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Year : 1967  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-62

Osteoarthritis Of HIP In Indians An Anatomical And Clinical Study



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B Mukhopadhaya


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Osteoarthritis is a disease of long antiquity. It has been seen in Egyptian Mummies. Primarily the disease is characterised by degenerative changes of the articular cartilage followed by new bone formation at the articular margins. It affects principally the weight bearing joints. It is commonly seen in the middle aged and elderly persons. Osteoarthritis of the hip is comparatively a rare condition in India. In Western countries, on the other hand, incidence of osteoarthritis of the hip is quite high. It is said that in the United States of America alone, there are 12 million suffering from this condition. According to British and European authorities, the condition is equally common both in the United Kingdom and Europe. So high is the incidence of osteoarthritis of hip in the West that condition has become an industrial problem due to the heavy loss of working hours. Why is osteoarthritis of the hip so uncommon among Indians? No systematic study of this problem has yet been made. In the present study an attempt has been made to evaluate certain aspects of the problems with a view to find an explanation for the relative rarity of this condition in India. The aetiology of osteoarthritis of the hip is not yet fully understood. A number of factors may contribute to its occurrence, leading ultimately as suggested by Herbert Knodt (1964), to a progressive mechanical failure of the joint. He has been able to demonstrate clearly that any improper fitting of the joint surfaces gives rise to different zones of varying pressure inside the constituent bones. Concentration of pressure localized to limited areas of the articular surfaces may ultimately lead to mechanical failure. Mechanical failure due to incongruity of joint surfaces may result form injury or disease or from minor anatomical variations of the joint surfaces. Review of any large series of cases of osteoarthritis of the hip reveals that the aetiology is unknown in more than 50 percent of cases (Lloyd-Roberts 1955). In such cases dysplasia of the acetabulum or minor anatomical variation in the fitting of the components of the joint have been suggested as contributory factory in the causation of osteoarthritis. In recent years, the work of Harrison, Schajowicz and Trueta (1953) has emphasized the importance of the lines of bony trabecular pattern in the head and neck of such stress concentration on the health of articular cartilage.


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