any of the diseases or injuries that affect human joints. Arthritis is no doubt the best-known joint disease, but there are also many others. Diseases of the joints may be variously short-lived or exceedingly chronic, agonizingly painful or merely nagging and uncomfortable; they may be confined to one joint or may affect many parts of the skeleton. For the purposes of this article, two principal categories are distinguished: joint diseases in which inflammation is the principal set of signs or symptoms and joint diseases, called noninflammatory in this article, in which inflammation may be present to some degree (as after an injury) but is not the essential feature.
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