Degenerative Joint Disease DJD

By: Drew Heideman, MPT, ATC, PES

If you are experiencing leg pain within your hip, knee, or ankle, the physicians and rehabilitation specialists at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute can help. You may be experiencing symptoms consistent with osteoarthritis, which is also known as degenerative joint disease. 

Degenerative joint disease, abbreviated as DJD, is the most common form of arthritis that affects the cartilage lining the ends of your bones. The cartilage is a smooth surface that allows bones to glide easily upon one another. If you want to know more about hip and knee pain together, read this ARTICLE.

Degenerative Joint Disease Image of Degenerative Joint Disease

Degenerative Joint Disease 

It can also act as a shock absorber within your joints. With time, and wear and tear, the surface layer of cartilage can begin to break down leading to painful joints.  A good analogy is that cartilage when not damaged is as smooth as ice.  When the cartilage is damaged, chips or craters appear and the ice is no longer smooth. 

Treatment of DJD

There are several different treatment approaches for patients who are diagnosed with degenerative joint disease.  The severity of the disease process often dictates the treatment plane. For patients who have a significant damage and pain, surgery may be another treatment option.

Often, Degenerative Joint Disease appears in the spine. The spine is prone to DJD because it allows for motion in several different ways. As Degenerative Joint Disease progresses, more pressure is applied to the facet joints. 

This pressure can lead to spurs within the joint from the bone on bone contact.  Spurs can also be a source of pain and dysfunction. Degenerative Disc Disease of the spine can also attribute to pain and dysfunction. 

The physicians at the Jacksonville orthopedic institute can help create an individualized plan that best suits your needs. If physical therapy is necessary, the rehab specialists at JOI can help maximize what your body will allow with exercises to increase movement and strength around your joints.  For a physical therapy appointment, please call JOI Rehab at 904-858-7045.

  • To schedule an appointment for physical or occupational therapy, call 904-858-7045 or call any of the 12 area JOI Rehab Centers.

 JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.


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