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  1. I Haq1,
  2. E Murphy2,
  3. J Dacre1
  1. 1Academic Centre for Medical Education, University College London and Department of Rheumatology, Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, London
  2. 2Academic Centre for Medical Education, University College London
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Inam Haq, Academic Centre for Medical Education, 4th Floor Holborn Union Building, Archway Campus, Highgate Hill, London N19 3LW, UK;


Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder characterised by cartilage loss. It is extremely prevalent in society and is a major cause of disability. It is important to treat osteoarthritis effectively using a multidisciplinary approach tailored to the patient’s needs. This paper reviews current thinking on the aetiology, pathogenesis, investigations, and management of osteoarthritis. The paper also discusses the challenges for developing good quality outcome measures for use in large scale multicentre clinical trials for new osteoarthritis treatments, especially disease modifying osteoarthritis drugs.

  • osteoarthritis
  • COMP, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein
  • COX-2, cyclo-oxygenase-2
  • IL-1/IL-6, interleukin-1/interleukin-6
  • NICE, National Institute for Clinical Excellence
  • NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • SF-36, short form 36
  • TNF-α, tumour necrosis factor-alpha
  • WOMAC, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index

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