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Arthritis Glossary

Terms used to explain Arthritis can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.


Pronunciation: \ˈär-thrə-ˌplas-tē\

Function: noun
pl -ties
: plastic surgery of a joint (as the hip or knee) : the operative formation or restoration of a joint

Articular Cartilage

articular cartilage
Function: noun
: cartilage that covers the articular surfaces of bones

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

carpal tunnel syndrome
Function: noun
: a condition caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel and characterized esp. by weakness, pain, and disturbances of sensation in the hand and fingers abbr. CTS

Connective Tissue

con*nec*tive tissue
Pronunciation: \kə-ˌnek-tiv-\

Function: noun
: a tissue of mesodermal origin that consists of various cells (as fibroblasts and macrophages) and interlacing protein fibers (as of collagen) embedded in a chiefly carbohydrate ground substance, that supports, ensheathes, and binds together other tissues, and that includes loose and dense forms (as adipose tissue, tendons, ligaments, and aponeuroses) and specialized forms (as cartilage and bone)


Pronunciation: \-ˌsōn, -ˌzōn\

Function: noun
: a glucocorticoid C21H28O5 that is produced naturally in small amounts by the adrenal cortex and is administered in the form of its synthetic acetate C23H30O6 esp. as replacement therapy for deficient adrenocortical secretion and as an anti-inflammatory agent (as for rheumatoid arthritis) compare 11-dehydrocorticosterone


Pronunciation: \ˌfī-(ˌ)brō-ˌmī-ˈal-j(ē-)ə\
Function: noun
1: a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness of muscles and associated connective tissue structures that is typically accompanied by fatigue, headache, and sleep disturbances —called also fibromyalgia syndrome, fibromyositis


Pronunciation: \glü-ˈkō-sə-ˌmēn, -zə-\

Function: noun
: an amino derivative C6H13NO5 of glucose that occurs esp. as a constituent of polysaccharides (as chitin) in animal supporting structures and some plant cell walls


Pronunciation: \ˈlü-pəs\
Function: noun
1: any of several diseases (as lupus vulgaris or systemic lupus erythematosus) characterized by skin lesions


Pronunciation: \-är-ˈthrō-sis\

Function: noun
: see: osteoarthritis


Pronunciation: \ˈpred-nə-ˌsōn also -ˌzōn\

Function: noun
: a glucocorticoid C21H26O5 that is a dehydrogenated analog of cortisone and is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, as an antineoplastic agent, and as an immunosuppressant

Psoriatic Arthritis

psoriatic arthritis
Function: noun
: a severe form of arthritis accompanied by inflammation, psoriasis of the skin or nails, and a negative test for rheumatoid factor —called also psoriasis arthropathica

Reactive Arthritis

reactive arthritis
Function: noun
: acute arthritis that sometimes develops following a bacterial infection (as with the bacteria of the genera Shigella, Salmonella, or Chlamydia)


Pronunciation: \ˌrü-mə-ˈtäl-ə-jē, ˌrum-ə-\

Function: noun
pl -gies
: a medical science dealing with rheumatic diseases


Pronunciation: \ˈsti(ə)r-ˌoid also ˈste(ə)r-\

Function: noun
: any of numerous natural or synthetic compounds containing a 17-carbon 4-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides see anabolic steroid


Pronunciation: \ˌsī-nə-ˈvīt-əs\

Function: noun
: inflammation of a synovial membrane usu. with pain and swelling of the joint


Function: noun
: inflammation of a tendon

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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Treatments for any type of arthritis are largely the same.