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Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis?

- Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that shows up as a degneration of cartilage in your joints. It can expose and cause wear in the bone that is underneath joints. OA typically manifests as pain and stiff joints, usually in a patient's 40's.
- OA has also been called Degnerative Joint Disease, and is the most common form of arthritis. 

- There are two forms of OA:
    - Idiopathic (localized):
    - Secondary: caused by trauma, congenital disorders, and problems in the metabolic, endocrine, or neuropathic systems.

- Symptoms typically show up in:
    - Knees                                    - Hips
    - Joints in hands                        - Joints in spine 

Why Should You Care?
Causes
Risk Factors
Symptoms
Treatments
Resources

Why Should You Care?

- 13.9% of Americans older than 25 have OA
    - In patients older than 65, this percentage goes up to 33.6%

- OA accounts for ~ 6% of all arthritis-related deaths, though this may be underestimated
    - It also is an underlying factor for 55% of arthritis-related hospitalizations

- Americans spend $7.9 billion on knee and hip replacements every year

- Patients with OA typically spend $5700 per year (as of 2000)

- Job-related OA costs range from $3.4-13.2 billion per year

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Causes

- The specific causes for OA are unknown
    - It's thought that OA is caused by both mechanical and molecular events in each joint that's affected

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Risk Factors

- Age - Gender
- Bone deformities - Joint injuries
- Obesity - Repetitive-stress jobs
- Diabetes - Underactive thyroid
- Gout - Paget's diseas

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Symptoms

- OA is characterized by a focal and progressive loss of the hyaline cartilage in joints and in changes in the underlying bone of joints.

- When diagnosing, doctors typically have two methods through which they identify OA:
    - Pathology: x-ray changes (joint space narrowing, osteophytes, and bony sclerosis)
    - Symptoms: Pain, swelling, and stiffness

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Treatments

- There's no cure for osteoarthritis, but it can be managed

- Weight loss - Medications to manage inflammation
- Patient education                  - Support groups
- Surgical joint replacement  - Surgical bone realignment
- Fusion of bones

- Arthroscopy

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Resources

- While there are no support groups in the Kenosha or Gurnee areas, the Center for Disease Control has some really in-depth support material. In addition, the Arthritis Foundation has several online support groups as well as information regarding coping with arthritis

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Source: Center for Disease Control