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Coimbatore

World Arthritis Day: OA impacting quality of life of elderly population; here are prevention and treatment options

Covai Post Network

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Coimbatore, October 12, 2023 : Around 62.35 million individuals in India suffer from osteoarthritis (OA), a common disease causing stiffness and pain in joints. According to a study, 18.6% of Tamil Nadu’s population suffers from OA, with the disease being more prevalent in the elderly population, especially women.

“Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, affecting people differently, from mild discomfort to significant disability. Early identification and Treatment depending on the stage of osteoarthritis. The disease should not be ignored. Treatment is essential,” said Dr. C Rex, Prof & Head of the Department of Orthopedics, Rex Ortho Hospital, Coimbatore.

With increasing longevity, the number of years people will have to live with the disease will get longer. OA can impact the quality of life in those additional years severely. OA most commonly impacts the knee and the hip joint; it is closely linked to the older population’s ability to move around and function independently.

The severe restrictions in movement due to OA is further associated with increased risk of other health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and hypertension.

Prevention

Risk factors include advancing age, obesity, and occupational activities involving kneeling and squatting for prolonged periods.

It may not be possible to fully prevent OA. But even in individuals who are pre-disposed to the disease, a healthy lifestyle may help with how early symptoms manifest and how severe they will become over time.

“It is important to maintain a healthy weight, control blood sugar, exercise, and protect joints from injury,” said Dr. C Rex.

Treatment options

The goal of treatment is to relieve pain, improve function, and slow down disease progression. It includes physical therapy, medications like pain relievers and corticosteroid injections. In severe cases, surgery options like knee or hip replacement may be considered.

“Total knee replacement and total hip replacement surgeries are generally safe medical procedures. Technological advancements like robotic-assisted surgery have further ensured that they are minimally invasive as well. Patients should follow their doctor’s treatment advice,” said Dr. C Rex.

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