BANGALORE: In India women over the age of 40, are most affected by osteoarthritis. Experts say that this is a degenerative condition of the bone joints and is a part of the ageing process just like greying of hair.
Dr Manisha Ashwin Dawde, consultant rheumatologist at Narayana Health City, says, “Natural strength in joints, muscles and ligaments is less in women and they are more prone to osteoarthritis. Knee joints as well as the spine, hip joints and ankle joints are weight- bearing joints and they get worn out sooner. Men also suffer from occupation-related arthritis as well as genetic or lack of exercise related arthritis,” she adds.
“Osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common cause of disability. It is a disease of age that affects more women than men. The ratio is 60:40,” says Dr Chandrashekar, orthopedics consultant, Sakra World Hospital.
He adds, “General physicians advise patients to wait as long as they can before pursuing knee replacements as it is a once-in-a-lifetime surgery that lasts an average of 15 to 20 years. However, delaying surgery beyond a point can affect quality of life of patients because how they function before surgery indicates their performance afterwards.
Today with the advancement in technology there are knees made of newer material like oxidised zirconium that last longer with the replacement lasting up to 30 years.”
Dr Dawde also says, “There are different grades of osteoarthritis.
In the first and second stages, medicines can postpone the degeneration. But in the progressed stages (III and IV), there is more damage to the knee joint and nothing can help. That is when surgery is needed.”