Definition: “Arthritis is the condition in which there is inflammation of the joints”
Joints connect the bone with another bone and are constructed to provide both movement and mechanical support. There are various types of joints in our body and their inflammation is one of the common pathologies encounters for them. The arthritis is associated with chronic pain in them which is constant in nature and localized to the particular joint affected.
There are numerous forms in which arthritis is presented. These include
It is a degenerative disease of joints and is the most common disabling condition in developed countries. Here there is a progressive erosion of articular cartilage.
- It appears insidiously, without apparent initiating cause, as in aging process. This type is called primary osteoarthritis.
- The secondary arthritis results under some diseases settings like diabetes, ochronosis, marked obesity or congenital developmental deformity etc.
- Clinical Course: The disease characteristic symptoms include deep achy pain that gets worse when in motion, there is morning stiffness, crepitus, and limitation of movement.
It is the chronic systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs but principally attacks joint. Here autoimmunity plays a vital role in causing this disease along with its progression.
- Signs and Symptoms: Initially, there is a feeling of fatigue, malaise, fever and generalized musculoskeletal pain, after which joints become clearly involved. Symptoms usually develop in the small bones of hands and feet followed by involvement of wrist, ankles, elbows, and knee, the spine may be involved later. The joints are warm, swollen, painful and stiff.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
It begins before age 16. Here arthritis must be present for six months. Oligoarthritis is more common with this type of arthritis, large joints are affected and systemic onset is more frequent. In this type rheumatoid nodules and rheumatoid factors are not present. This disease targets joints of wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles.
It is the non-infectious arthritis of the appendicular skeleton that occurs within one month of a primary infection localized elsewhere in the body. It is thought to be caused by the autoimmune reaction initiated by the prior infection
- Signs and symptoms: Arthritic symptoms usually develop here with joint stiffness and low back pain.
This is the chronic inflammatory axial joint disease involving the sacroiliac joint. This disease may result in spinal immobility and it involves peripheral joints of shoulders, knees, and hips.
It occurs between ages of 30 and 50 years and affects those people joins which are suffering from psoriasis. It may involve eye causing iritis and conjunctivitis along with joint inflammation of knees, hips, and wrist.
All types of microorganism can lodge in the joints during hematogenous spread. They also affect the articular cartilage by direct inoculation or focus of osteomyelitis. It is one of the serious forms as it may cause rapid destruction of the joint and produce permanent deformities.
Gout is due to hyperuricemia and is marked by acute arthritis attacks initiated by crystallization of urates within the joints.
In this disease blood tests and x-rays provide much help in determining the disease and its severity.
The aim of the treatment is to reduce pain, slow down the process, improve the disability and stop further destruction of a joint so that patient may be able to perform his routine works. Other treatment usually involves the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Severe cases are treated with chemotherapeutic agents. In case of infectious arthritis, antibiotics or other antimicrobial agents are added in the treatment regime. Gouty arthritis is controlled by uricosuric, colchicines or with allopurinol.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.