Once commonly called “degenerative joint disease”, we have learned that osteoarthritis (OA) is truly an “itis” characterized by increased production of multiple inflammatory mediators within affected joints that include cytokines, chemokines, inflammatory lipid mediators, and additional factors that together drive joint tissue destruction through increased expression and activity of matrix degrading enzymes. Although past treatment modalities have focused on pain relief with analgesics and NSAIDs, more recent research has documented the benefits of non-pharmacologic interventions, such as diet and exercise, and has provided promise of developing disease or structure modifying interventions that may slow or halt progression of OA. New knowledge about the pathogenesis of OA and emerging treatment modalities will help the rheumatologist deal with the epidemic of OA expected as our population becomes more obese and the baby-boomers advance in years.
Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:
- describe the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis including factors that lead to its development and the underlying biology responsible for the progression of osteoarthritis
- discuss advances in the management of osteoarthritis that include non-pharmacologic interventions
- evaluate the potential benefits of new disease- or structure-modifying treatments for osteoarthritis
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