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Baylor Medical Center at Irving

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What Is Osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to break down. Cartilage is a smooth substance that protects the ends of your bones and helps your joints move. Osteoarthritis becomes more common as people get older. To diagnose this disease, your doctor will ask about your health history and perform an exam. X-rays may also be needed. 


Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, with women tending to get it in their hands. Weight-bearing joints, such as the hip and knee, are often affected in both men and women. Some of the more common symptoms of this disease include:

  • Joint pain and stiffness. Long periods of rest or using a joint too long or too hard can make pain and stiffness worse.
  • Weak muscles or wobbly joints.
  • Joints that have lost normal shape and motion.

If Surgery Is Needed

For people with severe joint damage, surgery can decrease pain and improve movement. Joint replacement is the most common surgery used to treat osteoarthritis. Joints in the knee, hip, and shoulder are replaced most often.

Free Education Seminar

Join us for an upcoming seminar on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Baylor Irving, 2021 N. MacArthur Blvd., Medical Office Building II, Conference Center, Irving, Texas. The seminar will be led by Cameron Atkinson, MD, orthopedic surgeon on the Baylor Irving medical staff, and you will learn about possible treatment for joint pain.

To register, please call 1.800.4BAYLOR or register online

In the meantime, amp up your osteoarthritis knowledge by taking our quiz.