Test Your Knowledge Introduction
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?
Arthritis, itself a group of more than 100 different diseases, is one category of rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases may cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints and other supporting body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

Take this true/false quiz with eight questions to see how much you know about osteoarthritis and its effects on your health. After each question, you will find out if your answer is correct or incorrect. Information about living with osteoarthritis will be provided.

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Test Your Knowledge Question #1
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Arthritis is an old person's disease.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #1
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are often mistakenly associated with old age, because osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) occurs more often among older persons. However, arthritis affects people of all ages. In fact, more than half of those affected with arthritis are under the age of 65.

The average age at onset of rheumatoid arthritis is between the ages of 20 and 45 years. Juvenile arthritis refers to the different types of arthritis that occur in children. Nearly 300,000 children suffer from some form of arthritis.

 

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Test Your Knowledge Question #2
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Having arthritis may be somewhat painful, but it is not really serious.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #2
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 70 million people in the US each year have some sort of joint problem. Arthritis is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the US. For Americans over the age of 15 years, arthritis is the leading cause of disability. Only heart disease causes more work disability than arthritis. Over 7 million persons in the US are limited in activities such as walking, dressing, and bathing due to arthritis.

In addition to the physical effects caused by arthritis, other effects include financial issues (cost of treatment, wages lost due to disability), and lifestyle issues, such as an emotional toll (depression, anxiety, and/or feelings of helplessness) and limitations on work situations and other daily activities.

 

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Test Your Knowledge Question #3
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Being overweight can cause arthritis.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #3
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

Researchers believe that being overweight, among many other factors, may play a role in the development or worsening of arthritis. The cause of arthritis is unknown, and may vary depending on the type of arthritis or rheumatic disease present. However, some or all of the following may be involved in causing arthritis:

  • genetics and family history (e.g., inherited cartilage weakness)
  • lifestyle choices (e.g., being overweight, sedentary lifestyle)
  • trauma
  • infection
  • metabolic disturbances
  • excessive wear and tear and stress on one or more joints
  • environmental triggers
  • hormonal influence

In addition, female gender and older age lead to an increased risk for developing certain types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

 

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Test Your Knowledge Question #4
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Osteoarthritis is a problem involving joint cartilage.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #4
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

While the exact cause of osteoarthritis is not known, it is known that the problems of osteoarthritis begin when the cartilage in a joint begins to break down. The ends of bones at a joint are covered with wear-resistant cartilage (a connective tissue), which is made up of cells and fibers. Cartilage helps reduce the friction of movement.

A joint also contains tissue called the synovial membrane, which lines the joint and seals it into a joint capsule. The synovial membrane secretes synovial fluid (a clear, sticky fluid) around the joint to lubricate it. As the cartilage continues to break down, bone “spurs” may develop in the joint and interfere with movement. Inflammation occurs in the joint, often causing pain and swelling in the joint. Cartilage may break down to the point that the ends of the bones rub together with joint movement.

 

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Test Your Knowledge Question #5
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Having stiff, painful joints when getting out of bed in the morning is a symptom of osteoarthritis.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #5
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis often causes pain and/or stiffness in joints after prolonged inactivity or after overuse of a joint. The hips, knees, spine, fingers, and feet are most often affected. Other common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • swelling in one or more joints
  • bony knobs on finger joints
  • grating (grinding) of joints when moved as cartilage wears away
  • stiffness and pain in the neck and/or lower back
  • numbness
  • weakness in an arm or leg as the disease progresses
  • limited joint movement as the disease progresses

 

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Test Your Knowledge Question #6
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Osteoarthritis may be diagnosed by x-rays.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #6
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

X-rays are an important part of the diagnostic process for osteoarthritis. But before taking x-rays, the physician will take a medical history and perform a physical examination. Other tests that may be performed include blood tests, joint aspiration, computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), arthrography (joint x-ray using contrast material inside the joint), and/or arthroscopy (examination of the inside of the joint using an arthroscope, a small tube-shaped instrument that consists of a system of lenses, a small video camera, and a light for viewing).

The physician will review all information available before making a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, as the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis may resemble those of other conditions. If the physician suspects a person has a type of rheumatic disease other than osteoarthritis or if the diagnostic tests are not conclusive, the physician may refer the person to a rheumatologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases.

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Test Your Knowledge Question #7
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Osteoarthritis can be cured with a joint replacement.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #7
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

While there are many types of treatments that may be effective in treating osteoarthritis, there is no cure for the disease at this time. Treatments for osteoarthritis include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • lifestyle modifications (losing weight, appropriate exercise, adequate rest, well-balanced diet)
  • physical and occupational therapy
  • medication
  • joint injections
  • surgery (joint replacement, other procedures)
  • alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and massage

Successful management of osteoarthritis includes learning as much as possible about the condition and participating closely in one's care.

 

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Test Your Knowledge Question #8
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

 

Once a person has osteoarthritis, his/her quality of life is never good anymore.

 

True   False

 

Test Your Knowledge Question #8
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

Many persons are able to enjoy a healthy, quality life after being diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Learning self-care skills can help a person with osteoarthritis to understand his/her disease and have greater control over it.

Active participation in managing one's disease can help to reduce pain while remaining active; improve physical, mental, and emotional coping; and improve one's confidence in his/her ability to lead an active and independent life.

 

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Test Your Knowledge Results
How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

You answered out of 8 questions correctly.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease, one of over 100 types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases that affect millions of people in the US. While osteoarthritis may have serious consequences, it can often be managed in such a way that a person can maintain a quality lifestyle.

Research to discover the causes and a cure for arthritis and rheumatic diseases is ongoing and is providing information that can help persons affected by the many forms of arthritis.

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