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Can children get osteoarthritis?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Children can get a number of different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis -- the wear-and-tear kind caused by cartilage breakdown in a joint -- in children is rare. Generally, people don't start to show osteoarthritis symptoms until they reach age 45. Children with certain genetic conditions, especially those that cause deformities in the bones and the joints, may be at risk for this disease, however.
It's rare that children get osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis generally affects adults over age 45. However, it can occur in people younger than 45 after an injury, or if they are obese, or have a family history of the disease.

Children may get osteoarthritis due to certain genetic diseases and mutations. Inherited bone abnormalities that affect joint shape or stability, or defects that cause cartilage to form abnormally can lead to OA in young people. It’s also more common in joints that don’t fit together smoothly, such as those of people who are bowlegged or double-jointed. A doctor can diagnose this risk in a child. 

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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.