Last revised by Joshua Yap on 9 Jan 2023

Arthritis (plural: arthritides) refers to inflammation of the joints, caused by a broad range of etiologies.

Arthropathy is a broader term referring to any disease of the joint, whereas arthritis is a type of arthropathy specifically referring to inflammation of the joint.

Arthritis can also be classified in a number of various ways, including by:

  • onset: acute vs chronic

  • number: monoarticular (1 joint) vs oligoarticular (2-4 joints) vs polyarticular (≥5 joints)

  • distribution: axial vs peripheral

  • symmetry: symmetric vs asymmetric

  • character: fixed vs migratory

  • erosions: erosive vs non-erosive

Each type of arthritis typically shares one or more of the following imaging features:

  • soft tissue swelling

  • subluxation/dislocation

  • demineralization

  • calcification

  • joint space narrowing

  • erosions

  • bone production

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