Term: Osteoarthritis (OA)
Last Updated: 2006-10-20
Also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, and sometimes referred to as "arthrosis" or "osteoarthrosis", is a condition in which low-grade inflammation results in pain in the joints, caused by wearing of the cartilage that covers and acts as a cushion inside joints. As the bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, the patient 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. The word 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.
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