Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over each other. It also helps absorb shock of movement. In osteoarthritis, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together. The rubbing causes pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint. Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape. Also, bone spurs may grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bone or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space, which causes more pain and damage.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by aging joints, injury, and obesity. OA symptoms include joint pain and stiffness. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine. The chances of osteoarthritis increases with age, weight, joint injuries and certain occupations where the chances of joint injuries are more.
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.