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Osteoarthritis

Also known as Degenerative Arthritis or Degenerative Joint disease or Osteoarthritis, is the most common joint disorder, which is due to aging and wear and tear on a joint.

 

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by joint damage. Age is the main cause of the joint damage leading to osteoarthritis. Other causes of joint damage include: -

  • Torn cartilage
  • Dislocated joints
  • Ligament injuries
  • Family history
  • Overweight
  • Poor posture

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are:

  • Inflammation
  • Pain in the joints
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling in the joints

The most common joints are:-

  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Spine
  • Neck
  • Lower Back
  • Hands

 Osteoarthritis Treatment

Management is primarily aimed at controlling the Osteoarthritis Symptoms:

SURGICAL OPTIONS

Depending upon the severity of the disease, surgery is done to replace or repair damaged joints.

Arthroscopic Surgery:

It is a common orthopaedic procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems in joints. Arthroscopic surgery could potentially be performed on any joint.

 Osteotomy 

Changing the alignment of a bone to relieve stress on the bone or joint. It is also one method to relieve pain in arthritis, especially of the hip and knee. It is replaced by Joint Replacement in older patients.

 Arthrodesis

The procedure which fuses the bones that form a joint, essentially eliminating the joint. The procedure is commonly referred to as joint fusion. It is usually performed on ankles and wrists, but it can be performed on other joints, including thumbs, toes, fingers, and the spine.

 Joint Replacement:

The abnormal bone and lining structures of the involved joint are removed surgically, and new parts are inserted in their places. These new parts may be made of special metal or plastic (certain forms of polyethylene) or specific kinds of carbon-coated implants. The new parts allow the joints to move again with little or no pain. Includes total or partial replacement of the damaged joint with an artificial joint (knee replacement, hip replacement, shoulder replacement, ankle replacement, and elbow replacement).

Braces

Splints and braces can sometimes support weakened joints. Some prevent the joint from moving; others allow some movement. They should be used only on Therapist recommendation.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help improve muscle strength and the motion of stiff joints, as well as a sense of balance. Massage therapy may also help provide short-term pain relief.

Lifestyle Changes
Staying active and getting exercise helps maintain joint and overall movement. Besides this, the following things are recommended.

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Getting rest
  • Losing weight if one is overweight
  • Protecting the joints