Osteoarthritis arthritis (OA)

Use Current Resource less than five years old.
>Identify the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Consider the
similarities and differences of the disorders.
>Select two of the following patient factors: genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, or behavior.
Reflect on how the factors you selected might impact the pathophysiology of the disorders,
as well as the diagnosis of and treatment for the disorders.
>Write a description of the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis,
including the similarities and differences between the disorders. Then explain how the
factors you selected might impact the pathophysiology of the disorders, as well as the
diagnosis of treatment for the disorders.


Osteoarthritis arthritis (OA) also called wear and tear arthritis or degenerative joint
disease arises as a result of breakdown of joint cartilage and usually begins in a single joint. On
the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is inflammatory and chronic type of arthritis classified as
autoimmune diseases that attacks the tissues of the body. This paper delineates on the
pathophysiology of these two diseases, their similarities, differences in conjunction to some of
the patient factors and how they impact on the disorders, diagnosis and treatment.
In a normal situation, cartilage undergoes remodeling process that is stimulated by
movement or use of the joints. In patients suffering from OA, the process is altered by
combination of cellular, mechanical and biochemical processes leading to an increase in cartilage
degradation and abnormal reparation of cartilage (Singh & Lewallen, 2013).
The disease is mainly characterized by progressive loss of cartilage, with increased
thickness of subchondral plate, cysts and osteophytes (Singh & Lewallen, 2013). As the disease
progresses, further calcification of nearby cartilage and vascular invasion is likely to occur
reducing the thickness of the articular cartilage and as time passes by bones are remodeled and

deterioration of cartilage is enhanced. Inflammation also occurs on the periarticular tissues and is
milder in terms of severity when compared to RA (Singh & Lewallen, 2013).
RA is more an autoimmune disease as opposed to OA that is mechanical. The triggers of
RA at its initial stages are unclear but genetics, hormones and environmental factor play a role.
The moment initial immune response is triggered autoantibodies and inflammatory cytokines are
produced by the cells of immune system that forms pannus (Kori et al. 2012). Pannus attacks and
destroys the bone and cartilage causing additional joint damages as well as systematic
complications that causes release of inflammatory mediators in affected joint.
Some of the differences between OA and RA is that OA is common type of arthritis
while RA is known for crippling and disabling people. One of the similarities between these two
kinds of arthritis is that the x-rays for joints affected show the damaged joints (Kori et al. 2012).
Similar test procedures such as joint fluid removal, arthrocentesis and joint fluid analysis can
assess these conditions.
There are various patient risk factors associated with these diseases that may impact on
their diagnosis as well as treatment. In OA the two risk factors is gender and age. OA affects
more male aged 45 and among women above the age of 55 years (Kori et al. 2012). Age has
impact on the cartilage extracellular matrix structure and other components and is also linked to
the decline of chondrocyte functioning and response rate to stimuli. Most male are more affected
by the condition at an earlier age compared to women. Therefore, when diagnosing and
providing treatment, it is important to know the gender and the age of the individual to help in
making informed decisions. Patient risk factors in RA are genetic and behaviors. The risk of
developing RA increases when a relative has the disease. Likewise, behaviors such as smoking
and exposing to chemicals induce autoimmune reactions that cause inflammation experienced in

RA (Kori et al. 2012). Therefore, smoking is one of the strongest risk factors of RA. In
diagnosing, it becomes prudent to understand the history of an individual to determine whether
the individual has any relative that suffered from the same or if the individual is smoking and
using chemicals. This information allows, providing information that allows the medical
practitioner to reach tangible conclusion.
OA and RA affects the normal functioning of our bodies hence requires to be prevented.
The two diseases have similarities as well as differences as discussed in the paper. Patient risk
factors associated with these diseases include age, gender, genetics, and behaviors among others
and should be factored in diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.



Kori, D et al. (2012). Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis 2012: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis,
and Treatment.

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