Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that usually happens gradually over time, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).
Some of the main causes of osteoarthritis, according to the NIH, include:
Genetic defects in joint cartilage
Injuries to joints
Joints that never formed properly
Stress on joints from work or sports
OA happens when the body is not able to repair joint tissue in the usual way.
A traumatic injury to a joint, for example, may undermine the body’s ability to carry out proper repairs is undermined, so damage to the affected joint persists and worsens, leading to symptoms of OA.
OA can develop as a result of cartilage damage. Cartilage is the protective surface that cushions the ends of bones in joints and allows the joints to move smoothly.
The smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough, causing irritation. As the cartilage wears down, the bone in the joint rubs against another bone, causing damage and pain.
The bones start protruding, forming bony lumps called osteophytes, and the joints may become knobbly.
As a result, the bones gradually thicken and become broader, and the joints become stiffer, less mobile, and painful.
If fluid accumulates in the joints, they will swell.
Why the repair process breaks down remains unclear, but several contributory factors may be involved, including injury or surgery, overuse, and damage resulting from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) .
It may take several years for OA to appear after an injury.
Secondary OA is a condition that develops because of damage or another condition.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that permits nearly frictionless joint motion.
In osteoarthritis, the slick surface of the cartilage becomes rough. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, you may be left with bone rubbing on bone.