Osteoarthritis affects people all over the world, with at least 8 million people in the UK living with the condition. It directly affects joints around the body and causes discomfort, pain and stiffness. It is one of the world’s most common joint diseases yet is still only able to be treated, with no current cures.
Complications of Osteoarthritis
Many people live comfortably with osteoarthritis due to their treatment plan and with care of the medical professionals involved in their treatment. However, the condition does offer further health complications that patients should be aware of.
People with osteoarthritis are more susceptible to gout. It is a common form of inflammatory arthritis caused by increased urate in the blood. This urate leads to the growth of sodium urate crystals which form in and around the joint and can be extremely painful when an attack occurs.
Osteoarthritis can increase the growth of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the cartilage, which can again be extremely painful. This calcification can occur in any joint, whether affected by osteoarthritis or not but it usually occurs in knees which already have osteoarthritis. It is most common on older patients and calcium crystals can exacerbate the symptoms of osteoarthritis too.
Outlook for Osteoarthritis
As such a common joint condition, research into osteoarthritis is constant. New research studies and trials consistently look at new treatment methods and try to identify way to eliminate and minimise the condition.
On an individual basis it is impossible to predict how osteoarthritis may progress. Sometimes it impacts an individual quickly and damages joints very quickly, leading to permanent disability. More common is the slower onset of the disease, which may see small but noticeable changes to the joints. This is less severe in painful that quick onset of the condition, although the pain is still a common feature. It is less likely to cause disability and can be treated more effectively for most people. The disease’s progress can be slowed too.
Appointments and Consultations with Dr Stephanie Barrett
Dr Stephanie Barrett treats patients with osteoarthritis every day.
If you would like to find out more about pain management and treatment or to make an appointment with Dr Stephanie Barrett please call 020 7730 8508 or make an appointment here.