Etiology and Risk factors of Osteoarthritis

Etiology and Risk factors of Osteoarthritis

Etiology and Risk factors of Osteoarthritis

by: Arlene Gentallan

Etiology and Risk factors of Osteoarthritis

Idiopathic Osteoarthritis

    In Idiopathic osteoarthritis, there is no definitive cause that can be pointed out. There is no history of bone / joint injury that can be linked to the development of this form of arthritis. Although there may be a genetic culprit.
    In most cases, the root cause of osteoarthritis can not be identified. So, idiopathic type of osteoarthritis is more common than the secondary type.

Secondary Osteoarthritis

    In secondary osteoarthritis, there is an identifiable precipitating factor like joint trauma or disease. It may also be caused by chronic overuse of joint which may be work (eg. typist) or sports related.

Risk factors for developing Osteoarthritis:
    • Presence of family history

         Studies have shown a link between a genetic fault and cartilage destruction.

    • Advancing age

         In older adults, the amount and composition of the cartilage matrix diminishes leading to decreased strength and flexibility of their articular cartilage. Older people are also prone to develop fracture and bone injury because of decreased bone mineral content.

    • Obesity

         Being overweight increases stress to the weight bearing joint.

    • Sedentary lifestyle

         Exercise plays a crucial role for cartilage repair. Furthermore, lack of physical activity may lead to weight gain.

    • History of joint / skelletal trauma

         Incidence like fracture can increase the chance of a person to develop OA later in life.

    • Chronic overuse of joint

         Injury brought about by overuse of a joint over a long period of time can lead to osteoarthritis. This may be related to occupational or sports. Examples are typist who occasionally use their wrist to type using a keyboard.