Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. It is a degenerative chronic condition of the joints that affects all of the weight-bearing components of the joint (articular cartilage, menisci, bone) and most often affects the knees, hips, lower back, neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumbs and big toe. Risk factors for OA are: age (strongest risk factor), female gender, joint alignment, hereditary gene defects, joint injury, overuse syndromes and obesity. Usually, OA is the result from wear and tear of the joint. The normal cartilage lining is gradually worn away and the underlying bone is exposed resulting in pain and limited mobility of the affected joints. From the times of Hippocrates, OA or arthrosis deformans, it was believed that it is a chronic form of gout. It was only in 1782, when William Heberden coined the term Digitorum nodi and nowadays these small nodes are named after him. Heberden, noticed that these nodes had no connection with gout. The term OA as we use it today was coined by Garrod in 1890.
References and Further Reading
- Brandt KD, Fife RS, Braunstein EM, Katz B. Radiographic grading of the severity of knee osteoarthritis: relation of the Kellgren and Lawrence grade to a grade based on joint space narrowing, and correlation with arthroscopic evidence of articular cartilage degeneration. Arthritis Rheum. 1991;34(11):1381–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Roddy E, Thomas MJ, Marshall M, et al. The population prevalence of symptomatic radiographic foot osteoarthritis in community-dwelling older adults: cross-sectional findings from the clinical assessment study of the foot. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013; https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar