Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Arthritis occurs when the protective cushion between the joints, known as articular cartilage, erodes or wears down over time. Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis; OA can cause pain, stiffness, swelling and inflammation due to the lack of shock absorbing cushioning in the joints. Sometimes bone spurs can develop because of the OA associated bone-on-bone condition in the knee. The formation of additional bone (bone spurs) is one of the ways the body tries to stabilize the arthritic joint by inhibiting movement and reducing rubbing. Arthritis of the knee is very common, especially in persons over the age of 50, but OA can affect individuals of any age. OA can be hereditary or result from an injury (ligament tear, broken bone). The knee is comprised of the femur (thighbone), the upper end of the tibia (shinbone) and patella (kneecap). Inside of the knee, articular cartilage lines the ends of these bones, allowing the knee to glide smoothly while bending and straightening. While osteoarthritis is degenerative, and no cure exists, maintaining a healthy weight, staying strong by exercising, and paying close attention to one’s activity level can slow the progression of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee. Dr. Riley J. Williams, orthopedic knee specialist serving Manhattan, New York City and the surrounding New York boroughs, has extensive experience in treating arthritis in the knee and other osteoarthritis ailments.