32.5 M

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, 32.5 million U.S. adults are estimated to have OA.


of people with OA are 45 or older, while 43% are 65 or older.


of individuals with OA are women.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that is characterized by joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. [1]

Who is affected?

Anyone can be diagnosed with osteoarthritis. But women are more likely than men to have the condition. The condition is generally diagnosed after the age of 50. [2] Black Americans and people with lower socio-economic status are at greater risk of getting osteoarthritis. [3] [4]

Numerous factors can make you more at risk of osteoarthritis, including genetics, obesity, joint injuries, and other medical conditions. [1]

What happens in your body?

Osteoarthritis symptoms generally develop slowly and become worse over time.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include: [1] [5]

  • Joint pain during or after movement
  • Joint stiffness after resting or first thing in the morning
  • Tenderness in the joints when you apply light pressure to the area
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling around the joint
  • Clicking or cracking when the joint bends
  • Hard lumps that form around the affected joint
  • Joint instability or buckling
  • Pain in the groin, buttocks, toes, or ankles

How do I know if I have osteoarthritis?

It is important to get an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible to make sure that the condition does not worsen. The best way to do this is by visiting your doctor and, if possible, getting a referral to visit a rheumatologist, a doctor with specialized training in treating osteoarthritis.

Some ways that your doctor can assess whether you have the condition is through a physical examination or lab tests (such as imaging tests).