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.


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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Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)

Occurs when the jaw bone is exposed and begins to starve from a lack of blood. The bone begins to weaken and die, which usually, but not always, causes pain. ONJ is associated with cancer treatments (including radiation), infection, steroid use, or potent antiresorptive therapies that help prevent the loss of bone mass.

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Reduction in the quantity of bone or atrophy of skeletal tissue; an age-related disorder characterized by decreased bone mass and increased susceptibility to fractures.

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Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT)

Group involved with the development and validation of clinical and imaging outcome measures in rheumatic diseases.

Paget’s disease of bone

Form of Paget’s disease, a chronic rheumatic disease that alters the bone remodeling process. Viral infections may cause Paget’s disease of bone, and some people with the disease have certain genes. Bones recycle and rebuild improperly in Paget’s disease of bone, leading to bones that are weak, fragile, too large, or shaped incorrectly. The disease usually affects bones of the legs, pelvis, skull, and spine. Bone pain is the most common symptom, and the disease may cause broken bones, painful pinched nerves, or even hearing loss. Treated with bisphosphonates to help protect bone strength.

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Unpleasant sensation associated with actual or potential tissue damage and mediated by specific nerve fibers to the brain, where its conscious appreciation may be modified by various factors.

Pain management

Treatment of pain, which includes medications, techniques such as biofeedback, and complementary and alternative medicine methods.

Parathyroid hormone

Peptide hormone formed by the parathyroid gland; raises the serum calcium levels when administered parenterally by causing bone resorption, reducing renal clearance of calcium, and increasing efficiency of calcium absorption in the intestine.

Patient Activity Scale (PAS)/Patient Activity Scale II (PAS-II)

The PAS and PAS-II are simple to use composite scores that use patient-derived data without provider effort, which makes the feasibility of the measure very good for use in daily clinical care. The PAS and PAS-II include a patient assessment of pain on a 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS), patient global assessment on a 10-cm VAS, and the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) for PAS or HAQ-II for PAS-II.

Patient-reported outcomes

Any report of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else.

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