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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative non-inflammatory joint disorder affecting the cartilage, it becomes damaged and pain appears.
At an advanced stage of osteoarthritis, the surface of the articular cartilage eventually disappears. Development or proliferation of the bone beneath the cartilage often follows.
Osteoarthritis usually occurs on the knee, hip or fingers but can also occur in all joints such as the vertebrae (spondylosis). It is a disease that can not be cured, but thanks to some treatments, we can greatly slow down the disease and relieve symptoms such as pain. Thus, we speak of symptomatic treatment.
Osteoarthritis often develops between the age of 40 to 50 years with the appearance of the first symptoms. At the age 60, the disease becomes more common.
It affects more women than men, as most rheumatic diseases. Before 45, men are more affected than women.
Although osteoarthritis has not a single cause, some risk factors provoke osteoarthritis, such as:
- Age, this factor seems to play a very important role in the development of osteoarthritis.
- Hereditary problem (genetic cause).
- Excessive use of the joints, especially in competitive sports, intensive training (football, tennis, skiing, etc.) or physically demanding work.
- Overweight (the joints suffer because of the weight, especially knee and hip).
- Operation (for example knee operation).
- Inflammation (for example inflammatory disease of the knee).
- Metabolic diseases like diabetes.
To diagnose osteoarthritis, the doctor (general practitioner or rheumatologist) generally indentifies the symptoms and rules out other desases, he will also do an anamnesis. X-rays and MRI might eventually be perfomed.
- Physical treatments (physiotherapy, osteopathy, occupational therapy).
- Nutrition: turmeric supplements and benefits
- Mesotherapy treatment
- Drug therapy (treatment of pain and possible reconstruction of cartilage).
- Operation (prosthesis). In some severe cases, surgery may be proposed by the doctor, especially for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.
- New therapies: Stem cells. Tomorrow, we will regenerate damaged joints by injecting stem cells. It is already practiced in Switzerland. The specialist injects in the knee of stem cells taken from fatty tissue of the abdomen, releasing molecules that trigger an anti-inflammatory local reaction. A study showed that six months after the injection of stem cells, the results showed a decrease in pain and a significant functional improvement.