Osteoarthritis of the Knee

In: Science

Submitted By kelscaruana
Words 6907
Pages 28
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (or OA for short) is the most common type of arthritis and is associated with joint pain and reduced range of motion and quality of life. It is a vast, chronic condition which affects the weight bearing joints and involves biomechanical, morphologic and biochemical alterations of the matrix and cells of the bone. Common symptoms are pain in the affected joint area and loss of mobility however, structural changes may occur without any accompanying symptoms.
In itself, OA is not a life threatening condition although it can affect considerably the quality of life. OA can be classified depending on the number of joints affected, the site which it affects and also the type. By type, one means whether it is inflammatory, generalised (affects many joints) or erosive (David & Lloyd, 1998). Osteoarthritis may also be divided into primary idiopathic or secondary. In primary OA there are no preceding injuries or trauma which could have caused it. The main cause is repetitive stress on the joint and cumulative changes to the joint surfaces. It is typically found in women over the age of forty five which repeatedly stress the same joints such as the knees and hips. Secondary OA, on the other hand, is caused by a previous condition, injury or disease. Injury to the joint, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and even obesity may eventually lead to the development of secondary OA (Koopman, 2000)
Osteoarthritis Affecting the Knee Joint
The knee is the most susceptible joint for development of osteoarthritis. As previously mentioned in the section discussing knee anatomy, the knee is formed by three combined compartments: the lateral tibiofemoral compartment, the medial tibiofemoral compartment and the patellofemoral compartment. As osteoarthritis very rarely affects the joint uniformly, degeneration may be occurring in any one of the different…...

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