November 17, 2010

Q&A: Typical Features Of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the commonest form of arthritis and possesses marked variability of disease expression. Although most patients present with joint pain and functional limitations, the age of disease onset, sequence of joint involvement, and disease progression vary from person to person.

This article is for Medical Students & Professionals
This is a Question & Answer revision article designed for medical students and professionals preparing for the PLAB, MRCP or USMLE examinations. They are based on actual questions from these examinations. You may find the Osteoarthritis article more useful, or one of our many articles on Diseases & Conditions, Medical Syndromes, Health & Wellness or Home Remedies.
In this article:
Clinical manifestations of osteoarthritis
MCQ: clinical scenario
MCQ: answer
MCQ: explanation

Clinical manifestations of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) ranges from an asymptomatic, incidental finding on clinical or radiologic examination to a progressive disabling disorder eventually culminating in "joint failure." The primary symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) are joint pain, stiffness, and locomotor restriction. Symptoms usually present in just one or a few joints in a middle-aged or older person. Other manifestations in patients with OA include sequelae such as muscle weakness, poor balance, and comorbidities such as fibromyalgia

MCQ: clinical scenario

An elderly male patient with right hip pain is suspected of having osteoarthritis. This would be confirmed by the presence of:

a) subperiosteal thickening
b) pericardial rub
c) tight skin
d) papular rash
e) subchondral bony sclerosis

MCQ questions & answers on

MCQ: answer

The correct answer is E

MCQ: explanation

Radiographic appearances in osteoarthritis are usually normal early on. Later, however, there is typically a narrowed joint space, osteophyte formation, subchondral bony sclerosis, and cyst formation.

1). UpToDate: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Available online:

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