Osteoarthritis (OA) is considered a complex multifactorial disease of weight-bearing joints, with extensive psychosocial impact. The etiology of primary OA remains unknown and the molecular and cellular mechanisms of OA initiation and progression are not fully elucidated.
Source: Osetoarthritis and Cartilage Journal Volume 29, ISSUE 1, P6-7, January 01, 2021
As the paper cited above notes, although it has been known for many years that general 'wear and tear' damage, and specific injury, can lead to the development of osteoarthritis, the exact biological pathways are currently unknown.
The condition results in the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. It's extremely common - for example, the lifetime risk of an individual developing osteoarthritis of the knee is currently estimated at 46% ( source )
To date, a number of pathways implicated in various aspects of OA, such as inflammation, apoptosis, chondrogenesis, degeneration, and circadian clock, have been targeted for treatment purposes.
Further info US NIH National Institute on Aging
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