Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear arthritis” since the cartilage simply wears away. Very much like your brake pads on your car wearing away and when the bare metal is exposed you feel the metal rubbing on application of the brakes. This compares with the arthritic knee when weight or load is put on the joint; patients feel it grating as the bone rubs on bone. The most common cause for osteoarthritis of the knee is genetic, since the quality and durability of each individual’s articular cartilage is dependent on inheritance. Previous injury and surgery for torn meniscus can predispose to arthritis of the knee.
Inflammatory Arthritis causes swelling and heat of the joint lining (synovium) causes a release of chemicals which soften and destroy the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and Psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory in nature.