Degenerative Joint Disease
- Degenerative joint disease is a result of normal activity and is found in most people as they get older; it develops more rapidly and more severely in the case of joint trauma.
- Articular surfaces are covered with glassy-smooth cartilage. As the cartilage disintegrates over time (chondromalacia), it flakes off until the bone is eventually exposed.
- If bone starts to rub against bone, it reacts by forming more bone in the form of osteophytes. This is a very painful condition and when severe enough, requires joint replacement.
- Degenerative joint disease is frequently called osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with very different causes and a slightly different set of symptoms.