In a perfect world we would never need to see a doctor and not ever suffer injuries or experience pain from worn out joints.
Whilst this is not a perfect world, there are ways to avoid joint injury and arthritis.
If playing sport try to ensure that your fitness level is adequate for the type and level of sport you wish to play. Have good equipment and inspect it regularly. If you are unfortunate enough to have an injury, ensure you know what the problem is, what the various options for treatment are (if required) and that you have recovered fully before re-entering the fray.
Treatment without a firm diagnosis is dangerous and may leave you vulnerable to further or more severe injury. Make sure your treating practitioner can inform you of the diagnosis, the cause, the treatment options and their outcomes and likely rehabilitation, and then ways to avoid the problem in the future.
We are born with a variable propensity to cartilage repair and the structure of our joints, whilst similar varies also, resulting in some who live into old age never worried with arthritis and yet others who seem to have problems earlier in life.
The best way to avoid arthritis seems to be regular exercise, avoidance of weight gain and avoidance of injury. Regular exercise helps maintain strength and flexibility whilst keeping joints moving through their full range. Excessive weight gain is associated with knee osteoarthritis in particular. Sadly not only does the weight increase the likelihood of arthritic knees and speeds their deterioration, it also diminishes the outcomes of knee replacement.
The best early treatment for osteoarthritic joints is exercise (to maintain muscle strength and range of the joint’s movement) and weight reduction. Swimming, riding an exercise bike and for some simply walking are good places to start.