Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Classification of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common
cartilage condition and a major cause of pain and
disability in older adults. Primary osteoarthritis
results from changes over time often linked to things such as age, obesity, and
a family history of osteoarthritis. Secondary
osteoarthritis is caused by other conditions that damage cartilage.
It is usually limited to one or a small number of
It may be limited to a small number of joints if
injury-related, or it may be in joints throughout body if disease-related.
It is seen in spine, hips, knees, thumbs, and top
two sets of finger joints.
It is seen in hips, ankles, shoulders, wrists, and
the middle set of finger joints.
No specific inflammatory or metabolic condition
known to be associated with arthritis is present.
Conditions that cause damage to cartilage may be
present, such as:
There is no history of specific injury or
There may be a history of injury to joints, such as
fractures and tears, or history of trauma to joints, such as repetitive heavy
lifting or kneeling.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerStanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.