Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the articular surface which is beyond the normal aging process. During the development of osteoarthritis, cartilage is lost, leading to pain and loss of function of the affected joint. Generally all joints can be affected. The reasons why a patient develops osteoarthritis are multifactorial and must be analysed during a diagnostic workup. Predisposing factors that are reversible or therapeutically addressable are of special interest. These are i.e.:

  • Overweight -> Weight reduction
  • Rheumatologic disorders -> Pharmacological therapy
  • Axis deviation -> i.e. correction of mechanical axis
  • Muscular insufficiencies -> Medical training programme

The most frequent factors for the development of osteoarthritis are overloading (joint abusers) and genetic factors. The principal aim of treatment is to restore the pain-free joint function and to stop progression.

Treatment options

  • Physiotherapy to restore full range of motion
  • Exercise to improve muscle strength and endurance
  • Proprioceptive training (coordination between muscle groups)
  • Pharmacological therapy
  • Cartilage regenerative therapy (surgical or non-surgical)