Sample Nursing Paper on Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. Its symptoms are mainly pain, swelling, and stiffness. Any joint in the body can be affected by the disease, but it is common in the knee. Knee arthritis can be a hindrance to many everyday activities to a patient. Knee arthritis can limit one from walking or climbing stairs .the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, mainly adult diseases. The knee is the largest and the strongest joint in the body. It is made up of the lower end of the femur (thighbone), the upper end of the tibia(shin bone), and the patella (knee cap). The end of the three bones is covered with cartilage, a smooth, slippery substance that protects and cushions the bone as you bend the knee.  The knee joint is surrounded by a thin lining called the synovial membrane, which releases a fluid that acts as a lubricant at the cartilage and reduces friction. (zeng, 2019)

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a generative ‘wear  and tear” type of arthritis that wears away the cartilage. As the cartilage gradually wears off, it becomes frayed and rough and the protective space between the born decreases resulting in bone rubbing on bone and this produces painful bone spurs. The friction in between the bones causes more pain hence osteoarthritis develops slowly (Zeng, 2019).

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder in the United States, where 10% of men and 13% of women aged 60 and older. The number of people affected by osteoarthritis is likely to increase due to the aging of the population and the obesity prevalence. Osteoarthritis is ranked as the most frequent cause of physical disability among older adults. The disease affects both men and women. Before age 45, it is more common to men than women, while after the age of 45, osteoarthritis is more common in women. According to the United Nations, by 2050, people aged over 50 will count for more than 20% of the world’s population. Of that 20%, a conservative estimate of 15% will have symptomatic osteoarthritis, and one-third of these will be totally disabled. This translates to 130 million people who will be suffering from osteoarthritis worldwide in 2050, of which the disease will disable 40 million people (Wei et al., 2020)

According to MOVES, 1039 subjects with a mean age of 62 years and 54.2% being female were included in this study. The prevalence of self-reported osteoarthritis was 9.9%.knees, and hands were the most frequent sites of the disease. It was also discovered that there was a higher number of women and participants without professional activity.

According to the National health interview survey (NHIS), the years 2013 – 2015 sample adult core components to estimate average annual arthritis prevalence in the civilian, non –institutionalized us adult population aged 18 years or older. Overall, an estimated 22% (54.4 million adults had doctor-diagnosed arthritis, with significantly higher age-adjusted prevalence in women (23%) than in men (18%). Arthritis prevalence increased with age.

There is no cure for arthritis, but there are a number of treatments that may help relieve pain and disability it may cause.


Medications are focused on decreasing symptoms of the disease. The Pain-relieving medications include acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Narcotic pain medications are not recommended due to their addictive nature. Although many of these medicines are readily available in chemists, one should consult a health care provider before taking medications since some may have adverse side effects.




Supportive devices

Supportive devices such as braces and orthotics help to support and stabilize painful damaged joints. Medical devices should be used as instructed by healthcare provider therapists or trained licensed professionals.


Exercise improves flexibility, joint stability, and muscle strength. Regimens such as swimming, water aerobics, and low impact strength training are always recommended. These have been proved to reduce the amount of pain and disability that osteoarthritis suffers experience. Excess or vigorous exercises are avoided since they may increase arthritis symptoms and potentially hasten the disease progression. All exercises should be as directed by physical therapists.

Hot and cold therapies

Intermittent cold and hot treatments may provide temporary relief of pain and stiffness. Such include hot water shower or bath and being careful while applying heating and cooling pads or packs.


When osteoarthritis pain can’t be controlled with medical management and interferes with everyday activities, surgery might be an option. It’s usually reserved for patients with significant osteoarthritis. Several types of techniques can be employed, including minimally invasive joint replacement techniques. Although surgery has many risks, it can be very effective at restoring some functions and reducing pain for appropriate individuals.



Weight control

Since obesity is a known risk factor for osteoarthritis, working to better manage weight may help prevent and improve osteoarthritis. Weight loss for patients with osteoarthritis has been proven to be efficient in reducing pain in weight-bearing joints and as moderate inflammatory processes that contribute to osteoarthritis.

Research synthesis is important since it addresses the gap in the diagnostic and biomarkers for osteoarthritis. Weight control will help improve disease monitoring and help facilitate medicine development that can reverse the progression of the high- burden condition. There is currently a need for research in the following areas; cost-effectiveness, safety, and efficacy of the long-term management of osteoarthritis with the current pharmaceutical therapies. New emerging technologies, diagnostics and biomarkers to more effectively measure the status and progression of osteoarthritis. Evaluation of both the impact of risk factors and the effectiveness of potential therapies using these new diagnostics and biomarkers.

Progress in osteoarthritis research has resulted in the identification of signaling pathways with potential mechanistic targets. This has led to the emergence of a variety of symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies in recent years. It is evident that osteoarthritis is not solely caused by wear and tear of the joint but rather a sophisticated interplay between catabolic and anabolic effects of chondrocytes, which involves the entire joint. As with other disorders, the future of osteoarthritis may lie in combination therapy.


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