What is osteoarthritis?

    OA is type of arthritis in which there is a gradual loss of cartilage from the joints.


    What causes osteoarthritis?

    OA is more common in elderly population.

    Women are more likely to developed OA than men.

    Previous joint injury increase risk of OA.

    OA may be inherited in some patients.

    Knee OA is more common in obese patients.


    Who gets osteoarthritis?

    • Primary OA develops in previously healthy joints.
    • Secondary OA develops in joints previously abnormal for a variety of reasons. For example, it may develop in injured joints.


    Which joints are affected?

    The most common joints affected by OA are hips, knees, finger joints, thumb joints and lower spine.


    What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

    Joint pain that is worse with activity and relieved by rest.

    Joints affected by OA may be tender to the touch.

    Morning stiffness is a common symptom of osteoarthritis.

    May cause joint swelling.

    Crackling sensation called crepitus.



    What are the aims of treatment for osteoarthritis?

    • To reduce any pain and stiffness.
    • To maintain or improve the mobility of your affected joint or joints.
    • To minimize any disability that may result from your OA.


    What is the treatment of OA?

    • If arthritis flares and causes significant pain and inflammation, your healthcare provider may recommend rest for 12 to 24 hours.
    • Weight loss may reduce joint pain from weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.
    • Physical therapy and exercise improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints.
    • Some people have found that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) machines help to ease pain from OA.
    • Acupuncture may also help to ease symptoms in some cases.
    • Applying heat and cold to arthritic joints can help to control arthritis symptoms such as pain and stiffness.
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin are dietary supplements that may have potential benefit in reducing pain and slowing the progression of arthritis.
    • Paracetamol or Acetaminophen is the common medicine used to treat OA.
    • An injection with steroid directly into a joint may be an option if a joint becomes badly inflamed.
    • Synthetic hyaluronates (gel injection) may be injected into the knee to treat arthritis.
    • Surgery is usually reserved for severe arthritis that significantly limits patient activities and does not respond to arthritis treatments.


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