Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Arthritis, inflammation of a joint. Thus, acute arthritis may be set up by injury; again, there is gouty arthritis, which affects by preference the joint of the big toe (gout), or tubercular arthritis, which in its most common form constitutes the "hip-joint disease" of children. In acute rheumatism one or more joints are inflamed, and the condition may be spoken of as rheumatic arthritis; this form of joint disease must not, however, be confused with chronic rheumatic arthritis. The last-named affection, which is also designated by the terms "rheumatoid arthritis," or "arthritis deformans," has nothing to do with acute rheumatism. It is, as a rule, chronic in its course, and occurs during middle life. It may affect many small joints, as for example those of the fingers, or a large joint like the hip or knee may be involved. In the course of the disease the articular cartilages are gradually worn away, and the exposed bony surface becomes polished, grooved, and hardened or "eburnated," as the expression is. Bony deposit also occurs in the tissues around the joint, and thus considerable deformity results, hence the appropriateness of the term arthritis deformans. The course of rheumatoid arthritis is slow, but unfortunately it is not very amenable to treatment.