Osteoarthritis Specialist

Mike M. Pappas, D.O. -  - Physiatrist

Suffolk Spine & Joint Medical

Mike M. Pappas, D.O.

Physiatrist & Sports Medicine and Pain Management Specialist located in Riverhead, NY & Northport, NY

Of the 54 million people who have doctor-diagnosed arthritis in the United States, 31 million have osteoarthritis, making it the most common form of the disease. At Suffolk Spine and Joint Medical, Mike M. Pappas, DO, offers nonsurgical treatment for arthritis that emphasizes restoring pain-free movement. If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis, call one of the three locations in Riverhead, Northport, and Ronkonkoma, New York, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.


What is osteoarthritis?

Believe it or not, there are over 100 forms of arthritis, all of which create problems in your joints, such as pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it’s a degenerative form of the disease that causes the breakdown of cartilage in your joints.

Cartilage is the slippery substance found on the ends of your bones, which allows them to glide smoothly across each other. With osteoarthritis, this cartilage breaks apart, leaving your bones unprotected and able to rub together painfully.

While this form of arthritis can affect all of your articulating joints, when it strikes your major ones, such as your knees, hips, neck, and shoulders, it can have a considerable impact on your life.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

The primary symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness in the joint
  • Bone spurs
  • Loss of range of motion

Since osteoarthritis is progressive, these symptoms only grow worse with time unless you take steps to stop the forward march of the disease.

What causes osteoarthritis?

There are many factors that contribute to the onset of osteoarthritis, including:

  • Aging
  • Carrying extra weight
  • Inactivity
  • Joint injuries
  • Gender (women are more prone than men)
  • Genetics

Osteoarthritis is referred to as a wear-and-tear disease, which means the more stress your joints are under, the more likely they are to develop osteoarthritis.

What is the treatment for osteoarthritis?

When you come in, Dr. Pappas sits down with you to review your symptoms and then conducts an extensive examination, including diagnostic imaging to get a better look at what’s going on inside your joints. He specializes in arthritis in your knees, which are the largest joints in your body, and arguably, some of the most important.

To tackle arthritis in your knees and elsewhere, Dr. Pappas turns to a number of nonsurgical treatment methods, such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Ultrasound-guided joint injections

For arthritic knees, Dr. Pappas typically recommends viscosupplementation to help with lubrication and cushioning in your beleaguered joints, allowing you to move about more easily. For this, he turns to two brands: Hyalgan® and Supartz FX™, each of which contains sodium hyaluronate.

To learn more, call one of Suffolk Spine and Joint Medical’s three locations or request an appointment using the online scheduler.

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