|Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together. The rubbing causes pain, swelling and critically impairs the movement of the joint. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint but is most common in the hands, knees, hips, and spine.
Osteoarthritis usually happens gradually over time and occurs most often in older people. Younger people sometimes get osteoarthritis, primarily from joint injuries. Other risk factors such as being overweight, having a genetic defect in joint cartilage, poor posture and consistent overuse of joints (e.g. sports, heavy physical labor, etc.) can contribute to causing osteoarthritis.
Among the different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most frequent type worldwide.
The main causes of OA are biological, biomechanical processes combined with genetic disposition. OA already affects 25-30 % of all 45- to 60-year-olds. More precisely, 60 % of those affected are above the age of 65 years.
Furthermore, this widespread disease has a severe impact on the country`s national economy. OA is the most frequent reason for early retirement, as well as the most frequent joint disease among adults causing employees to take long sick leaves.
Viscosupplementation is an effective treatment for OA with proven benefits on pain relief, function and natural protection of the joint.¹