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Osteoarthritis - Cause

Osteoarthritis occurs when changes in cartilage cause the cartilage to break down faster than the body can produce it. When cartilage breaks down, the bones rub together and cause damage and pain. Experts don't know why this happens. But things like aging, joint injury, being overweight, and genetics may increase your risk.

In some cases, arthritis is caused by other conditions that damage cartilage.

Recommended Related to Osteoarthritis

Caring for Your Joints at Home

Just as the tread on your tires wears away over time, the cartilage that cushions your joints can wear away, too. It's a condition known as osteoarthritis. And without enough cushioning, the bones of a joint will hurt when they rub against each other. Frayed cartilage can't heal or grow back. "There's no way to reverse the arthritis once it has started," says Michaela M. Schneiderbauer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. But there are ways to reduce the...

Read the Caring for Your Joints at Home article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 17, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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