• Eleftherios Pelechas
  • Evripidis Kaltsonoudis
  • Paraskevi V. Voulgari
  • Alexandros A. Drosos


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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleftherios Pelechas
    • 1
  • Evripidis Kaltsonoudis
    • 1
  • Paraskevi V. Voulgari
    • 1
  • Alexandros A. Drosos
    • 1
  1. 1.Rheumatology Clinic - Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

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