What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (arthrosis) is the most common joint disease; nearly all people will suffer from it with ageing. Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the knees, hips, finger joints and vertebral joints. Typically, the changes advance slowly over several years. The human body is unable to repair the damage to the joint’s cartilage. When joint pain makes normal movement and living difficult, or the joint suffers pain at rest and medication is no longer effective, a physician’s help is required. Coxa’s orthopaedic surgeons perform joint replacement surgeries on patients from all over Finland.


Osteoarthritis manifests as throbbing pain that worsens when moving and is relieved at rest. As the disease advances, the pain may become constant and a source of discomfort even during the night. Other typical symptoms include joint stiffness in the morning and when starting to move. Osteoarthritis in a lower limb makes walking increasingly difficult, and may make it difficult to stand up and sit down. Everyday living may become difficult with advanced osteoarthritis. In advanced osteoarthritis, even putting on socks and shoes may be difficult.

Risk factors

The risk factors of osteoarthritis include genetics, being overweight, joint injuries and related ligament injuries, malposition of joints and physically taxing work. Not all wear damage requires joint replacement surgery.

Non-surgical treatment of osteoarthritis

If surgery is not necessary or needs to be postponed, the symptoms can be alleviated using other methods. Treatments for early stages of osteoarthritis include regular pain medication, weight loss, exercise and mobility aids. Read more about treating osteoarthritis.

Six different pictures of knee & hip joints with osteoarthritis and with artificial joints