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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Arthritis is a degenerative condition affecting the joints in the body.  Some forms of arthritis are caused by a trauma to the joint.  For instance, a person who injured their knee in a car accident might later experience arthritis in that joint.  Other forms of arthritis are an autoimmune disorder.  The body begins to attack itself in the same way it would an outside agent like a germ or virus. 

In all forms of arthritis, the main symptoms is joint pain.  In some cases, this pain is accompanied by inflammation of the joint and surrounding tissues.  In other cases, the pain is joined by a deterioration of the cartilage in the joint.  Arthritis can interfere with a person's activities and general quality of life.  Many time, the patient can loose some or all of the function in affected joints.