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Osteoarthritis – Causes

March 11, 2021


"Specifically with regard to osteoarthritis, when we talk about the causes of why does this happen, the majority of our answers typically revolve around, it's just wear and tear of your joint. This happens over time. Therefore, the propensity for patients who are older to degenerate more quickly, there also seems to be predominance of women associated with more advanced osteoarthritis compared with men. But when you think about the wear and tear of the joint, it becomes natural to think about, well, anybody who had a history of a trauma to that joint specifically, is at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. So that includes patients who have a fracture of the joint itself, but any type of injury where there was really a high impact injury. Some other things such as ACL tear, those types of things will develop advanced osteoarthritis sooner. There are other more morphologic manifestations of why patients get osteoarthritis, such as their history of hip dysplasia or acetabular impingement. These are types of morphology of the patient's anatomy that predispose patients to osteoarthritis. But what happens there is that there's thought to be more of an impingement factor with everyday activity that's been ongoing since you were born, that will predispose you to develop osteoarthritis at a later date. Lastly, patients who develop avascular necrosis or the lack of blood flow to the femoral head in the hip, also in the knee as well, can happen, that predisposes the bone underlying the cartilage to be damaged and makes it softer, predisposing it as well to advanced arthritis osteoarthritis later on in life. Another subset of patients who are predisposed to arthritis over time are patients who have a high body mass index or any large patients who put a lot more force through the joint, especially with regard to high impact activities, repetitive over time."

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