Overview

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common inflammatory joint disorder characterised by structural changes within a joint or multiple joints, resulting in pain and loss of function. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and frequently affects hands, knees, hips, and spine. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, and treatments generally aim to reduce load (losing weight to remove stress from joints), improve joint support, and relieve pain.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Osteoarthritis?

Common symptoms associated with osteoarthritis include:

Localised joint pain worsened by movement and improved with rest

Localised joint pain worsened by movement and improved with rest

Morning stiffness or stiffness after inactivity

Morning stiffness or stiffness after inactivity

Joint swelling

Joint swelling

Warmth around the joints

Warmth around the joints

Bony crepitus

Bony crepitus

Synovial fluid build up

Synovial fluid build up

Limited range of motion

Limited range of motion

Muscle wastage

Muscle wastage

Causes

What are the causes of Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is caused by the loss of protective cartilage in joints. Common risk factors associated with osteoarthritis include:

 Advanced age

Advanced age

Gender - females have a higher risk than males

Gender - females have a higher risk than males

Obesity

Obesity

 Intense wear-and-tear of joints (high-impact sports, physical labour)

Intense wear-and-tear of joints (high-impact sports, physical labour)

Joint trauma

Joint trauma

Family history

Family history

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Osteoarthritis?

To diagnose osteoarthritis, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history and perform a physical exam assessing range of motion of joints. In some cases your doctor may refer for imaging such as MRI scan.

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who are specialised in treating Osteoarthritis.