Osteoarthritis is a common chronic condition affecting the joints. It can occur in any joint, especially the knees, hips, neck, lower back, the bottom of your thumb or big toe, and in the small joints of your fingers.
Osteoarthritis happens when the hyaline cartilage that covers and cushions the end of each bone breaks down, causing pain, swelling and movement difficulties and progressing to bone spurs and joint damage if it worsens.
Osteoarthritis may be caused by:
- Normal wear and tear due to ageing
- An old injury like a fractured bone
- Inflammatory diseases like Lyme disease
- Other forms of arthritis
- Other medical conditions like diabetes, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or haemochromatosis
- Obesity as the extra weight places more pressure on the joints
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A genetic predisposition.
Osteoarthritis is a condition we treat via:
- Arranging X-rays to determine the extent of your osteoarthritis
- Liaising with your GP over treatment options
- Fitting braces or orthotics to help you move more easily
- Developing an exercise program to improve agility, fitness, joint motion and muscle strength
- Helping you lose weight if you need to
- Helping prevent falls in older people.
- Gait scan