Disease Process, Pathophysiology, and Etiology:
Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the joints wears down over time. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but the disorder most commonly affects joints in the hands, hips, knees, neck, and lower back. Although Osteoarthritis gradually worsens with time and no cure exists, treatments can relieve pain and help the patient remain active. Taking steps to actively manage the osteoarthritis may help the patient gain control over the symptoms.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the joints deteriorates over time. The smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough, causing irritation. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, the patient may be left with bone rubbing on bone. This causes the ends of the bones to become damaged and the joints to become painful. It isn't clear what causes osteoarthritis in most cases. Researchers suspect that it's a combination of factors, including the aging process, joint injury or stress, heredity, muscle weakness, and obesity.
Risk Factors / Disease Prevention:
Factors that increase your risk of osteoarthritis include older age, sex, bone deformities, joint injuries, obesity, certain occupations, and other diseases. Osteoarthritis typically occurs in older adults. People under 40 rarely experience osteoarthritis. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn't clear why. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Carrying more body weight places more stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees. If your job includes tasks that place repetitive stress on... [continues]
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"Osteoporosis." StudyMode.com. 03, 2011. Accessed 03, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Osteoporosis-630249.html.