History & Overview

The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) was convened in 1990 (then called the Osteoarthritis Research Society) to promote and encourage fundamental and applied research, and to disseminate the results of that research in order to permit better knowledge of osteoarthritis and of its treatment. 

In order to accomplish this goal, OARSI sponsors yearly conferences and/or workshops; an academically superb journal, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage; a newsletter covering Society business as well as medical and research developments; and important committees and task forces.

OARSI members - physicians, researchers, and other health industry personnel from around the world who have an interest in bone, synovium and cartilage - are integral to spreading the concepts, hypotheses and developments concerning osteoarthritis among the international rheumatology community. This includes defining common criteria to assess activity of products on joints and osteoarthritis as well as encouraging dialogue with health administrators and authorities in order to prepare protocols and define common criteria.

A number of aspects led to the formation of OARSI. For instance, the increase in life-span around the world has resulted in osteoarthritis becoming more prevalent. In recent years, both clinical and basic research in osteoarthritis has increased, and osteoarthritis has become the leading reason of physical consultation in Europe.

Nevertheless, most rheumatic disease societies around the world focus on conditions other than osteoarthritis and few osteoarthritis abstracts are presented at rheumatology meetings. Osteoarthritis is the most common articular rheumatic disease, yet no previous organization specifically addressed its fundamental, clinical and pharmacologic aspects.

After many years of frustration, those interested in any and all aspects of osteoarthritis now have a vehicle that not only acknowledges their contributions, but promotes their learning and better understanding of osteoarthritis.