by Amy Pusey
(last updated April 17, 2009)
Osteoarthritis is the oldest arthritic condition, and is in archeological records after having been diagnosed in skeletal remains over 10,000 years old. The basic symptoms probably have not changed that much over thousands of years, with sufferers experiencing stiffness, pain and restricted movement in their joints. While Osteoarthritis is the general term used by most doctors, you may also hear it referred to as degenerative joint disease or hypertrophic (excessive amounts of nutrients) arthritis. Despite its longevity in the world of medicine, doctors have yet to determine the nature of its causes, and while they are able to provide effective treatments these days there is still no cure on the horizon. General signs that Osteoarthritis preparing to rear its ugly head may include the following:
Doctors have been able to identify two particular types (or categories) of Osteoarthritis. Primary Osteoarthritis has been classified as the standard associated with aging due to the natural, progressive wear-and-tear of the cartilage. Secondary Osteoarthritis is used to identify a presumed or related cause for the deterioration. This secondary group encompasses a number of risk factors that doctors will specifically look at to determine if there is a relationship between their presence and the development of the Osteoarthritis. These risk factors include:
In order to make a proper diagnosis and advise on an effective course of treatment, your doctor will review your medical history, perform a full physical examination, order x-rays of the affected areas, and conduct joint aspiration, which is the draining of fluid from the affected joints for laboratory analysis.
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