Osteoarthritis is also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease and OA

Is a joint disease that is often seen as the degradation of Joints.

Falls under the general category of – Arthritis

Cartilage and subchondral bone are often involved.

Often cartilage protects the bone and when it is gone, subchondral bone is exposed and damaged.

Loss of muscle mass [atrophy] may result because lack of use.

Inflammation may be seen but it is not a principal feature of this disease.

But this disease must not be confused with Rheumatoid Arthritis which is an autoimmune disease

Joints Affected:

1.) Hands
2.) Feet
3.) Spine
4.) Hips
5.) Knees
6.) Fingers
7.) Toes
8.) Others

Symptoms

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Worsening pain when cold
  • Tenderness
  • Creaking [crepitus]
  • Locking of joints
  • Pain with movement
  • Difficulty walking

Heberden’s nodes and Bouchard’s nodes – which are nodes in the joints of the fingers can be seen

Timeline

  • Often seen in “older” men and women
  • OA takes time to develop
  • Affects 27 million Americans
  • Affects 8 million in United Kingdom
  • On average 80% of people will have finding by age 65
  • Only 60% will have symptoms

Types

1.) Primary

  • Chronic degenerative disorder
  • Age may be related
  • Some older individuals may have no arthritis

2.) Secondary

  • Causes are secondary to the disease
  • Resulting is the same for Primary
  • Resulting from injury to obesity and others

Causes or Relations

  • Mechanical stress on joints
  • Congenital causes
  • Pathogenic causes
  • Overweight
  • Loss of muscle strength supporting joints
  • Injury
  • Trauma
  • Related to Aging
  • Inflammation diseases
  • Genetic relation

Diagnosis

  • Labs are nor specific and are not accepted for diagnostic purposes
  • Clinical examination is essential
  • Confirmation is done through X-rays

Treatment

1.) Lifestyle Changes or Modifications

  • Weight control
  • Appropriate sleep and rest
  • Exercise
  • Walking and Swimming are recommended
  • Devices to help with mechanical movement
  • Knee braces and other braces
  • Heat and cold packs as needed

2.) Exercise, Stretching and professional visits

  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Chiropractors
  •   – each may be beneficial in teaching stretching and exercise techniques

Improvement can be seen in:

  • Gait
  • Functionality
  • Strength
  • Decreased pain
  • and others

3.) Medication

.  Tylenol [Paracetamol]
.  Ibuprofen
.  Other NSAIDs
.  Celebrex [celecoxib]
.  Oral Steroids
.  Opioid medications in severe cases
.  Topical treatment as well – Creams and lotions

 

4.) Surgery

  • Joint replacement may be helpful

5.) Alternative

  • Acupuncture
  • Glucosamine/Chondroitin
  • Ginger
  • Bromelain
  • Vitamin B9 and B12
  • Others
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