Arthritis Treatment Update (cont.)
Hopefully medical research will bring us to the point where ankle replacements are more successful but right now we just don't have enough success with them.
Reasons for not doing surgery can be age as well as overall medical condition. If someone is too young they hesitate to do the joint replacement because they typically only last 15-20 years at the most. And redoing the surgery is quite complicated.
We don't really know much about the causes of osteoarthritis other than obesity. There is some genetic tendency and we're still learning more about this. We've identified some genes that seem to increase the risk of osteoarthritis, but right now there really is no way to test for these genes.
We just really don't know what causes osteoarthritis in multiple joints in most people. Previous injuries are another possibility.
Exercise is also helpful. Many people with arthritis are afraid of exercise but when done appropriately it can actually be one of the best treatments.
If the arthritis is very severe, ankle fusion is a possibility. But this is done as a last resort because it will eliminate any range of motion in the joint. It does take care of the pain though.
Do what you can to stay healthy, take your medication as prescribed, but don't worry excessively about this risk. Just be sure to communicate with your doctor.
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