Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary osteoarthritis has an unknown cause, while secondary osteoarthritis is caused by another disease, infection, injury or deformity.

Arthritic Hip Joint

Several risk factors are associated with osteoarthritis, including:

  • Heredity: Slight joint defects or laxity (double-jointedness) and genetic defects may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity: Excessive weight can put undue stress on joints, such as hips and knees, over time.
  • Injury or overuse: Significant injury to a joint can later result in osteoarthritis. Injury may also result from repeated overuse or misuse over a period of time.

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, the most common way to diagnose osteoarthritis in a joint is by X-ray.