Degenerative Joint Disease

In order for the many joints in the human body to work correctly and provide both movement and stability, the tough, flexible connective tissue known as cartilage must remain intact. Unfortunately, whether due to wear and tear, inflammatory disorder, injury, or other conditions, the joints can start to degenerate, resulting in pain and limited range of motion.

Joint degeneration, or degenerative joint disease, often affects older individuals, but young and old alike can suffer from this painful and debilitating condition. Orthopedic oncologist Dr. Daniel C. Allison specializes in treating a variety of degenerative joint conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and avascular necrosis. For expert treatment and care, contact Dr. Allison by calling (310) 683-4583 or fill out our contact form to schedule a comprehensive consultation at our Los Angeles office today!


Advanced Joint Replacement Categories


Also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, is the most common cause of cartilage damage in the ankles, feet, hips, and knees, as well as other parts of the body. Osteoarthritis causes joint cartilage to become inflamed and gradually wear down over time, resulting in pain, swelling, and stiffness. As the cartilage breaks down, the bones grind against each other, resulting in painful growths called bone spurs that can limit movement. Additionally, the muscles and ligaments around the damaged joint can become weak and stiff.
Inflammatory Arthritis
A variety of autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation of the joint and other tissues in the body. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. As autoimmune disorders, the various types of inflammatory arthritis occur because the immune system mistakenly attacks joint tissue, resulting in swelling, pain, and eventually degeneration. It is believed that inflammatory arthritis is largely related to genetics, although certain risk factors, such as cigarette smoke, stress, and hormones, can contribute to the disease.
Post-Traumatic Arthritis
A form of osteoarthritis that develops after an injury or physical trauma to the joints. Post-traumatic arthritis can develop in young children as well as adults and typically causes joint instability, pain, swelling, stiffness, and bone spurs or deformity.
Avascular Necrosis
The loss of bone tissue due to poor blood supply to the area. Also known as osteonecrosis, this condition may be caused by injury or joint dislocation, fatty deposits in the blood vessels, or medical conditions, such as Gaucher’s disease and sickle cell anemia.

Degenerative Joint Disease: Treatment

Treating various types of joint deterioration will depend on the type and severity of the joint damage, as well as the patient’s age, health, and needs.

Severe cases of cartilage damage may require surgical joint replacement. Dr. Allison is a renowned leader in performing pediatric hip replacements for children, as well as traditional hip replacement procedures for older patients. Performing joint replacement on patients of any age requires expert training and skill in order to not only reduce pain, but to restore function based on the specific needs and goals of each patient.

Anterior hip replacement is a minimally invasive technique used to perform a traditional joint replacement, in which the muscles and nerve tissue are pushed aside rather than dissected to ensure quicker recovery.

Revision joint replacement is performed when a previous joint replacement surgery requires surgical adjustment or correction. This type of procedure is often necessary if a patient has suffered physical trauma.

Alternatives to hip replacement include conservative options such as lifestyle changes, weight loss, pain management, wearing braces or sleeves to support the joints, taking vitamin supplements, and physical therapy.

If the soft tissue coverage that surrounds a joint is injured, it may be necessary to surgically reconstruct the ligaments, cartilage, tendons, nerves and muscle tissue. Soft tissue damage may occur as a result of traumatic injury or even tumors. Dr. Allison and his interdisciplinary team have the skill and training necessary to expertly perform surgical reconstruction of musculoskeletal systems.

Read more about arthritis pain from

What are Liposarcomas

There are several different types of liposarcoma, each with their own unique cellular origin and behavior:

Well-differentiated (40%) – most frequently diagnosed
Myxoid /round cell (30%) – malignant tumor
Pleomorphic (15%) – affects adults age 50 to 70 and develop as a side effect of radiation treatment
Dedifferentiated (5%) – least common subtype and can change over a period of time

One of the greatest challenges with liposarcoma, and other sarcoma subtypes, is the scope of subtypes, with each having separate characteristics and behavior. A liposarcoma surgery expert like Dr. Allison in Los Angeles is skilled in navigating the complexities and tendencies of the disease is best qualified to treat this condition.

Soft tissue sarcomas are rare cancers overall, but within the soft tissue category, liposarcoma ranks as the second most frequently diagnosed and tend to develop into a large soft tissue mass often with smaller tumors scattered around it.

What are the Symptoms

If the primary tumor develops into a significant size, it can pressure surrounding organs and muscles, creating pain and discomfort plus additional symptoms of:

    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Swelling
    • Numbness
    • Limited range of motion

When the cancer is suspected, diagnostic tests such as x-rays and MRIs are performed. X-rays are particularly helpful in identifying calcification in the tumor and damage to nearby bone. An MRI can reveal the location, size, and appearance of the soft tissue tumor and also help guide the doctor in the biopsy.