Osteoarthritis is a sinister disease! We don’t have a good understanding of how the disease develops or what causes it in most cases, and individual diagnosis tends to occur as a result of the arrival of pain. Because cartilage doesn’t contain any nerves, you usually only begin to experience joint pain once your cartilage has become significantly degenerated.
This image shows a bone spicule (a sharp point of bone) that has grown from underlying bone into hte cartilage adjacent. This bone invasion begins early in the disease, before the cartilage has been lost, and may help us to understand how the disease progresses.