Arthritis affects 20 million Americans The word arthritis is from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; It is a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints of the body. It is the leading cause of disability in people over the age of 55.
There are many forms of this disease, each of which has a different cause. The most common form is osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease and occurs following trauma to the joint, following an infection of the joint or simply as a result of aging. There is emerging evidence that abnormal anatomy may contribute to early development of osteoarthritis. Other forms of the disease are Rheumatoid and Psoriatic. They are autoimmune diseases in which the body is attacking itself. The form known as Septic, is caused by joint infection. Gout is caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint that results in subsequent inflammation. Additionally, there is a less common form of gout that is caused by the formation of rhomboidal shaped crystals of calcium pyrophosphate.