Degenerative joint disease
Degenerative arthropathy
Traumatic osteoarthritis
Degenerative arthrosis
Degenerative joint disease
Osteoarthritis is one of the most debilitating diseases of old age and rates of the disorder are expected to rise as life expectancy increases.

Sometimes called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage breaks down and gradually becomes rougher and thinner. Swelling can occur if the synovial membrane becomes irritated and produces excess fluid that collects inside the joint. As the cartilage wears away, growths of bone (called bone spurs) may form around the edges of the joint, making it look knobby and swollen. As the process continues, a substantial amount of cartilage wears away, causing the bones that meet at the joint to rub against each other. Because bone is very sensitive, this can be extremely painful and can severely reduce movement in the joint. Osteoarthritis usually results from injury to a joint or from wear and tear on the joints over time.

The term degenerative arthritis is used by doctors to describe a condition where a joint wears out, usually over a period of many years. Some medical professionals call the condition osteoarthritis. Others use the term degenerative arthrosis. They prefer "arthrosis" because the term "arthritis" means inflammation. Degeneration by itself does not always cause inflammation in the tissues of the joint.
Arthrosis represents 70% of all rheumatic diseases. At least 2 to 3 percent of all adults in the USA, including half of those older than 65, have some evidence of osteoarthritis visible on an X-ray. Osteoarthritis in the knees and hands occurs more frequently in women; in the hips, the disease affects men and women equally.

More than 420,000 Americans had total hip or knee replacement surgery in 1998 at an average age of 68. Deterioration from osteoarthritis is the most common reason for replacing joints with artificial ones, and the numbers are projected to rise as the population ages.

(E) Emanations of other problems