Osteoarthritis versus Rheumatoid Arthritis: What's the difference?
Olympic gold isn't the only thing that Bruce Jenner, Dorothy Hammill, and Bart
Connor have in common: they also have osteoarthritis. The term "arthritis"
simply refers to any inflammation of the joints. According to rheumatologist
Dr. Nayan Kothari from NJ,
"Actually there are many varieties of arthritis, approximately 150 varieties
have been described, with the most common being the osteoarthritis and the rheumatoid
Osteoarthritis develops when cartilage starts to break down, as a result of
aging, trauma, or increased wear and tear. The most commonly affected joints
are the hips, knees, lower spine, and hands. Hand involvement is particularly
common in women and can begin in the 20's. This is progressive and causes classic
deformities of the fingers with enlarged joints.
Osteoarthritis should not be confused with "osteoporosis", which causes low
bone mass and increased fractures. Many menopausal women have both. Certain
types of arthritis--or medications used to treat arthritis--may also increase
your risk of osteoporosis.
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Created: 12/6/2000  - Donnica Moore, M.D.