Question: What medical conditions can affect my risk of developing osteoarthritis? (Nerve injury, prior infection, hemochromatosis, etc.)
Answer: A number of medical conditions can preclude a patient to developing osteoarthritis. These begin in childhood and they end in later life. Some of these conditions are genetic predisposition; the patient has a lot of family members with osteoarthritis--evidence is now showing that they're at increased likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.
Other things such as prior injuries in their lifetime, such as skiing accidents requiring multiple surgeries on the knee, or perhaps a high- energy accident in which they dislocated their hip -- these are also going to predispose a patient to osteoarthritis.
Other things such as inflammatory conditions within the knee, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, these can cause arthritis of the hip, knee and other joints. It may not necessarily be osteoarthritis, but it can certainly cause arthritis.
And lastly, obesity I think is becoming a much more widely-recognized problem in the United States. Its contribution to the early development or premature development of osteoarthritis is also becoming more widely recognized.
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