The symptoms and the severity of symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) can vary from person to person and it also depends on the joint that is affected. The common signs and symptoms of OA are:
Some other signs and symptoms which you or your doctor may notice include:
Some people with osteoarthritis may not have persistent pain in the joints (the pain may occur in episodes). Most people with OA have symptoms in one or a few joints at any one time. The symptoms may gradually worsen or in some people it may stabilise. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but the joints of knees, hips or hands are most commonly affected.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knees: In most people with osteoarthritis of knees, it is likely that both the knees will get affected over time, unless OA starts after injury or another condition affecting only one knee. Symptoms of OA of knees include pain in knees which increases when you walk, particularly while climbing stairs or walking uphill. You may feel that at times the knees 'give way' beneath you or make it difficult to straighten your legs. You may hear a grating or crackling sound or sensation in your affected knee on moving it.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the hips: The pain of OA of hips occurs in the groin or outside the hip, which worsens when you move the hip and when you walk. Some people can have bad pain at night. In OA of hips you may find it difficult do things like putting your shoes and socks on, getting in and out of a car.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the hands: The three main areas of the hand that are affected by OA include:the base of your thumb, the joints closest to your fingertips and the middle joints of your fingers. People with OA of hands may have stiff, painful and swollen fingers, and may develop bumps on the finger joints. In most cases the pain improves with time and eventually disappears but the bumps and swelling may persist. OA of the hand can make doing some manual tasks, such as writing, opening jars or turning keys painful.
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