Few diseases are the subject of greater confusion than those of the joints. Cases of chronic arthritis are so common, so distressing to the patient and so rebellious to treatment, that their study is one of the greatest interest and importance. Yet we find that in any work dealing with arthritis, the subject is most conflicting and uncertain. A whole series of diseases seem inextricably mixed up under the same name, or a variety of designations are applied to the same disease. Such names as "arthritis deformans," "rheumatoid arthritis," "chronic arthritis," "chronic rheumatism," "osteo-arthritis," "rheumatic gout," "infective and toxic arthritis," etc., are all indiscriminately applied to numerous affections of the joints, and to different stages of the same disease.
This confusion, as well as the number of theories which are prevalent in most works on this subject, indicate a very imperfect knowledge of this group of diseases, a condition which
MILNE LS. CHRONIC ARTHRITIS. JAMA. 1914;LXII(8):593-598. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560330011004