Arthritis is best known as a condition of aging. As you get older, repetitive use of the joints causes the cartilage to break down over time. After many years of use, the damage cartilage becomes inflamed and unable to recover. This leads to the telltale symptoms of pain, swelling, and a reduced range of motion.
But not all arthritis is due to wear and tear. Nor is all caused by inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re struggling from an unexplained arthritis, it may have developed as the result of an injury. What makes that even more interesting is that it may not be a recent injury. It may be an injury you sustained years – sometimes even decades in the past.
Introduction to “Post Traumatic Arthritis”
Post-traumatic arthritis is a highly common but infrequently discussed form of arthritis. It can affect nearly anywhere arthritis can, but is especially common in areas like the wrist, which has a more complex bone/joint system and more frequent movements.
Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after an injury. In the case of the wrist, example injuries include:
- Wrist Bone Fractures
- Ligament Tears
- Damaged Cartilage
After the injury occurs, the body starts to heal. But the healing process is imperfect. The wrist bones may not perfectly align, or the ligaments may not be able to support the bone’s movement. Even though the body has generally healed, the bones are still breaking down the cartilage, and after several years you may find that you develop arthritis symptoms in the damaged area.
How to Tell When Your Wrist Arthritis is From Injury
It can take years for wrist arthritis to occur after injury – so long that some patients forget that they were ever injured at all. There are several telltale signs that doctors look for to determine if your wrist arthritis is likely injury related:
- Previous History of Injury – If you remember an injury to your wrist, and that is where the pain occurs, it is likely that you have post-traumatic wrist arthritis.
- Localized Arthritis – Joints tend to break down at similar rates. If your arthritis is local to a single area of the body, such as “only” the right wrist, doctors may presume that it is injury related.
- Age – Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are more common in those over the age of 60. Young athletes that develop arthritis in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, are usually injury related.
If you had a previous wrist injury that has lead to arthritis, stem cell therapy could be right for you. For those in Atlanta that want to learn more about stem cell therapy for wrist Arthritis, contact Ortho Stem Cell Atlanta today at 678-726-8713.