Arthritis is a disease that slowly destroys the cartilage in a joint causing the bones to rub together. This results in inflammation, pain and stiffening of the joints. Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is advanced arthritis that starts to break down and destroy the actual bone structure causing deformation and limiting the function of the joint. Arthritis of the hand, wrist, knee, ankle, and neck are all very common. Arthritis can be the result of aging or repeated injury. Also search Basal Joint Arthritis of the thumb.