Articular cartilage plays a vital role in the function of diarthrodial joints. Due to osteoarthritis degeneration of articular cartilage occurs.The initial event that triggers the pathological process of cartilage degeneration is still unknown. Cartilage damage due to osteoarthritis isbelieved to be mechanically induced. Hence, to investigate the initiation of osteoarthritis the stresses and strains in the cartilage must bedetermined. So far the most common method to accomplish that is finite element analysis. This paper provides an overview of computationaldescriptions developed for this purpose, and what they can be used for. Articular cartilage composition and structure are discussed in relationwith degenerative changes, and how these affect mechanical properties.