What is Degenerative Joint Disease?

March 10th, 2014

 Degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, is the most common form of joint disorder. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects hands, knees, hips or spine. According to the World Health Organization, degenerative joint disease is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries. It is estimated that more than 25 million Americans are affected. 

If cartilage breaks down, or degenerates, the bones lose their cushioning and the exposed bone surfaces can rub together. The joint area can become inflamed and painful, resulting in reduced motion in the joints. In addition, bone spurs, or extra bone, may form around the afflicted joint, and the ligaments, or fibrous connective tissue, and the muscles around the joint may then become both weaker and stiffer. 
Common Symptoms of Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Indications of possible degenerative joint disease include:
  • joint stiffness when standing up from a seated position or getting out of bed 
  • swelling in one or more joints 
  • a feeling, or even sounds, of bones “crunching” or rubbing together
  • difficulty sleeping
  • limping while walking, a common symptom of hip arthritis
Treatment Options for Degenerative Joint Disease
Rothman Orthopaedic Institute’s internationally renowned orthopedic specialists offer a wide range of care for degenerative joint disease, including cutting edge surgical procedures in spine, knee, and hip treatment, joint replacement, back pain surgery, ligament injury treatment, and other interventions for osteoarthritis. 
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