The information you find here will help you comprehend the three most common forms of bone and joint disease.  The McCaig Institute conducts research to find solutions to these diseases.  For organizations that can help patients manage these conditions go to our community resources page by clicking here.

Osteoarthritis

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Bone and joint disorders are among the most common chronic conditions experienced by Canadians, with osteoarthritis affecting 1 in 9 Albertans.  Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by the breakdown of cartilage which over time results in exposed bony ends rubbing together, leading to a breakdown of the joint structure which results in inflammation of the joint, swelling, pain and stiffness.  Deep, aching, joint pain and stiffness become increasingly severe as the disease progresses until pain becomes constant, event at rest, making it difficult to sleep.  OA makes it difficult to move around and complete everyday tasks and is the most common type of arthritis.  It is also the leading cause of physical limitations in the elderly, affecting 1 in 10 Canadians.  By the age of 70, OA is present in most people.  What is the McCaig Institute doing to tackle osteoarthritis?  Read more...

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (OP) is the abnormal loss of bone, causing the tissue to become thin and brittle over time, dramatically increasing susceptibility to fractures.  OP can strike at any age and result in disfigurement, reduction in or loss of mobility, and decreased independence.  Fractures caused as a result of OP are more common than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.  In the case of hip fractures related to OP, 25% of patients die within a year of the fracture.  One million Canadians currently suffer from OP, 80% of whom are women.  1 in 3 Canadian women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from an OP related fracture at some point in their lifetime.  What is the McCaig Institute doing to tackle this debilitating disease?  Read more...

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body attacks healthy joints, causing inflammation, swelling, pain and stiffness that limits the ability to use the joint normally.  Over time the swelling leads to damage in the joints resulting in deformities, especially in the hands and feet. Onset of RA typically occurs between the ages of 20 and 50 but can occur at any age, even childhood.  The long term prognosis for RA patients is poor, with 80% of patients experiencing a reduction in physical function within twenty years of disease onset and a reduced life expectancy of 5 to 10 years. What is the McCaig Institute doing to tackle this debilitating disease?  Read more...