Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis (OA)?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, and is characterized by the breakdown of join cartilage- leading to pain, stiffness, and disability.  It is sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis.  OA mostly occurs in the hands, hips, and knees. It is especially common among older people.  It may progress quickly, but for most people, joint damage develops gradually over years.

 

Risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include: 

  • Getting older
  • Being overweight
  • Joint injury or overuse
  • Genetic defects

 

Warning signs of OA include:

  • Joint stiffness after getting out of bed or sitting for a long period
  • Swelling or tenderness in joint(s)
  • Crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing bone

 

Diagnosis.  There is no single test to diagnose OA, multiple methods are used to diagnose and rule out other issues:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • X rays
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Other tests (blood tests, exams of fluid in the joints)

 

Treatment of osteoarthritis depends on the needs of the patients, but should do the following:

  • Improve joint function
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Control pain
  • Develop a healthy lifestyle

 

# OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) BY THE NUMBERS #
  • Estimated to affect 630 million people worldwide

  • About 27 million people in the United States have OA

  • Affects approximately 10% of men and 13% of women age 60 and older

  • Before age 45, more men than women have osteoarthritis

 
 
 
knee joint xray
 
 
 
 

Sources:

  •  "Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 02 Feb. 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
  •  National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
  •  "Osteoarthritis - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
 
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