Arthritis Treatment Options
In addition to taking steroids, NSAIDs, or other pain relievers for gout, your doctor may prescribe a medication that reduces the amount of uric acid in your body, such as allopurinol (Zyloprim), febuxostat (Uloric), or probenecid (Probalan). Colchicine may also be used in gout treatment to treat or help prevent attacks. In 2010, the FDA approved the drug pegloticase (Krystexxa), the first medication designed for gout that doesn't respond to other treatments. Krystexxa is an enzyme that breaks down uric acid so it can be removed in the urine. The enzyme is often used only in cases where large deposits of uric acid are present. Side effects of the drug include allergic reactions, nausea, and bruising at the injection site.
If joint pain or damage is so severe that medication isn't working, your doctor may talk to you about having surgery to replace the joint or improve its alignment.
To look inside your joint, the surgeon makes a very small incision and inserts a thin, lighted tube and small surgical instruments. Through this small cut, the doctor can remove floating pieces of bone or cartilage or other debris from the joint, smooth out rough surfaces, or remove swollen tissues.
Joint Replacement (Arthroplasty)
Arthritis can take its toll on your joints, and over time you may have no choice but to replace a worn out hip or knee joint with a man-made plastic or metal version. If osteoarthritis is only in one part of the knee joint, you can have a partial knee or hip replacement, a less invasive procedure that will still help improve function.
When joint replacement fails, the surgeon can try another technique that removes a joint completely from the ends of the two bones that connect it. The bones are then held together with screws, pins, or plates. Over time, the bones should fuse into one piece.
If you're still young and active and you've got knee or hip osteoarthritis, you may be able to have an osteotomy, or joint-preserving surgery. By cutting and removing a section of the bone, this procedure improves joint alignment and stability, and it could help you delay joint replacement surgery for several years.