What is Osteoarthritis and What Causes It?
What Is Osteoarthritis (OA)?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of joint disease and is also referred to as degenerative arthritis. It occurs when a group of mechanical abnormalities develop that include the degradation of joints, articular cartilage, and also subchondral bone. Symptoms can include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and even effusion.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis may develop related to age, genetics, gender (more prevalent in women), sports injuries or trauma, weight, and wear and tear on the body. It can have a variety of causes—developmental, hereditary, metabolic, and also mechanical can have an effect and lead to loss of cartilage. When the bone then surfaces, the cartilage doesn’t protect it as well, and the bone can become damaged or exposed as a result. Due to the decreased movements which are secondary to pain, the regional muscles can atrophy; as a result, the ligaments then become increasingly lax.
Arthritis of the Knee
There are three types of arthritis that can affect the knee joint in particular:
- Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of knee arthritis. It is slow and progressive as a degenerative disease, causing the joint cartilage to wear away gradually. It mostly affects people middle age and elderly.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis that destroys the joint cartilage and can occur at any age. Generally, it affects both knees.
- Post-Traumatic Arthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis develops after receiving a knee injury. This is very similar to osteoarthritis but can develop for years after a ligament injury, fracture, or meniscus tear.