In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Arthritis is derived from the Greek term “disease of the joints.” It is defined as an acute or chronic joint inflammation that often co-exists with pain and structural damage. Arthritis is not synonymous with arthralgia, which refers to pain localized to a joint, regardless of the origin of the pain (which may or may not be due to joint inflammation). Arthritis affected both the Neanderthals and ancient Egyptians, but It was not until 1886 that Dr. John K. Spencer coined the term “osteoarthritis.” More than 100 different types of arthritis have been described, the most common being osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis which is non-inflammatory arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis can occur in several settings, and inflammation can be caused by autoimmune processes (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.), crystal deposition induced inflammation (gout, pseudogout, basic calcium phosphate disease) or infections (septic arthritis, Lyme's arthritis). Inflammatory arthritis can also accompany other autoimmune connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren syndrome, scleroderma, myositis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, etc.

The goal of this activity is to provide a general overview of the most common arthritides and briefly touch on key aspects of the different major disease types.

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  • Study Guide