Several factors may increase your risk for developing osteoarthritis.
Age. The ability of cartilage to heal itself decreases as we age. Osteoarthritis typically affects people middle-aged and older.
Heredity. Certain genes have been linked to osteoarthritis. Inherited traits, such as being bowlegged, knowck-kneed, or double-jointed, can also put you at greater risk for the disease.
Weight. The more you weigh, the more stress you put on your knee joints.
Injury. Previous knee injury, such as a sports injury, can lead to osteoarthritis later in life.
Overuse. People in occupations that involve repeated kneeling or squatting, or heavy lifting and walking, are vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries in the knee. This makes them more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
Other illnesses. If you have had other problems with your knee, such as gout, knee iinfection, or Lyme disease, your risk for osteoarthritis increases.