Definition & Incidence – Pathophys discussed in Friday’s PCL


Rheumatiod arthritis : An autoimmune disease which causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.

Osteoarthritis: A noninflammatory degenerative joint disease occurring chiefly in older persons, characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage, hypertrophy of bone at the margins and changes in the synovial membrane. It is accompanied by pain and stiffness, particularly after prolonged activity.


  • Arthritis affects around 3 million people in Australia, representing about 15% of the population.

  • Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of pain and disability among the elderly.

  • Osteoarthritis is the third leading cause of life-years lost due to disability.

  • Obesity and joint injury are important potentially modifiable risk factors for the development of osteoarthritis.

  • Obesity is also an important predictor of progression of osteoarthritis.

  • Currently, about 19 000 hip and 20 000 knee replacements are performed for osteoarthritis in Australia each year.

  • Prevalence of osteoarthritis and the need for total joint replacement surgery are likely to increase because of a combination of increasing risk factors (age, obesity, injury), increasing expectations for improved quality of life, and improved surgical and anaesthetic techniques making surgery possible for more people.

  • Services to provide these cost-effective procedures need to be increased.

  • Primary and secondary prevention programs aimed at reducing obesity, preventing injury and improving rehabilitation and physical activity are urgently required.




~ by pcl4 on September 11, 2008.

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