D. Engler*, W. Grootboom, K. Mogale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease involving the entire joint, although the main tissue implicated in osteoarthritis is the cartilage. The most common joints affected include the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers, base of the thumb and big toe. Progressive degeneration, chronic pain, stiffness, joint instability and joint space narrowing are clinical features associated with the condition. Osteoarthritis develops and progresses due to risk factors such as advancing age, female gender, and excessive mechanical stress, affecting mainly weight bearing joints of the knee, hip and spine. Thorough history taking, physical examination for signs and symptoms as well as appropriate imaging examinations and laboratory markers have to be considered during diagnosis and monitoring. The disease pathology is complex and current therapy does not prevent initiation or progression of osteoarthritis. Appropriate management combines non-pharmacological and pharmacological strategies aimed at alleviating symptoms and improving a patients' quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocytes
  • Joint disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Subchondral bone


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