Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute - Health Library
Decrease font size Default font size Increase font size

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

What Is Osteoarthritis?Osteoartritis

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to break down. Cartilage is a smooth substance that protects the ends of your bones and helps your joints move. Osteoarthritis becomes more common as people get older. To diagnose this disease, your doctor will ask about your health history and perform an exam. X-rays may also be needed.

Image
Knee joint with osteoarthritis

Image
Healthy knee joint

Symptoms

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, with women tending to get it in their hands. Weight-bearing joints, such as the hip and knee, are often affected in both men and women. Some of the more common symptoms of this disease include:

  • Joint pain and stiffness. Long periods of rest or using a joint too long or too hard can make pain and stiffness worse.

  • Weak muscles or wobbly joints.

  • Joints that have lost normal shape and motion.

Image

If Surgery Is Needed

For people with severe joint damage, surgery can decrease pain and improve movement. Joint replacement is the most common surgery used to treat osteoarthritis. Joints in the knee, hip, and shoulder are replaced most often.

Date Last Reviewed: 2004-08-27T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

Contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 for your orthopaedic needs. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation.

Testimonials

"I am very impressed with the quality of treatment by the Doctors and all of the staff…excellent is the only word to describe my experience. - D.P."
Read more

In the News

For your orthopedic needs, contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 . For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation. We...
Read more