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A clinical form of osteoarthritis of genetic predisposition that, in the hand, primarily affects the DIP joint, some PIP joints, and the first carpometacarpal joints, with extensive synovitis and cyst formation.

Bony enlargement of the DIP joints (Heberden's nodes) and bony overgrowth of the PIP joints (Bouchard's nodules) are present, often without significant soft tissue swelling. The MCP joints and wrists are usually spared in erosive osteoarthritis. On x-ray, erosions appear subchondral rather than marginal (as is usually seen in RA). The thumb base (carpometacarpal joint) frequently is involved, with a squared-off appearance. Unlike in RA, the ESR and CBC are usually normal, regardless of disease severity. Treatment can include range-of-motion exercises in warm water, intermittent splinting to prevent deformity, use of analgesics or NSAIDs, and occasional intra-articular injections of depot corticosteroids for acutely symptomatic joints to relieve pain and prevent limited motion.

Certain diseases are often categorized as subsets of primary osteoarthritis. These disorders include primary generalized osteoarthritis (PGOA), erosive inflammatory osteoarthritis, and chondromalacia patellae.


Discovery of Erosive osteoarthritis

Kellgren and Moore described PGOA in 1952. The disease is characterized by familial and often premature development of Heberden and Bouchard nodes, as well as the precocious degeneration of the articular cartilage of multiple other joints, including the first carpometacarpal joints, knee joints, hip joints, and spine articulations. The radiographic appearance of PGOA is indistinguishable from that of non familial primary osteoarthritis, although the disease typically progresses relatively rapidly and appears severe on images.

Description of Erosive osteoarthritis

Erosive (i.e., inflammatory) osteoarthritis is a form of primary osteoarthritis marked by a greater degree of inflammation, with erosive abnormalities and, in some cases, bony ankylosis. The disease most commonly occurs in postmenopausal women, and it may be hereditary. Laboratory findings are generally uninformative. Erosive osteoarthritis is typically bilateral and symmetric, and it occurs in the interphalangeal, particularly distal interphalangeal, joints of the hands (see Image 24). Rarely, patients may have erosive osteoarthritis at the base of the first metacarpal or even in the feet







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Arthritis can develop as a result of an infection. For example, bacteria that cause gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage, but usually clears up completely with antibiotics. Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints, and internal organs. Fibromyalgia syndrome is soft-tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women. The approximate number of cases in the United States of some common forms of arthritis. is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.

Where we get our information.

Most of the information in the site is compiled by editors from information provided by the National Institutes of Health. We are in the process of updating our pages. In the past we have not made reference to the source for information provide by our editors. In the next few weeks we hope to have all our pages marked as to the source.

We have included information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Pages that uses information from this source are so acknowledged.

We have contributing authors that send information. Where information is provided by an outside author it is acknowledged by a byline under the title.

Updates of Pages.

Not all of our pages have a date as to the last update. We are in the processes of reviewing all our pages and as we do we include a reference as to when the page was updated. This web site was first published in January of 2003. All pages in the site were created at sometime during or after that time.