Osteoarthritis Introduction

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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.

RISK FACTORS

  • 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.

obesity

  • 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.