OSTEOARTHRITIS – INTRODUCTION
Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative form of joint disease. It frequently affects the weight-bearing joints of the body.
EXTENT OF PROBLEM
Statistics indicate that 21 million people in U.S.A. are affected by Osteoarthritis. The United Kingdom too has over 2 million adults suffering from Osteoarthritis of knee.
- Age: Usually, people above 40 years are affected but it may occur at an earlier age if predisposing factors are present.
- Sex: Females are affected more severely than males.
- Trauma and over-use of joints: This is commonly seen in ballet dancers, baseball players and is known to cause osteoarthritis of knees. In typists, computer operators, it is known to cause osteoarthritis of fingers.
- Obesity: Increased body weight puts an extra load on the knees, thereby increasing the risk of osteoarthritis of knees.
- Congenital: Genetic defect in collagen (building block of cartilage) synthesis can lead to early wear and tear, causing osteoarthritis at an earlier age.
- Occupations involving prolonged standing, bending, lifting heavy objects on regular basis can cause repeated wear and tear of joints.