What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis. This occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones wears down over time due to aging and preforming the same task repetitively for years like a construction worker who carries heavy objects. Osteoarthritis can occur anywhere in the body, but it especially occurs on weight-bearing joints like the knees, back, hips, and hands.  Osteoarthritis could affect single or multiple joints, and could also be generalized. For a more in-depth review of osteoarthritis, click here to watch this video. 

What are the risk factors for developing Osteoarthritis?

  • Obesity 
  • Older age 
  • Sex: Women 
  • Genetics 
  • Injuries to joints 
  • Repeated stress over joints 
  • Diabetes 
  • Hemochromatosis 

What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Common findings of osteoarthritis are pain, stiffness, tenderness, lack of range of motion, popping or crackling sensation when bending, swelling and bone spurs, or extra growth of bone around the joints. To see a picture of a normal joint, compared to an osteoarthritic joint- click here

How to diagnose Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is mainly diagnosed with history. A health care provider may suspect you have osteoarthritis if you are older than 45, have morning stiffness in the affected joint for less than 30 minutes and you have a long-standing history of overuse of the affected joint. A health care provider less commonly may want to order an Xray to confirm the diagnosis of Osteoarthritis 


  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Psoriatic arthritis 
  • Crystalline arthritis 
  • Hemochromatosis 

How to manage Osteoarthritis? 

Some conservative therapies include the use of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or Aleve combined with losing weight. Other forms of therapy that may provide some relief are physical therapy to gain strength in the muscles surrounding the joint or occupational therapy to figure out new ways to perform tasks that you can no longer do. If these things do not work for you, you may consult your provider about cortisone injections to relieve the pain. The last line for treatment is a joint replacement, where your surgeon may the damaged joint and replace it with plastic or metal. To learn more about knee replacement surgeries, click here.

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