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Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) most often affects joints in the hand, knee, hip, and spine but can affect any joint. OA can occur in 1 joint or several. It often affect one side of the body more than the other. Some people have symptoms that get worse, while others have symptoms that stabilize.
Hallmark symptoms of OA include:
- Increased pain and stiffness in the joint, especially when the joint is used or stressed (pain may subside while resting)
- Gradual loss of range of motion in the affected joint
- Joint instability, which may give the feeling of the joint giving out
- Grating or creaking sound when moving the joint
- Deformed or misshapen joints with or without visible nodes on the bones
- Swelling—joint may appear red or inflamed
Pain may be specific to activity and the joint affected. For example, knee pain may occur when climbing or going down stairs. Hip pain may occur when moving or bending.
If left untreated, OA can lead to significant disability.
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116897/Osteoarthritis-OA-of-the-knee. Updated July 22, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2016.
Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Osteoarthritis/default.asp. Updated August 2013. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114846/Osteoarthritis-OA-of-the-hip. Updated July 22, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2016.
Sinusas, K. Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2012;85(1):49-56.
- Reviewer: Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
- Review Date: 05/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015