Ask An Orthopedist: Degenerative Arthritis

Calendar January 3, 2017

Question: In the past 4-5 years, I’ve had knee debridement and cervical bulging discs. I just recently found out I have a partially torn tendon in my wrist and cartilage degeneration in my wrist of my dominant hand. My main concern is how often I’m hearing that I have degenerating cartilage or meniscus. Am I doing something to cause this to happen?  I feel like I need a doctor who can monitor this, but all orthopedists are specialized in such small areas. Do you have any suggestions as to where I can turn to get help?

Degenerative arthritis is a disease process that affects the entire body. A large portion of it is probably genetically determined, so you are likely not “doing” anything to cause this. Not all orthopedists are sub-specialists, but the non-surgical management of these problems may be best handled either by a physical medicine specialist – a non-surgical orthopedist, if you will – or a rheumatologist – an arthritis specialist.

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