Basically, the actual causes that lead to the development of arthrosis are still unknown. Nevertheless, some of the theories assumed so far have been successfully refuted. Contrary to widespread assumptions, arthrosis is not a typical age-related disease.
Accordingly, age is no longer considered the actual cause, but a decisive risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis. The reason for this is the fact that both the elasticity and the load-bearing capacity of the joint cartilage decrease significantly with age. Pathological joint changes in the form of arthrosis can, however, be increasingly observed in younger people.
It is almost impossible to trace the development of arthrosis back to a possible cause. Instead, it is now assumed that this form of degenerative joint disease can be traced back to an interplay of a wide variety of factors (causes). Injuries and accidents are among the most common causes of the development of arthrosis.
About one third of the known cases of arthrosis are caused by traumatic causes. In this context, even the smallest tears and unevenness in the tendons and ligaments are enough to have a negative effect on the cartilage structure. In addition to traumatic joint damage, persistent overloading or incorrect loading is one of the typical causes of arthrosis.
Persons who tend to perform certain movements day after day and over a longer period of time often suffer a significant overloading of the joints concerned. In this context, arthrosis occurs more frequently in certain occupational groups. In addition, excessive body weight can lead to chronic overloading of the joints.
For this reason, overweight (obesity) is also one of the typical causes of osteoarthritis. Furthermore, studies have shown that arthrotic changes in the joint structure are more common among family members. A genetic component (heredity) in the development of arthrosis can therefore not be excluded.
In this context, the structure and composition of the articular cartilage and the tendency to premature wear and tear of the joints play a decisive role. Other typical causes for the development of arthrosis are various congenital malpositions of the normal body axis. A pronounced malalignment can also lead to incorrect or excessive strain on individual joints. The reason for this is the one-sided physical strain associated with most congenital malpositions. Since one side of the body of the affected patient usually has to carry significantly more weight, the degradation of the joint cartilage can be accelerated.
A detailed explanation of the specific form of arthrosis can be found under the respective topic. – Gonarthrosis | Knee joint arthrosis
- Coxarthrosis | Hip joint arthrosis
- Omarthrosis | shoulder joint arthrosis
- Spondylarthrosis | Arthrosis of the spine
- Osteoarthritis | English term for arthrosis
- Herbeden – Arthrosis | Arthrosis of the finger end joints
- Bouchard – Arthrosis | Arthrosis of the middle finger joints
- Rhizarthrosis | thumb saddle joint arthrosis
- Radiocarpal arthritis | arthritis of the wrist
- Hallux rigidus | arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe
- Hallux valgus | malalignment of the first toe, often combined with arthrosis in the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe
- Cubital arthrosis | arthrosis of the elbow joint
- Facet arthrosis | arthrosis of the small vertebral joints
- Talocrurealarthrosis | Ankle joint arthrosis
First of all, a primary form is distinguished from a secondary form of arthrosis. In primary arthrosis, also called idiopathic arthrosis, no clear cause can be identified.
Most frequently, incorrect loading over the years leads to uneven wear and tear of the joints and thus to pain when moving. Age is another factor that promotes the occurrence of osteoarthritis. Genetic factors can also contribute to the appearance of arthrosis.
In older patients, the finger joints (finger arthrosis) are sometimes also affected. This special disease is called Heberden arthrosis. It is caused by characteristic nodular formations on the finger joints.
The secondary form of arthrosis is characterized by the fact that the cause is known. Frequently, traumas or accidents as well as congenital malpositions are the reason why the joints are worn unevenly and thus lead to bone rubbing against bone in the end. In addition, excessive stress on the joints leads to faster wear and tear and to the occurrence of arthrosis.
As an example, construction workers who work with a pneumatic hammer, for example, are often mentioned. The constant vibrations, especially in the joints of the upper extremity (shoulder, fingers, elbows) lead to increased stress and faster wear and tear. In the leisure sector, bodybuilders and weightlifters are more at risk for arthritic changes of the body.
People who are overweight are also at greater risk of developing osteoarthritis more quickly than thin people. The reason for this is usually a general bad posture, especially of the legs and knees, which is caused by the increased body weight. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism) also suffer more from arthrosis.
Here the reason is a malposition of the joints, which is caused in severe courses of the rheumatism. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism) also suffer more from arthrosis. The reason for this is a malposition of the joints, which are caused in severe rheumatic processes.