Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that protects and cushions
the joints breaks down over time. Eventually, the bones—formerly separated by
the cartilage—rub against each other. This results in damage to the tissue and
bone and causes painful joint symptoms.
Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative joint disease or
osteoarthrosis, is the most common form of arthritis. It most often affects the
joints of the spine, fingers, thumbs, hips, knees, or toes.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
Current as of
April 9, 2013
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 09, 2013
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