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What does osteoarthritis (OA) cause?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Osteoarthritis is a complex disease that can cause many changes in the joints, none of them good. But the critical transformation that occurs in your knee, hip, or any other joint afflicted by osteoarthritis is the loss of cartilage. Cartilage is a tough material that covers the ends of bones, where they form joints. When you flex or move muscles, cartilage allows the bones in a joint to glide against one another without friction.

Osteoarthritis causes cartilage to wear away, leaving bone to scrape painfully against bone. Over time, the shape of the bones can change, causing the joint to stop working properly. As a result, simple activities you took for granted become more difficult, like walking or carrying bags of groceries into the house. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.