© 2017 OA Knee Pain. All Rights Reserved.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (also known as arthrosis, osteoarthrosis or OA) is a degenerative disease, which causes the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones to wear down, causing pain, swelling and problems with mobility. This is a result of the protective fluid in your joint losing its shock-absorbing abilities, causing bones to rub against each other.

The condition is sometimes referred to as 'wear and tear' and causes the bones to thicken and stick out, a symptom know as spurs. OA will also cause the capsules and ligaments, bands that hold the joint together, to thicken along with extra fluid in the joint resulting in swelling. These symptoms are a result of the body attempting to repair the joint; something that can sometimes occur relatively pain free. In severe cases, the cartilage can become so thin that it doesn't cover the end of the bone leaving it exposed and consequently changing the shape of the joint due to the excessive wearing away of the bone and the presence of bony spurs.

Any joint in the body can be affected by OA but the most common damage is found in the knees, hips, lower back, neck, fingers and toes.

For further information on the condition, take a look at the "What is Osteoarthritis of the Knee" guide from Arthritis Research UK which offers a comprehensive review of the condition and how the charity can help sufferers.

Who can be affected?

There is no direct cause of OA and almost anyone can get the condition, including children. However, you’re more likely to suffer OA if you fall under any of the following categories:

  • You are a women
  • You are 40 years old or older
  • Your parents have had OA
  • You are overweight
  • You have had a previous joint injury
  • You are in a physically demanding job
  • Your joints have been affected by another disease, for example, gout or rheumatoid arthritis

For more information on the conditions that can cause OA, click here.

What Is Osteoarthritis - Osteoarthritis Knee - OA Knee Pain What Is Osteoarthritis? - Osteoarthritis Knee

Types of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. Other types of arthritis that cause pain and inflammation in the joints include:

To find out how the different types of arthritis can affect your joints, take a look at our Types of Arthritis page.

Common symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The most common symptoms of OA are pain and stiffness in the joint, with some people experiencing swelling, tenderness and a grating sound when using the damaged joint.

The severity of symptoms differs from person to person with some feeling mild discomfort that can come and go and others suffering continuous debilitating pain, which can make it difficult to go about their daily activities.

If you’re showing the symptoms of OA, you should make an appointment with your GP who can diagnose the condition and prescribe relevant treatment.

Read more here about the symptoms of OA.

What Is Osteoarthritis - Knee OA - OA Knee Pain Knee OA causes pain and stiffness in the affected knee joint

Diagnosing and treating Osteoarthritis

Your GP can usually diagnose OA based on your symptoms and a physical examination of your joints. However, your doctor may also ask for a blood test, X-ray or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. For more information on diagnosing OA, visit our ‘Diagnosis’ page.

Even though OA is a long-term, incurable condition, treatments can be prescribed to ease the symptoms, improve the condition and prevent it from getting worse. There are a number of treatment options available, including non-surgical solutions, such as exercising, bracing and medication, as well as surgical solutions, like arthroscopy, tibial osteotomy and full knee replacements.

To find out more about the different types of treatment available for OA, take a look at ‘What are my Options?'

What Is Osteoarthritis - Osteoarthritis Of The Knee - OA Knee Pain An x-ray or MRI can be used to help diagnose osteoarthritis of the knee

Useful Links

There are multiple studies available online relating to osteoarthritis.

Visit https://www.pubmed.de/gateway/nlm-pubmed/ and use the search term “knee osteoarthritis therapy” (with over 800 pages of results).

How would you rate the information on this page? (Your feedback is greatly appreciated)

What next?

Sign up to the OA Knee Pain newsletter

OA Knee Pain Social Board

Bringing you the latest news, research and treatment breakthroughs from the world of osteoarthritis

Visit our blog

Filter
  • twitter
  • blog
#

Stages of Recovery from Knee Replacement


The knee is a vital joint that enables movement and stability in the leg. If the health of the knee is affected and other treatments have not given relief, the entire joint may be replaced with surgery. It can take months to recover after this type of surgery, and it may even be a year before the knee has full strength and endurance, so it is not an operation to undergo lightly. However for those whose knees are worn, damaged or causing great pain, a knee replacement can give great relief.

#

​Remarkable surgical techniques involved in a hip replacement?


Hip osteoarthritis is a condition that affects around 11% of the UK population over the age of 45. It is caused by a loss of cartilage around the hip joint, and this results in pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. While age is the biggest factor in developing hip osteoarthritis, other factors such as being overweight or not taking enough exercise can also play a role. After someone has been diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis, hip replacement surgery might be prescribed. This procedure may sound drastic but is actually relatively straightforward and not as invasive as it sounds.

#

​Joint pain – do’s & don’ts


If the knee, the hip or other joints are troubling you then here are a few “Do’s and don’ts” you should consider which can influence the progression of your osteoarthritis.

#

Knee arthroscopy versus tibial osteotomy versus knee replacement surgery


All these options have different benefits and are suitable for different requirements and scenarios. A treatment that has been deemed suitable for your friend may be completely inappropriate for you as all treatment options are dependent entirely upon your unique medical circumstances (even your social circumstances).

#

The OA knee


OA is the shortening for osteoarthritis, a condition whereby a sufferer develops problems with movement in the knee joint, including pain and stiffness. Read on to discover more about the symptoms of this condition, the probable causes, possible complications, treatments and ways to live with the condition comfortably.

#

Why is it important to focus on multiple treatment options simultaneously?


Because there is no stand-out, totally effective single treatment for osteoarthritis, people with the condition often find it best to put together a personal portfolio of treatments that will work together to help relieve pain and improve mobility. The combination that works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to understand what’s available, how effective it is and whether it will help your personal condition.

#

What are the top 10 most common causes of osteoarthritis?


Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a degenerative joint condition that affects over 8 million people in the UK. This disease is the most common form of arthritis, and is particularly prevalent amongst the older population. Affecting the cartilage in a joint, osteoarthritis can result in pain, stiffness and reduced mobility.

#

National Arthritis Week 2017


The week commencing 9th October 2017 is National Arthritis Awareness week, a campaign run by Arthritis Research UK with the aim of raising awareness of Arthritis and the impact that is has on the UK.