What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is wear and tear damage to the articulating surface of the joint Damage to the cartilage of the joint leads to exposure of the underlying bone
What causes osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is mostly caused by wear and tear of ageing process, but excessive weight, extreme physical activity, or repetitive manual tasks can make it worse. The exact cause of Osteoarthritis is unknown, but it is often linked to genetic predispositions and injuries to the joint. Inflammation of the joint, diet, and damage to the bone underneath the cartilage which supplies the cartilage with nutrition all contribute to the degenerative changes of osteoarthritis.
What are the symptoms?
Pain on movement or weight bearing, such as standing/ walking, in case the of hip and knee osteoarthritis is the commonest complaint, but most osteoarthritic joints are asymptomatic. Stiffness and swelling are the next most common symptoms. Experiencing the feeling of 'joint giving away', clicking, and grinding are common along with weakness of associated muscle through pain mediated mechanism which causes loss of strength.
What treatments are available?
There is no cure for Osteoarthritis, but there are a variety of treatments available. If the disease is identified early some of the joint can be preserved through simple, but consistent lifestyle changes such as weight loss. Oral supplements like glucosamine sulphate, Paracetamol and Anti inflammatory medications can help manage joint pain.
What Surgical Treatments are available?
There are number of methods of treatment options available:
- Joint “Clean Up” – Arthroscopy or Open
- Remove the ends of bones that form the joint (False joint)
- Fuse the two bones together (one mass of bone no movement)
- Replacement of articulating ends of bones with metal, plastic or other materials (eg: Hip or Knee Joint Replacement)
- Realignment of joint by cutting and resetting bones so that weight is shifted away from the worn side of the joint to good side of the joint (Osteotomy of the knee)
What is the best treatment that fits me?
That depends on many factors such as affected joint, age, functional requirements and longevity of each procedure.
You will need to discuss with Mr Dayananda to have an informed decision on surgical treatment for your arthritic joint.