An Overview of Arthritis

Arthritis literally translates to “inflammation of joints.” In certain forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis, inflammation occurs because the smooth cover (articular cartilage) at the end of bones gets worn or damaged. Osteoarthritis usually occurs in the weight-bearing joints.

In the other types of arthritis, like rheumatoid, the joint’s lining gets damaged as a result of a process that affects all over the body. Some other types of arthritis are seronegative spondyloarthropathies, crystalline deposition diseases, and septic arthritis.

Arthritis can be a significant reason for lost work hours and permanent disability for many people. While arthritis is usually an adult-related disease but children also can suffer from it.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition of joint. Joints are where the bone ends from two bones joining. For instance, the knee joint as an instance is formed by two bones in the leg’s lower part (the fibula and tibia) as well as the thighbone (the femur). This joint in the hip is the place where the top of the thighbone (femoral head) connects with a concave area of the pelvis (the Acetabulum).

Cartilage is a soft, smooth layer that protects the bones’ ends in joints. Cartilage cushions the bone allowing joints to move without friction that could be created due to bone-on-bone contact. A joint is protected by a fibrous sleeve, called the synovium. This creates a fluid that aids in reducing wear and friction within joints. Ligaments connect bones and help keep the joint in place. Tendons and muscles power the joint and permit the joint to be moved.


There are two main categories of arthritis.

The first form result from wear and tear of the cartilage articular (osteoarthritis) as a result of the natural process of aging, by continuous use, or injuries (post-traumatic arthritis).

The second form is caused by a variety of inflammation processes.

No matter if the reason is from an injury or normal wear and tear, or a disease it is likely that the joint will is likely to be inflamed, leading to inflammation, pain, and stiffness. The condition is usually short-term. Inflammation is among the body’s natural reactions to illness or injury. However, in joints with arthritis inflammation can cause permanent or long-lasting impairment.

How Are Osteoarthritis Arthritis And Rheumatoid Different?


The most prevalent kind of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. It is caused by overuse trauma, injury, or destruction of joint cartilage, which occurs in the course of aging. Osteoarthritis tends to be most painful on joints that carry loads, like the hip, knee, and spine, as opposed to at the wrist, elbow, or shoulder joint. However, joints heavily used for activities or sports, or joints that are damaged due to injuries or fractures may be exhibiting indications of osteoarthritis. Other diseases that hurt or strain the cartilage of the articular region can lead to osteoarthritis.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that covers the bone’s ends is gradually worn away. In many instances, bone growths referred to as “spurs” form near those joints that are prone to osteoarthritis. The bone may become solid and hard (sclerosis). The joint can become inflamed, leading to swelling and pain. It is common for the joint to become inflamed and painful.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that can last for years. The estimates suggest that one percent of people across the globe suffer from rheumatoid. Females are 3 times as likely as men to suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis progresses less rapidly as we get older.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects a variety of parts of the body. However, mainly joints. The body’s immune system which is normally responsible for protecting the body starts to produce chemicals that target the body. In the case of rheumatoid, the joint lining expands and invades tissues surrounding it. Chemical substances have been created that destroy and attack the joint’s surface.

Rheumatoid arthritis could affect small and large joints of the body, as well as the spine. Pain, swelling, and stiffness typically develop even when the joint isn’t being active. In certain circumstances, juvenile arthritis can result in similar symptoms for children.


Arthritis is diagnosed by an in-depth evaluation of the symptoms and a physical exam. Imaging tests are essential to determine the extent of injury to joints. Tests for blood and other tests from a laboratory can help determine the cause of arthritis. The most frequent symptoms of arthritis are:

  • The weakness (atrophy) within the muscle
  • The tenderness of touch
  • The joint is not able to move joint in a passive manner (with assistance) as well as actively (without aid).
  • The signs that other joints are swelling or painful (an indication of Rheumatoid arthritis)
  • A sound or a grating sensation (crepitus) when you move.
  • Pressure, which causes pain, occurs when pressure is applied to the joint.


There are many over-the-counter drugs available to manage inflammation and pain in joints. These medicines, also known as anti-inflammatory medications, include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Acetaminophen is effective in relieving pain.

There are also prescription medications available. A doctor will pick the right medication considering the kind of inflammation, the severity, and general health. Patients with asthma, ulcers, or kidney illness, for instance, might not be in a position to take the anti-inflammatory drugs.

Cortisone injections into the joint can temporarily relieve swelling and pain. It is vital to understand that frequent injections of the joint at the same time can cause damage to it, leading to unwanted side effects.

Viscosupplementation or injection of hyaluronic acids can be beneficial in lubricating joints. It is usually done in the knee.

Exercise and Therapy

Walkers, crutches, or splints can assist in relieving tension and strain placed on arthritis joints. Finding ways to perform routine activities that are less stressful on joints may also prove beneficial.

Certain physical exercises can reduce stiffness as well as they will strengthen muscles that are weak in the area of the joint.


In general, orthopaedic surgeons can perform surgery to treat arthritis when other forms of non-surgical treatments have not been able to ease pain and other signs. In deciding on the kind of procedure, the doctor and patient consider the type of arthritis, the severity, as well as the physical condition of the patient.

There are many surgical procedures. This includes:

  • Removing the damaged or diseased joint liner
  • A joint realignment
  • Connecting the ends of the joints with the help of glue to stop joint motion and ease joint pain.
  • Replacing the whole joint (total joint replacement)

Arthritis Management

Most people who suffered from arthritis are able to participate in normal activities of daily life after surgery. Training programs, anti-inflammatory medicines, and weight reduction for overweight people are all common methods to ease stiffness, pain, and enhance function.

If patients suffer from severe arthritis. Orthopaedic procedures can offer relief from pain and restore joint function.

Certain types of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, are usually managed by a team of health experts. They might include rheumatologists, physical and occupational social workers, therapists, orthopaedic surgeons, and rehabilitation specialists.


Today, still many forms of arthritis are not treated. Researchers continue to make strides in understanding the reasons behind the most common forms of arthritis. Meanwhile, orthopaedic surgeons, in collaboration with other doctors and scientists have created a number of successful treatment options for arthritis.

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