What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and sub chondral bone. In a healthy knee, the ends of the thigh bone, the shin bone, and the knee cap are covered by a layer of articular cartilage. This cartilage acts as a cushion and provides a smooth, gliding surface for the movement of the knee.
Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint. 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 (OA) is the most common kind of arthritis. It is a joint disease caused by “wear and tear.” Healthy cartilage — the firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints — allows bones to glide over one another, while cartilage absorbs energy from the physical movement. In OA, cartilage breaks down and wears away. As a result, the bones rub together causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
It is a common condition, especially as you get older. Symptoms tend to show up when people are in their 50s and 60s, although an injury to a joint or overuse (such as some athletes might experience) can cause OA when you are younger.