OA is the most common joint disease when the cartilage between bones breaks down and causes severe chronic pain.  This is an extremely common form of arthritis.  Osteoarthritis is a disease of the whole joint, not only cartilage.

Commonly affected joint by Osteoarthritis

  • Neck
  • Hips 
  • Low back
  • Finger joints
  • Base of thumb
  • Knees
  • Base of the toe.

Risk Factors

Gender:  Women are more predisposed to Osteoarthritis than men, especially after menopause.

Joint injuries:  Overweight and overstress on joints increase the rate at which cartilage wears off.

Genes:  If this runs in your family, the likelihood of developing it increases.

Age: The condition is common in the elderly due to progressive changes that occur in the joints in old age.

Occupation:  Repetitive strain from the activities such as sports.

Other:  History of inflammation illness or certain medications.

Signs and Symptoms

Osteoarthritis may be asymptomatic.  The signs develop gradually and worsen with time.

  • Cracking sound in the joint during passive movement of the joint.
  • Severe pain and swelling in the joint.
  • Tenderness in the joints mainly occurs when light pressure to the joint is applied.
  • Loss of flexibility in joints.

Stages of Osteoarthritis

Early Osteoarthritis

  1. Joint pain occurs with particular physical activities.
  2. Pain triggered by a particular movement.

Mid Osteoarthritis

  1. Along with symptoms, pain occurs sporadically.
  2. Over time pain become more frequent.
  3. May cause issues with daily functioning.

Late Osteoarthritis

  1. Dull ache
  2. Pain becomes constant.

How does a doctor diagnose Osteoarthritis?

  • The doctor does a physical examination and examines affected areas to find out signs.
  • The doctor is more likely to examine your blood tests and joint fluid parameters to confirm the diagnosis.
  • The doctor prescribes imaging studies which may include X-rays and MRIs to see a clear picture of joints.


Osteoarthritisis an irreversible health condition.  Treatment can help you manage the pain and other symptoms well.  Treatment includes:


The doctor may prescribe pain killers to moderate discomfort and pain and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.


  • Physiotherapy:  Your doctor may refer you for PT, as it helps you work out to strengthen surrounding knee joint muscles to relieve pain and increase flexibility level.
  • Occupational Therapy:  therapist can help you learn things to ease your everyday task.


  • Cortisone injections: to relieve joint pain.
  • Viscosupplementation injection: to lubricate your joint and pain.


  • Realignment of bones: may suggest you knee osteotomy.  Your one side of the knee is more damaged, so the doctor may recommend an osteotomy.
  • Joint replacement: (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure in which a doctor replaces your damaged part of the knee with an artificial joint.

Lifestyle Changes Play an Important Role

such as

  • Weight loss
  • Exercising
  • Using over-the-counter creams
  • Cold pack
  • Using heat

Take Action Now:

Schedule an Appointment with SNS Rheumatology


Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease.  There is no long-lasting cure for it; however, with the proper treatment and lifestyle change, You can manage it to a reasonable extent and lead normal life.

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Dr. Qaisar Usmani

Meet Dr. Qaisar Usmani, a Board Certified Rheumatologist with over 20 years of experience in the field, currently serving as Section Chief at Monmouth Medical Center and GPHA, Inc. in Pennsylvania, specializing in the treatment of various Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases.

Dr. Sadia Ghafoor
Dr. Sadia Ghafoor

Meet Dr. Sadia Ghafoor, a board certified specialist in rheumatology who completed her medical training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine and her fellowship in rheumatology at the State University of New York Stony Brook campus, with additional board certification in internal medicine.

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