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What is it?

Osteoarthritis is a gradual weakening of the lining of the joint that allows the joint to move smoothly. The joint surfaces wear away and become 'rusty'. Often the cause of arthritis is not known, though overuse and injuries can lead to the development of osteoarthritis over time.
Arthritis can affect any joint, commonly the hips, knees, shoulders and hands and feet.
The condition leads to a stiff, painful joint.  At times, osteoarthritis may cause small pieces of the joint to break off and float around within the joint. These are known as loose bodies, and can be removed in an arthroscopic or open procedure.


Possible Causes: Injury, Overuse and Trauma


  • Structured exercise programme - specifically personalised for you by your MSMC surgeon
  • Physiotherapy
  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatories
  • Injections into joints - hyaluronic acid and/or steroid
  • Surgery - different options for different stages of disease.

    Types of Surgery:

    • Key hole surgery (Arthroscopy)
    • Minimally invasive total and partial joint replacements - offered by the surgeons at MSMC
    • Conventional Joint Replacement - most common procedure for advanced arthritis


      • Remain active
      • Maintain a healthy weight
      • Exercise: a well-designed exercise program can keep or even improve joint flexibility and reduce pain
      • Controlled rest only when joints are very painful.

      When to refer:

      • Pain not controlled with exercise and simple pain killers
      • Pain keeping you awake at night
      • Restriction of sporting activities 
      • Daily activities restricted
      • Swelling of the joint
      • Limping, if involving the leg
      • Mechanical symptons - feeling of something loose in joint, joint locking or giving way, pain on twisting in the leg.


      MSMC's surgeons offer a comprehensive range of advice, support and treatment for arthritic conditions including:

      • Evaluation of symptons and designing a treatment and follow-up plan
      • Medical and surgical opinions
      • Advanced keyhole (arthroscopic) surgery
      • Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)
      • Total joint replacement

      For more details on Arthritis affecting specific joints and treatment please see the Education Section.

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