Osteoarthritis

Chronic joint disease

Chronic joint disease

Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis) is the most widespread of all chronic joint diseases and one of the most common reasons for analgesic treatment. In particular elderly people are affected. Osteoarthritis usually occurs in the hands, the feet, the spine, and the large, weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees.

The disease course is characterised by a degeneration and eventual loss of joint cartilage. This causes pain, swelling and a loss of motion of the affected joints. The acute pain of early osteoarthritis lasts often less than 3-6 months, but may return and become chronic if the affected joint is overburdened. Therefore prompt and appropriate treatment of osteoarthritic pain is of major importance for maintaining patients’ mobility and quality of life.