Osteoarthritis is a disease that primarily affects the cartilage lining of the joints and the bones associated with the joints, the subchondral bones. However, all the tissues surrounding the affected joint eventually become abnormal. The cartilage lining the joint frays and outgrowths of bone form around the joint in an attempt at healing. Fragments of this bone break off and irritate the joints, which lose their natural lubrication and become stiff and noisy.

The first symptoms of osteoarthritis appear usually in the 4th decade and 60-70% of people are affected by the 7th decade [Image: Shutterstock].

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