Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is a condition caused by degeneration of articular cartilage and remodeling of subchondral bone. Prevalence increases with age with up to 33% of persons over 63 years of age effected (1). Controversy exists as to whether the radiographic appearance of osteoarthritis alone is sufficient for a diagnosis or if symptomology must accompany radiographic appearance (2). Additionally the term “osteoarthritis” may be a misnomer as inflammation is rarely involved.
(1) Felson DT, Naimark A, Anderson J, Kazis L, Castelli W, Meenan RF. The prevalence of knee osteoarthritis in the elderly. The Framingham Osteoarthritis Study. Arthritis Rheum 1987; 30(8):914-918.; (2) Hinton R, Moody RL, Davis AW, Thomas SF. Osteoarthritis: diagnosis and therapeutic considerations. Am Fam Physician 2002; 65(5):841-848.