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Osteoarthritis can develop in any joint. But some joints are more likely to be affected. Below are some of the common places where osteoarthritis can occur.
Joints between small bones in the upper part of the spine may wear out. Pain may travel to the shoulder or the base of the skull.
Bony spurs may form on the joints between the vertebrae (spinal bones). And disks (cushions of cartilage between vertebrae) may wear down. Pain may affect the lower back or leg.
Cartilage damage can occur in the large “ball and socket” joint that connects the pelvis and thighbone. Pain may travel to the groin, buttocks, or knee.
Finger joints may become enlarged and “knobby.” Grasping objects may be hard, especially if the joint at the base of the thumb is affected.
The cartilage in the knee joint may wear down. Weakness or instability in the knee joint may make walking or climbing stairs difficult.
The big toe (“bunion”) joint may be affected. Standing or walking may be painful.