Rapid destructive osteoarthritis: clinical, radiographic, and pathologic features

Radiology. 1992 Jan;182(1):213-6. doi: 10.1148/radiology.182.1.1727284.


Twenty-seven cases of an unusual, poorly recognized destructive hip arthropathy with radiographic findings of rapid severe joint destruction are presented. Radiographic findings mimicked those of other disorders such as septic arthritis, rheumatoid and seronegative arthritis, primary osteonecrosis with secondary osteoarthritis, or neuropathic osteoarthropathy, but none of the patients had clinical, pathologic, or laboratory evidence of these entities. All patients underwent hip arthroplasty, and osteoarthritis was confirmed at pathologic examination. Rapid progression of hip pain and disability was a consistent clinical feature. The average duration of symptoms was 1.4 years. Radiographs obtained at various intervals before surgery (average, 18 months) in nine patients documented rapid hip destruction. Involvement was unilateral in 89% (24 of 27 cases). Twenty patients (83%) were elderly women. The authors postulate that these cases represent an uncommon, rapidly destructive subset of osteoarthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Femur Head / pathology
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hip Joint / pathology
  • Hip Prosthesis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / pathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Time Factors