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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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