Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory degenerative joint disease that causes degeneration in the joints of the bone, particularly the cartilage and synovial fluid, eventually leading to friction between the joints causing pain and stiffness. It is a disorder of the articular cartilage associated with hyper- trophic changes in the bone, which mainly occurs in the weight bearing joints of the knee, spine and knee.

It a form of arthritis that is considered a wear and tear disease because the cartilage in the joint wears put overtime with stress. The pain is not the same for everybody with osteoarthritis, it varies with individual differences. Research has shown that there is no identified cause to osteoarthritis but some associated factors can lead to the occurrence of the disease.



 The risk factors of osteoarthritis are:

  1. Age; the risk of osteoarthritis increases with age
  2. Sex: Research has shown that women are most likely to develop osteoarthritis than mean which the reason is unknown.
  3. Obesity: People on the big side have more tendency of having osteoarthritis that people in the normal body mass index. An increased weight adds more stress to the weight bearing joints e.g. the spinal, hip and knee joints.
  4. Injuries and joint overuse: A joint injury that occurred and has healed can increase risk of having osteoarthritis.
  5. Genetics: osteoarthritis is hereditary and it plays a role in the development of osteoarthritis, especially in the hands.
  6. Bone deformities: individuals born with bone deformities have higher risk of developing osteoarthritis.
  7. Certain Metabolic diseases: condition in which your body has too much iron (hemochromatosis), put you at a high risk of having osteoarthritis and can result in damage to the cartilage leading to chronic deterioration.  Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are at the greater risk of developing osteoarthritis; also people with acromegaly or hyperthyroidism, the disease might have adverse effects on the bones and joints and can lead to osteoarthritis.


The signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis are listed below:

  1. Pain when moving the affected joints either on the hand, leg or hip joints.
  2. Joint stiffness
  3. Loss of flexibility in the affected areas
  4. Swelling
  5. Joint tenderness
  6. Bone spurs
  7. Grating or crackling or sensation in your joints
  8. Limited range of movements
  9. Weakness and muscle wasting (loss of muscle bulk)


  1. Ensure you exercise adequately to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis
  2. Avoid excessive stress so as not to overuse weight bearing joints
  3. Manage occupational risk, if your job allows you to have pain in the joints like kneeling, lifting, twisting and walking.
  4. Ensure your blood sugar is in the normal range so as not to put you at the risk of having osteoarthritis.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight so as not to put excessive stress on the joints which can speed up the deterioration of joint cartilage.
  6. Avoid injuries or get it treated immediately so as to reduce the risk of having osteoarthritis.


The diagnosis of osteoarthritis can be done in different ways which are listed below:

Imaging test

The test is a way of making access, to know what exactly is going on in an individual’s body so as to give appropriate diagnosis, the body tissues changes the energy patterns to make an image or a picture.

Imaging test done in regards of osteoarthritis is listed below:


The cartilage is not present when the x-ray is done on individuals with osteoarthritis, its only cartilage loss that is shown in the x-ray test carried out. It also shows bone sours in a joint, it is essential in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis.

 Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

It is a medical imaging technique that uses radio waves with a strong magnetic field to produce detailed information about bones, soft tissues and cartilage; even if it’s not commonly used in diagnosis of osteoarthritis it is mostly used in complex cases of osteoarthritis.

Physical examination

It is the process of evaluating objective anatomic findings through the use of observation, palpation, percussion, and auscultation to detect what’s wrong with the individual. It’s a great tool for diagnosis of osteoarthritis.


The treatment of osteoarthritis is listed below:

Medical therapy

Acetaminophen(Tylenol) and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(Ibuprofen ,Advil, Motrin IB, naproxen sodium (Aleve) are used for relieving pain and it is used to help some people with osteoarthritis that has mild to moderate pain. It is advised not to take overdose so as not to cause liver damage, take the recommended dose as prescribed by the doctor.

Physical, occupational and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) Therapy

These therapies are all used in reduction of pain felt by an individual with osteoarthritis to ensure the joints are not over stressed or over used. The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy uses a low-voltage electrical current to relieve pain.

Surgical  Therapy

The Surgical therapies done are

  • Knee Osteotomy
  • Knee comparisons
  • Joint replacement Surgery
  • Cortisone injections: Injections of a corticosteroid into your joint might relieve pain for a few weeks.
  • Realigning  bones


The complications of osteoarthritis are listed below:

  1. Gout
  2. Osteonecrosis
  3. Stress fractures
  4. Baker’s cyst
  5. Chondrocalcinosis: formation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in joint cartilage
  6. Rupture of tendons and ligaments around the joints.
  7. Bleeding inside joints
  8. Infection in the joint

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