Arthritis may, at times, present a mystifying appearance to the radiologist. However, even complex cases will usually yield to a logical and systematic approach. My personal approach involves consideration of each of the following five principles in turn:
- Sutton’s law
- Radiographic hallmarks
- Pattern approach
- The law of parsimony
I find it helpful to separately consider the arthropathies that affect the appendicular and axial skeleton. In the next two sections, I will apply each of the five principles above to these two categories of arthritis.