Osteoarthritis Diagnosis and Treatment at Mercy in Baltimore


Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, most commonly affects the joints of the hips, knees, hands and spine. This medical animation explains the disease as well as treatment options that may help control the symptoms.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis or joint disease. The doctors of Rheumatology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis and various other chronic rheumatic conditions.

About the Condition

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis or joint disease. It is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis, as it occurs when the protective cartilage within the joint wears down over time.  For this reason, the condition is commonly found in older adults.

While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips. 

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The symptoms of osteoarthritis develop slowly and may worsen over time. Symptoms are typically found within the affected joint, and commonly include the following:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Grinding noise

More severe cases may include bone spurs, where extra bone develops in the joint.

Diagnosing osteoarthritis typically requires a combination of assessments. Mercy’s experienced rheumatologists will review your symptoms and medical history. They may also perform a physical exam, imaging tests and blood tests to diagnose osteoarthritis.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, so treatment is aimed at reducing pain and maintaining joint functionality. Your doctor will most likely begin with conservative methods of treatment, including medications to reduce symptoms. Therapies, such as physical or occupational therapy, may help patients maintain joint movement with minimal pain. In more severe cases, surgery or injections may be required to relieve pain and help with joint mobility.

The rheumatologists at Mercy are experienced in the care of patients with osteoarthritis and can help you create a health management plan that is right for you.

Meet Our Doctors: Rheumatology
Rheumatology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Lynn Ludmer, M.D.

A 2020 TOP DOC
Dr. Lynn Ludmer diagnoses and treats a variety of diseases associated with arthritis and muscle disease, including multiple types of inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune connective tissue disorders.

See all Rheumatologists ›