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What Is Osteoarthritis?

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NeoVisc® FAQ > What Is Osteoarthritis?


Osteoarthritis (OA), or as it is sometimes called “Degenerative Joint Disease” is the most common form of arthritis, and a leading cause of disability in North America. It affects one out of every three people over the age of forty-five and this ratio increases with age. OA is not easily categorized by a single causative factor, as it is, no doubt, an overlapping of different factors (hereditary, mechanical, trauma, etc.). No matter what the cause the general outcome is gradual degeneration or wearing down of joint cartilage, resulting in pain, loss of mobility and in some cases inflammation of the affected joint(s). OA tends to affect weight-bearing joints such as knees and hips more frequently. As the disease progresses, cartilage erodes to the point that bone begins to rub on bone, requiring further medical intervention.

Eventually, the joint loses shape and alignment. Bone ends thicken, forming bony growths called spurs or osteophytes. Bits of cartilage or bone can wear off and float in the joint space adding to the irritation and further affecting joint mobility.
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