Mechanical wear-and-tear or injury can cause osteoarthritis to develop. When an injury changes the alignment of a joint, it can hasten cartilage damage. The damage is usually visible in hands with enlarged joints and crooked fingers. Bony nodules are common visible characteristics with hand osteoarthritis. Small nodules and swellings that develop near the middle joint of the fingers are referred to as Bouchard's nodes. When the nodules are located at the fingertip, they are referred to as Heberden's nodes.