Dr K Mukunth


October 12, is World Arthritis Day.

Osteoarthritis With Lifestyle Changes

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, affects the joints and occurs, usually, in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

This is caused when cartilage that cushions the ends of the bone breaks down, causing pain. Over time, bones break down and develop growths called spurs. Sometimes, small pieces of bone or cartilage chip off and cause inflammation in the tissues surrounding them. In severe cases, cartilage completely wears down and bones rub against one another causing severe pain.

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis 

Chronic pain – when walking, moving from sitting to standing

Stiffness – especially when you wake up

Tenderness – caused by inflammation

Limited movement – may not be able to move joint fully

Grating sensation – when bone rubs against bone

Bone spurs – bulging hard lumps near joints 

What Causes Osteoarthritis

Genetics - Osteoarthritis is thought to run in families

Age - As a person grows older, cartilage deteriorates with use over time

Gender -  It occurs more often in women than men

Repetitive activity - May happen earlier for people whose job requires doing the same activity continuously for a long time

Obesity­- People who are heavier put more stress on their joints, wearing down the cartilage

Joint injuries – People who play sports are more prone to it. It can also be caused by trauma to the joints in an accident

­­Bone deformities – People who have malformed bones may be prone to it 

Maintenance and Treatment

The usual course is to manage the disease as long as possible by lifestyle changes and non-invasive methods:

Losing weight

Healthy lifestyle

Pain medication


When To Consider Joint Replacement Surgery?

If the illness reaches a point where these non-invasive remedies don’t work, your doctor may suggest a joint replacement surgery for the affected area. This option will offer you full mobility once more and you can live a better quality of life after the surgery.

-         Dr K Mukunth, MBBS, MS (ORTHO), FIA (GER), EXE.HIP.FEL (UK) is a well-known orthopaedic surgeon with Kauvery Hospital, Chennai