Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is a joint pain or joint disease and affects an estimated 10 million people in the UK.  People of all ages can suffer from arthritis, not just older people.

Arthritis is caused by an inflammation of the joints. Inflammation is part of the body’s normal healing process after injury and if it becomes extreme, it can cause pain, stiffness and swelling.

Our expert team specialises in treating all types of arthritis using advanced non-surgical techniques including stem cell therapy, Lipogems® adipose tissue transfer and platelet rich plasma therapy.

Lipogems® adipose tissue therapy is a minimally invasive treatment which uses your own fat tissue to promote healing. It is particularly beneficial for people with painful knees and a limited range of motion.

Fat is essential for cushioning and supporting joints and helping the repair of damaged and injured tissue. Lipogems® therapy involves fat cells being taken from your abdomen while you are sedated with a local anaesthetic. Your collected fat is processed in the Lipogems® device which rinses and cleans inflammatory oils and blood and keeps the natural and beneficial properties of the fat tissue. This is then injected into your knee.

The procedure takes less than an hour and there is minimal recovery time.

Lipogems® therapy can also be used in conjunction with surgery to support the healing process.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy takes advantages of the blood’s natural healing properties to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. It can reduce pain and improve joint function.

With PRP, your blood sample is taken and then put in a centrifuge which separates platelets from other blood components. Platelets contain proteins which help wounds to heal. The concentration of platelets is then injected into your knee.

The procedure takes approximately an hour.

There are over 100 different forms of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear” or degenerative arthritis and most often affects people in their late 40s or older. It is more common in women and people who have a family history of the condition.

Osteoarthritis affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint which makes movement difficult and causes pain and stiffness.

The cartilage inside the joint acts as a shock absorber. If the cartilage lining starts to thin out, it is harder for the tendons and ligaments which move the joint to work. This can cause swelling and the growth of bony spurs. If the cartilage loss is extreme it can lead to bone rubbing on bone which can change the shape of the joint.

The most common joints affected by osteoarthritis are:

  • Knee
  • Hands
  • Spine
  • Hip
  • Foot and ankle

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and happens when the immune system attacks the joints. This causes inflammation, pain and swelling around the joint. Women are much more likely to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis than men.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints and can result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

People with rheumatoid arthritis may develop problems with other tissues and organs in their body. 

The most common joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • Hand and wrist
  • Foot and ankle
  • Elbow
  • Knee

Causes of Arthritis

There are a number of factors which can cause arthritis, including:

  • Gender –  certain types of arthritis are generally found more in women than in men
  • Age – osteoarthritis often affects older people 
  • Genetics – arthritis can run in families, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the fingers
  • Injury – damage to a joint , for example a sporting injury, can cause osteoarthritis when people are older
  • Infections – some viral and other infections can prompt types of arthritis
  • Lifestyle – osteoarthritis is more common in people who are overweight. Smoking is more common in people who have rheumatoid arthritis

Other Treatments

Treatment for arthritis aims to relieve symptoms and improve the function of the joint.

Initial treatment may include medications such as analgesics which help reduce the pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS – which reduce the pain and inflammation and steroid injections which reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief.

Physiotherapy can help with some forms of arthritis and splints or braces may be used.

Surgery including arthroscopy, joint replacement and joint fusion may be recommended if other methods don’t help.

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