, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 4-6

Osteoarthritis as a Whole Joint Disease

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Introduction

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that causes pain and disability. It is usually slowly progressive, and cartilage degeneration with a loss of joint space (a common measure of progression) is often not continuous, as evidenced by numerous clinical trials and longitudinal studies. The emphasis of research and clinical trials has been on the degeneration of articular cartilage, being required with synovial fluid for the almost frictionless articulation and a key determinant, with the meniscus, of knee joint space on radiographic analysis. However, emerging evidence exists that all or almost all joint tissues are involved and/or affected by this degenerative process (Fig. 1).Fig. 1

Osteoarthritis is manifested by changes in all the tissues in the joint. Reprinted with permission from A.R. Poole, F. Guilak, S.B. Abramson, Etiopathogenesis of osteoarthritis in Osteoarthritis, Diagnosis and Medical management, 4th. edition, R.W. Moscowitz, R.D. Altman, M.C. Hochberg, J.A. Buckwalte