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.
Osteoarthritis is diagnosed by your physician after reviewing an X-Ray. Common findings include loss of joint cartilage, narrowing of joint space, and the formation of bone spurs. There are no blood tests to diagnose osteoarthritis.
The most common osteoarthritis symptom is pain in the affected joint. However, other symptoms can include loss of flexibility, swelling, bone spurs, stiffness, and a grating sensation in the joint.
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis cannot be reversed but it can be managed and there are preventative actions you can take to slow the progression. Limiting high impact activities, eating healthy and exercising regularly can help reduce the rate of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, as the degeneration of the joint cannot be reversed. However, you can reduce the acceleration by limiting high impact activities, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. If your pain from osteoarthritis cannot be controlled by conservative treatments, your options are knee replacement or non-invasive High-energy Shockwave Therapy.
Osteoarthritis most commonly occurs in weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees; but is also common in hands, lower back, neck, and feet. However, osteoarthritis can affect any joint. It does not affect other organs in your body.
Both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis cause pain, affect mobility, and are age related; but they are different diseases. Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of your joint while osteoporosis is a loss of bone mass, which causes your bones to become weak and brittle.
While osteoarthritis does not cause death directly, if left unaddressed, it can progress to a debilitating disease. If allowed to become severe, osteoarthritis can put you at risk for other illnesses and health risks.