Arthritis Specialist

Philip Regala, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine located in Naples, FL

Arthritis is one of the top causes of disability in adults, with more than one-third of all patients limiting their activities due to severe pain and stiffness. Whether your arthritis is in an early stage or causes unrelenting pain, Philip Regala, MD, in Naples Florida, can help with a customized treatment plan that includes exercise, regenerative medicine, and, if needed, skilled surgical intervention to restore mobility. If you have joint pain and stiffness, call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment.

Arthritis Q & A

What causes arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term that refers to inflammation in a joint. This broad definition encompasses many different types of arthritis, but the two most common are:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis develops gradually, as daily wear and tear slowly breaks down cartilage. Cartilage is a protective covering that allows bones to move smoothly within the joint. When cartilage wears away, bones rub together and inflammation develops.

As osteoarthritis progresses, your body tries to protect the joint by building more bone, resulting in bone spurs that add to your symptoms. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but frequently develops in your knees, hips, hands, and feet.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks the tissues lining the inside of the joint and causes inflammation. Without treatment, ongoing inflammation erodes the bones, leading to joint deformity.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins in small joints like your fingers, then spreads to larger joints, often affecting the same joint on both sides of your body. The inflammation that begins in a joint can also spread to other parts of your body.

What symptoms develop due to arthritis?

Arthritic changes in your joint lead to:

  • Painful or aching joints
  • Stiff joints
  • Limited movement
  • Swollen joints
  • Grinding or clicking sounds when you move

About 40% of all patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop symptoms in other parts of their body, including their skin, eyes, lungs, muscles, heart, and blood vessels.

How do orthopedic surgeons treat arthritis?

Dr. Regala develops an individualized treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and the type of arthritis. Treatment begins with physical therapy to strengthen muscles, maintain movement, and relieve your pain.

Patients with osteoarthritis may receive steroid injections or viscosupplementation. Corticosteroids relieve inflammation, while viscosupplementation restores lubrication with an injection of hyaluronic acid.

Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). DMARDs help protect tissues from permanent damage by slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Regala also specializes in platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. The growth factors in PRP relieve arthritis by accelerating healing, triggering tissue regeneration, and regulating inflammation.

When conservative therapies no longer relieve your pain, Dr. Regala talks with you about surgery. Some patients may only need surgery to remove bone spurs, loose fragments, and damaged structures. Others may need joint replacement surgery. 

At the first sign of joint pain and stiffness, call Philip Regala, MD, or schedule an appointment online.