What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is the degeneration or “wear and tear” of one’s joint cartilage. In a normal joint, the cartilage at the end of each bone helps the bones to glide smoothly when in motion. However, when the cartilage starts to wear down causing the bones to rub against each other during motion. This causes pain and swelling. Overtime, this may cause bone spurs to grow at the edges of the joints and bits and pieces may fall off, floating inside the joint space causing more pain.
It can affect any joints but is more common in the hips, knees, hands, neck and back.
What are the common symptoms of osteoarthritis?
- Pain of the joints
- Some bony swelling around the joint area
- Some clicking and cracking sound during movement
What causes osteoarthritis?
The cause of osteoarthritis is unknown but there are some factors that increases the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Injury or overuse of joints
- Getting older
- more common among women
Usually physical examination is sufficient. X-ray may help with confirming osteoarthritis and will show signs of spurs.
What are the treatments for osteoarthritis?
Unfortunately, there isn’t any cure of osteoarthritis. Pain killers or steroid injections may help with temporary relief. If the pain is very severe and there are mobility issues, surgery may be suggested.