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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Article Home Bone, Muscle and Joint Disorders Osteoarthritis A Destructive Joint Disease

Osteoarthritis A Destructive Joint Disease

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It is the commonest of all joint disease; it is also referred to as degenerative joint disease as it results due to destruction of the articular cartilage lying in the synovial fluid and the subchondral bone after it. Mostly it occurs as a result of excessive wear and tear but it can also lead to inflammation of joints. This disease mostly affects the larger joints of the body including spine but it can involve any joint. There are over hundred types of Arthritis of them the Osteoarthritis is the commonest one. It affects both the sex equally in a defined age limit. Osteoarthritis may affect body joints asymmetrically, it can involve joint on one side

 

It is the commonest of all joint disease; it is also referred to as degenerative joint disease as it results due to destruction of the articular cartilage lying in the synovial fluid and the subchondral bone after it. Mostly it occurs as a result of excessive wear and tear but it can also lead to inflammation of joints. This disease mostly affects the larger joints of the body including spine but it can involve any joint. There are over hundred types of Arthritis of them the Osteoarthritis is the commonest one. It affects both the sex equally in a defined age limit. Osteoarthritis may affect body joints asymmetrically, it can involve joint on one side

Symptoms and Signs

  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint grating sensations
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Morning stiffness
  • Joint locking
  • Swelling over joint area
  • Symptoms especially pain increases after spells of inactivity
  • Difficulty in moving
  • Bone spurs may appear

Risk Factors

  • Disease mostly affects older ages i.e. above 40 yrs of age
  • Obesity
  • Bony deformities since birth

Complications

  • Job limitations
  • Limited daily activities
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Genu Varum
  • Heberden’s nodes
  • Genu Valgum
  • Arthropathy
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Muscular inactivity

Diagnosis and Tests

  • X-Ray film of affected joint may reveal the narrowing of joint space
  • Few blood tests may be required to rule out any other medical condition
  • Joint fluid analysis can be done by Arthrocentesis
  • Arthroscopy is useful to diagnose the osteoarthritis

Treatment and Medicines

  • Patient should maintain proper work and rest cycle
  • Regular exercising especially the swelling will help to strengthen the muscles especially around affected joints thus increasing their stability
  • Under the guidance of the doctor some obese patients must try losing weight
  • Use topical pain killer creams available over the counter
  • Soothe the joints with heat and cold
  • Physical therapy is also a good option
  • NSAID’S like ibuprofen naproxen can be used. But their long term use can lead to gastrointestinal side effects. Side effects also increase if patient uses alcohol along with the NSAID’S
  • Some Opioid and also some non Opioids like Tramadol can be used in some severe cases as it is a centrally acting pain killer.
  • For some very severe pain direct injections of corticosteroids to the affected joint can relieve the pain
  • Visco- supplementation is the treatment used in cases of Osteoarthritis. In this method Hyaluronic acid derivatives are injected into the joints and it serves as cushion
  • Joint replacement surgeries can be planned depending on case to case basis. Hip and Knee joints are most commonly replaced.
  • Cleaning up the area of the joint from loose bone pieces and cartilages is also an option to relieve the pain and is known as Debridement
  • Other surgical options include realignment of the bones and fusing the bones to relieve a severe pain, but these options should be taken into account only if a person cannot undergo a joint replacement surgery.