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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease throughout the world where the articular cartilage breaks down and becomes thin. This leaves the ends of the bones unprotected and allows bones under the cartilage to rub against each other. This rubbing causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, inflammation and the joint loses its ability to move smoothly.

Osteoarthritis may include:

Inflammation of the tissue around a joint.

Damage to joint cartilage.

Reduced synovial fluid in joint cavity.

Bony spurs growing around the edge of a joint.

Deterioration of ligaments and tendons.

OA is the most common cause of joint discomfort, disability and limitation of activity especially in older people. OA is a chronic disease that affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. This degenerative joint disease usually affects the large weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities, including hip and knee.

OA can develop at any age but tends to be more common in people aged over 40 years or those who have had joint injuries. In Malaysia, OA of the knee is the most common form of OA affecting 10 to 20% of the elderly population, reaching about 30% for those over the age of 65.

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