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Orthopedics Community
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Severe degenerative arthritis

I have been having severe pain in the thoraic area of my spine.  I had xrays taken yesterday.  My doctor's office called me to let me know that the diagnosis was severe degenerative arthritis of the thoraic spine.  I have been a nurse for forty years and can certainy understand why this could be.  What can be done about this condition other than pain management?  I am not up on all the latest medical news and treatments for my condition. What will eventually happend to me?  Please be completely honest with me as I need to know.  I appreciate your input.
Thanks, Paula
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,
    How are you? Degenerative arthritis is also called osteoarthritis or "wear and tear" arthritis. It is a form of arthritis that causes the gradual breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the joints. Movement then causes the bones to rub against each other, which is painful. Degenerative arthritis is characterized by inflammation, breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of the joints.

This can be caused by obesity, bad posture, repeated trauma or injury, and overuse. In some cases, degenerative arthritis may be hereditary. Simple x-ray testing can be very helpful to exclude other causes of pain in a particular joint as well as assist the decision-making as to when surgical intervention should be considered.
Aside from weight reduction and avoiding activities that exert excessive stress on the joint cartilage, there is no specific treatment to halt cartilage degeneration or to repair damaged cartilage in osteoarthritis.
Apart from regular NSAID's, treatment options can include arthrocentesis and arthroscopy, arthroplasty, osteotomy and arthrodesis.
Depending on the extent of damage to the bone and disc treatment options might vary. Check this link for further information.
http://www.arthritispharmacy.com/arthritis/arthritis-pain/DEGENERATIVE_ARTHRITIS.html
Take care.

Avatar universal
I am 72.l When I was 56 I had my total right hip replaced;then when I was 60 my left hip was replaced. In between times I had both thumb joints replaced. Then when I was 63 both knees had total replacements. A couple of years ago my right shoulder had surgery but it was not replaced. Now I am having extreme pain in my left foot & anterior ankle. Had x-rays taken & Dr. says its arfthritis throughout both of my feet. On top of it-I have diabetic neuropathy. What can they do for my feet? I am not crippled yet & am having problems because of the left foot. Whats next? Needless to say its osteoarthritis that has caused it all. Also-my right shoulder that has been oiperated on is giving me lots of pain & limited mobility. Whats next?
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