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Osteoarthritis treatment

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone condition that can affect any joint in the body, but the most common areas affected are the knees, hips and small joints in the hands. Often the symptoms appear in one joint or a few joints at any one time.

I have a question about osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone condition that can affect any joint in the body, but the most common areas affected are the knees, hips, ankles and small joints in the hands. Often osteoarthritis symptoms appear in one joint or a few joints at any one time.

What causes osteoarthritis?

You’re more likely to experience osteoarthritis as you get older; the cartilage that cushions your joints wears down and becomes thinner. The joint surfaces then become damaged and inflamed, and pain occurs when the joint moves and bone grates on bone.

People working in heavy manual occupations are also more likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis.

What are common osteoarthritis symptoms?

Often referred to as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis the most common osteoarthritis symptoms are pain during and after movement and stiffness in your joints, especially if you’ve not moved for a while. Other symptoms include:

  • Joint tenderness, particularly when light pressure is applied
  • Limited range of movement in your joints and loss of flexibility
  • A grating sensation in your joints when movement occurs
  • Joints may appear larger or more bone spurs (lumps) appear, on or around the joints

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?

Whilst osteoarthritis symptoms may come and go in episodes in the early stages, in severe cases the level of pain can greatly restrict normal life and everyday activities and has a significant impact on quality of life.

You should see your GP as soon as possible if you have continuous and persistent symptoms. They can refer you to our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons for a physical examination and an x-ray. They might recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan which will show the soft tissues and identify changes in the bone that aren’t visible on a standard x-ray.

There’s no blood test for osteoarthritis but these tests can be used to rule out other conditions.

What options are available for osteoarthritis treatment?

Whilst there’s no cure for osteoarthritis, it can be managed to reduce and alleviate the pain associated with the condition. You should:

  • Monitor your symptoms and their impact on your day to day activities
  • Exercise regularly, including muscle strengthening, general aerobic fitness and stretching and manipulation of joints and muscles
  • Keep your weight under control by committing to a healthy diet and exercise plan to relieve pressure on joints


Paracetamol and/or topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or corticosteroid injections can help reduce or manage inflammation and joint pain – but you should seek professional medical advice before taking any medications for osteoarthritis treatment.

Joint surgery

When your osteoarthritis reaches a severe stage, you may need joint replacement surgery. Our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons can remove the damaged joint and put in a new one.

Find out more about our best in class joint replacement procedures and Rapid Recovery programme for treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip and osteoarthritis of the knee.

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Work-related injury care and prevention

If you work in the trades or have a manual job, injuries such as sprains and strains can be debilitating. Discover more about injury prevention and your treatment options at our CQC rated Outstanding private hospital.

Our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons

Mr Southgate

Crispin Southgate

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Southgate's specialities include foot and ankle conditions - covering sports injuries and more.

Mr Dunning

Michael Dunning

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Dunning's specialities include hallux valgus surgery, sports injuries of the foot and ankle and arthrodesis surgery.

Mr Dhinsa

Baljinder Singh Dhinsa

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Singh Dhinsa's specialties include hallux valgus surgery and management of foot and ankle conditions

Contact us about treatment for osteoarthritis

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.