What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. A variety of causes—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, bone may be exposed and damaged. As a result of decreased movement secondary to pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.

Treatment generally involves a combination of exercise, lifestyle modification, and analgesics. If pain becomes debilitating, joint replacement surgery may be used to improve the quality of life. OA is the most common form of arthritis, and the leading cause of chronic disability in the United States. It affects about 8 million people in the United Kingdom and nearly 27 million people in the United States. Source: Wikipedia


Osteoarthritis research trends

Common research areas include:

  • Identifying risks
  • Early detection
  • Education around prevention
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Quality of life for people with osteoarthritis


FORWARD and Osteoarthritis research

What are your important concerns about living with a rheumatic disease like osteoarthritis? Is your treatment effective? We believe that rheumatic disease research needs the personal perspective of people who have rheumatic diseases.

FORWARD conducts patient-reported research. All of our data comes directly from people with OA, which gives us the ability to see how people live with OA in the real world. We focus on treatment safety, costs and outcomes (how well treatments work).

Anyone with OA (or any rheumatic disease) is welcome to participate and lend a hand in improving treatment and care. Learn more about participating.