Osteoarthritis is the progressive loss of articular cartilage that protects the joints, due to wear and tear on the joint.
It causes new bone and cartliage formation (osteophytes) at the joint margins. This in turn causes a narrowing of the joint spaces and pain as the joint surfaces rub together.
The most common cause of osteoarthritis is trauma through wear and tear on the joint surfaces. Some people have a genetic / hereditry predisposition for localised osteoarthritis in one or more joints. Other factors such as body weight increases the wear and tear on lower limb joints and therefore increase the chance of developing osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, excercise to maintain mobility in the joints, and in severe, cases surgical intervention may be required. When osteoarthritis is present in the feet and lower limbs, orthotics (custom-made shoe inserts) may be used to stablise the joints and therefore prevent and / or slow the progression of wear and tear on the joints.
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