chapter  3
60 Pages

- Articular Cartilage Pathology and Therapies

Arthritis* is defined as joint inflammation, which is often painful and can have multiple causes. Of the diseases that affect articular cartilage, distinc­ tion can be made between genetic and metabolic diseases versus those caused by injury, wear and tear, and immune­mediated processes. For the 2007-2009 period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health Interview Survey reports that 22% of adults (50 million individuals) in the United States have been doctor diagnosed with some form of arthri­ tis. Currently over 100 different types of arthritis have been documented and are listed in the Appendix to this chapter, compiled from the Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) and based on Montgomery and Poske (1968). Although the focus of this book is on articular cartilage and, by extension, damage to articular cartilage by disease, arthritis is a whole organ (the joint) disease with a broad spectrum of disorders in multiple tissues. This chapter will primarily focus on the changes in articular cartilage associated with the initiation and progression of the most common arthritis, osteoarthritis.