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Abnormal Alignment Causes Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder.  Breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints cause the condition. Surgery, such as hip replacement for hip joints, is intended for cases of OA that do not respond to other modes of treatment.  But as a doctor stated in an editorial article, many hip replacement surgeries are avoidable.
 OA, otherwise known as the “wear-and-tear” arthritis is idiopathic in nature.  According to doctors, an array of risk factors may have caused the condition. However, no single risk factor is enough to cause OA.  Age, obesity, injury or overuse, genetics, muscle weakness, gender and other underlying diseases are some of the listed risk factors.  Possessing the mentioned risk factors does not give a one-way ticket to having osteoarthritis.
Dr. Louis Pack, author of the book The Arthritis Revolution, clarified the difference between correlation and cause. Though age is believed to be the leading cause of OA, he pointed out in his editorial in CNN, that age only has a correlation to the condition. He added that age was not the reason behind the condition.In almost all cases of osteoarthritis, Dr. Pack says, one knee or hip joint begins to hurt a patient first.
 The risk-factor weight also has the same argument.  Dr. Pack showed some patients who have considerably above-normal weight do not suffer from joint diseases.  Other arthritis patients weigh far less.  He further stated that only one knee or hip is affected of the many overweight patients. Certainly, not only a single side bears the weight.
 The process of osteoarthritis is frequently preceded by abnormal alignment.  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001 says that a five-degree misalignment from the ankle to the hip increased the progression of OA three to four times.  The researchers from renowned Mayo Clinic supported this result in 2008. It was stated in the study that for each degree of bad alignment from the ankle to the hip, there will be a 55 percent increase on the risk of OA.  Furthermore, the study mentioned that “age was only weakly associated with an increase risk.”
Abnormal alignment is the root cause of osteoarthritis. If treatment methods are focusing on this cause, researchers say, patients needing replacement surgeries will decrease. There will be reduction in the number of patients needing hip replacement surgery and possibly affected by DePuy hip replacement recall.

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