Osteoarthritis and Its Stage of Progression

Osteoarthritis is often a silent disease in its early stages. Patients often do not notice any early signs of osteoarthritis until the condition worsens to a moderate or severe level. The symptoms of pain and swelling in the joints often indicate a relatively moderate disease progression.

In the early stages of osteoarthritis, the cartilage surface “dries out” and “frays”. This leads to areas of increased friction. The intra-substance change within the cartilage also results in a decreased ability to sustain loads and to cushion the limb from external forces. Patients often have minimal symptoms. Some do experience crepitus in the affected joints and “cracking” sounds on movement.

Treatment for early osteoarthritis requires people to stay active and avoid activities that may strain the affected joint and cartilage. As osteoarthritis progresses to the next stage, pain may be a more prominent issue in the affected joint. Normally pain would occur on stress related activities such as climbing jumping, running or prolonged standing. As cartilage start to wears down, muscles surrounding the joint may be reduced as well. At this stage, staying active and medical treatment such as nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will be prescribed by doctor to relieve osteoarthritis pain as well decreasing joint swelling and inflammation. Hyaluronic injections into the joint have been shown to help decrease inflammation and reduce pain.

In the later stages of osteoarthritis, people with osteoarthritis may require strong medication or surgery to replace the joint. Patients who want to ensure rapid recovery from the surgery have to be as fit as they can in which include doing exercise, slim down to an ideal weight and controlling their smoking and alcohol drinking consumption. In cases where patients are unsuitable for surgery or decline surgery, specialized knee braces which help to transfer load away from the damaged cartilage, may help to assist the patient’s functional activities as well as to reduce pain.

INLIVEN is a medical clinic based in Singapore and they provide comprehensive diagnostic, screenings and treatments for KNEE JOINT PAIN and all bone joint health issues. INLIVEN also prescribes braces from Ossur, a global leading Prosthetics and Orthotics company, to their patients who suffer from osteoarthritis.

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