Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint inflammation, which is common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can happen when you have a breakdown of the cartilage at end of bones. It happens usually if you overstretch or overuse yourself, and inflammation and pain can be sometimes severe, and it affects knees, lower back, hands, hips and knees.
Osteoarthritis has no cure, and as it progresses, symptoms and pain are worsened, but with the right kind of treatment and therapy, you can remain to lead an active life, manage your pain, and get control over your symptoms.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis may appear slowly, and then get worse over time. These symptoms include:
- Stiffness, that you can feel in the joints in the morning, or after a period of inactivates.
- Tenderness, in your joints, after light pressure in applied on them.
- Bone spurs, which is hard lumps that form around your painful joints.
- Loss of flexibility, in which case your movement and motions of the affected joints are limited.
- Pain, in your affected joints, when you move them.
- Grating sensations, in cases when you use or move your joint.
As we said before, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but with right kinds of treatment, you can manage your joint pain, and lead an active life. Therapy for osteoarthritis may include medicaments and surgery.
There are several surgical procedures, that can be applied, depending of progress of your osteoarthritis;
Fusing bones (arthrodesis) is a surgical procedure in which surgeon permanently fuse joint’s bones, in order to reduce pain and increase stability of the joint. After that, joint is stable and can endure excessive weight pressure, but has no flexibility.
Joint replacement (arthroplasty), is a surgical procedure for osteoarthritis, in which part of your affected joint surface is removed, and replaced with prostheses, metal or plastic. This has been standard surgical procedure for years, especially for knees and hips, and thanks to implants advancement, today you can replace affected parts of your elbows, shoulder or ankle joints, as well. These prostheses will last you for years, and help you lead normal life.
Realigning bones (osteotomy), is a procedure performed in order to relieve pain. It is usually performed on younger people, where there is no alternative to replace joint. It is usually performed in your knees.
Viscosupplementation are pain relief injections of derivates of hyaluronic acid. They provide some kind of cushions in your knee, thus reliving your pain.
There is also a medication for osteoarthritis; most of them are pain killer drugs, like NSAIDs, Acetaminophen, Cortisone injections, Tramadol and others. Some of them are prescribed, others, you may by yourself in pharmacies. Many of these medicaments have problematic side effects, so make sure that you are well informed you about it.