Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease that typically affects parts of the body where joints are weight bearing such as the knees, hips, spine, hands or feet. It is caused by the wearing down of cartilage which is the tissue that cushions the bones where they meet each other to form a joint. Over time, the loss of cartilage will lead to bone rubbing against bone which causes them to erode and become painful with motion.
Osteoarthritis is sometimes mistaken for similar diseases that also cause joint pain. Some of these diseases include:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Lyme disease
A characteristic that distinguishes osteoarthritis from these diseases is the way that joint pain presents itself. For those suffering from osteoarthritis, pain usually occurs as a result of exertion of the joints, and typically occur during or after movement. The diseases that present with some of the same characteristics, movement within a joint is not usually reason for the pain to occur.
Diagnosing osteoarthritis is done by performing lab tests to check for indicators in the blood and also by performing x-rays to check for distinctive patterns of bone and joint involvement.
If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis such as joint pain or limited mobility, you can make an appointment with a specialist known as a rheumatologist who can make a diagnosis. Treatment of the disease may include medications, therapy or surgery.
To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call 718-206-6742.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.