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What causes osteoarthritis of the knee?

Many factors can increase your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee. It’s most common if:

  • you’re in your late 40s or older – this might be because your muscles have become weaker, your body is less able to heal itself or your joints have gradually worn out over time
  • you’re a woman – osteoarthritis is more common and more severe in women
  • you’re overweight – this increases the chances of developing osteoarthritis and of it becoming gradually worse
  • your parents or siblings have had osteoarthritis
  • you’ve had a knee injury, for example a torn meniscus
  • you've had an operation on your knee, for example a meniscectomy (to remove damaged cartilage) or repairs to your cruciate ligaments
  • you do a hard, repetitive activity or a physically demanding job, for example farming or mining
  • you have another type of joint disease which has damaged your joints, for example rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Arthritis Research UK has recently awarded a grant to investigating the use of new drugs to treat early-onset osteoarthritis caused by injury.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.