What Is Osteoarthritis?
Affects Many Older People
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people.
The disease affects both men and women. Before age 45, osteoarthritis is more common in men than in women. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more common in women. It is estimated that 33.6% (12.4 million) of individuals age 65 and older are affected by the disease.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability among older adults.
Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within the joints, breaks down and wears away. In some cases, all of the cartilage may wear away, leaving bones that rub up against each other.
Joint Stiffness and Pain
Symptoms range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to severe joint pain. Osteoarthritis affects hands, low back, neck, and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, and feet. osteoarthritis affects just joints, not internal organs.