Review Sections

Osteoarthritis Icon    Osteoarthritis

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.

Clinical Reviews

Osteoarthritis: Prevention

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that can involve any moveable joint in the body and can have profound impact on quality of life. It is commonly associated with the aging process yet early onset and accelerated progression is usually the result of poor lifestyle choices. Prevention strategies can be very effective in reducing the risk of developing early OA or slowing progression when established.

Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis

Diagnosis of osteoarthritis is primarily based on history, examination and radiographic examination. Interestingly no clear consensus has been developed that specifically defines the diagnostic criteria for OA. One question that has yet to be answered is whether radiographic changes without pain or disability are properly diagnosed as OA. The criteria established by the American Board of Rheumatology for diagnosis follows.

Osteoarthritis: Therapy

The osteoarthritic patient presents the physician with a wide variety of treatment options. Interventions ranging from avocado/soybean unsaponifiables to water based-exercise have been investigated with at least limited evidence to support their efficacy. Although none are curative, many appear to be able to reduce pain and disability as well as improve function associated with osteoarthritis (OA).

Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) Information

MeSH Term: Osteoarthritis

Scope Note: A progressive, degenerative joint disease, the most common form of arthritis, especially in older persons. The disease is thought to result not from the aging process but from biochemical changes and biomechanical stresses affecting articular cartilage. In the foreign literature it is often called osteoarthrosis deformans.

MeSH Synonyms:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoarthritides
  • Osteoarthrosis
  • Osteoarthroses
  • Arthritis, Degenerative
  • Arthritides, Degenerative
  • Degenerative Arthritides
  • Degenerative Arthritis
  • Osteoarthrosis Deformans
Applicable MeSH Subheadings:
  • analysis
  • anatomy and histology
  • blood
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • chemically induced
  • classification
  • complications
  • congenital
  • cytology
  • diagnosis
  • diagnostic imaging
  • diet therapy
  • drug therapy
  • economics
  • embryology
  • enzymology
  • epidemiology
  • ethnology
  • etiology
  • genetics
  • history
  • immunology
  • metabolism
  • microbiology
  • mortality
  • nursing
  • organization and administration
  • parasitology
  • pathology
  • physiology
  • physiopathology
  • prevention and control
  • psychology
  • radiotherapy
  • rehabilitation
  • statistics and numerical data
  • surgery
  • therapy
  • ultrastructure
  • urine
  • veterinary
  • virology

Informative Links


MayoClinic.com Osteoarthritis Information

Mayo Clinic Health Solutions' award-winning consumer Web site offers health information and self-improvement tools. MayoClinic.com's medical experts and editorial professionals bring you access to the knowledge and experience of Mayo Clinic for all your consumer health information needs, from cancer, diabetes and heart disease to nutrition, exercise and pregnancy.

MedlinePlus: Osteoarthritis

MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.

Current Clinical Trials Relating to  Osteoarthritis

ClinicalTrials.gov: Provides patients, family members, and members of the public easy and free access to information on clinical studies for a wide range of diseases and conditions.


Osteoarthritis Cardiovascular Risk Factors

(Status: Unknown status)


The STavanger osteoARThritis Study

(Status: Completed)


DIGItal Cohort Osteoarthritis Design

(Status: Active, not recruiting)


Self-Management of Osteoarthritis

(Status: Completed)

100 Clinical Trials Returned