What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs most often in older people. This disease affects the tissue covering the ends of bones in a joint (cartilage). In a person with osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged and worn out causing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in the affected joint. Although osteoarthritis may affect various joints including hips, knees, hands, and spine, hip joint is most commonly affected. Rarely, the disease may affect the shoulders, wrists and feet.
Osteoarthritis is characterised by damaged articular cartilage, cartilage lining the hip joint. Advanced age is one of the most common reasons for osteoarthritis of hip. You may also develop osteoarthritis if you had hip injury or fracture in the past, if you have family history of osteoarthritis, suffering from hip diseases such as avascular necrosis and other congenital or developmental hip diseases.
Nonsurgical treatment options for arthritis include medications (anti-inflammatories), injections (steroids), physical therapy, weight loss, orthotics such as pads or arch supports, and canes or braces to support the joints.
Surgery may be required to treat arthritis if your symptoms do not get better with conservative treatments. Surgery performed for arthritis includes arthroscopy, arthroplasty or joint replacement, and arthrodesis or fusion.
Although there is no cure for arthritis, you can take steps to significantly alleviate your symptoms. Successful treatment of arthritis depends on getting an early diagnosis, the type of arthritis, your general health, cooperation with the treatment plan and making positive lifestyle changes.
What Do I Do Next?
If you think you have symptoms of arthritis, it is prudent to get it evaluated and treated before your condition progresses to permanent joint damage and disability. You can visit your primary doctor or an orthopaedic specialist or rheumatologist who specialises in arthritis and bone and joint health.