It is a very common condition that typically occurs between 50 and 60 years of age, but can also occur in younger ages. It is classified as primary osteoarthritis when the source is not known, or as secondary when it occurs as a result of inflammatory processes (arthritis), endocrine (diabetes or gout), congenital (dysplasia) or trauma, that alter the morphology and joint function.
An arthritic pathology manifests itself through wear and gradual resorption of articular cartilage, thinning of the joint space, production of abnormal bone (osteophytes), deformation of the joint, thickening the capsule forming calcifications, resulting in acute pain and severe limitation in movement. Diagnosis is easily recognized based on symptoms and a simple x-ray, therapy is planned based on the severity of the disease.
The joints most affected are those of the hip (coxarthrosis), knee (gonarthrosis) and shoulder (omartrosis).
The most effective therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis is surgery with prosthetic replacement of the articular heads concerned. Drug therapies, physiotherapy, cortisone infiltration or any other therapy may temporarily relieve pain but are not a permanent solution.