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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of joint discomfort, disability and limitation of activity especially in older people. OA is a chronic disease that affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles.

Osteoarthritis may include:
  • Inflammation of the tissue around a joint.

  • Damage to joint cartilage - this is the protective cushion on the ends of your bones which allows a joint to move smoothly.

  • Bony spurs growing around the edge of a joint.

  • Deterioration of ligaments (the tough bands that hold your joint together) and tendons (cords that attach muscles to bones). 

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This degenerative joint disease usually affects the large weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities, including hip and knee. The most common symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, inflammation and gradual restriction or limitation of activities. OA can develop at any age but tends to be more common in people aged over 40 years or those who have had joint injuries. 

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