Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is generally called "wear and tear" arthritis. In most of the cases, cartilage in the joints breaks down as the age progresses, resulting in Osteoarthritis. This disease mostly affects the knees, hips, hands and fingers and spine. Wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles could also be affected.
Pain, swelling or tenderness in one or more joints.
Stiffness after prolonged periods of inactivity such as sleeping or sitting.
Pain and inflammation when the affected joint is used.
Crunching feeling or the sound of bone rubbing on bone, also known as crepitus when the affected joint is used.
Here are some factors that may increase your risk of developing OA:
Joint injury or overuse as a result of physical labor or sports.
Overweight or obesity.
Joint Alignment: Conditions such as bowlegs, dislocated hips, or double-jointedness.
Osteoarthritis diagnosis (Diagnosis criteria)
The two tests that help to diagnose Osteoarthritis and determine the extent of joint damage are:
X-rays. X-rays can help the doctor determine whether the patient has Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis. X-rays of the affected joints would indicate cartilage loss, bone damage, and bone spurs that are likely to develop on the surface of normal bones.
Joint Aspiration. In this method, the doctor would extract and examine synovial fluid (the liquid that lubricates the joints) from one or more affected joints using a needle.