Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint that has cartilage-covered joint surfaces. However, the knee and hip are large joints that are frequently affected due to the loads that are put through the joints with daily activity. The knee in particular is prone to injury, and knee injury frequently leads to osteoarthritis.
Symptoms may include:
- Pain with weight-bearing
- Stiff and unstable leg
- Knee giving out
- Crunching or clicking noises; in early cartilage changes, clicking may be heard and felt when the knee is bent and straightened. The symptoms may cause difficulty in climbing stairs and hills, sitting on your knees and squatting and getting up from sitting
- When there has been significant degeneration of the joint OA of the knee results in deformities such as ‘knock-knees’ or ‘bowed-legs’.
Pain can be located:
- Often outside the hip or deep into the groin (where the hip joint actually sits), or on the inside or outside of the thigh or down the leg. Sometimes there is no hip pain, but instead the pain feels like it is in the thigh or knee area
- Hip osteoarthritis often leads to reduced movement in the joint. This can lead to trouble with daily activities such as getting in the car, putting on socks, etc
- Often, your step length will get shorter when walking. It may be hard for you to straighten your hips, so you may tend to bend forward when walking
- Most commonly affects the end of fingers and the base of the thumb
- Fingers may feel stiff or tender. They may look ‘lumpy’ and have minor deformities
- It is common for the muscles in the hands to feel weak. It can be hard to clench your hands into a fist, carry something heavy, write or use scissors