The word “Osteoarthritis” means inflammation on joints. It is one of the most common joint disorders. Compared to other forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, this is less inflammatory in nature. Earlier, Osteoarthritis was seen as nothing but the natural response of human joints to the wear and tear of its cartilage.
Loss of free and easy mobility together with joint pain is usually associated with this disorder. It is due to the breakdown of cartilage in large numbers that such disabilities are caused. Based on its cause, osteoarthritis is classified as primary and secondary. Other categorizations are also made on the basis of the affected body part and the number of joints involved.
Primary or idiopathic Osteoarthritis is the commonly found form of the disorder. In this case there will be no identifiable reason behind the joint pain. Pathologically, primary form of the disorder is hard to be distinguished from its secondary form. How ever, secondary Osteoarthritis has four potential causes: metabolic, anatomic, inflammatory and traumatic. Calcium crystal deposition is the major metabolic cause where as congenital hip dislocation and inequality in leg length are the anatomical causes of the disorder. Surgeries done in the joint or chronic joint injuries are the traumatic reasons. Inflammatory causes include cases of septic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
On the basis of the affected body part such as hip, hand, knee etc Osteoarthritis can be divided. Number of involved joints is yet another basis of categorization. Monoarticular refers to the involvement of a single joint and polyarticular related to multiple joint involvement.
Based on the presence of certain specific features, Osteoarthritis is divided as the inflammatory one and erosive one. Patients with Inflammatory Osteoarthritis have evident inflammation in their multiple joints. Erosive Osteoarthritis is usually found in middle-aged women. This result in intensified inflammation and makes the affected joint deformed. It is commonly found in the interphalangeal joints of the hand. The arthritic symptoms, however, vary from person to person.