In osteoarthritis (OA), the soft, movement-easing cartilage at the ends of joint bones breaks down and wears away as the person grows older. Eventually the bones rub directly against each other whenever the joint moves, causing pain and stiffness.
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), chemical changes in the synovium cause it to destroy cartilage. In post-traumatic arthritis, joint pain and stiffness may develop after injury to the joint; the resulting failure of the bone and cartilage to heal properly causes the roughened joint surfaces to grind together.For more information on arthritis and knee, hip, or shoulder joint pain, go to
This is a very personal decision that only you can make, with the help of an orthopaedic surgeon’s evaluation of your pain and its effects on your daily life.