What is the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis (OA)?

Updated: Jun 10, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Primary and secondary osteoarthritis are not separable on a pathologic basis, though bilateral symmetry is often seen in cases of primary osteoarthritis, particularly when the hands are affected. [3, 20] Traditionally, osteoarthritis was thought to affect primarily the articular cartilage of synovial joints; however, pathophysiologic changes are also known to occur in the synovial fluid, as well as in the underlying (subchondral) bone, the overlying joint capsule, and other joint tissues (see Workup). [21, 22, 23, 24]


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