Most common joint disorder, afflicting over 80percnt of those who reach age 70. It does not involve excessive inflammation and may have no symptoms, especially at first. Cartilage softens and wears away, and bone grows in its place, distorting the joint's surface and causing pain, stiffness, and limited movement, usually in weight-bearing joints (vertebrae, knees, hips). Treatment may include analgesics, rest, weight loss, corticosteroids, and/or physical medicine and rehabilitation or an exercise program. Hip or knee replacement or surgical removal of unhealthy tissue may be needed.
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