Vincent TL., Watt FE.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease, and its impact is set to grow as the prevalence of obesity rises and our elderly population increases. Many clinicians regard OA as being simply a disease of 'wear and tear', and by implication one in which disease modification is not possible. Such prejudices have led to significant academic apathy in this disease, which is reflected not only in our poor understanding of disease pathogenesis but also in the accurate classification of disease, and the development of sensitive tools for diagnosis and prognostic assessment. The recent identification of key degradative enzymes in cartilage, and the use of mouse models to study disease pathogenesis have greatly changed our outlook. The next decade is likely to see significant advances in our understanding of and treatment for this condition. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.