The degenerative damage to the cartilage in the large joints, such as the knee, or the hip, can be caused by incorrect structure of the joint, or faulty functioning of the joint’s parts (bones, cartilage and soft tissue). The damage caused by the impact, will be caused principally to the cartilage, but also to the bone, the soft tissue in the joint, and to the muscles that hold it. The erosion itself is caused as a result of the great stress on the surfaces of the joints, together with the preliminary factors, that contribute to the degenerative process.
The risk factors that are known to contribute to be tied to osteoarthritis, are composed of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, and include:
- Advanced age – age is the greatest risk
factor in the development of osteoarthritis,
the risk of the phenomenon increases with
- Injury – injuries caused by sport or accidents can increase the risk of osteoarthritis, even injuries that occurred several years earlier can be connected to the development of osteoarthitis in the injured joint.
- Sex – women have a greater risk than men, of developing osteoarthritis.
- Obesity – obesity is a risk factor in the development of osteoarthritis, the more a person weighs, the risk that he will develop osteoarthritis rises proportionally, and adds stress to the joints’ surfaces that bear weight. Moreover, fatty tissue discharges proteins that cause inflammation in the tissue in and around the joint.
- Profession – work which demands movements that cause continued pressure on certain joints, will, at the end of the day, lead to osteoarthritis, in those joints.
- Genetics – there is a genetic tendency which will cause certain people to develop osteoarthritis, more than others.
- Congenital defect of the joint – situations in which congenital diseases that cause a defect of the structure of the bones, creates the risk of osteoarthritis developing.