Arthritis Management

Andrew B Richardson, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Knee and Hip Replacement Specialist located in Honolulu, HI & Waipahu, HI

Arthritis is a common disorder that affects more than 50 million adults in the United States, most commonly affecting the hip and knee. If you have painful joints, Andrew B. Richardson, MD, is a skilled orthopedic surgeon providing comprehensive arthritis treatment and management in Honolulu, Waipio, and Kahului, Hawaii. Dr. Richardson provides both conservative nonsurgical treatment options and advanced surgical procedures in his practice, including minimally invasive joint replacement for people who have severe arthritis. Call the practice nearest you today or book an appointment online for arthritis management today.

Arthritis Management Q & A

What is arthritis?

The term “arthritis” describes painful inflammation and swelling of the joints. There are more than 100 types of arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis; the next most common is rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis makes your joints feel stiff, especially after a period of inactivity. Vigorous activity can cause flares of pain, and patients often report increased pain in bad weather. The joints often swell and distort, and you might notice:

  • Locking
  • Creaking
  • Clicking
  • Grinding

Any joint in your body can have arthritis, but it’s particularly common in joints that have to bear your weight, such as the hip and knee. Arthritis can make it difficult to carry out simple everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs and is a significant cause of disability for many people.

What causes arthritis?

The cause of your arthritis differs depending on the type of arthritis you have.


Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease develops as a result of the usual “wear-and-tear” of daily life. This wear-and-tear causes the loss of joint cartilage, the smooth cushioning surface on the ends of bones.

Once the cartilage has worn away, the exposed bone ends rub against each other. The resulting friction generates inflammation in the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. As the joints degenerate, they lose strength and become increasingly unstable.

You’re more likely to develop osteoarthritis if there’s a family history of the disease. Other risk factors include being overweight, previous injuries to the joint, and having hip dysplasia or impingement.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other rheumatologic diseases such as lupus and psoriasis are autoimmune diseases. This means your body’s natural immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue as if it were an invader. The result is uncontrolled inflammation, permanent joint destruction, and pain.

RA typically affects multiple joints. Causes include a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

How is arthritis managed?

Arthritis is incurable, so Dr. Richardson’s treatment focuses on managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life by reducing pain and increasing mobility.

To help manage your arthritis, Dr. Richardson offers nonsurgical treatment options including:

  • ​​Activity modification
  • Weight management
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Viscosupplementation injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections 

Dr. Richardson combines these treatments into a personalized management plan for you. Conservative measures are usually beneficial for most patients. However, some patients might find little relief, while others may find the benefits of nonsurgical approaches diminish over time.

If you need surgery, Dr. Richardson excels at performing minimally invasive joint replacement procedures.

Find out how to manage your arthritis by calling Andrew B. Richardson, MD, or booking an appointment using the online form.