Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the articular cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone that causes pain and loss of function to the affected joint. The subchondral bone is the bone directly adjacent to the cartilage that provides the blood supply and nourishment to the cartilage.
As Osteoarthritis progresses over time, the subchondral bone sclerosis sets in and the cartilage can completely wear away leading to bone-on-bone and additional damage and pain. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis treatments usually progress from NSAIDs to viscosupplements or cortisone injections to joint replacement. A joint replacement is where the cartilage and subchondral bone are removed and replaced with plastic or metal. It is normally reserved for patients over 60.
Another option for the treatment of mild to severe osteoarthritis for those that wish to avoid injections and replacement is OsteoWave® High-energy Shockwave Therapy, The FDA approved non-invasive treatment that can eliminate pain and increase function from osteoarthritis.