Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic condition where the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and difficulty moving in joints. It most frequently affects knee, hip, lower back and neck joints. Fingers, big toe and base of thumb may also be affected.
OA can occur in anyone at any age, but it is most common in people over age 65. Risk factors include obesity, previous joint injury, muscle weakness and genetics. Over time, OA can cause bones to break down and develop growths called spurs. Eventually, OA can wear down the cartilage until bone is rubbing against bone.