Also referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition characterised by the wearing away of the cartilage (the joint’s natural cushion). When the cartilage wears away, the bones will rub against each other resulting in stiffness, swelling, and reduced movement. In some cases, osteoarthritis can also result in the development of bone spurs.
While age is considered a primary risk factor for knee osteoarthritis, for some it can be hereditary. Although the chance of developing the condition significantly increases after the age of 55 years, knee osteoarthritis can also occur even in young individuals. For others, the condition can develop from infection, injury, or from being overweight. Osteoarthritis is also more prevalent in women than in men.