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Osteoarthritis (0)

Osteoarthritis is a group of diseases and mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and the subchondral bone next to it. Clinical manifestations of OA may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, creaking, locking of joints, and sometimes local inflammation. In OA, a variety of potential forces—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage -- a strong protein matrix that lubricates and cushions the joints. As the body struggles to contain ongoing damage, immune and regrowth processes can accelerate damage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, subchondral bone may be exposed and damagedThe patient increasingly experiences pain upon weight bearing, including walking and standing. Due to decreased movement because of the pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.
OA typically is not present in younger people. However, while age is correlated with OA incidence, this correlation may illustrate that OA is a process that takes time to develop -- or that repair and regeneration that may keep pace with damage in the joints of younger people do slow with age. There is usually an underlying cause for OA, in which case it is described as secondary OA. If no underlying cause can be identified it is described as primary OA. "Degenerative arthritis" is often used as a synonym for OA, but the latter involves both degenerative and regenerative changes.