Osteoarthritis

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  • 14 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Think of walking in stiff, hard shoes both without socks. Or, if said shoes are handy, do so. While socks provide cushioning (and contain odor), you'll notice they also provide a buffer to absorb the friction that would occur if the shoe rubbed up against your skin. Without the sock, your exposed skin would rub against the shoe, get irritated, blister, and become inflamed.

    It's the same concept with your joints. As you lose your internal sock-meaning as that slippery, shock-absorbing cartilage between your bones thins--bones lose their ability to slide and they can rub directly against each other. When that happens, the effect is like stick on stick-and it hurts.

    In simple form, that's what osteoarthritis is. It's a condition in which the cartilage that covers the bones and forms the surface of the joints becomes thinner, rougher, and less protective of the bone, so the bones grind against each other, and the joint becomes inflamed. It's painful and makes walking-or any kind of moving-difficult.

    Osteoarthritis can occur in any of your joints, including your hands, hips, and spine, and your knees-which can be most troublesome. In fact, 85 percent of us who reach age 85 will have knee osteoarthritis if we don't do something to prevent it.

    Unlike osteoporosis, osteoarthritis is a disease that you will feel-often-in the form of mild to severe pain, creaking, or swelling and stiffness in your joints.

    Many things can make osteoarthritis more likely, including bad posture, overuse, heredity, obesity, lack of calcium, and lack of vitamin D and vitamin C. Luckily, you can prevent progression of the osteoporosis, and even reverse it, by following the right anti-aging guidelines.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Osteoarthritis is only one kind of arthritis. Arthritis is the broad name given to any inflammatory joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis and some other forms of arthritis are not diseases as associated with aging, but rather auto-immune disorders, in which antibodies attack your cartilage, which is what triggers that inflammation and joint pain.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Currently, osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million Americans and that number is expected to grow to 40 million by 2020, making it one of the most common health problems in the country. And though MRIs will show that 85 percent of us will have osteoarthritis by age 85, only about 50 percent of us will have the symptoms. When arthritis is detected by x-ray alone, it's usually not a problem, but when there's pain associated with it, there is. Not all arthritis shows up on x-rays and not all painful arthritis means there's significant joint damage.
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    A answered
    Most people don't wake up one day and suddenly have symptoms of osteoarthritis. Instead, the signs usually come on more gradually. At first, you may start to notice that your joints, such as your knees, feel stiff when you get out of bed in the morning or after you sit for a long time. You may have trouble opening jars or fastening buttons because your fingers are swollen. Or you may notice your elbow doesn't move as smoothly through your backhand in tennis. This soreness and stiffness may later become pain that gets more persistent or worse as the day goes on. Joints may swell or produce a crunching sensation when you move.
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    With osteoarthritis, the cartilage that supports and cushions the joints of the hands, spine, hips, and knees wears away and causes the bones to rub against each other. This leads to debilitating pain, inflammation, swelling, stiffness and reduced mobility. The rubbing of the bones may cause bone spurs and deformities of the joint. The pain of osteoarthritis often makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as taking a bath. Kneeling, bending, sitting or standing may also become difficult. A doctor can recommend treatments to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. 
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    A Rheumatology, answered on behalf of
    Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease primarily affecting the synovial joints causing significant pain, swelling, and significant morning stiffness. Although it primarily affects the joints, it can affect virtually any tissue or organ given that it is a systemic condition. Treatment consists of immunomodulators. In contrast, osteoarthritis results in degenerative changes from mechanical stress and trauma and is treated supportively. 
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    The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is usually based on multiple factors, including your doctor's evaluation and X-rays. There is not a specific test that can tell you whether or not you have osteoarthritis. The diagnosis is primarily based on the history you provide to the doctor. In osteoarthritis, it is typical to have a slow onset of symptoms that gradually worsen over time. X-rays can be helpful by showing that the joint space is becoming smaller, and sometimes finds evidence of bone spurs. Occasionally, a small sample of the joint fluid can be obtained, which can suggest that osteoarthritis is more likely than other types of arthritis.
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    If you have been diagnosed with or believe you have osteoarthritis, you should discuss your symptoms with your doctor. There are different treatment options depending on the stage of disease. Additionally, other disease processes should be evaluated with the use of a physical exam, tests and imaging.
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    Osteoarthritis is sometimes called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease because the condition is characterized by a wearing down of the joints. Aging, injuries, repetitive motions and some genetic conditions can cause the cartilage that supports and cushions the joints of the hands, spine, hips and knees to wear away. This causes the bones to rub against each other causing deformities of the joint, which is a telltale sign of OA. The result is pain, stiffness and reduced mobility that can make it difficult to work and perform normal activities such as climbing stairs and getting up from a seated position.
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  • 1 Answer
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    A , Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    There are several possibilities. The most common cause is a small benign nodule called a Heberden's node which forms along with osteoarthritis at the tip of the finger. A similar nodule called Bouchard's node forms over the PIP joint in the middle of the finger.

    These nodules are an early sign of arthritis and the arthritis may not be painful at this stage.

    Other causes may include ganglion cysts or "knuckle pads" which are associated with a problem called Dupuytren's disease.