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Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis?

A joint is where two or more bones meet. The joint allows the bones to move freely but within controlled limits. In order to facilitate this movement the ends of the bones are coated with a layer of tough, slippery tissue called cartilage. This cartilage acts a bit like a shock absorber to spread the load more evenly across your joint.

When an individual develops osteoarthritis, formerly known as wear and tear or degenerative joint disease, the cartilage lining the joints becomes damaged so the joint doesn’t move as smoothly as it should.

Many factors can work alone or in combination contributing to the development of osteoarthritis. These include age, gender, obesity, previous joint injury, joint abnormalities, genetic factors and other types of joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Although osteoarthritis can develop in any joint the two most commonly affected are knees and hips.

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, stiffness, crepitus, swelling and not being able to use the joint normally. Crepitus is described as a grating or grinding sensation on moving the joint.

In the case of hip or knee osteoarthritis these symptoms tend to have a significant impact on the patient’s ability to walk.

In the early stages measures such as activity modification, loosing weight, using a cane, taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and the sensible administration of steroid joint injections can help to keep the symptoms under control.

When the pain fails to respond to the above measures, affects the daily life and activities and regularly interferes with night sleep the time for a joint replacement has come.

According to the National Joint Register for England, Wales and Northern Ireland nearly 84.000 hip replacements and over 90.000 knee replacements were performed in these nations in the year 2015.

Warwickshire Hip & Knee Clinic | P.O. BOX 6114 | Coventry | West Midlands CV3 9GR | Tel: 024 7661 2681 |