South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday May 18, 2021

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May 2021 - Volume 17 - Issue 11

How to Tell the Difference Between Arthritis and a More Serious Issue

April 9, 2021
While arthritis is one of the most prevalent and chronic health conditions in the United States affecting more 54 million men and women, how can the average person tell the difference between arthritis and a more serious issue?
“The only way to know if your joint pain is due to arthritis or wear-and-tear that has damaged the cartilage and deteriorated the joint over time is to seek medical attention,” said Stephen Swirsky, D.O., orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with the Broward Health Physician Group.
The pandemic impact
Because of the pandemic, there has been a substantial decrease in mobility among the general public, which can exacerbate an already chronic condition. In addition, during this time, many patients have not sought routine medical care.
Whether you are a former athlete or dancer, a weekend sports warrior or an active senior, minor aches and pains are expected. The key is understanding when those aches and pains escalate to the point of affecting your quality of life.
“When you experience a sudden injury, you will typically seek immediate care,” said Dr. Swirsky. “Long term, however, joints commonly deteriorate, and unfortunately cartilage does not regenerate. Damaged cartilage results in pain and diminishes movement, leads to immobility and a loss of independence.”
State-of-the-art technology                                                                                                               
If an orthopedist determines your hip or knee joint is damaged or worn away past the point of no return, and you’re suffering from painful bone on bone friction, joint replacement surgery is a viable option to restore mobility and regain a pain-free active lifestyle. Broward Health offers advanced minimally invasive total hip and knee replacements, the two most common joint replacement surgeries. 
“Robotic-arm assisted technology provides us with an innovative option to treat adults living with mid- to late-stage osteoarthritis of the hip and knee,” said Dr. Swirsky. “The technology provides a superior level of precision combined with a personalized surgical plan based on a patient’s unique anatomy.” 
Prior to hip or knee replacement surgery, a CT scan of the diseased joint is taken, then uploaded into the system software where a 3D model of the knee is created. This 3D model is used to pre-plan and assist surgeons in performing total hip, knee or partial knee replacements. Benefits of this type of surgery may include shorter recovery times, no activity limitations, less pain, decreased dislocation, less scarring and a more natural feeling hip or knee.
It is common for patients to stand up and walk the day of surgery, and most recuperate at home soon thereafter. Following instructions for post-operative care and maintaining physical therapy guidelines, patients can fully return to activities allowing them to remain physically fit, happier and balanced.   
Financial assistance through Medicare                                                                                     
Broward Health also provides access to quality care through the system’s involvement in the Medicare initiative, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR). Broward Health North employs the CJR model, which aims to promote quality and financial accountability for care surrounding lower extremity joint replacement procedures, commonly referred to as hip and knee replacements and/or other major leg procedures. 
To schedule a consultation, visit or call 954-940-7000.
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