Monday, 7 May 2012
Involves degeneration of cartilage at a joint. The joint becomes narrowed and irregular and bone spurs develop. There may be loss of cartilage and fibrous thickening of the soft tissue of the joint. The disorder can involve all joints, but occurs more often in fingers, feet, knees, hips and spine. It is more common after age 45.
Deep aching joint pain that gets worse after exercise, pain relieved by rest, grating of the joint with motion, joint pain in rainy weather, joint swelling, limited movement, morning stiffness.
The goals of treatment are to decrease pain and maintain function. Treatment includes: exercise, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications NSAIDs (ibuprofen Motrin or Advil, naproxen Naprosyn), pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), and physical therapy. If the joint destruction is severe surgery may be required to restore proper function and reduce the pain.
An X-ray can demonstrate the extent of joint destruction. At times a CT scan and or MRI is performed for more information.