Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive and disabling joint disease. OA can occur in every synovial joint, but the most common sites are hip, knee, hand, foot, and spine . It is reflected on the patient in the form of painful joint and/or limitation of joint function.It may also associated with joint slightly larger or more ‘knobbly’ than usual. Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, but an early diagnosis can help slow its progression and a lot can be done to ease the symptoms.
Although it is uncommon before the age of 40, young people can develop it.Osteoarthritis is more common and often more severe in women. Obesity is a risk factor.Damage to joint due to an injury or disease can lead to osteoporosis.
The early signs of osteoarthritis are so mild that they are often easy to miss. The main symptoms are stiff and painful joints, with the pain tending to be worse while exercising the joint and at the end of the day.Joints may appear swollen. In more advanced cases, there may be constant pain and everyday tasks and movement may become difficult.
Treatment of osteoarthritis
- Weight loss, physiotherapy and exercise recommended
- If unsuccessful, analgesics, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs may be used as well steroids to relieve pain – but effects, even of steroids, are short lived -up to six weeks.
- Synovial fluid replacement therapy- lubricates the joint and restores the elastic properties of the fluid