orthopaedic care team works with you to find the right osteoarthritis treatment, which may include: