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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that affects joints including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles.

It may include inflammation of the tissue around a joint, damage to joint surface cartilage, bony spurs growing around the edge of a joint and/or deterioration of ligaments and tendons that control the joint. Osteoarthritis may affect any joint, but occurs most often in the knees, hips, finger joints and big toe. It tends to be more common in people aged over 40 years or those who have had joint injuries.

The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness of the joints and are usually worst with activity. These symptoms may affect your ability to do normal daily activities. Others include clicking noises, grating sensations, or a loss of movement in a joint.

Some things that may put you at more risk of developing OA in certain joints are:

•  Knees: being overweight, a previous knee injury, repeated kneeling, climbing, and squatting

•  Hips: being overweight, a previous hip injury, repeated lifting of heavy loads, family history of OA

•  Hands: family history of OA, repetitive use or previous injuries to the hands, being overweight.

Treatment depends on which joints are affected and the severity of the condition. Each treatment has its own benefits and risks and you may need to trial several treatments before finding the one that assists you.

In general terms, treatment usually includes:

• A weight loss program, if you are overweight

•  An exercise program for you generally and your joints, tailored to your condition and ability

•  Pain management, with medicines and learning about managing your pain

•  Devices such as braces, walking sticks, and shoe insoles

•  Joint replacement surgery, if your symptoms are no longer controlled with other therapies.

Read more about:

•  Hip replacement, anterior hip replacement and robotic hip replacement

•  Total knee replacement and partial knee replacement

•  Shoulder arthritis and shoulder joint replacement



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