Patient Education

OSTEOARTHRITIS

Osteoarthritis

  • It is the most common type of arthritis.
  • Osteoarthritis is otherwise known as OA which is a degenerative arthritis.
  • Breaking the word osteoarthritis, you get Osteo- which means bone, arthr means the joints and itis means inflammation.
  • It occurs in advance age group with age more than 50yrs age and more in woman than in man.
  • Normally cartilage act as shock absorber or sponge between two bone and prevents rubbing of bone each other.
  • As age increases cartilage breakdown takes place and bone starts rub against each other because of which pain, swelling and stiffness occurs.
  • Patients experience pain stiffness, pain and swelling of the joints.

  • Osteoarthritis may not be recognizable in the beginning, but slowly it gets worse with time.
  • Joint pain and stiffness are the common symptoms of OA.
  • The symptoms include, swelling of joints, loss of strength, can reduce joint’s flexibility
  • Most common joint affected in OA are knees and hips i.e. weight bearing joints.
  • Other joints can also gets affected are base of thumb, small joints of finger, neck & low back (lumbar spine)
  • Stiffness in the morning, usually lasts for 20 to 30 minutes until the joint gets moved.
  • Joint pain gets worse during excessive movement of the joints and gets better with rest.
  • Sometimes, OA becomes more severe and the pain can continue throughout the day, even after resting.

  • Osteoarthritis is a degenerative arthritis and long term disease(Chronic degenerative arthritis)
  • Degenerative means it occurs as age advances for example; greying of hair or wrinkling of skin
  • Similarly as age increases there is tearing of cartilage takes place.
  • Cartilages act like shock absorbers for the bones and prevent the bones to rub against each other.
  • With break down of cartilage the two bone rub each other because of which pain and swelling occurs.
  • The ends of the bones in the joint may come into contact with one another (“bone on bone”), this leads to wear out of cartilage resulting in the inflammation of the joints.
  • Age is the most important risk factor for the OA. As it mostly occur after age of 50.
  • Another important risk factor include obesity or over weight as it mostly affects weight bearing joints for example knee and hips.
  • Women are affected more than men.
  • It gets affected to professional athletes as there chances of injury are more.

  • Osteoarthritis is a quiet common disease that affects every 10 percent of adults.
  • It can affect people at any age, but common with older humans with the age of 50 or more.
  • People who are overweight have a greater risk of suffering from osteoarthritis, as overweight people generally have more pressure on their knees.
  • Sitting or standing improperly can damage your joints which increases the OA risk.
  • The following reasons are responsible for OA:
     Overweight
     Serious injury to a joint
     Genetic behavior
     Improper life style
     Presence of other type of arthritis such as Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Physicians who are familiar with the disease should thoroughly assess and physically examine the disease.
  • After a thorough assessment, blood tests and x-rays should be done.

  • X-rays
    The most preferred test to diagnose OA is X-ray. Through x-ray, the changes can be described and recognized easily.
  • Blood Tests
    Some times blood tests are needed to differentiate from other types of arthritis.
    The common blood test are done as follows:
    • Complete blood counts
    • Serum creatinine
    • ESR /CRP

  • This quadriceps muscle strengthening exercise helpful in early stages of OA.This exercise needs to be done regularly.

  • Usually OA doesn’t affect pregnant ladies.
  • The added weight during pregnancy may affect weight bearing joints mostly the hips, knees, or feet.
  • During pregnancy, some medications for treating OA may not be safe.
  • Patient’s should consult the doctor before taking medicines.