Osteoarthritis: The Rheumatologist’s Perspective

Marc C. Hochberg, MD, MPH
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland


Introduction

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is a major cause of morbidity, limitation of physical activity, and health care utilization, especially in people aged 45 and above. OA has been defined as “… a progressive disease of synovial joints that represents failed repair of joint damage. This ultimately results in the breakdown of cartilage and bone, leading to symptoms of pain, stiffness, and functional disability”. The term “degenerative joint disease (DJD)” should not be used by health care practitioners to describe this entity; it is a misnomer and suggests to patients that nothing can be done for their condition. Thus, OA can be considered as a disease characterized by structural abnormalities at the joint level and an illness defined by a person’s symptoms. The symptoms that characterize knee OA include frequent pain, aching or discomfort, stiffness, fatigue, and sleep disturbance. These symptoms result in functional limitations leading to reduced participation in activities and decreased health-related quality of life.

This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 8, Number 1.
View the full article at springerlink.com.

About the HSS Journal

HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year, February, July and October. The Journal accepts and publishes peer reviewed articles from around the world that contribute to the advancement of the knowledge of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.


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