There are two classifications of osteoarthritis; primary and secondary. A case is considered to be primary osteoarthritis if the cause is unknown while secondary refers to cases when the cause is apparent. Osteoarthritis generally affects the spine, hands and feet as well as larger joints such as the hips and knees.
For patients suffering from osteoarthritis weight loss and reducing stressful activity on the affected joints are generally suggested to slow degeneration. Topical, oral and injected medications often provide relief from pain. Physical therapy and prescribed exercise are also recommended, in most cases, as they help patients gain strength and reduce stress on the joints. In more severe cases of osteoarthritis surgery is an option. Such surgical procedures include: arthroscopy, joint replacements and osteotomy. Surgery is generally considered only after less invasive treatment methods have been exhausted.