What Is Osteoarthritis?
Knee osteoarthritis is caused by damage to or the wearing down of articular cartilage. This is the material which covers the surfaces of the bones in the knee joint. Without the articular cartilage, bone grinds on bone.
Knee osteoarthritis can affect any or all of the three main parts of the knee:
- The medial compartment
- The lateral compartment; and
- The patello-femoral joint – ‘knee cap’
The medial (inner) compartment is the commonest site for knee arthritis affecting a single compartment.
You may find knee osteoarthritis arises as the result of a cartilage injury (we know, for example, that a torn cartilage increases the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis later in life), but it can also occur without any history of injury or damage to the knee.
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