Arthrosis or osteoarthritis: do these terms imply therapy with pure analgesics or non-steroidal antirheumatic agents?

Scand J Rheumatol Suppl. 1987:65:123-30. doi: 10.3109/03009748709102190.


In contrast to German-speaking regions, where the expression "arthrosis" is used, English-speaking countries prefer the term "osteoarthritis". The syllable "itis" indicates quantitatively variable inflammation which is present in each phase of the disease. In choosing the right expression one must also include new concepts of arthrosis regarding aetiology and pathogenesis as well as the quantitative aspect of inflammation. Since most arthrotic patients are now treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the question of the anti-inflammatory effect of each of these drugs is just as important as the question of their analgesic activity and neutrality for chondrocytes. Bearing in mind that some kinds of arthrotic pain are not induced by inflammation mediators, treatment with pure analgesic drugs would be advantageous. The latest concept of the pathogenesis of arthrosis involving interleukin, rounds the problem off. Perhaps the difficulty lies therein, in that nowadays we are unable to quantify the inflammatory aspect of inflammation. Only when we are in a position to determine pathogenetically-damaging agents in their negative potential and their proportional quantity, will we be able to answer the question, "osteoarthrosis or osteoarthritis?"

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Terminology as Topic*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal