(Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon)

What Are The Four Stages of Osteoarthritis?

A common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that gets worse by the passing time. It involves the cartilage – which provides cushioning to the bones’ ends –wearing down. While osteoarthritis cannot be cured completely, timely medical intervention can slow down its progress and bring relief from the symptoms.

In general, the advancement of this joint disease happens in four stages. As it progresses, the symptoms get worse to a point that you may require surgical treatment.

Four Stages – From Minor to Severe

Stage 0 is assumed to be a normal stage where there are no signs of osteoarthritis. Everything is normal. Stage 1 is a minor stage where in the disease starts developing but you’re unlikely to experience any symptoms. Stage 2 is a mild stage wherein you will experience joint pain – but it will only be very mild. You may even feel stiffness and discomfort. Many people choose to ignore such symptoms, which then jump into the next stage.

Stage 3 is the moderate stage where the wear-tear is your cartilage surface is obvious; your joints will become rougher and the symptoms will become more prevalent and nagging. Doing any physical activity – something as common as walking – can cause frequent pain. Stage 4 is the severe stage where you may feel discomfort even when you’re not moving. The pain will be severe. The cartilage and the soft tissues around the knee will be in a bad condition. Your whole lifestyle will be affected.


Getting Help at the Right Time

If you have waited till stage 4 where the joints between the bones are reduced and the cartilage has worn off significantly, you may have to go for surgical treatment; total knee replacement is one of the options where your damaged joined is replaced by prosthetics. Of course, while such invasive treatments are now relatively safer and very effective, not many people would want to go for them. This is why getting help at the first sign of any symptom is important. The sooner the treatment course begins, the better you can control the progression osteoarthritis.

Old age is one of the most common risk factors. Genetics, obesity, and joint injuries are some other risk factors.

If you’re seeing any symptoms of osteoarthritis where you are experiencing joint inflammation, do reach out to the best osteoarthritis doctor in Kolkata and seek timely intervention. Find any of the best orthopedic doctors in Kolkata who specialize in this disease, get a proper diagnosis, and start the treatment course as soon as possible.