What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability in the elderly. The cartilage (smooth glistening lining at the end of long bones) gets worn out with age leading to disability and pain on walking.

Osteoarthritis is actually “Joint Failure”

worn out cartilage at end of thigh bone in advanced Osteoarthritis of knee joint

Osteoarthritis is actually “Joint Failure”

Old age, female sex, obesity, previous knee injury, deformed lower limbs and muscle weakness are common risk factors for developing osteoarthritis.
The major symptoms are pain, stiffness in joints, swollen joints, grating sensation and deformity.
The diagnosis is made based upon symptomatology and changes of joint space narrowing on weight bearing radiographs.

Normal radiograph of the knee

joint on left and knee radiograph with advanced osteoarthritic changes with joint space narrowing on right side

Treatment

In early arthritis, weight loss, lifestyle modification, muscle strengthening exercises, ambulatory assisted devices may be helpful. Medical management includes use of anti-inflammatory medications for pain relief, glucosamines and intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid or steroids.
Surgical treatment is indicated in cases where medical management fails. Total knee replacement is the surgical treatment of choice.