Month: February 2013

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time.

The most affected joins, are: hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips. Osteoarthritis affects just joints, not internal organs.

Risk factors :

  • Being overweight (extra weight causes more wear and tear)
  • Getting older (usually appear in middle age)
  • Fractures or other joint injuries
  • Certain occupations
  • Genetic factors
  • Other diseases which change cartilage structure(metabolic or hormonal disorders)
  • Your sex – Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men.

Signs and symptos:

  • Pain in the affected joint(s), that usually geting worse later, after time causing pain even at rest or limited motion.
  • Stiffnes, swelling, warmth, and creaking (crepitus) of the affected joints.
  • The ligaments and muscles around the joint become weaker and stiffer
  • Joint tenderness
  • Local inflammation
  • Limited range-of-motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Complete loss of the cartilage cushion causes friction between bones
  • Limping ( knee- or hip degeneration)
  • Progressive cartilage degeneration of the knee joints can lead to deformity and outward curvature of the knees,
  • Deformation of the small joints of the fingers and the toes
  • Heberden’s node, osteophyte formation

About treatment:

Treatments include physical therapy, medicines and sometimes surgery.

The goal of treatment is :

  • to reduce joint pain
  • to reduce inflammation
  • improving and maintaining joint function with physical therapy.
  • sometimes, the pain, limping, and joint dysfunction may not respond to medications and physical therapy, they need total knee replacement (surgical procedures) Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee replacement
  • Physical therapy is an essential part of rehabilitation after total knee replacement.
  • Weight loss if patient is overweight