Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common

degenerative joint disease

where the cartilage between joints breaks down leading to pain, swelling and stiffness. Certain conditions are known to increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis including being overweight, injury and overuse. Osteoarthritis can occur at any time however it is more likely to affect people later in life. Osteoarthritis is generally diagnosed according to symptoms however viewing the affected joints through

x-ray

or

MRI

scans can confirm the diagnosis.

Physiotherapists

can assess patients and advise on appropriate exercises to help relieve symptoms.

Occupational therapists

advise on ways to adapt the patient’s environment such as including handrails in the patients home to assist with

mobility

. When the osteoarthritis has progressed to causing severe pain and joint damage, surgery by an

orthopaedic surgeon

may be the best course of treatment. Surgeries include whole

joint replacements

of the knee and hip or partial replacements of joints such as the elbow, wrist, shoulder or ankle are sometimes possible.

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