Osteoarthritis, as seen in the hip, is a disease which eventually embraces all the tissues of the joint but begins as a reaction of the juxta-chondral blood vessels to a degeneration of the articular cartilage; this reaction results in a hyperaemia of the bone. To our surprise we found that daily use preserves rather than "wears out" articular cartilage; indeed inadequate use is the commonest cause of cartilage degeneration and ensuing vascular invasion. To this factor are added the effects of excessive pressure in the many patients who require surgical treatment for advanced osteoarthritis of a hip the seat of some anatomical incongruity. This etiology based on cartilage suffering does not exclude, but indeed explains, the osteoarthritis implanted on joints of a normal shape which have been previously affected by acute or chronic inflammation or by hormonal dysfunction, such as acromegalic osteoarthritis. The stimulus to vessel growth and invasion is the same in all these cases—namely cartilage damage. Once the vessels have entered the cartilage the bone and marrow of the osteophyte are inevitably laid down. What is so damaging in osteoarthritis seems to be not the degeneration of the cartilage but the vigorous and persistent attempt at repair, an attempt which aggravates the already disordered function of the joint not only by osteophyte formation but by the hypervascularity which weakens the structure of the bone beyond the point where it can carry its increased load. The collapse that follows provokes further reparative efforts with the same deplorable results. The osteoarthritic process thus appears to be an attempt to transform a decaying joint into a youthful one and for this, as in the miraculous rejuvenation depicted in Goethe's Faust, a high price must ultimately be paid.