Frequently Asked Questions about Arthrosis

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Is osteoarthritis a disease of the elderly?

Not exclusively, but its frequency is increasing as the age of the population increases. It is rare to see a patient with osteoarthritis before 40 years of age.

Osteoarthritis is the most common rheumatic disease: it is estimated that up to 70% of the of the population over 50 years-old have signs of osteoarthritis in some location on the X-rays, although they may not always produce symptoms.

When will a hip or knee replacement be necessary?

When it is not possible to control the pain with the so-called conservative treatments (drugs, exercise, etc.), or there is disability that may affect the quality of life. This usually occurs when the osteoarthritis is very advanced and there is a significant degree of limitation and deformity of the joint.

Is osteoarthritis hereditary?

Not necessarily. Although it is known that some forms of osteoarthritis have a marked hereditary component, such as osteoarthritis of the hands (Heberden or Bouchard nodes).

What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Arthritis means joint inflammation, while osteoarthritis means joint erosion.
There are many types of arthritis, and osteoarthritis is one of them.

Does osteoarthritis present in the same way in every patient?

No, it is manifested differently in each person. In some people, the disease develops faster or its symptoms are more intense than in others.

How can I improve the health of my joints?

Avoid the disease modifiable risk factors, such as obesity, sedentarism, and overloading the joints.

Will losing weight improve my osteoarthritis?

Yes. To reduce the load that the joints support helps to relieve the pressure and prevents their premature erosion.

Do I have to stop exercising due to the osteoarthritis?

Although it is not recommended to give up exercising, the joint should not be overloaded either, since it could make the osteoarthritis worse and affect to mobility and independence of the individual. If in doubt, seek the advice of a health professional and ask them about recommended exercises.

Which sport is most recommended for osteoarthritis?

Walking, swimming, or cycling. You should avoid impact sports, such as basketball or football.

Substantiated information by:

Ana Isabel Monegal Brancos
Anna Martín Cortés
Felipe Julio Ramirez Garcia
Jenaro A. Fernández-Valencia Laborde
Nuria Sapena Fortea
Rosa Marina Fernandez

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 12 December 2023

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