Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in your joints. It can happen anywhere in the body, but it often affects the hands and wrists.
As well as pain and stiffness, you may experience limited movement, a cracking sound in your joints when you move them or swollen joints. The symptoms might be worse when you haven’t moved your hands in a while.
You might find the symptoms come and go, or they might be so severe that you struggle to carry out day-to-day activities.
It’s not clear what causes osteoarthritis, but you might be more susceptible if you have injured the same joint previously, have other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, or if you have a family member who suffers from the condition.
If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, you can book an initial consultation with Mr Sarker at his clinics in Essex or London.
During your consultation, Mr Sarker will talk to you about your symptoms in detail. In some cases, you might need an X-ray or a blood test to help diagnose the condition. Then Mr Sarker will talk to you about potential treatment options based on where your arthritis is, any previous treatments you’ve had and how long you’ve had the condition.
Osteoarthritis can’t be cured, but there are a wide range of treatments available to minimise your symptoms and help you manage day-to-day life with the condition.
Hand therapy and wearing a splint
Mr Sarker may recommend you wear a splint for a few weeks to help support the joint. This, combined with some gentle exercises, can help ease pain and improve your range of motion. He will discuss activity modification and other ways that may be beneficial to controlling your symptoms.
Medication and steroid injections
There are several medications that may help, including painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce any inflammation or capsaicin cream to block nerve pain.
If these medications aren’t working, Mr Sarker may recommend a steroid injection. This contains anti-inflammatories to help relieve any pain or swelling. The injection is guided by an ultrasound, which helps the radiologist see a detailed image of your joints so the medication can be injected precisely into the affected area.
Surgery for osteoarthritis
Mr Sarker may recommend surgery to treat osteoarthritis if other treatments aren’t helping, or if your joint is very damaged. The surgery can’t guarantee you’ll be pain-free, but it can increase your quality of life. There are a few surgeries available:
- Debridement: A procedure where Mr Sarker will remove damaged bone around the affected joint and flush out any debris. This can be done using keyhole surgery, so the process is carried out under regional or general anaesthetic, and you can go home the same day.
- Denervation: A procedure that stops you from feeling as much pain in the affected joint. This involves Mr Sarker cutting off some of the nerve pathways only to the affected joint. This is also done as a day case.
- Partial or total joint fusion: A procedure where Mr Sarker will weld your joints together to make them stronger and reduce pain. Your joints may either be fully or partially fused together depending on how severe your osteoarthritis is.
- Joint replacements: A procedure where Mr Sarker removes your joint and replaces it with an artificial one. These can last for up to 10-15 years. He is one of a few surgeons in the country that offer these.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use my private medical insurance?
Yes, Mr Sarker is approved by all major medical insurance providers and these treatments are well recognised. You’ll need to make sure your particular insurer provides you with authorisation at each stage of your journey.
Can I pay for my own treatment?
Yes, Mr Sarker is happy to see patients on a self-pay basis. If you’re looking for prompt treatment from an expert hand and wrist consultant, you can book an appointment with Mr Sarker by getting in touch directly. You’ll be made aware of all of the prices for anything you need well ahead of having them, so you can make the right decision for you.
How much is a consultation with Mr Sarker?
An initial consultation is £250, and a follow up consultation is £175. The price of any scans, tests or treatments will depend on the hospital you visit, but you’ll be made aware of any costs well in advance of any procedure, so that you can make an informed choice.
Do I need a referral letter to see Mr Sarker?
Mr Sarker is happy to see you without a referral letter, but if you’re using your insurance, you should check with them as they may request that you get one.
Where can I see Mr Sarker privately?
Mr Sarker has clinics in Essex and Central London. You can see them all here.