Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. This appears when joint cartilage erodes over time, causing bones to rub against each other. The condition is generally progressive, and can lead to pain, swelling, restriction of motion, stiffness and bone spur formation.
More than 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis and the knee is the most typical area affected, with men less at risk than women.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain upon exertion
- Crackling or creaking sounds with knee movement
- Knee stiffness
- Decrease in mobility
Risk factors of osteoarthritis include:
- Infection of the knee
- Age (those over 45 are at higher risk)
- Obesity/being overweight
- Family history of osteoarthritis
- Occupational (using repetitive squatting, kneeling and weight lifting)
- Suffering from other conditions (osteoarthritis can occur in those with rheumatoid arthritis, overabundance of iron, or growth hormone excess)