What are the anatomic sources of joint pain in osteoarthritis disease?

  • Osteoarthritis is characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage.
  • Articular cartilage is the primary site of injury in this disease, but it has no innervation.
  • The pain of osteoarthritis primarily originates from the periosteum surrounding the bone. As the articular cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint begin to rub against one another, the highly innervated periosteum becomes damaged and results in the joint pain seen in osteoarthritis.
  • Other Potential anatomic sources of osteoarthritic pain include:
    • subchondral bone.
    • capsule.
    • synovium.
    • periarticular tendons and bursae.