What Causes Osteoarthritis?

What Causes Osteoarthritis?Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease characterized by the inflammation of joints and follows the wearing away of the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the bones. This degenerative joint condition affects over 27 million Americans. The primary cause for osteoarthritis is aging. With age, the cartilage protein makeup diminishes while its water content increases. Due to years of repetitive motion of the joints, the cartilage slowly degenerates by forming tiny crevasses. In some cases, a complete loss of the cartilage can be seen in the region between the bones. This condition can be extremely painful.

Apart from aging, there are other factors that can cause osteoarthritis. It is commonly found in groups of family members who have similar joint defects, which implies that osteoarthritis can be hereditary. Treating such patients depends in part on knowing the medical history of the patient’s family because the additional information assists doctors in identifying the root cause of the condition. In many hereditary cases, it is found that collagen deficiency is the culprit.

Obesity is the most common risk factor for osteoarthritis in knee joints. Although this condition may affect people of all genders and ages, the risk increases significantly for overweight individuals because excess body weight increases stress on the knees, back and hips. If such symptoms develop, it is better to consult a physician for an effective weight loss plan. Also, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis or other joint inflammations are more prone to osteoarthritis.

Crystal deposits forming inside the cartilage can also be responsible for its degeneration. Uric acid crystals cause arthritis in gout while calcium pyrophosphate crystals are responsible for the arthritis in pseudo gout. Some people are born with abnormalities in joint structure (congenital abnormalities) which make them more vulnerable to an early loss of joint cartilage. This is most common in the case of hip joints. Other reasons for osteoarthritis include growth hormone disorders, diabetes and sports injuries. People whose jobs involve the repetitive straining of joints, as with kneeling or climbing stairs, are at an increased risk of the condition.

At initial stages, osteoarthritis can be treated to some extent with proper diet, exercise and medication. Intra-articular injections and thermotherapy may also be effective treatments. If no other treatment works, surgery is the last and best resort. However, it is important to find an experienced orthopedic surgeon to get permanent relief from inflamed joints. For those in the St Petersburg and Tampa Bay areas suffering from osteoarthritis, St Pete Hip ad Knee provides excellent treatment options, including surgery.

Kurt Hirshorn MD of St Pete Hip and Knee guarantees expertise and compassion when caring for his patients, and ensures a good hospital stay. Schedule an appointment today or call us at (727) 755-0313.

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4600 4th Street North
St Petersburg, FL 33703, USA
Phone: (727) 755-0313

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St Pete Hip and Knee | 4600 4th Street North, St Petersburg, FL 33703 | Phone (727) 755-0313
Kurt C. Hirshorn, MD, MPH | Copyright (c) 2015