Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What You Should Know About Osteoarthritis? (Part 1)

Do you have persistent knee pain? Are you in your late 40's? 
One of the possible cause is osteoarthritis.

Let's look at some of the basic information about osteoarthritis here.

What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that affects the joints, causing pain and stiffness. The surfaces within your joints become damages so the joint doesn’t move as smoothly as it should. This condition is also called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear”. It’s by far the most common form of joint disease, affecting people all over the world and estimated approximately 1.7 million people in Malaysia.

What happen in osteoarthritis?
When a joint develops osteoarthritis, some of the cartilage (a thick, spongy layer that covered the ends of the bones that act as shock absorber to provide cushioning and distribute the load of body weight equally) gradually roughens and becomes thin, and the bone underneath thickens. All the tissues within the joint become more active than normal – as if your body is trying to repair the damage:
  • The bone at the edge of the joint grows outwards, forming bony spurs called osteophytes
  • The synovium (a thin membrane that lined the joint capsule) may thicken and produce extra inflammatory fluid, which cause joint swelling
  • The joint capsule and ligaments slowly thicken and contract as if they were trying to stabilize the joint, which cause joint stiffness
Changes of knee joint in osteoarthritis

X-ray of knee: normal (Figure 1) and osteoarthritis (Figure 2)

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Symptoms may include:
  • Joint pain which tends to be worse when you move the joint or at the end of the day
  • Joint stiffness after prolonged inactivity or rest and wears off after a minute or two as you move
  • Creaking or cracking sound (crepitus) when the joint moves
  • Joint swelling
  • Unable to use the affected joint normally or difficulty to do certain activities (for example climbing stairs, squatting)
  • Giving away or joint instability
Almost any joint can develop osteoarthritis, but it most often affects the knees, hips, spines, hand and big toes.

Common joints that involved in osteoarthritis

Who gets it?
Almost anyone can get osteoarthritis but it’s more likely in:
  • Elderly more than 50 years
  • Women
  • Individual with family history of osteoarthritis
  • Individual which is overweight or obese
  • Individual with previous joint injury (common cause for athletes)
  • Individual with physically demanding job where repetitive movement is required
  • Individual with other joint disease eg. gout or rheumatoid arthritis 

Please follow us to know more about osteoarthritis in Part 2 of the review tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Useful information shared..I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk-through.

    Tampa pain management clinic providing the best of services.