Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage in the joints.
The cartilage that cushions and protects the joints is damaged over time, causing the bones to rub against each other. Areas most affected are the knees, carpal joints, spine, and hips. This friction leads to pain and stiffness during movement and can also cause loss of flexibility and swelling at the joints. Pain can cause difficulty in walking, climbing the stairs, and performing everyday tasks.
Factors like age, obesity, previous injury and genetics present a high risk of developing this condition. Osteoarthritis also affects the small joints of the fingers especially the thumb, as well as the toes, ankle, and neck.
Iimaging tests are done with ultrasound, x-ray or CT scan to check cartilage loss or bone spurs around a joint.