What are the early signs of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis

The symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) vary depending on which joints are impacted and how severely they are affected. But the most common symptoms of this condition are pain and stiffness, especially right after getting up in the morning or after resting.

The affected joints may get inflamed, particularly after extended activity. Rather than showing up suddenly, these symptoms tend to build-up over time.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provide treatments for the knee, shoulder, and other joints to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.

Signs and Symptoms

Common osteoarthritis symptoms include:

Pain: The joint may hurt during or after movement.

Tenderness: The joint may feel tender when light pressure is applied to it.

Stiffness: The patient may experience the most joint stiffness when they wake up in the morning or after a period of being inactive.

Loss of Flexibility: The patient may not be able to move their joint through its complete range of motion.

Grating Sensation: The patient may hear or feel a grafting sensation when they use the joint.

Bone Spurs: These are extra bits of bone which feel like hard lumps and may develop around the impacted joint.

Patients who experience persistent joint pain or stiffness should consult with their doctor.

While it is often possible to effectively manage osteoarthritis symptoms, the underlying process cannot be reversed. The progression of the condition may slow down by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and undergoing treatment.

Risk Factors

The risk of osteoarthritis development increases due to the following factors:

Family History

At times, osteoarthritis development depends on genetic predisposition. A person is more likely to develop OA if their parents or siblings have the condition. Researchers still do not understand why this condition runs in families. While no specific gene has been identified as the reason for OA development, genes may contribute to a higher risk.

Age

Osteoarthritis causes the degeneration of joints, and it becomes more common as people age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than one-third of adults over the age of 65 years have OA symptoms.

Gender

Osteoarthritis can impact men as well as women. The National Institutes of Health highlights that it is slightly more prevalent in men until the age of 45 years. After that, it occurs more commonly in women. This may be an indication of the different joint stressors that males and females experience at different ages.

Obesity

Being overweight is a contributory factor in OA development. The more a person weighs, the higher their risk of developing this condition. Excess weight puts additional stress on weight-bearing joints; the joints of the hips and knees are certainly among them. To build onto that, fat tissue generates proteins that may lead to harmful swelling in and around the joints.

Joint Injuries

Osteoarthritis risks may increase due to injuries that occur when playing sports or those sustained from an accident. In fact, even an injury sustained several years ago, and one that appears to have healed can increase OA risks.

Certain Occupations

People working in an occupation that creates repetitive stress on a specific joint may eventually develop OA.

Bone Deformities

Some individuals are born with defective cartilage or malformed joints. This may increase the risk of OA development.

Complications

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that becomes worse over time. The patient may experience severe joint pain and stiffness making even routine tasks difficult to perform. Some individuals may no longer be able to work. Doctors may recommend joint replacement surgery when joint pain is this severe.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, receive patients for knee, shoulder and other joint treatments from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.