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Arthritis is a painful, progressive condition that affects millions of people all over the United States, making it difficult for them to work, exercise, or even enjoy their lives. In some cases, this condition becomes severe enough to require surgery. Dr. Edward Diao provides effective surgical treatment to patients struggling with arthritis. Dr. Diao treats arthritis in the fingers, wrist, elbows, and shoulder. He customizes treatment from nonoperative treatment to the most advanced surgical techniques in which he has devised and trained surgeons internationally on. To learn more about the treatment options and find out if they are right for you, please contact Edward Diao, MD in, Union Square, San Francisco, California, to schedule a consultation today.


Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?


Arthritis is a condition that causes your joints to be stiff and painful. There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Although the causes of these two types of arthritis are different, the symptoms are similar. If you have arthritis, you may notice the following changes in the affected joints:

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Soreness

  • Decreased range of motion

Why does arthritis develop?


The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which usually develops because of the normal wear and tear that affects your joints as you age. Eventually, the cartilage that coats the ends of your bones wears out, which leads to bones grinding against one another.

In some cases, patient can develop accelerated wear and tear related to trauma. This is called degenerative joint disease. 

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder. It develops when your body’s immune system attacks the joint capsule, which is a tough membrane that protects your joints. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis damages your cartilage and bone as well.

How is arthritis treated?

Early arthritis can be managed with anti-inflammatory medications and use of splints. If deformity increase and pain increases, surgery should be considered. 

How can surgery help with arthritis?


Dr. Diao may recommend three different types of surgery to patients with arthritis. These procedures include:

  • Joint repair: Dr. Diao may be able to repair your joint by smoothing surfaces and realigning parts of the joint. The goal of this procedure is to improve the function of the joint and relieve your pain.

  • Joint replacement: In cases where arthritis has caused significant damage to the joint, Dr. Diao can replace it with an artificial joint.

  • Joint fusion: During this procedure, Dr. Diao will remove the ends of two bones and fuse them together. This surgery is most often recommended for smaller joints. For selected joints affected with arthritis, fusion can be performed without great compromise to function. 

When is surgery necessary?


In the earlier stages of arthritis, doctors often recommend more conservative treatments, such as medications and physical therapy. However, these treatments aren’t always effective. As arthritis continues to progress, you may find that the condition is interfering with your life on a daily basis. In such cases, surgery may be the best way to help you recover.

Surgery isn’t the best option for everyone. Before scheduling your procedure, Dr. Diao will review your case carefully and explain all of the benefits and risks associated with arthritis surgery.






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