Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by the wear and tear of the cartilage that cushions the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it most commonly occurs in the hips, knees, and hands.
Osteoarthritis is believed to develop as the result of a combination of factors, including genetics, aging, obesity, and a history of joint injury or overuse. Osteoarthritis is more common in older adults, but it can also affect younger individuals who have a history of joint injury or a family history of the condition.
What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
The symptoms of OA can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the joint affected. Common symptoms include:
Pain: A dull, aching pain in the affected joint that can become more severe with activity and improve with rest.
Stiffness: Joints affected by OA may feel stiff, especially in the morning or after sitting for a long period.
Swelling: Inflammation and swelling in the affected joint.
Limited range of motion: OA can make it difficult to move the affected joint through its full range of motion.
Creaking or grating: Some people may hear a creaking or grating sound when moving the affected joint.
What treatment methods are available for Osteoarthritis?
There are a variety of orthopedic treatments available for OA, including non-surgical and surgical options. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve mobility, and slow the progression of the disease.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve flexibility, strength, and endurance in the affected joint. This can help to reduce pain and improve mobility.
Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Other medications may also be used to manage certain symptoms.
Lifestyle changes: Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding repetitive motions that can aggravate the joint, and using assistive devices (such as canes or walkers) can help to reduce the symptoms of Osteoarthritis.
Joint replacement: In severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be necessary. During this procedure, the damaged joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic joint.
Arthroscopy: Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used to remove damaged cartilage or bone spurs.
Osteotomy: Osteotomy is a surgical procedure in which a small section of the affected bone is removed or reshaped in order to relieve pressure on the joint.