What is secondary arthritis?
Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
In secondary arthritis, something identifiable triggers the degradation of the cartilage. In other words, the arthritis follows the injury. This type of arthritis is seen in people who have suffered a severe trauma or repetitive microtrauma to a joint. They may be obese or overexert themselves (such as running a marathon without proper training). They may have abnormal body biomechanics, a term that refers to how the skeletal structures, including the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints, function together -- meaning how they move through space under the influence of gravity.

People with a history of severe joint trauma, such as a broken bone or a torn knee ligament, may have suffered cartilage damage at the time of injury. This damage initiates a process of degeneration that can cause further cartilage damage and erosion. People who suffer repetitive microtrauma, such as a runner who wears improper footwear, may experience continual microtrauma to the joint cartilage.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.