What is Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It is the most common form of arthritis and one of the leading causes of disability.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

The etiology of osteoarthritis has not been fully elucidated. It is thought to be caused by years of wear and tear, sarcopenia, and increased bone turnover that is influenced by the interaction of genetics and other factors.

Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:

  • Age- Risk of osteoarthritis increases with increasing age. 80% of people over the age of 75 have radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics contribute 30-65% of the risk for development of osteoarthritis.
  • Female gender.
  • Obesity.
  • Metabolic disorder.
  • Vitamin D deficiency.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Smoking.
  • Low bone density.
  • Occupations requiring repetitive movement.
  • History of joint injury

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but most frequently affects the knees, hips, spine, feet, and fingers. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain that worsens with activity and is relieved by rest.
  • Stiffness mostly in the morning that resolves within 30 minutes, but may recur with periods of inactivity and in relation to weather.
  • Swelling of joints.
  • Crepitus.
  • Changes in joint shape.

Source: Vina, E. R., & Kwoh, C. K. (2018). Epidemiology of osteoarthritis: literature update. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 30(2), 160–167. https://doi.org/10.1097/bor.0000000000000479