Osteoarthritis is a chronic progressive disease where there is degeneration & loss of articular cartilage that occurs together with new bone formation at the joint surfaces and margins, that causes pain and deformity.

The patient experiences pain, stiffness, decreased movement, inflammation and crepitus.

The pain is usually aggravated by pain and relieved by rest.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
    • Distinguishing features:
      • Morning stiffness
      • Positive rheumatoid factor
      • Positive anti-CCP antibody
      • Increased ESR & C-reactive protein
  • Septic arthritis
    • Positive synovial fluid culture
  • Seronegative arthritis
    • Inflammatory arthropathies which affects >1 joint
      • Ankylosing spondylitis
      • Reactive arthritis
        • Recent history of an infection, usually of the urinary tract, precedes joint pain
    • Psoriatic arthritis
      • Presence of psoriasis
  • Crystal arthropathies
    • Gout
      • Increased serum uric acid levels
      • Presence of tophi
    • Pseudogout
      • Pattern by which joints are affected; the knees are initially affected, followed by the metacarpophalangeal joints, hips, shoulders & elbows
  • Ligament injury
    • Sudden onset of pain after strenuous activity
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