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Osteoarthritis. Swollen left knee joint of a male patient with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a common disease affecting synovial joints, such as those in the hands, hips and knees. It is characterised by a loss of the cartilage that lines these joints, and the formation of osteophytes (bony outgrowths). This leads to pain, swelling and occasionally may result in the loss of function of the affected joint. No specific cure exists for osteoarthritis. Symptoms may be relieved by analgesic drugs and physiotherapy. Joint-replacement surgery is used in some of the most severe cases.
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