Osteoarthritis Definition

Also called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a chronic disorder characterized by pain and stiffness in the joints caused by damage to the cartilage and other supportive tissues. Though it can affect any joint, osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the weight-bearing joints of the hips, knees, and feet.

Early diagnosis and treatment is the most effective way to limit the progression of the disease and maintain mobility and flexibility in the joints. Treatment typically involves a combination of physical therapy exercises and medication to reduce pain. Joint replacement surgery is an option in late-stage disease that has been unresponsive to more conservative treatments.

Read more about surgery for arthritis in the Surgery Health Center