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 ( 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.