Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a degenerative disease and is often referred to as "wear and tear" of a joint as you get older.
Osteoarthritis is painful as joints become stiff and inflamed when the smooth cartilage lining the joints gets damaged. Without the protection of cartilage, the rough surfaces of your bones rub together as you move causing the pain that is all too common for sufferers.
Simple, everyday things, like going for a walk or even getting dressed become difficult.
There’s no cure for osteoarthritis and it does get worse with time. However, joints can be replaced successfully, improving mobility and reducing pain.
The damaged joint can be replaced with an artificial one, called a prosthesis – it can be made from a combination of metal or plastic. This is a common procedure to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis and is a long-term solution for a worn-out joint. Last year alone, we carried out almost 4,000 knee replacements and almost 5,000 hip replacements.