Osteoarthritis services offered in Cranston, RI

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic joint pain, affecting up to 32.5 million Americans. At RI Rheumatology, in Cranston, Rhode Island, triple-board-certified rheumatologist and internal medicine physician Deepan Dalal MD, MPH, RhMSUS, and his team boast years of experience diagnosing and treating osteoarthritis. They can work with you to relieve joint pain and restore your mobility. Call the office to request an osteoarthritis consultation, or book your appointment online today.

What causes osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis occurs because of general wear and tear. Over the years, activities like walking, climbing stairs, and exercising cause your cartilage –– a strong, flexible connective tissue that pads the joints –– to break down. 

Without enough cartilage to protect your joints, your bones rub against each other, resulting in stiffness, swelling, and pain.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis symptoms include the following:

  • Swelling
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Bone spurs

As the condition worsens, you might notice a snapping or popping sound when you move or use the affected joint (or joints). 

Who is at risk of osteoarthritis?

Several factors can increase your risk of osteoarthritis, including:

  • Having a metabolic disease, like diabetes
  • Suffering repeated joint injuries
  • Being overweight
  • Being age 50 or older

Genetics might also play a role, as osteoarthritis often runs in families.

Should I see a specialist in osteoarthritis?

Make an appointment at RI Rheumatology if you have persistent joint pain that doesn’t improve with at-home treatments, such as rest, ice, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. That’s particularly true if the pain lasts longer than a week or keeps you from your normal routine.

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?

Your RI Rheumatology provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and examines your joint for tenderness, swelling, and redness. They gently press on your joint to identify sensitive areas and test its range of motion, carefully moving it back and forth or side to side.

Next, your provider orders X-rays or an MRI. These imaging procedures provide detailed photos of your joints and can identify damage to your bones, cartilage, and surrounding tissues. If you have symptoms of another condition, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, the team orders blood work or joint fluid analysis.

How is osteoarthritis treated?

The RI Rheumatology team treats osteoarthritis using a conservative and minimally invasive approach. They may recommend:

  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) an antidepressant used to treat chronic pain
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections
  • Hyaluronic acid injections

If your symptoms continue or worsen, even after these treatments, you may be a candidate for joint replacement surgery. During joint replacement, your surgeon removes and replaces your damaged joint with plastic or metal parts.

Call RI Rheumatology to explore the treatment options for osteoarthritis, or book your appointment online today.