Looking for rheumatic disease types, treatments, and associated rheumatology definitions? From abatacept to WOMAC, learn about common terms related to arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Looking for information about MACRA? See MACRA terms and definitions.



Excess of subcutaneous fat in proportion to lean body mass.

Occupational therapy

Therapeutic use of self-care, work, and recreational activities to increase independent function, enhance development, and prevent disability.


Medical specialty concerned with the preservation, restoration, and development of form and function of the musculoskeletal system, extremities, spine, and associated structures by medical, surgical, and physical methods.


External orthopedic appliance, as a brace or splint, that prevents or assists movement of the spine or limbs.


Science concerned with the making and fitting of orthopedic appliances.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Arthritis characterized by erosion of articular cartilage, either primary or secondary to trauma or other conditions, that becomes soft, frayed, and thinned with eburnation of subchondral bone and outgrowths of marginal osteophytes.

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Bone-forming cell that is derived from mesenchymal osteoprogenitor cells and forms an osseous matrix in which it becomes enclosed as an osteocyte.


Large multinucleated cell, possibly of monocytic origin, with abundant acidophilic cytoplasm, functioning in the absorption and removal of osseous tissue.


Large multinucleate cells (cells with more than one nucleus) that differentiate from another type of cell called a macrophage. In normal bone, bone formation and bone resorption are closely coupled processes involved in the normal remodeling of bone.


Disease caused by reduced blood flow to bones in the joints. The lack of blood causes the bone to break down faster than the body can make enough new bone. The bone starts to die and may break down.

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