Breakdown of Joint Cartilage
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a chronic degenerative joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and older adults. Sometimes called the "wear and tear" arthritis, osteoarthritis
causes the breakdown of joint cartilage. It can occur in any joint, but it most often affects the hands, knees, hips, or spine. As the cartilage wears down, the bone ends may thicken and form bony growths (spurs) which interfere with joint movement.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis can occur a bit differently in each person, and may include:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness, especially after sleep or inactivity
- Less movement in the joint over time
- A grinding feeling of the joint when moved, as the cartilage wears away (in more advanced stages)
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it is important to help keep joints functioning by reducing pain and inflammation. The goal of treatment is to reduce joint pain and stiffness, and improve joint movement. You should talk to your primary care provider about a referral to a rheumatologist if you would like to consider injections into the joints.