Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and loss of mobility or joint function.
It can greatly diminish the quality of life of sufferers, particularly when it affects small joints, such as those in the hand.
Osteoarthritis is the most common rheumatic disease and is second only to cardiovascular disease in producing chronic disability.
Osteoarthritis is not a passive 'wear and tear' phenomenon, as was believed until recently. It is an active disease with a complex underlying pathology.