Arthritis is a group of diseases triggered by infection, improper metabolism, disorders in the immune system, in which an inflammatory process occurs in one or more joints. In this case, swelling, redness of the skin, and an increase in temperature in the affected area are observed. The process can proceed in acute or chronic form. In the first case, the patient has a sharp pain in the knee or other joint, in the second case, the disease develops slowly due to insufficient treatment of the pathology in the acute stage. The most common types of arthritis are:
- osteoarthritis - damage to cartilage and adjacent bone tissue and muscle fibers;
- rheumatoid is a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease that causes irreversible changes in the joints of the wrists, phalanges of the fingers and toes, and also leads to systemic damage to the body.
- dystrophic - degenerative destruction of joints caused by metabolic disorders, lack of vitamins, hypothermia or physical overexertion;
- traumatic - an inflammatory process that occurs in large joints (knee, elbow, shoulder) after an injury;
- gouty (gout) - a systemic disease caused by an increased content of uric acid in the blood and a violation of purine metabolism, most often occurs in men.
Causes of Arthritis
Each type of arthritis has its own cause, most often it is:
- transferred viral, parasitic, urogenital, fungal diseases;
- the presence in the body of foci of infection in the form of phlegmon, abscess, boils, tuberculosis, caries and others;
- injuries resulting in damage to the joints;
- excessive physical activity;
- hereditary predisposition;
- metabolic disease;
- unbalanced diet, insufficient amount of vitamins and microelements in food;
- bad habits (smoking, drinking alcohol, taking illegal drugs);
The causes of the disease may be different, but there are a number of characteristic symptoms that occur in all patients. Seek medical attention if you experience:
- severe joint pain when moving or touching the skin in the joint area;
- stiffness of movements in the morning after waking up;
- swelling around the diseased joint, periarticular tissues and ligaments;
- local hyperemia of the skin, accompanied by fever;
- a characteristic crunch of the joints when performing sudden movements;
- feeling of rapid fatigue when performing simple work;
- permanent deformity of the joints.
If you ignore the first symptoms and do not start treatment for arthritis, the disease will progress and significantly reduce the patient's quality of life. In this case, the process can become irreversible and lead to disability!
Stages of development of the disease
When determining the stage of the disease, the clinical manifestations of the pathology are taken into account:
- First - there is a slight limitation of joint mobility, the ability to self-service and professional activity is preserved.
- The second - the mobility of the joints is significantly limited, a crunch appears when moving, pain in the legs increases when walking and at night.
- Third - there is a noticeable deformity of the joints, stiffness and severe pain are noted, working capacity is partially lost.
- Fourth - there is a deformation of the joints and loss of mobility, cartilage is completely destroyed, severe pain creates a psycho-emotional burden, the patient loses the ability to self-service.
In specialized clinics, there is an orthopedic department, where traumatologists-orthopedists of the highest qualification category are engaged in the treatment of arthritis. The doctor chooses the treatment option depending on the severity of the diagnosis. At stages I and II of the disease, conservative treatment is carried out:
- drug therapy, including intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid and medication;
- SVF-therapy - treatment using cells of the stromal-vascular fraction obtained from the patient's adipose tissue;
- PRP therapy is the treatment of joints, tendons and ligaments with injections of plasma obtained from the patient's blood and enriched with platelets.
In the acute period, periarticular blockades and courses of drug anti-inflammatory therapy are carried out. During remission, exercise therapy and physiotherapy are prescribed. According to the indications, surgical treatment is prescribed:
- corrective osteotomy of the bones of the lower leg, femur, knee joint in order to restore the axis of the lower limb;
- therapeutic and diagnostic arthroscopy (LDA), which involves chondroplasty and microfracturing to eliminate cartilage tissue defects.
Treatment of arthritis in stage III is carried out surgically. The mobility of the hip joint is restored with the help of arthroplasty (total, unipolar, bipolar). When replacing the knee joint, a total prosthesis is performed.
To prevent the development of the disease and consolidate the results of treatment, follow the doctor's recommendations:
- avoid heavy loads on the joints;
- perform physical exercises for stretching, as well as articular gymnastics;
- organize proper nutrition, eat more fish, fresh vegetables and fruits;
- watch your weight, wear comfortable shoes, protect your joints from exposure to cold;
- give up bad habits;
- periodically take a course of preventive massage;
- strengthen immunity.
What is arthrosis
Osteoarthritis is a disease in which there is a deformation and destruction of the cartilage tissues covering the adjoining articular joints. As a result, the bone tissue inside the joint becomes dense, cavities and pathological growths (osteophytes) form on it. Gradually, the gap between the joints narrows and overgrows, and they lose their mobility.
Most often, the disease develops in people aged 45 - 50 years and older. The most common form of pathology is deforming arthrosis, which affects the hip, knee and ankle joints, wrists and hands.
Causes of arthrosis
The main cause of arthrosis is the mismatch between physical activity and the ability of the articular joint to withstand this load. The transition of acute arthrosis to chronic will lead to deformation and destruction of the joint.
Possible causes of pathology can be:
- diseases of the endocrine system - diabetes, obesity, hyperthyroidism, excessive secretion of pituitary and parathyroid hormones;
- various injuries: fractures with displacement of the articular surfaces relative to the normal axis, bruises, dislocations, torn ligaments;
- inflammatory processes in the body;
- metabolic disease;
- congenital pathologies - flat feet, different lengths of limbs, dysplasia;
- peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes or alcohol abuse;
- hypothermia and others.
Symptoms of arthrosis
The disease develops gradually, so the signs of pathology appear after the destruction of the joints begins. Patients list the following as their main symptoms:
- crunch that occurs when moving;
- pain in the joint during heavy physical exertion;
- increasing stiffness in the morning after waking up;
- deterioration of joint mobility;
- deformation of the fingers and toes due to bone growths;
- aching pain when changing weather conditions and atmospheric pressure, as well as pain at night.
Stages of arthrosis
In the absence of treatment, three stages of arthrosis are distinguished:
- Stage I - the mobility of the joints is slightly limited, the amount of nutrients in the synovial fluid decreases, the load on the joint causes pain.
- Stage II - joint mobility is significantly limited, cartilage begins to break down, a crunch and pain appear during movement.
- Stage III - the destruction of the cartilage structure and deformation of the articular site occurs, osteophytes form on the bone tissue, the joint practically loses mobility, the pain syndrome becomes permanent.
The treatment of arthrosis is aimed at eliminating the cause of the disease, relieving pain and regenerating cartilage to restore joint mobility..For this, the patient is prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. At the first and second stages are also carried out:
- injection therapy with the introduction of hyaluronic acid into the joint;
- SVF-therapy, based on the ability of the stromal-vascular fraction of adipose tissue to stimulate the restoration of a damaged joint;
- PRP-therapy with the introduction into the joint cavity of drugs that eliminate inflammation and reduce pain;
- periarticular blockades with the introduction into the periarticular tissues of drugs that restore the mobility of the joints.
In cases of prolonged pain, surgical treatment is performed:
- corrective osteotomy to restore destroyed joints (knee, hip, ankle and others);
- therapeutic and diagnostic arthroscopy, including chondroplasty and microfracture to eliminate a cartilage defect.
During the period of remission, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, and massage are recommended.
At the third stage of arthrosis, hip arthroplasty (total, bipolar, unipolar) and total knee replacement are performed.
Prevention of arthrosis
To prevent the development of arthrosis, experts recommend:
- avoid heavy loads on the joints;
- eat right, introduce foods containing collagen and omega-3 into the diet;
- regularly perform physical exercises for stretching, if possible visit the pool;
- do not overcool;
- wear comfortable shoes;
- to refuse from bad habits;
- control weight.
It is impossible to talk about which is more dangerous: arthritis or arthrosis, because if left untreated, in both cases, complete immobility of the joints occurs, which can result in their destruction and disability. Therefore, it should be remembered that with timely treatment to the clinic, the patient can count on a favorable prognosis.