Keywords: osteoarthritis, cartilage, subchondral bone, joint disease, chondrocytes
AbstractOsteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease involving the entire joint, although the main tissue implicated in osteoarthritis is the cartilage. The most common joints affected include the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers, base of the thumb and big toe. Progressive degeneration, chronic pain, stiffness, joint instability and joint space narrowing are clinical features associated with the condition. Osteoarthritis develops and progresses due to risk factors such as advancing age, female gender, and excessive mechanical stress, affecting mainly weight bearing joints of the knee, hip and spine. Thorough history taking, physical examination for signs and symptoms as well as appropriate imaging examinations and laboratory markers have to be considered during diagnosis and monitoring. The disease pathology is complex and current therapy does not prevent initiation or progression of osteoarthritis. Appropriate management combines non-pharmacological and pharmacological strategies aimed at alleviating symptoms and improving a patients’ quality of life.
By submitting manuscripts to SAPJ, authors of original articles are assigning copyright to Medpharm Publications (Pty) Ltd. Authors may use their own work after publication without written permission, provided they acknowledge the original source. Individuals and academic institutions may freely copy and distribute articles published in SAPJ for educational and research purposes without obtaining permission.