As a disease, osteoarthritis is not known to spread.Some patients with OA have the disease in just one joint, such as a finger joint or one knee. A significant number of patients have what is referred to as generalized osteoarthritis, which affects three or more joints. Common sites are the hands, base of the thumb, spine, hips, and knees. It is believed that patients who experience stiffness or pain in these areas have a defect in their bodys cartilage that causes widespread damage. To date, no therapy has been developed that can prevent progression of osteoarthritis.