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What is osteoarthritis?

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Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, is a condition in which the natural cushioning between joints -- cartilage -- wears away. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing results in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased ability to move and, sometimes, the formation of bone spurs.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Arthritis of the Knee."

Familydoctor.org: "Osteoarthritis of the knee."

Arthritis Foundation: "Osteoarthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): "Knee Problems" and "Arthritis: Handout on Osteoarthritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on January 11, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Arthritis of the Knee."

Familydoctor.org: "Osteoarthritis of the knee."

Arthritis Foundation: "Osteoarthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): "Knee Problems" and "Arthritis: Handout on Osteoarthritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on January 11, 2017

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Who gets osteoarthritis of the knee?

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