Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) treatment

Cover image representing osteoarthritis treatment in Türkiye

Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) is the most common type of arthritis, especially in the elderly. Bimaristan Center in Turkey has extensive experience in treating osteoarthritis.

What is osteoarthritis?

 Degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis (OA), is the rupture of the cartilage in the joint and the slowly degeneration of the underlying bone over time, resulting in progressive pain, stiffness, and joint deformity.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive damage to the articular cartilage and degeneration of the underlying bone
An image showing the difference between a normal knee and an arthritic knee

Osteoarthritis can affect adults of any age, but it is more common in the elderly. Reports indicate that osteoarthritis affects about 32.5 million people in the United States of America, and thus degenerative arthritis is the most common among the different types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is most common in the hands, feet, shoulder, neck, and weight-bearing joints in general, such as the knee, pelvis, and spine.

Diagnosis of osteoarthritis in Turkey is based on the patient's signs and symptoms and is supported by radiographs. 
As for osteoarthritis treatment, it may be as simple as applying ice to the joint in mild cases, and may require surgery in severe cases of degenerative arthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes

Degenerative arthritis occurs when the cartilage damage between the bones is faster than the body's ability to repair, as this damage is cumulative and increases with age, especially in the joints that are more used and that are exposed to repeated effort.

Risk factors for developing osteoarthritis

Among the factors that accelerate the development of degenerative (rheumatoid) arthritis, the following can be mentioned:

  • Putting pressure on the joint and overloading it, or the defective positions of the joint for long periods.
  • Previous surgery, disease or direct trauma to the joint, including congenital diseases such asCongenital hip dislocation or Leg length unequal.
  • Age: Osteoarthritis symptoms generally appear after the age of 50 (but not always).
  • Gender: Osteoarthritis is more common in women than in men, but the cause is still unknown.
  • Heredity: Osteoarthritis is more common in the same family.
  • obesity; Because the extra weight puts an extra load on the weight-bearing joints such as the hip joint and the knee joint.
  • Loss of muscle tone that supports joints.

Regardless of the causes of osteoarthritis, the end result of the disease is the removal of the smooth surface that characterizes the cartilage and the formation of a rough and pointed surface in its place due to the continuous demolition and construction processes. The affected joint cannot move without painful friction that hinders the joint from its work.

When osteoarthritis occurs, the cartilage is damaged and the bone underneath is exposed, and bony beaks appear in the adjacent bone.
An image showing the effects of osteoarthritis on the joints

Symptoms of osteoarthritis

Perhaps the most important symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) and the most coincidentally joint pain and joint stiffness and limit the range of movement of the joints (i.e. decreased flexibility and the inability to move the joints as before) and swelling of the joints, and these symptoms are characterized by being progressive and worsening gradually in the absence of treatment .

The arthralgia associated with rheumatoid arthritis is characterized as aggravated by movement and improved by rest Stiffness Being morning, it increases in the event of immobility, especially in the early morning hours, and improves within a few minutes of moving the joints.

Other symptoms that indicate the progression of osteoarthritis include:

  • Joint deformity on radiographs
  • Articular effusion (a buildup of fluid within a joint)
  • Muscular weakness caused by inactivity
  • Clearly defines the range of motion
  • Hear band sounds when moving joints
  • Severe pain that makes it difficult to perform simple tasks such as walking

With the development of osteoarthritis, the pain becomes constant even during rest. It also continues during the night and may wake you from your sleep. You may have to avoid many activities and movements that aggravate the pain, such as climbing stairs and getting out of the toilet.

The appearance of such symptoms may make surgery the only treatment for osteoarthritis, so if you feel pain in your joints, do not neglect yourself and hurry up. Communion With Bimaristan Medical Center in Turkey in order to detect the condition early and avoid irreversible complications.

Osteoarthritis may have different symptoms depending on the affected joints:

  • Osteoarthritis of the hand and fingers: We notice an enlargement of the bones and a change in the shape of the joints that increases with time.
  • Osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle: It may cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the patient's feet, especially after walking and sports.
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee: Cracking or rubbing sounds can be heard in the knee joint while moving or walking, and over time, weakness of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint may cause knee flexion.
  • Osteoarthritis of the hip: Pain and stiffness may appear in the hip joint itself, the groin, the thigh, or the lower back, and it may spread to the knee sometimes. Movement is clearly limited with the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Osteoarthritis of the back (spine): It manifests as pain or stiffness in the neck or back, with the appearance of bony changes may occur spinal canal stenosis And the accompanying problems and other symptoms.

Diagnosis of osteoarthritis in Turkey

Diagnosing the disease requires hearing the patient’s complaints and symptoms in detail, and then examining the affected joints clinically and imaging them using different imaging techniques and conducting laboratory analyzes, as there is no single qualitative test that detects degenerative arthritis directly.

The doctor will ask many questions about your disease in order to diagnose and try to find out the causative factors; Like when you started to feel pain, times when the pain was exacerbated, when you were comfortable, what joint diseases you had since your childhood, what your job is…

X-ray imaging is very necessary to diagnose the condition and determine the extent of the disease.
The radiograph of the joint affected by osteoarthritis has some special features; The roughness of the articular cartilage, the narrowing of the articular space, the appearance of bony protrusions (beaks) on the joint edges, and the stiffening of the bone under the articular cartilage or the formation of subchondral cysts can be observed.

On the radiograph, we notice damage to the articular cartilage in the medial side of the knee joint, narrowing the articular space and forming a bony beak.
Radiograph of a medial knee with osteoarthritis

Computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to obtain more accurate information, and an arthrocentesis may also be used to rule out septic causes and some laboratory tests to rule out other types of arthritis.

in a Bimaristan Medical Center In Turkey, doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating osteoarthritis will conduct comprehensive examinations to determine the type of inflammation you have and design the optimal treatment plan for your case.

Osteoarthritis treatment in Turkey

There are many osteoarthritis treatment methods available in Turkey according to each patient’s case. Patients may receive more than one treatment to reduce the development of degenerative arthritis, relieve symptoms and try to restore the normal function of the joint, but unfortunately there is no cure for the condition completely.

It is noticed in the early stages that the treatment of osteoarthritis treatment is limited to conservative methods such as making some lifestyle changes or physical therapy Or pain medication, but if symptoms progress, injections into the affected joints or surgery may be used to treat osteoarthritis.

Treating osteoarthritis with lifestyle changes

Emphasis is placed on weight loss for osteoarthritis patients andObesity treatment Excessive weight loss may help reduce pain and slow articular cartilage damage, especially in weight-bearing joints.
A dietician at Bimaristan will supervise you and provide nutritional advice to help you lose weight safely and effectively.

Moderate and regular exercise also helps restore normal joint movement, strengthen the muscles that support it, and relieve joint pain, but this is preferably under the supervision of a health care provider who can develop a customized program of osteoarthritis exercises in order to maintain your fitness without stressing and damaging the joints.

Osteoarthritis treatment with physical therapy

Physical therapy has the same benefits as exercise in terms of improving movement and increasing muscle strength, but it is under the supervision of a specialized physical therapist and is used in more severe cases of osteoarthritis in order to rehabilitate the affected joints without causing severe pain to the patient.

Physical therapy also helps you live with osteoarthritis and perform daily tasks easily and smoothly. It also helps prevent falls by improving balance and using walkers or other tools. Heat and cold therapy may help improve symptoms for a short time.

Osteoarthritis medication treatment

In the course of treating degenerative arthritis, your doctor may prescribe some medications to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. They can be topical, oral, or given by injection into the joints.

Perhaps the best treatment for osteoarthritis is the oral combination of the pain reliever acetaminophen with an NSAID such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac, but despite its benefit, caution should be exercised when used for long periods.

Topical pain relievers can be applied to the skin covering the affected joints in the form of creams, ointments, patches or sprays. They do not require a prescription to use and are used to relieve joint pain of moderate severity if you do not want to use painkillers.

Steroids or lubricating fluids such as hyaluronic acid can also be injected into joints affected by osteoarthritis using EPI to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, and may help delay knee replacement by a few years in some patients.

Shoulder osteoarthritis was treated by intra-articular injection of drugs under the guidance of echocardiography
Picture of a patient injecting drugs into the shoulder joint with osteoarthritis under echo guidance

Herbal treatment for osteoarthritis

proved studies Bone and joint herbs such as avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASUs) may produce mild pain relief and improvement in function, but the improvement is small and may not be felt by the patient. This treatment is also more effective in treating osteoarthritis in the knee joint than it is. in the hip joint.

Surgical treatment of osteoarthritis

Although some bony changes in osteoarthritis are irreversible, a small number of people with this disease will need surgery in Turkey in order to treat osteoarthritis.

Surgery is resorted to in Turkey if all previous treatments fail to relieve the patient or are unable to apply them, or when there is a wide and severe bone injury. Surgical procedures in Turkey include the following:

  • Osteotomy: It is performed by open surgery on the joint or by arthroscopy, in which some damaged parts of the bone are removed and remodeled.
  • arthroscopic debridement: Used to remove bony and tissue growths in order to maintain joint mobility, using arthroscopy Which is characterized by being minimally invasive.
  • Arthroplasty: It is resorted to in the event of the inability to repair the joint, the knee and hip joints are the most common joints that are replaced with other artificial joints, in Turkey, partial knee joint replacement can be performed instead of Total knee replacement If the damage does not include the entire joint.
Severe osteoarthritis of the knee can be treated by replacing the affected knee joint with an artificial joint
Image showing how to treat osteoarthritis in the knee by replacing the knee joint with an artificial joint

It has evolved Treatment in Turkey In recent times, especially in the field of orthopedic surgery, Turkish hospitals have been provided with the latest devices and technologies to keep pace with the development wheel in the medical field around the world, in addition to providing a distinguished medical staff capable of taking advantage of this progress, accompanying the patient step by step towards recovery.


  1. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
  2. Arthritis Foundation
  3. American College of Rheumatology
  4. Medical News Today

Frequently Asked Questions

Rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis (OA), is a chronic condition characterized by damage to the cartilage joints between the bones, and this leads to the bones rubbing together, causing severe pain to the patient.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive problem; It increases both if the patient neglects himself and does not adhere to the doctors’ instructions, and although osteoarthritis is not fatal, it is a common cause of disability in the elderly.

Degenerative arthritis is not an autoimmune disease, but rather is caused by chronic damage to the joint cartilage. The direct cause of osteoarthritis is still not known precisely, but it has been found that some factors increase the risk of this disease, such as stress on the joints and overloading them.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but despite that, it does not always have to get worse. There are many treatment methods that help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and prevent it from progressing, as simple as reducing weight, exercising and eating healthy foods.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the best oral analgesic for osteoarthritis pain. They include several drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac, all of which work by blocking the enzymes responsible for pain and inflammation.

The method of treating osteoarthritis in Turkey varies according to the progression of the disease and the appearance of signs on radiographs of the joints, which carry a bad warning; In the early stages of the disease, simple changes are made in the patient's life and some medications are given to him. In the later stages, surgery may be the only option for the patient to restore joint function.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.