Medications

Tramadol may up mortality risk in osteoarthritis patients

(HealthDay)—The initial prescription of tramadol compared with commonly prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be associated with increased all-cause mortality among patients with osteoarthritis, according ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Finger joint enlargements may be linked to knee osteoarthritis

Heberden's nodes (HNs) are bony enlargements of the finger joints that are readily detectable in a routine physical exam and are considered hallmarks of osteoarthritis. A new Arthritis & Rheumatology study found that the ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Researcher evaluates estrogen as therapy for knee osteoarthritis

More than 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The degenerative joint disease, often caused by wear and tear, is a leading cause of disability ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Hormone therapy may be best defense against knee osteoarthritis

There is an ongoing debate regarding the relationship between knee osteoarthritis and hormone therapy (HT), with small-scale studies providing mixed results. A new large-scale study from Korea shows that women receiving HT ...

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA, also known as degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease), is a group of diseases and mechanical abnormalities entailing degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and the subchondral bone next to it. Clinical symptoms of OA may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, inflammation, creaking, and locking of joints. In OA, a variety of potential forces—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage -- a strong protein matrix that lubricates and cushions the joints. As the body struggles to contain ongoing damage, immune and regrowth processes can accelerate damage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, subchondral bone may be exposed and damaged, with regrowth leading to a proliferation of ivory-like, dense, reactive bone in central areas of cartilage loss, a process called eburnation. The patient increasingly experiences pain upon weight bearing, including walking and standing. Due to decreased movement because of the pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax. OA is the most common form of arthritis, and the leading cause of chronic disability in the United States.

"Osteoarthritis" is derived from the Greek word "osteo", meaning "of the bone", "arthro", meaning "joint", and "itis", meaning inflammation, although many sufferers have little or no inflammation. Osteoarthritis is not to be confused with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory joint disease. A common misconception is that OA is due solely to wear and tear, since OA typically is not present in younger people. However, while age is correlated with OA incidence, this correlation merely illustrates that OA is a process that takes time to develop. There is usually an underlying cause for OA, in which case it is described as secondary OA. If no underlying cause can be identified it is described as primary OA. "Degenerative arthritis" is often used as a synonym for OA, but the latter involves both degenerative and regenerative changes.

OA affects nearly 27 million people in the United States, accounting for 25% of visits to primary care physicians, and half of all NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) prescriptions. It is estimated that 80% of the population will have radiographic evidence of OA by age 65, although only 60% of those will show symptoms. In the United States, hospitalizations for osteoarthritis soared from about 322,000 in 1993 to 735,000 in 2006.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA