Osteoarthritis occurs when the joint cartilage gradually deteriorates leading to inflammation.
Factors that can increase the risk of osteoarthritis include:
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time.
X-rays or other imaging can help confirm the diagnosis of osteoarthritis however the appearance of the disease on x-ray does not always correlate to symptoms severity.
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Early referral is important to help slow the progression of the disease and improve pain and joint function.
Treatment is based on individual symptoms and presentation. Arthritis is not curable however treatment aims to alleviate symptoms, protect joints and strengthen supporting soft tissues:
Surgery might be appropriate for more severe cases of osteoarthritis for which a referral to an orthopaedic hand surgeon may be required.
Photo source: https://www.ncmedical.com/
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