Many people are surviving with joint problems. They have different diseases of joints that have different causes and some are associated with certain other medical conditions. But when we talk about osteoarthritis, it has some stages.
In this disease, the flexible tissues that are present at the bone end start wearing down. It occurs gradually but becomes worse as time passes. There are five stages of osteoarthritis. Stage 0 refers to the normal stage in which people have healthy knees.
The highest stage is stage 4 in which people get severe issues of osteoarthritis (OA). It causes significant pain and the disruption of the function and movement of joints.
Stage 0 (Normal)
It refers to normal knee health. No specific symptoms of OA appear in this stage and the joint keeps functioning without any pain or impairment. No treatment is required for this stage.
Stage 1 (Minor)
Minor growth of bone spur appears in this stage. Bone spur refers to bony growths that can develop where your bones meet each other in the area of the joint. A minor cartilage loss can occur. People do not experience any discomfort and pain at this stage usually.
Most doctors do not recommend any treatment without the appearance of symptoms. But if you have some risks of increasing the disease, your doctor may suggest you do exercise in routine in order to reduce the symptoms.
Stage 2 (Mild)
It is called a mild stage of osteoarthritis. Doctors perform x-rays to detect the growth of bone spur. People with mild stages have greater growth of bone spur. But the size of cartilage is still healthy. You can say in other words that bones have normal space in between them.
Bones do not scrape and rub with one another. The synovial fluid is present at this stage at a moderate level for the normal motion of the joint. People with this stage may experience pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the area of their joints.
Discuss the symptoms of OA with your doctor in order to get the best treatment. It is important to diagnose this issue at early stages to stop the progression of the disease. The doctor might suggest some therapies and give you pain relievers.
Exercise is recommended for overweight people. You can do low-impact aerobic exercises. Moreover, your doctor may ask you to visit a physical therapist.
Stage 3 (Moderate)
Stage 4 of OA refers to the moderate stage. Damage to cartilage occurs and the space between your bones becomes reduced. People with this stage get frequent pain when they walk, bend joints, or start running.
Your doctor may prescribe you glucocorticoid injections if pain relievers and certain home remedies do not work for you. A hormone is present in corticosteroids which helps to relieve the pain of OA.
Stage 4 (Severe)
This stage is considered a severe stage. People with this stage get much pain and discomfort in the area of their joint when they move it or walk. The reason is that the space present between the bones is reduced dramatically. Cartilage is almost gone.
It makes the area of your joint stiffer. Moreover, it can become immobile, and synovial fluid starts decreasing. Doctors usually recommend surgery for Stage 4 of OA.
Bone Realignment Surgery
Osteotomy or bone realignment surgery is the one option for individuals who have severe OA of the knee. A surgeon tries to cut the bone above during this surgery. He also cuts it below the knee to shorten it. Sometimes surgeons change the alignment of the bone.
Total Knee Replacement (TNR)
Arthroplasty or total knee replacement is recommended for people with severe and persistent pain. It is good for individuals who have decreased functions with severe OA of their knee. A surgeon removes and replaces the damaged area of the joint using a mental device and plastic.
You may get an infection at the site of the incision after the surgery. People may also have blood clots. After surgery, you may need several weeks or even months to recover. Physical therapy and certain extensive occupational therapies help to recover.
Sometimes surgery won’t work. In this case, your doctor can recommend you another surgery to deal with the severe OA.