Diseases

osteoarthritis

In France, about 10 million people suffer from osteoarthritis that affects one or more joints: the hip, the knee, the base of the thumb, the spine ...

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease of the joints. The joint is the junction zone between two bones: the knee between the femur and the tibia, the hip between the pelvic bone and the femur, between two vertebrae of the spine, between the phalanges of the fingers ...

Each bone end is covered with cartilage, a softer tissue than the bone. The cartilage is not vascularized; once impaired, it fails to repair itself properly. Between the cartilages, there is an articular space with synovial fluid enclosed in a pocket (capsule). This disease causes joint pain sometimes very important, sometimes with major functional consequences (decreased mobility, difficulty or inability to perform certain movements).

Osteoarthritis affects many people, especially older people. It is a joint disease that has been too often associated - wrongly - with aging. Although with age, osteoarthritis is more common. Note that there is a form of osteoarthritis affecting children, it is fortunately rare and is linked to genetic factors.

In osteoarthritis, the articular surfaces gradually deteriorate. First with cartilage involvement, then with ligaments ... The interarticular space decreases, and at a later stage the bones are affected.

The management of people with osteoarthritis has improved in recent years, particularly with the arrival of new treatments, innovative medicines. Osteoarthritis is generally managed by general practitioners, and specialists: rheumatologists, or specialists in functional rehabilitation.

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