Donate to Osteoarthritis Research, Patient Care and Education

Also known as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. This chronic degenerative joint disease affects mostly middle-aged or older adults. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. As this process occurs, the bone ends may thicken, forming bony growths that interfere with joint movement. This can occur in any joint, usually affecting the hands, knees, hips or spine. Some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, limited joint movement and, in more advanced stages, grinding of joints as the cartilage wears away.

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of osteoarthritis research and care at Northwestern Medicine, you will be a part of efforts to find a solution for this degenerative condition that profoundly affects the lives of so many people.

Osteoarthritis can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary osteoarthritis has no known cause, while secondary osteoarthritis can be caused by another disease, infection, injury or deformity. Due to the poor self-healing capacity of articular cartilage, osteoarthritis is a challenging disease with limited treatment options. Although this disease can be controlled, more research is necessary to discover new therapies and, ideally, to find a cure for osteoarthritis. Your contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help to accelerate this important research.

Some of the risk factors associated with osteoarthritis are heredity, obesity, injury, or overuse. Scientists have found that making a few changes in a patient’s lifestyle can immensely reduce stress on the joints. In addition to helping people reduce their risk of developing osteoarthritis, Northwestern Medicine’s rheumatologists are dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of patients affected by this condition. Treatment plans typically include a number of elements, such as

  • Exercise: This may include regular aerobic exercise and stretching and strengthening exercises to help reduce the symptoms and pain.
  • Heat treatment: Applying heat to the affected joint may help in treating and reducing pain.
  • Physical and occupational therapy: This may help reduce joint pain and improve joint flexibility when performing daily activities.
  • Weight management: Maintaining your recommended weight or losing weight (if overweight) may help prevent or reduce the symptoms.
  • Medications: This may include pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Injections of thick liquids into the joints: Applying these liquids into the joint can imitate normal joint fluid.
  • Joint surgery: It may be needed to repair or replace a severely damaged joint.

Osteoarthritis Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Currently, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but your contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help to facilitate new discoveries and insights related to this challenging condition. Your generosity has the power to make a significant difference in the lives of those who suffer from osteoarthritis.

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