What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints16 and one of the most common disorders of the knee.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1 out of 2 adults will develop knee osteoarthritis in their lifetime.16
When osteoarthritis strikes the knee, the joint cartilage begins to break down and the natural hyaluronic acid in the surrounding fluid becomes thinner and less functional.15,17 This triggers inflammation and damage that causes pain and stiffness when you move the knee.4,5,7
Though no treatment can completely stop osteoarthritis progression, it is possible to significantly slow down joint damage and keep knee joints stronger and flexible longer.8,9
Stages of Knee Osteoarthritis
Inside an osteoarthritis joint
- Normal cartilage: Provides a smooth surface, allowing bones to move easily across each other.
- Synovial fluid: Lubricates and provides shock absorption during activity because of a high concentration of hyaluronic acid.
- Normal bone: Provides strength and support for the body’s tissues and organs.
- Eroded cartilage: If completely worn away, bones may painfully scrape against each other.
- Osteoarthritis synovial fluid: Degeneration from osteoarthritis leads to lower production of hyaluronic acid and poorer quality.
- Osteoarthritis bone: Osteophytes: bony spur growths.
Learn more about the causes of osteoarthritis, the symptoms, and diagnosis.