Bone and Joint Specialists in Gauteng Are Experiencing an Increase in Demand

Feb 23, 2018 | Articles

Bone and Joint Specialists in Gauteng Are Experiencing an Increase in Demand

The team of specialists responsible for the treatment of bone and joint disorders at a hospital in the Pretoria area has been experiencing a growing demand from patients in Gauteng and other South African provinces. Where once the incidence of damage to shoulders, hips, and knees that warranted surgical intervention tended to be confined to those of the nation’s citizens aged 65 and over, this is no longer the case. In practice, the frequency of swollen and painful joints, and the reduced mobility that often accompanies it, is now growing among subjects still aged in their 50s and, in some cases, even younger.

The most frequent cause of the type of condition likely to warrant surgical intervention by bone and joint specialists in Gauteng, as well as all over the world, is osteoarthritis. This is a condition in which the normally smooth cartilage layers that protect the articulating surfaces of the bones involved become damaged and are no longer able to ensure smooth movement. Instead, the damaged surfaces serve as a source of friction. This causes grinding and pain which, in turn, leads to further damage until the subject’s movements become too painful and loss of mobility ensues.

One explanation that has been proposed for the increased incidence of osteoarthritis among younger people is the general increase in overweight and obese individuals of all ages. It seems that the expanded workload being experienced by bone and joint specialists in Gauteng could very well be attributed to the combination of poor diet and the more sedentary existence that has become so typical of the 21st-century lifestyle, and the cause of a number of other pathologies, such as diabetes, cardiac infarction, and cerebrovascular disease. The extra weight, it appears, could be causing undue pressure, particularly on the hip and knee joints that must support the bulk of the body’s mass when standing or walking, which could explain the premature onset of osteoarthritis.

Whatever its cause, there can be no doubt that the effects of this condition are frequently extremely debilitating. When prescription painkillers and steroids are no longer able to provide effective relief, bone and joint specialists in Gauteng and in hospitals everywhere will be almost certain to recommend that the patient undergoes arthroplasty. This is a procedure in which damage to the affected cartilage is repaired, where this may still be an option or, in more severe cases, replaced with a suitable prosthesis in order to eliminate the patient’s pain and restore his or her mobility.

Sometimes, in cases where the damage is minimal, it is possible to employ a minimally invasive procedure known as arthroscopy. Originally intended as a diagnostic aid, it is an endoscope with lighting and video camera built-in and, when inserted via a tiny incision, it is able to relay real-time images of the interior of a damaged joint. This additional insight allows bone and joint specialists in Gauteng, and in hospitals across the globe, to proceed with a repair with the use of additional keyhole incisions through which to insert their instruments. As a result, arthroscopic surgery requires less recovery time than the more radical procedures in which the entire joint must be exposed.

While arthroscopy was initially confined to knee surgery, it has since been refined for use in the repair of damage to both the hip and shoulder joints with considerable success. Joint replacement, or arthroplasty, using prostheses made from suitable materials have become commonplace and may be either partial or total. The team of bone and joint specialists responsible for arthroscopy and arthroplasty at the Life Wilgers Hospital in Gauteng has become known throughout South Africa, as well as in many international locations, for its highly successful application of cutting-edge diagnostics and state-of-the-art surgical techniques.