What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that shows up as a degeneration 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 40s.
There are two forms of OA:
Symptoms typically show up in knees, hips, and joints in the hands and/or spine.
Why Should You Care?
13.9% of Americans older than 25 have OA
OA accounts for ~6% of all arthritis-related deaths, although this may be underestimated
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
The specific causes for OA are unknown
OA is characterized by a focal and progressive loss of the hyaline cartilage in joints and in changes of the underlying bone of joints. When diagnosing, doctors typically have two methods through which they identify OA:
There's no known cure for OA, but it can be managed