What is primary osteoarthritis?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Primary osteoarthritis (OA) is arthritis that has no known cause. There's no trigger, such as an injury that first began to damage the joint. Primary OA is sometimes called idiopathic osteoarthritis. As we learn more about the genetic causes of OA, the term primary OA may become obsolete. We may soon be able to pinpoint a specific gene or set of genes that cause the disease.
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Primary osteoarthritis means that there is no known cause for the joint breakdown. Primary osteoarthritis can also be called "idiopathic" osteoarthritis. This type occurs in the vast majority of osteoarthritis cases. Secondary osteoarthritis occurs more rarely and happens as a result of another condition, such as when arthritis is caused by too much iron in the blood (hemochromatosis), which can damage joints.

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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.