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September 26, 2017  
EDUCATION CENTER: Clinical Overview

Clinical Overview
Definition
Symptoms Take Action Diagnosis and Treatment

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  • Osteoarthritis

    Clinical Overview
    Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a chronic condition that causes joint cartilage and other joint tissues to deteriorate. The deterioration is caused by formation of bone spurs, or new bone, at the joints. Osteoarthritis is also known as Degenerative arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease. It can be considered Post Traumatic Arthritis if it follows an acute injury.

    Osteoarthritis can be found in almost everyone by age 70. It is found equally in men and women before age 55. In people over the age of 55, it is found more commonly in women. Though symptoms usually appear in older people, osteoarthritis may be present without symptoms in people in their 20s and 30s. About 4 percent of people have osteoarthritis.

    Risk factors for osteoarthritis include obesity, working at a job that stresses joints, and aging. Most people over age 50 have some signs of osteoarthritis.

    Osteoarthritis may be caused by a number of factors: injury of the joint, overuse of the joint, or trauma to the joint. An exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown to date; it is suspected to be brought on by an interaction of mechanical, biological, biochemical, inflammatory and immunologic factors.

    Cartilage covers the ends of bones and allows joints to move smoothly. Over time, the cartilage can simply wear out. The cartilage at joint surfaces is gradually lost, and the bones may react to redistribute the load. In some cases, small pieces of cartilage may break off and float around in the surrounding area. Osteoarthritis is the systemic loss of cartilage in a joint.

    Cartilage covers the ends of bones and allows joints to move smoothly. Over time, the cartilage can simply wear out. The cartilage at joint surfaces is gradually lost, and the bones may react to redistribute the load. In some cases, small pieces of cartilage may break off and float around in the surrounding area. Osteoarthritis is the systemic loss of cartilage in a joint.

    Last updated: Feb-23-07

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