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In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that protects and cushions the joints breaks down over time. As the cartilage wears down, the bone surfaces rub against each other. This damages the tissue and bone, which then causes pain. Osteoarthritis is common in the knee joints.
Last Revised: April 8, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
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