Osteoarthritis is a condition that involves degeneration of cartilage at a joint. Frequently, the joint becomes narrowed and irregular and bone spurs develop. There may be fibrosis or thickening of the tissues surrounding the degenerating joint. Osteoarthritis can involve all joints, but occurs more often in fingers, feet, knees, hips and spine. It is more common in adults over age 45.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
The exact cause of Osteoarthritis is unknown. It is probably due to a combination of mechanical, biologic, biochemical, inflammatory and immunologic factors.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The symptoms of Osteoarthritis depend on which joint or joints are involved. In general, the involved joints demonstrate limited movement. They may make cracking or grating sounds during movement. There is frequently joint pain, stiffness and sometimes, swelling. The joints do not appear red or red and there usually are no systemic signs, such as fever. Back pain and stiffness occur. There is pain and difficulty walking. Activities involving the hands and fingers become limited and no longer effortless.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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