Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease Image

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that attacks joints such as the knees, fingers, and hips. Human joints have a protective layer between the bones called cartilage. Cartilage protects the bones from damage and is soft enough to absorb the stresses put on a joint.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage deteriorates. When this happens the bones that make up the joint rub together, causing pain and the gradual buildup of bony cysts.

Who’s at Risk?

Osteoarthritis is a shockingly common degenerative joint disease: By age forty almost ninety percent of the American population displays some warning signs. By age sixty, fifty percent of the population has the disease to some degree, although degrees of severity vary widely among individuals.

Bone with Osteoarthritis.Although the condition in all its forms is generally seen as a disease of the elderly, it can strike at any age. Approximately 250,000 children in the United States live with osteoarthritis, most often due to trauma or injuries.

Degenerative Arthritis and Human Joints

Although it can affect any or all of the joints in the human body, arthritis most often strikes the weight-bearing joints. The hips and knees are very common targets for degenerative joint disease. The spine, elbows, ankles, shoulders, toes, fingers and wrists are also common targets.