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Osteoarthritis is an ongoing, progressive disease that affects the joints of the body as the cartilage of joints breaks down over time. Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease.
The joints of the body are the areas where two of more bones meet. In these places, the ends of the bones are protected by a tissue called cartilage, which helps bones to move easily without wearing away the bone tissue. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes torn or thin. This results in the symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as joint pain and swelling.
The way that the disease affects people varies greatly from person to person, but most often affects fingers, hips, back, knees, toes, and neck. Symptoms of osteoarthritis can be mild, moderate, or severe.
Osteoarthritis can also cause inflammation of the synovial membranes. Healthy synovial membranes line and protect the joints and allow smooth and free movement. When synovial membranes are inflamed, they become swollen, tender and warm, and are unable to move freely. Osteoarthritis can also result in other complications. For more details on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include being over 45 years old, overweight, joint injury, a sedentary lifestyle, and having family members with osteoarthritis.
Making a diagnosis of osteoarthritis begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. X-rays or MRI may be done to determine if there is joint or nerve damage.
Medical testing may include a variety of tests, including blood tests that are performed to rule out other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis. These include a rheumatoid factor test, complete blood test (CBC), C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, joint X-rays, and an analysis of the "lubricating" fluid in the joints (synovial fluid).
It is possible that a diagnosis of osteoarthritis can be missed or delayed because some people have no symptoms and because the disease progresses gradually and early symptoms can be mild or assumed to be associated with other conditions, such as aging. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of osteoarthritis.
Treatment for osteoarthritis varies depending on the severity of symptoms, the presence of complications, a person's age and medical history, and other factors. Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, but treatment can help to reduce symptoms and minimize destruction of joints and other complications. Treatment can include a combination of medication, physical therapy, and surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of osteoarthritis....more »
A diagnosis of osteoarthritis may be delayed or missed because early symptoms may be mild and intermittent and develop slowly. In addition, some people do not experience symptoms in early stages of osteoarthritis. Symptoms may also be mistakenly attributed to other conditions and diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, minor joint trauma, aging, or excessive exercise. ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Osteoarthritis.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
Home medical tests possibly related to Osteoarthritis:
Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Osteoarthritis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but with early recognition and treatment, it is possible to minimize and delay joint damage and complications of the disease, such as chronic pain and disability. The most successful treatment plans usually use a multipronged approach, including physical therapy, appropriate periods of rest and exercise, medications, and in some cases surgery.
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Osteoarthritis may include:
Review further information on Osteoarthritis Treatments.
Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Osteoarthritis may include:
Real-life user stories relating to Osteoarthritis:
Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Osteoarthritis may include these symptoms:
Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:
Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Osteoarthritis:
Read more about causes and Osteoarthritis deaths.
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Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:
Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:
Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible
causes of Osteoarthritis as a symptom include:
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
This is the form that usually comes with age and most often affects
the fingers, knees, and hips. Sometimes osteoarthritis follows an
injury to a joint.
For example, a young person might hurt his knee
badly playing soccer. Then, years after the knee has apparently
healed, he might get arthritis in his knee joint.
A sports injury to a knee when a person is young can lead to athritis years later.
Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the body's own defense system doesn't work properly. It affects joints, bones, and organs--often the hands and feet. You may feel sick or tired, and you may have a fever.
Other conditions can also cause arthritis. Some include:
Gout, in which crystals build up in the joints. It
usually affects the big toe.
Lupus (LOOP-us), in which the body's defense system
can harm the joints, the heart, the skin, the kidneys, and other
Viral hepatitis (VY-rul HEP-ah-TY-tis), in which an infection of the liver can cause arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis can make it hard to hold a pencil or a brush.
Have a fever.
Have trouble breathing.
Get a rash or itch.
These symptoms may also be signs of other illnesses.
Having stiffness or pain when you move could be a sign of arthritis.
Take a warm shower.
Do some gentle stretching exercises.
Use an ice pack on the sore area.
Rest the sore joint.
If you still hurt after using your medicine correctly and doing one or more of these things, call your doctor. Another kind of medicine might work better for you. Some people can also benefit from surgery, such as joint replacement. (Source: excerpt from Do I have Arthritis: NIAMS)
Osteoarthritis (AH-stee-oh-ar-THREYE-tis) is the most common type of arthritis, especially among older people. Sometimes it is called degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis. (Source: excerpt from Handout on Health Osteoarthritis: NIAMS)
Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting an estimated 20.7 million adults in the United States. Osteoarthritis primarily affects cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions the ends of bones within the joint. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage begins to fray, wear, and decay. In extreme cases, the cartilage may wear away entirely, leaving a bone-on-bone joint. Bony spurs (pointy bulges of bone) may form at the edges of the joint. Osteoarthritis can cause joint pain, reduced joint motion, loss of function, and disability. Disability results most often when the disease affects the spine and the weight-bearing joints (the knees and hips). (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases: NIAMS)
Osteoarthritis (OA) , at one time called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis in older people. Symptoms can range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to severe joint pain and even disability. (Source: excerpt from Arthritis Advice -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. This is the form that usually comes with... (Source: excerpt from Do I have Arthritis: NIAMS)
Osteoarthritis (AH-stee-oh-ar-THREYE-tis) is the most common type of arthritis, especially among... (Source: excerpt from Handout on Health Osteoarthritis: NIAMS)
Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most... (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases: NIAMS)
Osteoarthritis (OA) , at one time called degenerative joint... (Source: excerpt from Arthritis Advice -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)
Noninflammatory degenerative joint disease occurring chiefly in older persons, characterised by degeneration of the articular cartilage, hypertrophy of bone at the margins and changes in the synovial membrane. It is accompanied by pain and stiffness, particularly after prolonged activity. (On-line Medical Dictionary)
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints; the most common form of arthritis occurring usually after middle age
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
Noninflammatory degenerative joint disease occurring chiefly in older persons, characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage, hypertrophy of bone at the margins, and changes in the synovial membrane, accompanied by pain and stiffness.
- (Source - CRISP)
The list below shows some of the causes of Osteoarthritis mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Osteoarthritis. Of the 29 causes of Osteoarthritis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Osteoarthritis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Osteoarthritis or choose View All.
The following list of medical conditions have Osteoarthritis or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Osteoarthritis based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Medical Conditions associated with Osteoarthritis:
Joint pain (773 causes), Arthritis-like symptoms (764 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Joint symptoms (1430 causes), Bone symptoms (2907 causes), Skeletal symptoms (4109 causes), Inflammatory symptoms (1736 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Musculoskeletal symptoms (6264 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes)
Symptoms related to Osteoarthritis:
Arthritis (224 causes), Joint pain (773 causes), Joint stiffness (258 causes), Joint redness (30 causes), Bouchard's nodules, Heberden's nodules, Degenerative arthritis, Acute pain, Stiffness (692 causes), Trauma, Hereditary, Old age, Bunions (9 causes), Hips, Knees, Rheumatoid arthritis (17 causes)
Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:
These general medical articles may be of interest:
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