Osteoarthritis:symptoms, prevention and treatment

Written by: Dr. Jaume Graell i Massana
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Statistically, osteoarthritis is the most common diseases in the joints and spine process. The cartilage is a very resistant substance, smooth surface that lines the joints so that its function is perfect.

The deterioration of the cartilage usually starts from the middle of life, even in people younger, altering its surface, tapering, sometimes there are ulcers ( chondromalacia ) may disappear altogether causing the destruction of the joint and loss of its function.

This process can develop in the course of many years, but there are cases where the evolution is very fast, especially in weight-bearing joints such as the knees or hips.


The symptoms depend on the developmental stage of the disease, as well as its intensity. The pain is the main symptom, can be very important in advanced stages even at rest, but the most common is to be present when moving the joint, walking, etc.

The inflammation often occurs in crisis or in the more advanced stages, even with joint effusions in large joints (knees or hips) preventing walking.

The loss of normal motion of the joint, stiffness and deformity are some of the more common symptoms.


As with all diseases, the prevention, the decreased risk of occurrence or delay its evolution should be the primary purpose. As in most processes locomotor there is a genetic predisposing factor in certain people, those who can develop the disease and the factors that help enhancers may speed their evolution.

In the weight-bearing joints, knees and hips, weight facilitates the emergence of susceptible persons. Certain professions constant overload certain areas (lumbar region, hips, knees, etc. ) may predispose the appearance of osteoarthritis.


The goal of treatment is to:

1. Improve symptoms, pain, inflammation, and mobility.

2. Halt or slow the evolution

3. Replacement surgery ( prostheses ) when the joint has been destroyed by osteoarthritis.

On the first point, the treatment is based on drugs to help reduce inflammation and pain;antiinflammatory, analgesic… taking into account their possible side effects.

In some cases physiotherapy or electrotherapy locally can improve symptoms, with results generally very poor. Finally, you can opt for local infiltrations in acute crisis and/or effusion. In all cases, it is important to maintain the pace of living.

The second point is very important as it is to amend evolution to stabilize the process or slow it down, trying not ever get surgery.

Currently the technique that is giving better results in this regard is the application of growth factors ( platelet rich plasma) provided they are implemented at the right time. Our experience dates back to more than five years and statistically about 80 % of patients have achieved a significant improvement in their symptoms and, above all, a clear stabilization of the progression of osteoarthritis, especially in cases of onset.

Also in cases where more evolved factors may not be indicated, osteoarthritis can answer the intraarticular ozone.

Finally, if the joint has lost its structure is the repair or replacement surgery by complete dentures.

In short, as a chronic, progressive disease, today we change the evolution if it acts at the right time.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Jaume Graell i Massana

Expert in fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Founder and director of the Institut Català de Reumatología, after holding positions of responsibility in various centers, he has always been in charge of the rheumatology service. He expanded his training in the United States and Germany, and today is a renowned speaker at different national and international conferences.


P ringing time with the doctor in Barcelona is now much simpler through the Top Doctors website or the APP.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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