Arthrosis: Causes and Risk Factors

Arthrosis, a degenerative joint disease, is a prevalent health concern affecting a large number of people worldwide. Despite its widespread occurrence, the precise causes of arthrosis remain elusive. Current scientific understanding suggests that arthrosis is a multifactorial disease, implying that a confluence of several factors contributes to its onset and progression. This article aims to delve into the potential causes and risk factors associated with arthrosis, providing a comprehensive understanding of this complex disease.

Arthrosis: A Multifactorial Disease

The health and function of our joints rely on the balance between the load exerted on the cartilage and its ability to withstand that load. Any factors that disturb this balance could potentially contribute to the development of arthrosis.

These factors can be broadly categorized into those that influence the load exerted on the joints and those that affect the cartilage itself. Mechanical stress, obesity, malformations, and trauma are some examples of factors that can modify the load on the joints. On the other hand, inflammation, genetic predisposition, metabolic disorders, and aging can impact the health and integrity of the cartilage. The severity of arthrosis often depends on the number of these factors involved, their intensity, and their duration.

Risk Factors of Arthrosis

Numerous risk factors predispose individuals to the development of arthrosis. Let's delve into the key ones:


As we age, our cartilage undergoes changes that decrease its elasticity and resistance to stress. This loss of resilience makes the cartilage more susceptible to damage, thus increasing the risk of arthrosis.

Mechanical Factors

Mechanical factors play a crucial role in maintaining joint balance. Malformations or joint malpositions, repeated microtraumas, and dislocations can significantly increase the risk of arthrosis. Certain professional and sporting activities have also been associated with a higher incidence of arthrosis due to the increased mechanical stress they place on the joints.

Genetic Factors

Certain hereditary diseases can compromise joint function or metabolism, leading to secondary arthrosis. Moreover, a familial predisposition to arthrosis, particularly of the fingers, has been observed, suggesting a potential genetic component to the disease.

Obesity and Endocrine Disorders

Obesity is a significant risk factor for knee arthrosis in both men and women due to the increased load on the joints. The role of obesity in hip arthrosis is less clear, although it is known to negatively influence disease progression. Certain endocrine disorders, such as diabetes mellitus and gout, have also been implicated as potential risk factors for arthrosis.


Chronic inflammation can both cause arthrosis and exacerbate its progression. For instance, forms of arthrosis that derive from arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, are attributed to inflammation. Additionally, an ongoing inflammatory process in joints affected by arthrosis can worsen the disease.


Understanding the multifactorial nature of arthrosis is crucial in managing and potentially preventing this debilitating disease. By identifying and mitigating the risk factors, we can take proactive steps to maintain joint health and reduce the incidence of arthrosis. However, further research is necessary to fully unravel the complex interplay of factors that contribute to this disease, paving the way for more effective treatments in the future.

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