1. We are of the opinion that degenerative arthritis is the result of the wear and tear of increasing age and repeated trauma which may be caused in a variety of ways and that it is not the result of an inflammatory process, metabolic disturbance, or endocrine dysfunction. The type of cartilage inherited may be responsible for the earlier onset and more extensive changes encountered in one individual as compared to another.
2. Because of the inability of articular cartilage to regenerate, we are of the opinion that one cannot cure this type of joint disease. Certain measures, however, can be instituted which will either arrest or slow the progress of the degenerative process.
3. Extensive degenerative joint change can be present in an individual without necessarily causing important joint symptoms.
4. If hypertrophic or degenerative arthritis is nothing more than degenerative joint changes due to the wear and tear of increasing age, unusual use, or repeated trauma, one has the right to challenge the correctness of the use of the word 'arthritis' with reference to individuals with such joint changes. We, therefore, propose the name 'degenerative joint disease' for this type of joint pathology.
(C) 1936 All Rights Reserved.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.