According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOC), “Arthritis literally means ‘inflammation of a joint.’” This means, in most instances, the inflammation associated with the disease usually results from a breakdown in joint cartilage.
The AAOC lists several types of arthritic conditions. Osteoarthritis, the type that occurs in aging patients, is a result of wear and tear on the joint affected and is in at least one weight-bearing joint. Post-traumatic arthritis is a result of some injury sustained in the joint. Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, are autoimmune diseases, which, according to the AAOC website, is a result of “the body’s immune system, which normally protects the body, begins to produce substances that attack the body.” In relationship to psoriatic arthritis, the AAOC estimates that about 48 percent of the cases of psoriasis are a result of the arthritic condition, many of which are undiagnosed.
According to the AAOC website, juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease and that, because it differs in nature from the adult rheumatic type, the term “juvenile rheumatoid arthritis” or “JRA” is no longer used by medical professionals. The Arthritis Foundation states, “Approximately 294,000 children under the age of 18 are affected by pediatric arthritis and rheumatologic conditions.”