Osteoarthritis disease progression through the lower extremity: A review
It has long been felt that osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear. Many physicians are not aware that biological science has now validated that this increased “wear and tear” on the joint is the result of loading-induced stresses that undermine cell function and aging. The loading creates shear forces on the cartilage that leads to increased oxidants. These oxidants then cause chondrocyte premature aging, leading to the development of what we know as osteoarthritis.
Studies have also found a significant association between foot pain and knee and hip pain. Likewise, many physicians are not aware of the relationship between the hip, knee and foot are a result of the kinetic chain. The kinetic chain being the dynamic transfer of forces during ambulation of the foot, ankle, knee, and hip. The kinetic chain explains how the body’s joints and segments affect one another during movement, and so play a role in pain. The pain results from transferred mechanical stress from one joint to another. The same stress and shear forces that leads to osteoarthritis.
This article involves a literature of the connection of osteoarthritis and the kinetic chain in the lower limb and highlights the need to consider related joints in the kinetic chain when addressing and injury in one joint to address and perhaps delay progression of osteoarthritis in related joints.