The role of osteophytes in OA

The role of osteophytes in OA

A 65-year-old male presents with a painful left finger, he is unable to bend it and it is significantly swollen.  He has a history of osteoarthritis.OA is a disease of articular cartilage and subchondral bone in diarthrodial joints. Please explain. What is the role of osteophytes in OA? How do NSAIDS affect OA? How does weight loss affect OA?

Osteophytes are such a common radiographic feature of osteoarthritis (OA) that they have been used to diagnose the disease. They most frequently develop at the joint margins, initially as cartilage outgrowths that undergo endochondral ossification. Their development is accelerated by growth factors such as transforming growth factor beta (TGF)

The osteophytes’ teleological function is unknown. Consolidation or recovery of the joint space has been associated with the development of large osteophytes in hip osteoarthritis, which presumably stabilize the hip joint.

In the knee, osteophytes develop anteriorly and posteriorly following a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, limiting the femur’s translocation onto the tibia and stabilizing the joint in the sagittal plane. Pottenger et al. demonstrated that removing medial and lateral osteophytes improves varus–valgus motion in knee osteoarthritis specimens. If an increase in stability slows the progression of osteoarthritis in the knee, then knees with large osteophytes should experience less progression over time than knees with smaller osteophytes.

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