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Understanding Osteoarthritis

If You Suffer from Osteoarthritis You're Not Alone!

Osteoarthritis Affects More Than 35 Million U.S. Adults.*

Sedentary Vulnerability

40% of adults with arthritis are inactive. Inactivity exacerbates obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.


Decreased Independence

23.77 million adults have difficulty with their usual activities due to arthritis.


Lost Earnings

$80 billion in lost work earnings annually are attributed to osteoarthritis.


Medical Costs

$2,017 average per person, per year in medical costs are attributed to osteoarthritis.


Total Knee Replacement

12% of TKR recipients need a 2nd surgery after 10 years.

*Sources: Osteoarthritis Action Alliance, The Bone & Joint Journal, Centeres for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH, 2016), Integrated Benefits Institute (2019)

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most commonly diagnosed type of arthritis disease. Knee OA is one of the most common types. Often called “wear and tear” arthritis, it can happen at any age, but it commonly starts in the 50s. There is no cure for OA. The disease starts gradually and worsens over time.

In healthy knee joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling, and problems moving the joint.

As OA worsens over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs. These bits of bones or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint.

iStock 612393524 TInyIn the final stages of OA, the cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone leading to joint damage and more pain.

The Progressive Stages of Osteoarthritis

Stages of Osteoarthritis Graphics Stage 1 1

Stage 1:  Minor

OA patients develop very minor “wear & tear” and bone spur growths at the end of the knee joints. Minimum disruption. There is already 10% cartilage lost.


Stages of Osteoarthritis Graphics Stage 2

Stage 2:  Mild

In stage 2, diagnostic images or X-rays of knee joints will show more bone spur growth. People being experiencing joint pain. Typically, the area around the knee joint feels stiff and uncomfortable, particularly when sitting for an extended period, after rising in the morning, or after a workout. Joint-spacing is narrowing. The cartilage begins breaking down.

Stages of Osteoarthritis Graphics Stage 3

Stage 3:  Moderate

In stage 3, there is obvious erosion to the cartilage surface between bones and fibrillation narrows the gap between the bones. There are proteins and collagen fragments released into the synovial fluid as the disease progresses, wherein the bones develop spurs at the joints as it becomes rougher.

With the progression, there is obvious joint inflammation which cause frequent pain when walking, running, squatting, extending or kneeling. Along with joint stiffness after sitting for long or when waking up in the morning, there may be popping or snapping sounds when walking.


Stages of Osteoarthritis Graphics Stage 4

Stage 4:  Severe

In stage 4, the joint space between the bones is considerably reduced, causing the cartilage to wear off, leaving the joint stiff. The breakdown of cartilage leads to a chronic inflammatory response, with decreased synovial fluid that causes friction, greater pain and discomfort when walking or moving the joint. The advanced stage of the disease shows development of more spurs causing excruciating pain, which makes even everyday activities, including walking and descending stairs a challenge.


What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and affects over 32 million people in the U.S. alone. Over time the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in your joints begins to deteriorate. Cartilage is a firm tissue that is naturally lubricated with synovial fluid and enables nearly frictionless motion in your knee joint.

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Eventually, the cartilage can wear completely down and bones can rub on each other. The slowly developing condition is called osteoarthritis. 

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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease and gets worse over time. Many people who develop the disease develop chronic pain. 

Osteoarthritis is often called the wear and tear disease. In addition to the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis usually affects the entire joint. As a result, inflammation and pain occur. 

Osteoarthritis can be very debilitating as the pain and inflammation restrict people from the normal daily activities they enjoy. Joint pain and stiffness can become so severe that daily tasks become difficult.

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There are many factors that can increase your risk for osteoarthritis including:
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Sex – Women have a higher risk than men
  • Joint Injury
  • Overuse
  • Obesity
  • Weak muscles
  • Genes

While there is no cure for Osteoarthritis our treatments can help you return to the daily, activities you enjoy.

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Don’t let Osteoarthritis keep you from living an active, pain free life!

Treatment Options For Osteoarthritis


Medications can help relieve osteoarthritis symptoms, primarily pain, but prolonged use can cause other health issues:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Recommended doses of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, can help relieve osteoarthritis pain but prolonged use can can cause stomach upset, cardiovascular problems, bleeding problems, and liver and kidney damage. NSAIDs gels, applied to the skin over the affected joint, have fewer side effects.
  • Acetaminophen –Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can help some people with osteoarthritis who have mild to moderate pain, but taking more than the recommended dose of acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
  • Opioids – Although required by prescription use of opioids come with serious risks of abuse and misuse. In addition to health risks side effects may include respiratory depression, confusion, tolerance, and physical dependence.


  • Physical therapy (PT) –PT exercises can help strengthen the muscles around your joint, increase your flexibility and reduce pain. Regular gentle exercise that you do on your own, such as swimming or walking, can be equally effective.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) –This therapy uses  low-voltage electrical current to relieve pain. It can provide short-term relief from pain.

Knee Injections

  • Cortisone injections.Injections of a corticosteroid into your joint might relieve pain for a few weeks. The number of cortisone injections you can receive each year is generally limited, because the medication can worsen joint damage over time.
  • Lubricating and Cushioning injectionsThis FDA-approved therapy consists of a series of precision-guided knee joint injections of a viscosupplement. The “visco” cushioning gel is an all-natural replacement (Hyaluronic Acid) for the depleted synovial fluid in your knee joint and acts as “lubricant” and “shock absorber”.
    • Studies show that when that when doctors perform the treatments with live motion imagery, called Fluoroscopy, the effectiveness is significantly increased. Fluoroscopy guides doctors to precisely place the medicine in the knee joint where it will be most effective.
    • This treatment has been shown to be effective for many people suffering from osteoarthritis and can be repeated, without the risks associated with NSAIDs, opioids and surgery.
  • Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)(GAE) is a safe and effective supplemental knee pain treatment for patients suffering from secondary knee pain due to prolonged knee inflammation. It is considered a treatment option for patients with residual knee pain after receiving knee injections.
      • Some patients with chronic inflammation develop tiny new blood vessels around the knee that are abnormal and cause pain. GAE has been shown to be very effective in eliminating residual arterial knee pain.
      • This new, and cutting-edge treatment relieves pain in a completely different way than injections. It closes these blood vessels and also eliminates the associated painful nerve fibers. The GAE procedure is safe, virtual painless, and effective. Most patients don’t need to be retreated. GAE Many patients experience improvement within just a few days.


  • Joint replacement – In joint replacement surgery, surgeons remove damaged joint surfaces and replace them with plastic and metal parts. There are risks associated with surgery including infection and blood clots. Healing takes time and artificial joints can wear out or come loose and might eventually need to be replaced.

Learn More About Our Non-Surgical Treatments for Osteoarthritis.

For many, our treatment is a scientifically proven alternative to painful, risky, expensive surgery.

If you qualify, our treatment  may alleviate your knee pain as it has for others. 


Detailed information is available in our downloadable brochure.


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