What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic (long-lasting) disease, the most common form of arthritis.14
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative or “wear-and-tear” condition 16 that occurs in all the joint tissues (cartilage, bone, muscles and ligaments) of an affected joint. Osteoarthritis commonly affects knees, hands, and hips.14
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are treatment options available to help reduce pain, improve function, and in some cases, delay disease progression.14
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 it contains 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 functional quality.
- Osteoarthritis bone: Contains osteophytes, also called bony spur growths.
Learn more about the causes of osteoarthritis, the symptoms, and diagnosis.