Arthropathy: What is it? Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

These diseases can be restricted to a single joint as in arthritis or can affect several joints as in rheumatoid arthritisand osteoarthritis .

An arthropathy is a disease of the joints.

Arthritis is a form of arthropathy that involves inflammation of one or more joints , while the term arthropathy can be used regardless of whether there is inflammation or not.

It can also be caused due to some underlying conditions, such as bacterial infections, pyogenic or septic arthritis.

Neuropathic arthropathy is one of the joint diseases related to changes in bones and joints due to the loss of sensitivity associated with other health conditions such as trauma, infection, diabetes, spina bifida, pernicious anemia and amyloidosis.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthropathy in which the subchondral bone and joints show loss of cartilage resulting in the destruction of bones and joints.


It is caused by degenerative diseases of the joints, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, joint bleeding due to injury, hemophilia, Charcot’s disease and diabetes.

It is also caused by inflammatory joint disorders, including ankylosing spondylitis  and rheumatoid arthritis.

It has also been discovered that autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease , ulcerative colitis, polymyalgia and systemic lupus erythematosus cause arthropathy.

It has also been discovered that septic disorders and infections caused by bacteria and fungi cause advanced arthropathy.


It manifests itself in the form of many bone and joint diseases. Some of them are:

  • Enteropathic arthropathy: Includes a group of rheumatic conditions such as arthritis caused by bacteria, parasitic infections and spondyloarthropathies. Other conditions that are included in this type of arthropathy are intestinal bypass arthritis, Whipple’s disease , collagenous colitis and celiac disease.
  • Diabetic arthropathy: This is a type of neuropathic arthropathy that affects diabetic patients. The main areas where arthropathy affects patients with diabetes include shoulders, hands, skeletal muscles that cause a limitation in the mobility of the joints.
  • Neuropathic arthropathy: This type of arthropathy is also called Charcot arthropathy and prominently affects patients with diabetes. The loss of sensitivity in the affected joints is the main symptom of this condition. It attacks patients suffering from diabetes for more than 10 years.
  • Facet arthropathy : The arthropathy that affects the facet joints is known as facet arthropathy. The facets are located in the back of the spinal region. This arthropathy degenerates the facet joints and causes severe pain in the region.


In general the symptoms are pain in the joints, reduction of the functions of the structure of connection or support and inflammation in the tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles and bones.

There is also a decrease in range of motion, effusion, neumarthrosis, bone erosion.

The symptoms are similar to rheumatic conditions and include pain, swelling and stiffness.

Diseases in this category include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, gout, lupus and vasculitis .

Skeletal muscle is also affected by pain and inflammation of bones, structure, muscles, and is a type of joint disease.

Diseases that arthropathy can cause

When the arthropathy develops completely, it not only results in the destruction of the joints but also enlarges the joints.

This enlargement is due to swelling as a result of the joint effusion of the synovial fluid accompanied by osteophytes, excessive bone growth in the joints or in the margins of the joints.

The joint deformity increases microfractures or loosens the ligaments, which causes a decrease in muscle support.

The increase of the periaticular fractures and the laxity in the articulations, bones or cartilages cause that the cartilages or the bones are broken in small fragments.

This also leads to the destruction of the joints.

The grinding sound that is heard while walking is due to this complication that occurs when the joints move.

Causes of arthropathy associated with gout and glass

The arthropathy related to gout and crystal is due to the deposition of monosodium urate, calcium apatite, calcium oxalates, calcium pyrophosphate crystals.

Degenerative arthropathy is also caused by diseases such as gout or crystal deposition called pseudogout, due to repeated attacks of acute arthritis.

The large joints of the periphery, especially those located in the lower extremity, are the most affected.


The treatment will depend on the causes.

For example, in lumbar facet arthropathy, no study has compared the efficacy of one type of physical therapy with another in the treatment of lumbar facet arthropathy.

Once the diagnosis of facet joint pain has been confirmed and pain has been controlled with proper treatment, experienced physicians generally recommend physiotherapy for reconditioning, as well as lumbar stabilization exercises.

Currently, no surgical intervention is recommended for lumbar facet joint pain.