Which occupations are at risk for osteoarthritis?
Several occupations can cause stress and trauma to joints, leading to early osteoarthritis. This most likely occurs in joints that have been previously injured, have an abnormal joint alignment, or are unstable as a result of ligamentous injury. Examples include ballet dancers (ankle, feet); farmers (hips, knees); miners (elbow/knees/spine), riveters, or metal workers (elbows); pneumatic tool operators (upper extremity joints); coal miners (knees); and cotton mill workers (hands). The relationship between osteoarthritis and sporting activities is less clear, owing to repeated joint injuries in addition to repetitive loading.