Osteoarthritis ( degenerative arthritis) is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints.

Causes of osteoarthritis

Primary osteoarthritis

  1. Ageing.
  2. Genetic

Secondary osteoarthritis

  1. Acromegaly
  2. Congenital abnormalities
  3. Diabetes 
  4. Gout
  5. Haemophilia
  6. Hyperparathyroidism
  7. Hypothyroidism
  8. Obesity 
  9. Paget’s disease
  10. Repeated trauma
  11. Rheumatoid arthritis
  12. Sickle cell anaemia
  13. Surgery of the joint structures
  14. Wilson disease.

Symptoms and signs

  • Pain in the affected joint(s) after repetitive use.
  • Pain is worse later in the day.
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Creaking of the affected joints
  • Pain at rest or with limited motion(severe osteoarthritis)
  • Excess upper body weight( OA of the knees)
  • Outward curvature of the knees(bowlegged)
  • Limping
  • Pain in the neck or low back(OA of cervical spine or lumbar spine)
  • Osteophytes( bony spurs)
  • Numbness and tingling of the affected parts of the body.
  • Heberden’s node( hard, bony enlargements of the small joints of the fingers)
  • Bouchard’s node( bony knob at the middle joint of the fingers)
  • A bunion (at the base of the big toe of the foot)


  • X-rays(of the affected joints)
  • Arthrocentesis (for analysis of joint fluid)
  • MRI
  • CT scan


  • Weight reduction
  • Diet (Antioxidant, Vitamins C, E and D, Calcium)
  • Heat — Hot soaks and warm wax (paraffin) application may relieve pain.
  • Orthoses (Splints, braces, walkers, crutches, canes, orthopaedic footwear)
  • Ayurvedic Medicines
  • Surgery

Total hip and total knee replacements

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