ZocdocAnswersDoes being tall make me more likely to have bone problems?

Question

Does being tall make me more likely to have bone problems?

I am a 6'4? 25 year old male. Do you think it's more likely that I'll develop arthritis than shorter people?

Answer

There are many different types of arthritis and none of them are specifically are associated with being tall. The most common type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. This occurs when the cartilage that normally acts as a cushion for the joint wears away resulting in bone rubbing on bone which can be painful. There are many different cause of osteoarthritis. First, in general it is more common in older people. Joint wear and tear is often a contributing factor and previous injuries to a joint can accelerate this. Being overweight can increase your chances of getting this type of arthritis. Thus, if you are tall and overweight, then losing weight can reduce your chances of getting osteoarthritis. Other causes of arthritis including autoimmune diseases are also not associated with being tall. Rheumatoid arthritis does not seem to effect larger or smaller people but does seem to effect women more than me I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a detailed history of your symptoms, a detailed account of any family members that have arthritis. After a physical examine of you joints, your doctor will be able to tell if you have any additional risk factor for arthritis.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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