*Introduction* - Osteoarthritis is the most common form of chronic disorder of synovial joints. It is characterized by progressive degenerative changes in the articular cartilages over the years, particularly weight-bearing joints.
Mainly two types are found: A. Primary osteoarthritis B. Secondary osteoarthritis
A. Primary osteoarthritis - A number of factors predispose primary osteoarthritis. These include: 1. Genetic factors 2. Metabolic disorder 3. Age-mainly old age 4. Occasionally seen in alcoholic middle aged man with high serum lipid 5. Endocrinal(hormonal) factors 6. Obesity
B. Secondary osteoarthritis - It is most common, usually caused by local factors which include: 1. Taruma 2. Malalignments 3. Inadequate blood supply 4. Infections of the joints- e.g; pyogenic, tuberculosis etc 5. Nerve supply problem 6. Inflammatory diseases 7. Nutritional bone disease -e.g; rickets, osteomalacia etc
*Sign and symptoms* - 1. Pain it is initial and leading symptoms 2. Stiffness 3. Deformity due to shrinkage of capsule, fibrosis, muscle imbalance. 4. Swelling of the joints may also noticed in superficial joints 5. Limping-. Due to pain, stiffness and deformity of the joints 6. Synovial thickening and effusion 7. Osteophytes may be felt on palpation
*Investigation* - 1. Complete haemogram hb% ESR TLC DLC 2. X-ray of affected joints 3. RA factor
1. There is no specific treatment but hot bath, hot vapours can help 2. Various analgesics like Paracetamol ibuprofen etc may be used 3. Physiotherapy 4. Weight loss 5. Operative(surgery) treatment- osteotomy, arthroplasty, excision of joints, manipulation of the joints under anaesthesia.
About Author: Dr. Sushmita Khanuja who holds B.A.M.S degree, is an Ayush Medical Officer.