The Pain of Osteoarthritis

swollen knee

Arthritis

Onset is gradual and usually begins after the age of 40. There is currently no cure for Osteoarthritis. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving function.

Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint as well as bony overgrowth. The breakdown of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness. The joints most commonly affected are the knees, hips, and those in the hands and spine. The specific causes of osteoarthritis are unknown, but are believed to be a result of both mechanical and molecular events in the affected joint. Disease onset is gradual and usually begins after the age of 40. There is currently no cure for OA. Treatment for OA focuses on relieving symptoms and improving function, and can include a combination of patient education, physical therapy, weight control, and use of medications.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. About 80% of patients with Osteoarthritis have some degree of movement limitation.

Incidence rates increase with age, and level off around age 80. Women have higher rates than men, especially after age 50.

Knee and hip joint replacement procedures accounted for 35% of total arthritis-related procedures during hospitalization.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is 1 of 5 leading causes of disability among non-institutionalized adults and about 40% of them reported their health “poor” or “fair”.

For more information and resources on Osteoarthritis, please visit the CDC Website.

Photo: assiramnes