A degenerative joint disorder; prevalence increases with age.
Most commonly affected joints are the knee, hip, hands, and lumbar and cervical spine.
Presents with joint pain and stiffness that is typically worse with activity.
Radiographs show loss of joint space, subchondral sclerosis, and osteophytes.
Treatments are non-pharmacological and pharmacological.
Joint replacement surgery is effective for controlling the pain of osteoarthritis in advanced disease.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the result of mechanical and biological events that destabilise the normal process of degradation and synthesis of articular cartilage chondrocytes, extracellular matrix, and subchondral bone. It involves the entire joint, including the articular cartilage, subchondral bone, pericapsular muscles, capsule, and synovium. The condition leads to loss of cartilage, sclerosis and eburnation of the subchondral bone, osteophytes, and subchondral cysts. It is clinically characterised by joint pain, stiffness, and functional limitation.
History and exam
Harvard Medical School
Director of the Musculoskeletal Medicine Unit
Department of Orthopedics & Division of Rheumatology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
FB has received an honorarium as an advisory board member for Fidia Pharmaceuticals.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Boston University Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit
Boston University School of Medicine
DH declares that he has no competing interests.
Professor of Clinical Rheumatology
Department of Rheumatology
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