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Osteoarthritis treatment options improve, doctor says

Special to The Suncoast News

Published:   |   Updated: June 5, 2014 at 11:31 AM

New medical procedures are developed and breakthroughs occur all of the time, but many people don't know about the latest discoveries and advances.

So a local doctor sets out to inform the public about current treatments for a common joint disorder.

Peter Candelora, an orthopedic surgeon at Coastal Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, came to Medical Center of Trinity for a presentation on current treatments of osteoarthritis.

A large crowd gathered in the conference room as Candelora discussed several treatments and advances.

Arthritis is a painful stiffness in the joints, and osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that means deterioration of cartilage in joints that could cause pain and stiffness in knee and hip joints.

One of the main topics of the afternoon is the various opinions about the effectiveness of stem cells.

Stem cells are a type of cell that can be turned into many other components of the body, such as skin cells.

For people with osteoarthritis, the cells can be used to grow joint-cushioning cartilage the disorder has destroyed, mainly in the knee and hip. Stem cells can be taken from several body parts, but Candelora believes that the best source is the umbilical cord.

“There's a lot unknown still,” Candelora said about research into stem cell treatment. “But I do think it's the future.”

Candelora also discussed recent improvements in total hip replacements. Minimally invasive techniques allow the surgery to be performed through a smaller incision than in the past.

Paula Hubbard, who attended the conference, was fascinated about new procedures to treat osteoarthritis. He was also interested in the “tremendous new technology that has come out about the hip and knee.”

Candelora also sought to debunk notions about nontraditional treatments for osteoarthritis, including vinegar and cod liver oil.

No one treatment is viewed as the most effective. The treatment is tailored differently for patients, and the methods have improved greatly over time.

“You decide on your treatment based on your activity level.” Candelora said. “I think that we've moved advanced treatment of arthritis into the area and we are doing a lot of cutting edge things.”

Candelora's office at Coastal Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is at 5145 Deer Park Drive, Port Richey, and the phone number is (727) 848-1417.