What is the role of trauma or surgery in the etiology of osteoarthritis (OA)?

Updated: Oct 12, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Trauma or surgery (including surgical repair of traumatic injury) involving the articular cartilage, ligaments, or menisci can lead to abnormal biomechanics in the joints and accelerate osteoarthritis. In individuals who have sustained significant joint injuries, the risk of post-traumatic osteoarthritis ranges from about 20% to more than 50%. [46]

Insults to the joints may occur even in the absence of obvious trauma. Microtrauma may also cause damage, especially in individuals whose occupation or lifestyle involves frequent squatting, stair-climbing, or kneeling.

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