Ottawa Health Clinics - Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease normally known as degenerative arthritis. This group of illnesses consists of some mechanical irregularities that involve the degradation of joints; like for example the sub-chondral bone and articular cartilage. Indications of OA can commonly consist of: stiffness, locking, tenderness, joint pain and at times an effusion.
There different causes for Osteoarthritis. For example metabolic, mechanical, hereditary or developmental reasons may initiate processes responsible to loss of cartilage. Bone can become damaged or exposed when bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage. This can lead to much pain and less movement, ligaments can become more lax and regional muscles may atrophy.
There are various treatments offered which combine a combination of exercise, lifestyle modification and analgesics. Joint replacement surgery can be an option for people who find debilitating pain. OA is the most common kind of arthritis. It affects around 27 million people within the United States and roughly 8 million within the United Kingdom. Presently, it is the leading cause of chronic disability of the United States also.
Signs and Symptoms
With Osteoarthritis, the main symptom is pain that can result in loss of ability and extreme pain. The pain is normally described as a sensation of burning or by sharp aches within the tendons and muscles. Crepitus is the term for a crackling noise when the affected joint is touched or moved. Patients may also experience contractions in the tendons and muscle spasm. Sometimes, the joints may also be filled with fluid. Cold climate and humidity increases the pain in lots of people. Bouchard's nodes and Heberden's nodes can also form in this sickness.
OA usually affects the hands, spine, feet, knees and hips however, whichever joint could be affected. As Osteoarthritis progresses, the affected joints become stiff and painful and appear bigger. The affected joints can feel worse with prolonged or excessive use, yet normally feel better with gentle use. These characteristics distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from OA.
Herberden's nodes are bony, hard enlargements that can take place in smaller joints as in the fingers. These nodes are normally found on the distal interphalangeal joints in the fingers. Bouchard's nodes can likewise happen on the proximal interphalangeal joints. Although these nodes can considerably limit the movement of the fingers, they are not necessarily painful. When Osteoarthritis forms within the toes, the formation of bunions can take place, rendering them red and swollen.
Joint effusion, which is an accumulation of excess fluid in or around the knee joint, referred most normally as "water on the knee;" is most commonly caused by osteoarthritis.
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