OSTEOARTHRITIS OR DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It has been given the mistaken image of an “old-age disease,” because it is the result of a wearing away of the cartilage in the joints, often due to many years of use. This erosion results in stiffness, and because it usually leaves behind a jagged area rather than a smooth surface, pain results that can be mild but is sometimes severe. Some degree of erosion is present in most elderly individuals and is generally accepted as an inherent part of the aging process. X-ray surveys in the United States and Great Britain indicate that 40 to 50 percent of the adult population has osteoarthritic changes in the hands or feet. It is estimated that 5 to 10 million Americans have symptoms due to these changes. But even this form of the “old-age disease” is not limited to the old: some people as young as forty (especially women) are afflicted with osteoarthritis, and as it often can be the result of improperly treated injuries or overuse, it can afflict anyone of any age who leads an active athletic life without taking appropriate precautions.
Osteoarthritis affects weight-bearing joints, especially the knees and hips. Although popularly referred to as osteoarthritis, this term is inaccurate because itis implies a disorder that is basically inflammatory, and this disease is in fact characterized by progressive deterioration of joint cartilage and the formation of dense bone and bony projections at the margins of the affected joints.
In its early stages the joint cartilage is softened and roughened; as the disease progresses, this cartilage may be destroyed. The exposed underlying bone no longer has its necessary protective cover of smooth cartilage that permits the articulating ends of the bones within the joint to glide smoothly over each other. The exposed, bared bone becomes more dense, and changes occur with the formation of new bone as the body tries to repair the local damage with regeneration of destroyed tissue.
The function of the relatively soft bone under the cartilage is to cushion the joint from the frequent mechanical stresses that result from the repeated impact of one bone against another during physical activities. With the passing of time, this softer shock-absorbing bone will have sustained numerous microscopic impact fractures that harden it. The reduced cushioning effect of the harder bone causes the initial damage to the overlying cartilage.
In addition to the aging process, there are local joint factors and a number of predisposing conditions that are important in the location and severity of the degeneration of joint cartilage. These include excessive wear and tear due to activities and occupation, injury, structural abnormalities, increased weight bearing with overweight, disorders of the cartilage, bleeding into the joint and hereditary factors.
*3/295/5*

OSTEOARTHRITIS OR DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASEOsteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It has been given the mistaken image of an “old-age disease,” because it is the result of a wearing away of the cartilage in the joints, often due to many years of use. This erosion results in stiffness, and because it usually leaves behind a jagged area rather than a smooth surface, pain results that can be mild but is sometimes severe. Some degree of erosion is present in most elderly individuals and is generally accepted as an inherent part of the aging process. X-ray surveys in the United States and Great Britain indicate that 40 to 50 percent of the adult population has osteoarthritic changes in the hands or feet. It is estimated that 5 to 10 million Americans have symptoms due to these changes. But even this form of the “old-age disease” is not limited to the old: some people as young as forty (especially women) are afflicted with osteoarthritis, and as it often can be the result of improperly treated injuries or overuse, it can afflict anyone of any age who leads an active athletic life without taking appropriate precautions.Osteoarthritis affects weight-bearing joints, especially the knees and hips. Although popularly referred to as osteoarthritis, this term is inaccurate because itis implies a disorder that is basically inflammatory, and this disease is in fact characterized by progressive deterioration of joint cartilage and the formation of dense bone and bony projections at the margins of the affected joints.In its early stages the joint cartilage is softened and roughened; as the disease progresses, this cartilage may be destroyed. The exposed underlying bone no longer has its necessary protective cover of smooth cartilage that permits the articulating ends of the bones within the joint to glide smoothly over each other. The exposed, bared bone becomes more dense, and changes occur with the formation of new bone as the body tries to repair the local damage with regeneration of destroyed tissue.The function of the relatively soft bone under the cartilage is to cushion the joint from the frequent mechanical stresses that result from the repeated impact of one bone against another during physical activities. With the passing of time, this softer shock-absorbing bone will have sustained numerous microscopic impact fractures that harden it. The reduced cushioning effect of the harder bone causes the initial damage to the overlying cartilage.In addition to the aging process, there are local joint factors and a number of predisposing conditions that are important in the location and severity of the degeneration of joint cartilage. These include excessive wear and tear due to activities and occupation, injury, structural abnormalities, increased weight bearing with overweight, disorders of the cartilage, bleeding into the joint and hereditary factors.*3/295/5*

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks

Random Posts

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.