Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common type of arthritis. It is commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis and this occurs when cartilage – the natural cushioning between joints – becomes worn away. As a result, the bones of the joints rub against each other more closely. With less cartilage between them, the bones rubbing together causes inflammation, which manifests itself as pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion and even bone spurs.
By far the most commonly affected joints by osteoarthritis are knees. While age is a major contributing factor in developing osteoarthritis of the knee, younger individuals can also be affected. Other risk factors can be hereditary/genetics, activity level, type of work, weight or previous injuries.
Common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis are swelling, pain that increases with activity, stiffness (especially after prolonged periods of sitting), creaking and crackly sounds heard or felt with movement and decreased mobility, that can make it more difficult to use the stairs or get in and out of chairs or cars.
Regenerative medicine injections are a novel treatment option that be used to slow down or even attempt to reverse some of the cartilage damage and resulting inflammation through direct (stem cell) and indirect (PRP) regenerative therapies.