Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The symptoms of OA will develop gradually, over the course of many years. Truth be told, 50% of adults over the age of 65 will experience OA of the knee during their lifetimes. Estimates for spinal osteoarthritis are similar, but much less researched.

For those who do go on to develop OA, the symptoms will depend on which joints suffer changes and the degree of the damage.

Do you have any of these OA symptoms? Although OA cannot be reversed, you can take action to prevent your condition from becoming worse. To take action today, contact one of our osteoarthritis specialists at The Advanced Spine Center. Our doctors offer advanced spine care for a variety of conditions, like OA and rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosing Osteoarthritis & Early Treatments

If your doctor suspects that you have OA, then he or she will need to order imaging tests. Although MRIs can reveal cartilage damage, usually a simple x-ray does the trick. An x-ray won’t allow your doctor to view the soft tissues of your spine, but he or she will be able to see your bones. If your vertebrae have already begun to form bone spurs, then chances are, you have OA.

In addition, your doctor will likely check your blood to make certain that you don’t have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although the symptoms of RA and OA are similar, signs of RA can be detected in your bloodstream.

Before recommending surgery to repair your joints, your doctor will likely suggest a series of conservative therapies and pain management techniques. Anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes are particularly effective at combating osteoarthritis pain. For more information about pain relief for OA, contact The Advanced Spine Center today. Our fellowship-trained spine surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to help patients just like you achieve relief!

Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

Physical Therapy

The goals of PT for OA often involve creating a workout program that aims to strengthen your joints. Your PT will attempt to restore joint flexibility, reverse joint pain, and help you make key lifestyle changes, like losing weight.


If your OA causes bone spurs to form on your spine, then you might need a laminectomy to relieve pressure on your spinal cord. During a laminectomy, your surgeon will remove the lamina (or casing of the spinal cord) to release pinched nerves. Read more...

Spinal Fusion

If the pain in your back becomes unbearable, then your doctor may suggest a spinal fusion. Spinal fusions (like the ALIF, PLIF, & TLIF) stop pain at the joint level by fusing two bones together and preventing painful movement. Read more...

Joint Replacement Surgery

If your knees or hips have been affected by OA beyond the point of non-surgical intervention, then you may need a joint replacement to restructure and reinforce the joint with metallic hardware.