Osteoarthritis pathological process in the joints, which can have various causes. They all lead to impaired function and structure of one or several joints. This disease is the most common cause of chronic joint pain. It affects millions of people. In each case, the symptoms and treatment of arthrosis of the individual and require supervision from a qualified podiatrist.
What is arthrosis?
The basis of disease – progressive loss of cartilage which normally lines the adjoining bone sections and provides them slide relative to each other. Under the influence of different causes the cartilage begins to break down, to be activated in bone of immature stem cells, it condensed, it formed a cavity (cyst) and growths (osteophytes).
Gradually narrows and then disappears completely the gap between the articular surfaces, and the limb stops moving. When osteoarthritis affects all the tissues of the joint including the nearby muscles, ligaments, joint capsule. Therefore, the treatment of arthrosis of joints is a complex task, and in the later stages the patient can only help surgery.
The most common form of the disease – deforming arthritis, affecting large joints of the lower limbs, and brush.
Causes of osteoarthritis
Possible reasons for development of osteoarthritis:
- endocrine diseases – diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, acromegaly, obesity;
- injuries as a major (fracture, with the result that the articular surface is displaced from the normal axis), and microscopic, but the constant (with the hard work, constant professional or sporting activity);
- inflammation infectious arthritis, gout, rheumatoid disease;
- metabolic metabolism: Paget's disease and Wilson's;
- congenital malformations, for example, different length of extremities;
- genetic defects of collagen structure, for example, the syndrome of Ehlers-Danlos;
- neuropathy of different origin, diabetic, alcoholic;
- hemophilia with frequent hemorrhage into the joint cavity.
To successfully treat osteoarthritis of the joints, it is necessary to eliminate the underlying cause.
Symptoms and stages of osteoarthritis
The disease is accompanied by such complaints and the symptoms:
- nagging pain and impaired mobility in one or more joints;
- pain worse after exertion, and often at night, and in severe stage of osteoarthritis become permanent;
- dangerous complication, immobility of the joint, inability to move or care for himself.
A common form of the disease:
- the defeat of the interphalangeal joints of the fingers and the base of the thumb, they are unable to increase, to swell, become painful sometimes, they developing the inflammation;
- osteoarthritis of the hip joint: more common in men, associated with heavy physical work; the main reason for this disease in women – obesity;
- knee osteoarthritis: often associated with professional activities in the position of kneeling and squatting;
- osteoarthritis of the spine is accompanied by the formation of bone spurs that pinch the nerve roots resulting in pain, weakness, disturbance of sensation in the extremities, constant pain in the lower back.
There are degrees of osteoarthritis:
- 1 degree: minor limitation.
- 2nd degree: significant limitation, crepitation during movement, moderate atrophy of nearby muscles.
- Stage 3: deformity of the joint with almost complete lack of motion.
Depending on the degree of dysfunction and stage of disease in the treatment of diseases involving doctors in different fields – therapists, physiotherapists, rheumatologists, neurologists, orthopedists.
Treatment of osteoarthritis
The goal of treatment is to eliminate risk factors and pain, restoration of joint function. For this purpose, various methods of influence:
- non-pharmacological: informing the patient about his disease and prevention of complications, physical therapy, weight reduction, therapeutic exercise, assistive devices (orthoses, canes, crutches);
- drugs for osteoarthritis: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially the new generation – the selective COX-2 inhibitors; for chronic pain relief is shown taking atypical antidepressants; symptomatic delayed-action preparations have only auxiliary value, as their effect is to slow down the destruction of cartilage is not proven;
- if it is accompanied by inflammation and severe pain syndrome trauma surgeons perform intra-articular injections of glucocorticoid hormones;
- the most effective method is a surgical procedure that gives you the opportunity to get rid of pain and restore mobility.
You can perform various types of surgery:
- arthroscopy inspection of the inside surface of the joint using a small camera (endoscope), removing fragments of cartilage blocking the joint;
- arthroplasty – replacement of the cartilage surface of the artificial material;
- osteotomy is the cutting or removing part of the bone to restore the normal axis of the joint;
- arthroscopic surgery is a surgical restoration of the integrity of the cartilage;
- arthrodesis – artificial creation of immobility in the joints (most often the heart) to relieve the patient from constant pain;
- arthroplasty – removal of the damaged articular ends of bones and replacing them with an artificial joint.
A guaranteed way to prevent the disease not. Prevention of osteoarthritis is to eliminate excess stress on the joints, timely treatment of diseases that contribute to the destruction of the cartilage. Treatment of osteoarthritis folk remedies do not slow the progression of disease, but helps relieve pain in the joints. It can only be regarded as a complement to traditional drug therapy or surgery.
Time is a negative factor for the patient with osteoarthritis. The sooner you get started therapy or surgery, the better the results. So if you have symptoms of osteoarthritis, it is recommended to consult a doctor.